Mocha Bûche de Noël


Do not let this classic Christmas cake's appearance intimidate you. Making a cake roll will surprise you with its simplicity. For an easy plate or platter garnish, sprinkle a few "boughs" of fresh rosemary casually around the cake -- they will bring Christmas tree branches to mind.

Mocha Buche de Noel
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
12 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • cup all-purpose flour

  • cup cornstarch

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 4 eggs

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • Powdered sugar

  • 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting and Filling

  • 1 recipe Sugared Cranberries (optional)

  • Fresh rosemary sprigs or other fresh herb sprigs (optional)

Sugared Cranberries

  • frozen cranberries

  • granulated sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting and Filling

  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 4 ½ cup powdered sugar

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For cake, grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Line pan with waxed paper. Generously grease waxed paper. Set aside.

  2. Stir flour, cornstarch, and cocoa powder through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Stir baking soda and salt into flour mixture. In a large bowl beat eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-color. Gradually beat in granulated sugar, beating on high speed about 2 minutes more or until sugar is almost dissolved. Sprinkle flour mixture, one-third at a time, over egg mixture; using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in flour mixture just until combined. Evenly spread the batter in the prepared baking pan. Bake about 12 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

  3. Remove the cake from the oven. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes. Loosen the edges of cake with a small knife or thin spatula and turn cake out onto a clean towel generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully remove the waxed paper; discard.

  4. While cake is warm, roll up the cake and the towel into a spiral, starting from a short side* of the cake. (It is important to roll the cake while it is still warm to avoid cracking.) Cool on a wire rack. Unroll cake; remove towel. With a thin metal spatula, spread the white Cream Cheese Frosting and Filling on the cake to within 1 inch of the edges.

  5. Carefully roll up cake (without the towel) starting from a short side. Place, seam side down, on serving platter; chill for 30 minutes. With a serrated knife, diagonally cut off a 3-inch slice from one end of the cake. Place the diagonally cut edge of piece against the side of longer roll on the serving plate. This forms a "branch" on the "log."

  6. Frost the entire cake with the chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Filling, carefully "cementing" the limb to the trunk with frosting. If necessary, chill until frosting firms. With the tines of a table fork, create a pattern of "rings" on the cut ends of the roll, and "bark" on the rest of the log. If desired, garnish log with Sugared Cranberries and rosemary sprigs. Chill until ready to serve.

Sugared Cranberries

Sugared Cranberries:

  1. In a small bowl toss cranberries with sugar. Toss again after a minute or two to make a second coat.

Cream Cheese Frosting and Filling

Cream Cheese Frosting and Filling:

  1. In a large bowl beat cream cheese; butter; and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Place half of the mixture in a separate bowl; if desired, beat in almond extract. Set aside. Beat unsweetened cocoa powder into the remaining cream cheese mixture.


For a longer, thinner log, roll cake from a long side.

Prepare cake as directed through Step 5. Tightly wrap cake in plastic wrap; overwrap in foil. Place cake in a flat baking pan. Label and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours. Frost and decorate as directed in Step 6.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

540 Calories
22g Fat
81g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 540
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 218mg 73%
Sodium 260mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 81g 29%
Total Sugars 71g
Protein 7g
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 1.4mg 8%
Potassium 76mg 2%
Folate, total 28.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.5mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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