In keeping with our gingerbread theme (tis the season, right?) I thought I’d use this post to share two special things with you. Step by step photo instructions on how to assemble a Bûche de Noël AND my recipe for gingerbread cake.
This technique can be applied to most, but not all, cake recipes. You need a somewhat tender cake to be able to roll it into the log. Traditionally a light sponge cake is used but I prefer a slightly more dense, moist cake. You can use my buttercream recipes or your own. I would just recommend homemade, not store bought, buttercream only because store bought brands tend to be really soft. My included recipes have a little more structure.
The gingerbread cake recipe is one of my favorite things about the Christmas season. It makes great cupcakes too. If you are really feeling fancy you can check out my instagram video demos on how to dress up your cupcakes for the holiday! Fill your cupcake liners a little more than half way with the batter if you decide to go that route.
Gingerbread Bûche de Noël
What you’ll need:
Egg nog buttercream
Decorations (meringue or fondant holly and mushrooms)
1 ½ + 1/3 c. AP flour
2 tsp. BS
2 tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 oz. butter
½ c. dark brown sugar
½ c. molasses
1 ½ plus 1/3 c. Hot water
1) cream butter and sugar until lightened (about 5-7 minutes in medium high) be sure to to scrape the bowl once or twice
2) combine egg and molasses and pour in slowly while mixing. Mix to combine then scrape the bowl
3) sift dry ingredients and add alternating with the hot water in 5 additions, beginning and ending with the dry mix (dry, wet, dry, wet, dry)
4) line a brownie pan with parchment and spray with non-stick spray. Spread the batter into the pan evenly and bake at 325 degrees F until done (15-22 minutes depending on the oven)
5) reserve at room temperature until needed
5 oz. butter, softened
7.74 oz or 1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. dark spiced rum
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1) place butter and sifted powdered sugar into a bowl with the paddle attachment and cream on medium high for 5-7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl at least once
2) combine milk, rum and nutmeg. Slowly pour into bowl while mixing the continue to mix on medium high until fluffy, 2-3 additional minutes, scraping once or twice
3) reserve until needed
13 oz dark chocolate (63-72%)
14.5 oz butter, softened
10 oz or 2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1) place chocolate over a double boiler and melt. Reserve warm but not hot
2) place butter and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium high 5-6 minutes, scraping at lest once
3) with the mixer running drizzle the warm chocolate slowly into the buttercream until completely combined. Add vanilla extract Scrape the bowl and mix on medium-high 1-2 additional minutes. Reserve until
To Assemble the Bûche de Noël:
(Additionally, see the pictures for a step by step visual demo featuring my lead decorate Alexandra Mudry)
1) Flip the cake out of the pan onto a piece of wax or parchment paper that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Peel the parchment you baked the cake on off the back of the cake.
2) Top the cake with a 2nd piece of sprayed parchment and roll gently with a rolling pin until about 1/8-1/4″ thick. Remove the top piece of parchment.
3) Spread the eggnog buttercream over the cake to all edges.
4) Use the parchment paper to start rolling the cake up. Don’t worry too much about breaks in the cake, jut use your hands to keep pressing the cake into a tight log
5) Refrigerate or freeze the log for 30 minutes
6) At an angle cut about 3″ of cake from both ends of the cake. Place them onto the log, flat edge attached to the cake with chocolate buttercream (see photos for visual instructions)
7) Cover the cake in a fairly thick coat of chocolate buttercream, taking your time to get into all the creases.
8) To create the “bark” texture use a fork, pulled along the buttercream with the tines of the fork pressed about 1/8″ into the buttercream. Go in straight lines and sometimes at angles/in circles to create knots in the “bark”. Don’t stress too much, it’ll look crazy at the beginning but once the whole log is covered it’ll come together (see photos for visual instructions)
9) Use an offset spatula in a circular motion on the 4 flat edges of the cake to create the look of a cut edge of a log.
10) decorate with hand made or store bough meringue or fondant mushrooms or holly. This cake cane be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in the refrigerator and place at room temperature at least 4 but up to 12 hours before serving.