The Bûche de Noël is a log-shaped cake meant to evoke the Yule log that once burned in European hearths throughout Christmas. Made of layered or rolled genoise sponge cake filled with mousse or buttercream, the Bûche de Noël is often decorated with marzipan or meringue mushrooms, forest creatures, or holly leaves.
The Tradition of the Buche de Noel – In some parts of France, a special carol was sung when the log was brought into the home. The carol prayed for health and fertility of mothers, nanny-goats, ewes, and an abundant harvest. Of course the French were probably the first to eat their yule logs. They started out burning them like everyone else, but when big open fireplaces began to disappear in France, they moved the tradition to the table by making a cake roll that looked like a Yule log, called a Buche de Noel.