Celebrate December with a traditional French holiday dessert: la Bûche de Noël!

December has arrived with frosty temperatures and sunny skies. I am not really a fan of winter, but I do love this time of year and very much look forward to cozy family evenings at home and all the cherished food traditions that come with the holidays. The Christmas Eve seafood dinner is one of them. As is my husband’s shrimp cocktail on Christmas Day. Or foie gras, Champagne and French television on New Year’s Eve. It simply wouldn’t be the holidays without them.

The French yule log, or bûche de noël is also something my family and I very much look forward to. I usually make one with dark chocolate, but this year I decided to try making it with white — and I was very happy with the results!
Bon appétit and stay tuned for more French holiday recipes!


Bûche de Noël
Serves 6-8


  • 5 eggs
  • 110g sugar
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • Pinch of salt
  • 70g flour
  • 4 tbsps good-quality cocoa powder
  • 150g white chocolate, chopped
  • 60g butter
  • 125g sour cream
  • 250g powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°C  and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla until creamy and thick. In the meantime, whisk the egg whites (to which you’ve added a pinch of salt) until stiff. Now sift the flour and cocoa into the egg yolk mixture and fold in. You will notice that the mixture is thick and heavy. Add the egg whites in three batches. Do this gently so you don’t lose air. Spread the batter evenly over the baking sheet. The batter should measure approximately 33 x 27cm. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool slightly on a wire rack. Lay another sheet of parchment paper on your work surface, flip the cake onto the paper and gently peel off the sheet it baked on. To make the frosting, gently melt the chocolate and butter au bain-marie. Allow the mixture to cool and whisk in the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth consistency. Pop into the fridge for 10 minutes so that it thickens. Spread the genoise with a layer of frosting and roll tightly from the long side. Cut a small piece from both ends at an angle. These will be used as branches. Use a little of the frosting to ‘glue’ the branches to the sides of the roll. Spread the rest of the frosting over the entire surface and use the prongs of a fork to swirl texture into the frosting. Decorate as you wish and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.