Gingerbread Bûche de Noël

This season, I am sharing a modern twist on a French classic! The traditional Bûche de Noël is a Christmas dessert served in France, made of sponge cake to resemble a miniature yule log. The classic flavours include a vanilla sponge cake with chocolate frosting or a chocolate sponge cake with chocolate frosting. However, this modern Bûche de Noël is a gingerbread spiced sponge cake, filled with vanilla whipped cream & frosted with a light chocolate spiced frosting.

It is a gorgeous dessert to serve at any holiday gathering! I make the sponge cake & filling the day before, roll it up tight so it can rest in the fridge. Once it sits rolled up overnight, it is very easy to frost. The frosting is a gingerbread spiced buttercream, with a hint of cocoa to allow for a natural brown coloured frosting.

While the mushrooms are optional, I love the woodsy vibe it adds to this dessert! I made mine using homemade fondant. However, you can use marzipan or keep it classic & pipe them from meringues. I hope you have the merriest of holiday seasons!

Gingerbread Bûche de Noël


For the Gingerbread Sponge Cake:

1 cup cake flour, sifted

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 large eggs, separated

2/3 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted & cooled

For the Filling:

1/4 cup simple syrup, optional*

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Gingerbread Buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted

3 cups powdered sugar, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup whipping cream


For the Gingerbread Sponge Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 17 by 12 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease sides of pan & parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves & black pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks & sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla & butter, followed by the flour mixture.
  4. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold into the batter, ensuring not to deflate the whites.
  5. Spread the batter evenly over the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cake bounces back to touch. Let cool slightly.
  6. Line a wire rack with parchment paper & carefully flip over cake onto the rack. Top with a second piece of parchment paper & gently roll. Let cool to room temperature before unrolling & filling.

For the Filling:

  1. Unroll prepared cake & brush with the simple syrup.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk cream until soft peaks are formed. Add the sugar, cornstarch & vanilla extract. Whisk until stiff peaks are formed.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream mixture over the cake, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  4. Tightly roll cake & wrap tightly in cling wrap for 60 minutes, or overnight.

For the Chocolate Gingerbread Buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter for 30 seconds.
  2. Sift in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & black pepper. Beat until light & fluffy, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla extract & whipping cream. Beat until incorporated, about 60 seconds.
  4. Using an offset spatula, frost the log cake in a swirling motion until fully covered. Top with decorative mushrooms if desired & a dusting of powdered sugar.

* note: to make simple syrup, simply heat equal parts granulated sugar & water until the sugar is fully dissolved.

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