At last…buche de noel. This cake took me literally all day to make, between other baking, errands, and visits. A quick internet search revealed the the yule log was a literal log, tossed on the fire around winter solstice. The literal log somehow evolved into a French treat of chocolate cake, whipped cream-like filling, and chocolate ganache frosting. I love traditional buche de noel, but since my mom is coming over for Christmas dinner tomorrow and she doesn’t eat chocolate, voila…almond buche de noel!
Part One: Almond Sponge Cake
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Grease a 10 x 15 x 1 baking pan; line with parchment and grease the parchment; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl using the whisk attachment, beat eggs on medium speed for three minutes.
Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is thick and lemon-colored.
Stir in almond extract.
Gently fold in flour mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 15 minutes, until center of cake springs back when touched.
Remove from oven; flip onto a cooling rack, remove parchment paper, then quickly flip onto a towel coated with powdered sugar.
Roll up tightly from the short end, place on a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before filling.
Part Two: Almond Whipped Cream Filling
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
In a chilled bowl, combine whipping cream, almond extract, and powdered sugar.
Using a chilled whisk beater, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Carefully un-roll cake and spread filling inside.
Re-roll cake tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours before frosting.
Part Three: Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Place butter in a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for a few minutes.
Add powdered sugar, and with the mixer on low, beat until all sugar is incorporated into the butter. (Hint: I place a kitchen towel over my mixer during this stage to prevent a powdered sugar blizzard.)
Increase speed to medium; add vanilla and beat for three minutes, then taste. If you’d like a stronger vanilla flavor or to increase the sweetness, add additional extract and a few tablespoons of powdered sugar.
Remove cake from plastic wrap; cut off each end to create a flat surface, or leave intact for a more rustic appearance. Brush off excess powdered sugar, otherwise your frosting will not stick.
Frost cake to look like a log, using broad strokes with a butter knife.