Paris' Best Bûches de Noël

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Paris' Best Bûches de Noël
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Paris' Best Bûches de Noël

Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki

Bûche Citron Fraise

The Tokyo-born pastry chef Sadaharu Aoki, is best-known for his East meets West flavor combinations and playful, Technicolor palette. This holiday season, he offers a vivid collection of bûches de Noël, including this whimsical composition of lemon and vanilla creams, white chocolate, and strawberries, sandwiched between vanilla macarons.

56 boulevard de Port Royal 75005,,; 40€

Photo Credit: Tatsunoshin Miyoshi

Pierre Hermé

Bûche de Noël á la Campagne

This bûche de Noël's design is similar to that of the classic version of the dessert—a log studded with mushrooms and moss. The cake itself, however, is über-sophisticated, made with almond and chocolate-mousse sponges, chocolate-praline puff pastry, whipped cream, and single-origin Madagascar chocolate ganache. 

72 rue Bonaparte 75006,,; 90€

Photo Credit: Maison Pierre Herme Paris

Café Pouchkine

Gâteau de voyage de Noël

Chef pâtissier Emmanuel Ryon's fanciful cake takes inspiration from the belle époque of the Transorient Express, with its delicate lattice structure, layers of fondant, and ornate gold rose. The interior is just as elaborate: The multiple elements include kirsch-pistachio jaconde, sour-cherry gelée, apricot cream, and vanilla panna cotta.

64 boulevard Haussmann 75009; 66€

Photo Credit: Café Pouchkine


La bûche Choc Africain

Sebastian Bauer, chef pâtissier of the celebrated salon de thé Angelina, is offering a traditional bûche de Noël composed of a moist chocolate sponge, rich chocolate mousse, and chocolate sabayon, all made from African chocolate. 

226 rue de Rivoli 75001,,; 48€

Photo Credit: Fabrice Veigas


Bûche Creation 2011 Boules de Noël

A name synonymous with macarons, Ladurée also makes incredible bûches de Noël. Just take a look at chef pâtissier Vincent Lemains' 2011 creation, Boules de Noël, three Christmas ornaments composed of a chocolate sponge, chestnut mousse, and pear cream. 

16 rue Royale 75008,,; 77€

Photo Credit: Ladurée

Arnaud Delmontel

La bûche Galaxy

Arnaud Delmontel, one of the pastry chefs featured in the story A Slice of Christmas (SAVEUR, issue #143), begins planning his seasonal bûche de Noël offerings in June. This year, he proposes La bûche Galaxy, buoyant almond sponge, white chocolate mousse, and black currant and violet cream, all finished with a glossy violet glaze. 

39 rue des Martyrs 75009,,; 35.40€

Photo Credit: Arnaud Delmontel

Plaza Athénée

Bûche Contes de Noël

This year, the pastry chef Christophe Michalak sets the bar high with his marvelous Bûche Contes de Noël, or Christmas stories. This elaborate bûche is made with sponge cake, almonds from Valence, Corsican mandarin marmalade, bittersweet chocolate ganache, and a thin marzipan coating. 

15 avenue Montaigne 75008,,; 125.00€

Photo Credit: Plaza Athénée

La Maison du Chocolat

Bûche Guayaquil

La Maison du Chocolat, known for its exquisite chocolates, has a bûche de Noël for the cacao-philes among us. Chef pâtissier Gilles Marchal's all-chocolate Bûche Guayaquil is made with bittersweet Ecuadorean chocolate, caramel chantilly, assorted dried fruit and nuts, and the essence of orange rind.

225 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008,,; 75€ (6 servings)

Photo Credit: Laurent Rouvrais

Jean-Paul Hévin

Bûche Rudy

Pastry chef and chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin combines craft and whimsy in his bûche Rudy, a creation of chocolate biscuit and dark chocolate mousse in the guise of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.

231 rue Saint-Honoré 75001,,; 44€ (6 to 8 servings)

Pastry chef and chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin combines craft and whimsy in his bûche Rudy, a creation of chocolate biscuit and dark chocolate mousse in the guise of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.

231 rue Saint-Honoré 75001,,; 44€ (6 to 8 servings)

Photo Credit: Quentin Bertoux

Stéphane Glacier

La bûche Arielle

Paved with bright pink macarons and filled with pistachio sponge, Cointreau-infused nougat, and mixed-berry purée, bûche Arielle by pastry chef Stéphane Glacier seems like a refreshing end to a decadent holiday feast. 

66 rue du Progrès 92700,,; 18€

Photo Credit: Gaëlle Astier Perret

La Maison Kayser

La bûche Leopard

In harmony with this season's fashions, pastry chef Eric Kayser has designed this unique leopard print bûche de Noël, a chocolate on chocolate roulade enhanced with coffee crème brûlée, and, of course, spots.,; 48€

Photo Credit: Maison Kayser

Le Meurice

La bûche d'Yquem du Meurice

Pastry chef Camille Lesecq's, of the Hotel Le Meurice, offers a gilded bûche d'Yquem, made with almond milk mousse, almond dacquoise, and fragrant licorice, which conceals a layer of apricot compote.

228 rue de Rivoli 75001,,; 96€

Photo Credit: Dorchester Collection

Arnaud Larher

Bûche Apple Pomme

Pastry chef Arnaud Larher's Bûche Apple Pomme applies the flavors of apple and strawberry to the red-and-green color scheme of Christmas. Here, green apple ganache, strawberry compote, and green apple cream are layered with almond sponge cake.

53 rue de Caulaincourt 75018,,; 43.00€

Photo Credit: Arnaud Larher

Jean-Paul Hévin

Bûche Grand Cru

This creation from Jean-Paul Hévin resembles an edible present—the bûche itself (cacao sponge enveloping orange-ginger jelly, chocolate mousse, and crunchy praline) looks gift-wrapped, and the cake is presented in a chocolate box.

231 rue Saint-Honoré 75001,,; 68€

Photo Credit: Quentin Bertoux

La Pâtisserie des Rêves

Bûche Mont-Blanc

Together, pastry chefs Philippe Conticini and Angelo Musa have created an elegant series of bûches de Noël, including this one, combining almond dacquoise, cherry confit, Armagnac-infused chestnut purée, a light citrus meringue, vanilla whipped cream, and chestnut mousseline.

111 rue de Longchamp 75016,,; 59.00€

Photo Credit: Nicolas Matheus

Hilton Arc de Triomphe Paris

Classic bûche de Noël

Chef pâtissier Philippe Daigneaux's bûche de Noël, made with espresso-moistened almond dacquoise and chocolate butter cream, combines the classic flavors of this traditional cake. A garnish of gold leaf suggests edible tinsel.

51-57 rue de Courcelles 75008,,; 12.00€ per person

Photo Credit: Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Pain de Sucre

Bûche Pondichery

This vibrant green bûche de Noël is the creation of chef pâtissier Didier Mathray. Here, a delicate marzipan-pistachio sponge is matched with mango puree, fresh mint infused cream, and pistachio-and-ginger mousse.

14 rue Rambuteau 75003,,; 48.00€ (6 servings)

Photo Credit: Pain de Sucre


When I started to report SAVEUR's Issue #143's story on the classic Christmas cake bûche de Noël, one of the most fascinating aspects of this evolving dessert was the level of creativity and artistry that it's come to represent. The cake, which was originally inspired by the Christmas yule log and thus decorated that way, has progressed from a frosted roulade with mushroom meringues, to cakes in a variety of Technicolor hues, with flavors as exotic as yuzu and macha tea, and forms that bear absolutely no resemblance to their branch-shaped forebears. I spoke with many pastry professionals who, across the board, credited the trailblazing pâtissier Pierre Hermé with infusing the pastry arts with the same sense of timeliness, trends, and personal expression, which are the norm in the fashion world. He was the first to create seasonal lines (fall, winter, spring, etc.) of his desserts, introducing a new palette of colors, flavors, and concepts, with each unveiling.

Over the last decade, his fellow pastry chefs have followed suit, and nowhere is this development more evident than in the annual reveal of bûche de Noël collections by Paris's top pâtisseries. Just like fashion designers, pastry chefs have become secretive and proprietary about their creations, and many of them would never dream of making the same cake two Christmases in a row. When I traveled to Paris to do additional reporting once the holiday had past, I encountered many well-known pâtissiers who simply refused to demonstrate a cake from their 2010 collection. "The chef does not have his 2011 bûche ready, Madame," they would say, not even considering showing the previous year's cake a viable option. But this sense of creative vanity is also what makes these often flamboyant, sometimes show-stopping gâteaux such a delight.

In the slideshow above, we present some of the most interesting bûches de Noël that Paris has to offer this year, and you will see that these pastry chefs are not holding back.

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