If you love all things kitschy and cute, then the traditional Bûche de Noël will be the perfect cake to whip up for your retro holiday party! With origins in France, this sweet and silly confection is fashioned after a tree log that has fallen in the snow, and is topped with darling decorations like mini mushrooms and bright berries, making it the perfect centerpiece for your holiday spread.
Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)
Piping bag and tip
Small block of semi-sweet chocolate
1. Whip up a chocolate cake recipe of your choice. For this recipe, I used a boxed cake mix from the grocery store, but I recommend using a lighter recipe, like a traditional genoise, which is a bit easier to roll. Line your half-sheet pan with parchment paper, then pour your cake mix into the pan and bake according to the directions.
2. Allow the cake to cool completely, preferably overnight if you have the time. Then use the tips of your fingers to gently remove the “skin” from the top of the cake.
3. Next, frost the cake with one layer of raspberry jam and one layer of chocolate frosting. I used pre-made frosting from the grocery store, but you can use any you like. Don’t worry about going all the way to the edges.
4. Now onto the roll! Using the parchment paper underneath your cake, slowly roll the cake. Don’t worry if it cracks a little, the frosting will hold everything together.
5. Then cut off about 1/4 of the cake in a diagonal line. This will be one of the branches to your log!
6. Fill your piping bag with chocolate frosting and proceed to decorate the cake. I used a medium-sized star tip for a wood grain effect.
7. Once you’ve frosted the larger piece of the ‘log,’ simply attach your ‘branch’ to the side and continue to frost. You can choose to either leave the ends exposed or add a swirl of frosting, if you prefer.
8. Now it’s time to create the ‘bark’ for your tree! To create chocolate shavings, simple scrape the edge of a chef’s knife along the back of a small block of chocolate. You can gently lift the chocolate shavings using the side of your knife to drop them onto your cake.
9. Now for the fun part! Separate out small portions of marzipan to create little figurines for your tree! Using food dye, you can color your marzipan any color to create whatever kitschy creations you’d like. I whipped up a few mushrooms and holly leaves for mine.
10. One final step… Sprinkle a bit of confectioners’ sugar over the whole thing for a wintery wonderlog!