Tronchetto di Natale

French Christmas log cake   Authentic Italian recipes

French Christmas log cake or Bûche de Noël is a fantastic cake for Holiday season. Certainly this cake is fattening but once a year or in a special occasion ... This is my own version with a stuffing made with chestnut cream, whipping cream and marrons glacès. What about it?

buche de Noel covered with chocolate cream and filled with chestnut cream, whipping cream and  marron glacés
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French Christmas log cake

Ingredients / Serves 12

  • 75g (2 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 75g (2 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • A pinch of vanilla powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 150g (5 1/3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 50ml (1 2/3 fluid ounces) white rhum
  • 250ml (8 1/2 fluid ounces - 1 C) whipping cream
  • 400g (14 ounces) chestnuts cream
  • 125g (4.4 ounces) marrons glacès, cut into pieces
  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) chocolate frosting
  • Candied fruit and what you prefer to garnish
  • Time:
    preparation: 60 minutes plus cooling time
    cooking: 20 minutes
    total: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    difficult recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 459 (kcal) 23 % GDA (*)- 1920 (kJ)
    Protein: 5.5 (g) 11 % GDA
    Total fat: 27.2 (g) 39 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 48.7 (g) 19 % GDA
    Sugars: 42.9 (g) 48 % GDA

Look at infographic of nutrition facts

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Recipe for French Christmas log cake

Preparation and cooking

  • - Lightly grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan.
    Line bottom with waxed paper.
    Grease again. Use 25g (1 ounce) butter for greasing.
    Set aside.
  • - Preheat oven to 200°C (400°C)
  • - Prepare cake dough.
    Weigh flour and set aside.
    Put 25g (1 ounce) butter in a little saucepan in a bain-marie.
    In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks at high speed until thick and lemon-coloured, about 3 to 5 minutes.
    Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla powder until blended.
    Let butter melt in bain-marie.
    Sprinkle flour over beaten yolk mixture and stir accurately avoiding lumps of flour.
    Add melted butter too and stir with delicacy.
    In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt at high speed until foamy.
    Fold whipped whites into beaten yolk mixture in circular movements from bottom upwards, using a wooden spoon.
    Pour mixture into prepared pan and level its surface up to 1-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6in) high with a spatula.
    Bake, 8 minutes.
    Your cake doesn't become dry.
    Then let the cake cool for about 30 minutes.
  • - Assemble your Christmas log.
    Transfer your cake in a tray with its waxed paper; be sure the tray is OK for your fridge.
    Brush its surface with rum, then spoon chestnuts cream on it.
    Whip cream and spoon it on chestnusts cream.
    Sprinkle marrons glacès pieces.
    At this point roll up your cake starting from long edge. Keep your cake on its waxed paper.
    Chill, almost 3 hours.
  • - The last step.
    Cut your rolled cake into two pieces of different length.
    Melt chocolate in a bain-marie together with remaining butter.
    Stir very well.
    Spoon melted chocolate on cake pieces but remember to set aside a little for final garnishings.
    Wait for 5 minutes and trasfer cake pieces in a serving plate.
    Place them as you can see in the photo.
    Spoon remaining chocolate and create tree-bark effects using a small spatula or, simplier, a fork.
    Decorate with candied fruit and all your fancy suggests.

Just before serving

  • - Keep in the fridge until serving.



  • - There are many versions of this cake. Some people fill it with jam, others with butter cream, others only with whipped cream.
  • - You can prepare this cake in the morning if you have to serve it at dinner, the day before if you have to serve it for lunch.
  • - You can sprinkle your cake with powdered sugar if you want a snowy effect but make this step as just as you've spread the chocolate for the best results.

Healthy eating

  • - The nutrition facts don't include decorations.
  • - Like all sweets, a portion of this cake is almost equivalent to a meal. So moderation ;)))


What's the right wine for " French Christmas log cake "?

Pair a sweet wine such as Malvasia delle Lipari from Italy to this French Christmas log cake that is Bûche de Noël