Vanilla Yule Log – Bûche de Noël à la vanille

4/5 - (1 vote)

One of my subcribers on Youtube asked if I might be able to make a Bûche de Noël à la vanille, which very roughly translates as a Vanilla Yule Log I think.

I decided to give it a try, using a Joconde type sponge as the cake base and a custard and butter cream to fill and cover the cake.  Both the cake and the buttercream are flavoured with vanilla.  Although I only used 1 teaspoon of vanilla in each this could be adjusted to taste, or could even be varied, to use orange, lemon or almond flavours, for instance.

The recipe is quite easy, but there are quite a few different steps, and things can get a little messy, with icing sugar being used on a tea towel use to roll up the sponge cake.

Although I opted for a very simple pre made type of decoration something more in line with Christmas could be added, or some chopped nuts, flaked chocolate etc depending on preferences.

My sponge baked well and was easy to handle. The buttercream too was easy to make and spread well.  I actually then chilled my cake before slicing, to firm up the buttercream.  But, again, that was my preference.

I was very pleased with the result, a nice light cake and the silky smooth vanilla flavoured custard buttercream was very good indeed.

Vanilla Yule Log – Bûche de Noël à la vanille 
Vanilla Yule Log – Bûche de Noël à la vanille – Video
For the sponge:

  • 30g (3 tbsp) plain flour
  • 35g(1/3 cup) almond flour/ground almonds
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 medium eggs(large in USA)
  • 3 medium egg yolks(large in USA)
  • 2 medium egg whites(large in USA)
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster or granulated sugar
  • 13g(1 tbsp) sugar(for whisking in egg whites)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

For the buttercream:

  • 100ml (1/2 cup – 4 tsp)
  • 100g(1/2 cup) caster or granulated sugar
  • 280g(2 sticks +4 tbsp) butter at room temperature
  • 3 medium egg yolks(large in USA)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 230C/210C Fan/450F
Grease a 17x12in (43x30cm) baking tray and line with parchment paper.  Then grease the parchment paper and sprinkle a coating of flour all over knocking off any excess.
In the bowl of a stand mixer place the eggs and egg yolks, together with the sugar and vanilla extract and beat for about 5 minutes until the mixture has become thick, to a ribbon stage, and pale in colour.
Sift in the flour, salt and almonds and gently mix in until all is combined.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites(I used my hand mixer) until you achieve soft peaks.
Gradually add the 13g sugar while still whisking, until the mixture reaches stiff peaks.
Add one third of the whisked egg whites to the batter and mix in.
Add the remaining egg whites mixture and gently fold in until fully combined.
Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and spread evenly across the entire surface, trying to make sure it is level.
Place in the oven and bake for 6 to 7 minutes, until fully cooked.
Take a clean tea towel, large than the size of the baking tray, and sift icing sugar over the surface. I laid mine on a wire rack for ease.
Remove the sponge from the oven and immediately transfer onto the icing sugar coated towel.
Remove the baking tray and then gently remove the parchment paper.
Sprinkle the surface with icing sugar and gently roll the sponge up, in the towel.
Set aside to cool completely.
Heat the milk in a saucepan, until almost boiling.
Beat the egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar, in a bowl, until all is combined well.
While still whisking gradually add the milk, until all is mixed into the eggs.
Transfer back to the saucepan and heat until just boiling, and the mixture begins to thicken.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Add the butter to the custard and beat(I did this in my stand mixer) until you have a thick buttercream.
Chill for about 15 minutes.
Unroll the sponge and spread about 1/3 of the buttercream over the surface.
Gently roll the sponge up to form the log(i rolled from the 12 inch end)
Spread the remaining buttercream over the log as smoothly and evenly as possible.
Use a form to drag lightly over the surface to form a texture.
Decorate however you may wish.
Chill for a while before slicing.


  1. Thanks for this recipe, Geoff. I usually have trouble rolling the sponge cake but you made it look easy. Love the new glass kitchen aid bowl. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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