buche de noel

Translated into Yule Log, the Buche de Noel, a traditional Christmas dessert in France, is the cake department’s most famous holiday treat.  In the month of December we make anywhere between 200-300 of these cakes, with close to 200 of them all within the week of Christmas.  Some years, we’ve made 80 just in one day.  So in honor of this delicious dessert, we thought we’d share our story and process behind making this cake.  We hope you find this educational, visually appealing, and very tasty!

We start the process by baking layers and layers of spongy vanilla chiffon cake and making around 20 pounds of delicious toasted walnut rum buttercream (well…it’s about 100 pounds at least by the end of December!).

In the background Stephanie is cutting each layer in half and dusting them with powdered sugar. In the foreground Sider is brushing every half-layer with a vanilla bean simple syrup.  After the simple syrup, five scoops of that delicious buttercream are spread out across the layer.

After the spreading is done, the next step is to roll up the log. Ellen, our newest cake lady, is rolling these babies jellyroll style and then wrapping them up for “safe-keeping.”  This really helps on those days of 50-80 in a day!

So that completes the inside.  But there’s still a lot more that goes into these cakes—the decoration of course!  After being iced in a rich chocolate buttercream (to resemble bark), each cake is then dusted with tasty coarse sugar and edible glitter (that’s the snow), and the ends are capped with cocoa tree rings.

The finishing touches come in our handmade fondant decorations.  We top every cake with two holly leaves, three holly berries, and three mushrooms.  Remember that I said that we sell between 200-300? Well that means at least 900 mushrooms, 900 berries, and 600 holly leaves…just in case!  Phew!  Honestly that makes me tired just reading that.  In fact, there are so many mushrooms that we often have “non-cake ladies” join the department for a few hours to help us out.

Finally it is all put together.  A delicious, rich Buche de Noel with tasty sugar snow and some fun (yet time consuming) fondant decorations.  We hope that you enjoy the cake and have a wonderful holiday season!

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