Our Ultimate Pistachio + Raspberry Bûche de Noël & Our Favorite Holiday Treats
It’s holiday baking season and this year we are making a traditional Yule Log! You can call it a Bûche de Noël if you are fancy. If you’ve never heard of it, a Yule Log is a festive (and impressive!) dessert that typically consists of a sponge cake rolled and filled with cream , then covered in chocolate frosting to resemble a log. We filled it with pistachio pastry cream made from Keenan Farms pistachios and fresh California raspberries. It gives a festive red and green look to this dessert.
What is the meaning of Bûche de Noël?
This dessert is a 19th century creation from France. It represents an even earlier tradition of burning a log on Christmas Eve. The log was called a Yule log and burning it represented the end of the old year, and was supposed to bring good luck in the new year. The tradition became gastro instead of literal and fire places in home became smaller and it became harder to find somewhere to burn a large log. We fully support this tradition change and love cake in any form and for any reason!
Tips for Success!
Rolling up a Bûche de Noël can be a bit tricky, but with the right technique, you can achieve a beautiful log shape without cracking the cake. Here are some tips to help you successfully roll up your Bûche de Noël:
Tips for Rolling the Cake:
- Use Parchment Paper: Line your baking pan with parchment paper, and when the cake is done baking, immediately turn it out onto another sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with powdered sugar. This will prevent sticking and make rolling easier.
- Roll While Warm: Roll the cake while it’s still warm but not too hot. This helps set the shape. If it cools completely, it may crack when you try to roll it.
- Dust with Powdered Sugar: Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar before rolling. This prevents the cake from sticking to itself as you roll it up.
- Create a Lip: Before rolling, trim the edges of the cake with a sharp knife to create a lip. This helps the cake roll more easily and prevents the filling from squishing out.
- Roll Gently: Roll the cake tightly but gently. Use the parchment paper to help you guide and roll the cake into a log shape.
- Let It Cool: After rolling, let the cake cool completely in the rolled-up position. This helps set the shape and prevents cracking.
Tips for Filling:
- Evenly Spread the Filling: Spread the filling evenly over the cake, leaving a small border around the edges. An offset spatula can help with even spreading.
- Don’t Overfill: Avoid overloading the cake with filling. Too much filling can cause the cake to crack when rolling.
- Practice Makes Perfect: If you’re new to rolling cakes, it might be helpful to practice with a small sheet of cake to get the hang of the technique before making the actual Bûche de Noël.
- Be Patient: Take your time when rolling the cake. Rushing increases the likelihood of cracks.
- Chill Before Serving: After decorating your Bûche de Noël, let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. This allows the filling to set and makes slicing easier.
- Don’t forget to serve it with some of your favorite California sparkling wine!
By following these tips and practicing the technique, you’ll be able to roll up a Bûche de Noël successfully and create a festive and delicious holiday dessert.
Other Incredible Christmas Cakes To Try
This Sticky Gingerbread Cake is a riff on Nigella Lawson’s famous recipe. It’s a delicious treat during the holidays with its warm spices and tender crumb. Bonus: it has less refined sugar, is lower in fat, and egg free thanks to the addition of Prune Puree.
Ahhhh fruit cake, it’s been the butt of holiday jokes for some, but for others, this dense, fruit-filled loaf is the stuff that holiday dreams are made of! Meg from This Mess is Ours is on a mission to make them cool again.
These individual fruitcakes – call them mini fruitcakes, fruit cake cupcakes, whatever you choose – skip the scary dyed-green cherries and use fresh apple, prunes, nuts and few chocolate chips to win hearts.
Seriously. This fruitcake can change minds.
This just might be the easiest cake recipe ever! Just chop, mix, and bake. No need to ice this cake either, you can decorate this recipe for bundt cake with your favorite seasonal fruits and cut flowers.
This sweet potato pound cake from Britney Breaks Bread is moist, perfectly spiced, and full of warm cinnamon flavors. Topped with a rich cream cheese frosting – so good! It’s a delicious blend of sweet potato puree with hints of vanilla, nutmeg, and ginger topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting. If you love sweet potatoes then you’re bound to enjoy this cake!
This Pumpkin Gingerbread from A Girl Defloured is made with homemade roasted pumpkin purée and full of warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. the icing, made from brown sugar, butter and a splash of California sweet vermouth, elevates this snack-sized Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake and makes it totally holiday-worthy!
Share your favorite recipe for Bûche de Noël or other holiday cakes with us by snapping a pic and tagging us on social using #CAGROWN.
Craving more CA Grown goodness? Follow us on Pinterest for fresh and fabulous recipe inspiration!
Bûche de Noël with Pistachio and Raspberry Filling
- parchment paper
- Plastic wrap
- A clean tea towel
- A fine sieve
- A saucepan
- food processor
- 12×17 baking sheet (jelly roll sheet pan) (30.48 x 40.64 cm or similar)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 eggs divided
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 cup raw unsalted pistachios crushed
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6.5 ounces heavy whipping cream
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 4 egg yolks at room temperature
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
- Touch of green food coloring
- 1 pint raspberries 6 oz
- 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups chocolate buttercream frosting
- 1 cup shaved chocolate optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 F (180C). Find a 12 x 17 inch (30.48 x 40.64 cm or similar) baking sheet with sides, also called a jelly roll sheet pan. Line it with parchment paper and spray with a flour based baking spray as well.
- Dust a tea towel with powdered sugar and set aside to roll your cake in later.
- Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
- Separate your eggs. Melt your butter and set aside to let it cool off before adding.
- In a standing mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whisk yolks and sugar until combined. Add melted butter, sour cream and vanilla.
- Add dry ingredients to mixture. Remove bowl from mixer and set aside.
- In a clean bowl, with a clean whisk attachment, whip egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whites into the rest of the batter. You want to be careful to keep as much air in your mixture as possible. Don’t over mix.
- Then spoon batter on to sheet pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350F (180C) for 10-13 min.
- Once baked, immediately turn cake onto sugared tea towel. Peel off old parchment and add a new sheet to the top. Now quickly roll the cake up with the tea towel, from the shorter end. Let cool in towel for at least 1 hour.
- While it cools lets work on fillings.
- In a pot over medium heat, combine milk, pistachios and salt, and heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and discard solids. Measure out 1½ cups (425 ml) of the pistachio milk. Add more milk if needed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks until glossy and well combined. Whisk in cornstarch. Slowly add pistachio milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly until cream thickens and ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Strain mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a slow boil begins. Allow mixture to boil 1-2 minutes or until well thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Pass mixture through a fine sieve and transfer to a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
- Whip cream until hard peaks form. Fold into pastry cream. Reserve refrigerated. When you are ready to assemble your cake, you will want to fold the cream and pistachio mixture together.
- Once your cake has cooled for at least an hour, and your filling has cooled for two you can begin assembly.
- Gently unroll your cake.
- Cover with a layer of pistachio cream, spooning it on and then spreading helps. Now, add a layer of broken raspberries to the cream. You can add pistachio crumbs too if you like.
- Prepare a large piece of plastic wrap and have it ready on the counter because now it is time to carefully re-roll your cake. Roll the cake back up and transfer to the plastic. Be gentle so you don’t squish all your fillings right out the sides. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate, seam side down, for at least three hours. Even better if you leave it over night.
- Spread outside of cake with chocolate buttercream and drag with a fork to resemble a wood grain. Dust with cocoa powder and top with chocolate shavings if desired.