Christmas Buche De Noel and a Visit With Madeline in Paris

Updated on December 3, 2016
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Madeline and the Christmas Yule Log Cake

Children love the "Madeline" series by Ludwig Bemelmans, and there are many books about her adventures available. She celebrates Christmas in the book "Madeline's Christmas," and this season is the perfect time to share a good book and combine reading with Christmas baking. Many families bake the traditional Yule Log cake, or buche de Noel, but children do not know where the cake comes from. Baking the Yule Log cake after reading "Madeline's Christmas" provides the opportunity to share a cultural and cooking experience with children. Take your children on a tour of Paris with the story's heroine, and enjoy the preparation of the Christmas yule log cake.

A Quick Summary of "Madeline's Christmas": It's the night before Christmas, and all but Madeline are sick in bed. Madeline is busy with Miss Clavel taking care of all the girls in the boarding school. Christmas magic takes over, and Madeline meets a French merchant with a magic carpet. Madeline gathers all of her friends for a magic carpet journey to celebrate Christmas. Everyone forgets about their sniffles and enjoys this magical Christmas event.

Celebrate Her Christmas Journey

Madeline is a well-known character with children.  Great reading for the holidays along with preparing the buche de noel in honor of Madeline
Madeline is a well-known character with children. Great reading for the holidays along with preparing the buche de noel in honor of Madeline | Source

Preparation and Recipe for Buche de Noel

Ingredients for cake are simple, and the recipe is child-friendly. Children enjoy participating in cooking activities, and baking for the holidays is a favorite activity. Reading a favorite book that children can relate to a cooking activity creates added interest in reading and cooking.


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 C. sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Optional: 2 T. light rum


  1. Prepare a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 baking pan by greasing and flouring, then lining with wax paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Combine and beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Add 1/2 cup of sugar gradually and beating continuously. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Beat egg whites in a larger bowl until soft peaks appear, adding 1/2 cup of sugar and beating until stiff peaks appear. Fold in the yolk mixture.
  5. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and fold into the egg mixture. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking pan and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Prepare a kitchen towel by spreading it on the counter and sprinkle lightly with flour or powdered sugar.
  7. When the cake is done, loosen the edges, and turn it out onto the towel.
  8. Roll up the cake inside the towel, starting with the long edge, creating the log. Leave to cool.

Preparation of Yule Log Cake

Egg yolks and separating is a key point in the recipe
Egg yolks and separating is a key point in the recipe | Source
Combining ingredients
Combining ingredients
Stiff peaks
Stiff peaks
Ready to bake in long cake pan
Ready to bake in long cake pan

Icing the Cake for Madeline

The filling is everyone's favorite and also child-friendly to prepare with appropriate supervision.

Filling and Frosting:

1 1/3 C. sugar

2/3 C. water

4 egg yolks

3 squares (3 oz.) unsweetened melted chocolate

1 C. butter

2 tsp. instant coffee dissolved in (optional) 2 T. rum

Heat water and sugar to boiling in a small saucepan. Cook to soft ball stage at 240 degrees. beat egg yolks until thick and gradually add to hot syrup, beating constant.y. Continue beating until the mixture is cool. Beat in butter 1 T. at a time. Add melted chocolate and coffee and beat until smooth. Refrigerate for awhile and then beat until thick and smooth.

The cake is now ready to assemble. Unroll the cake and spread with half of the filling. Roll up the cake. Cut a 4-inch piece from the end of the roll, cutting on the diagonal. Place the log and the "branch" alongside with the edges down. Frost the log cake with the remaining filling. Mark the log cake with tines of a fork to resemble bark. Garnish with your favorite small holiday decorations.

Ready to Frost the Yule Log Cake

 Filling the cake
Filling the cake | Source

Combining Great Books with Cooking Benefits Children

Reading a fun read aloud for the holidays will spark young chefs in the kitchen. You might consider other books that children enjoy for the holidays and allow them to create a recipe for the character. Reading a recipe creates the opportunity for children that reading skills are needed for other activities. Young children who are not yet reading will enjoy a rebus recipe with both pictures of the needed ingredients and words printed under the ingredients to help with reading.

Family Holiday Reading and Cooking

Do you have ideas for favorite holiday books that can spark a recipe for cooking?

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    • chewtt2 profile image

      Cindy Hewitt 14 months ago from Sarasota

      Thanks so much for reading. Hope you share it around to your friends.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 14 months ago from the short journey

      What neat hub! Thank you for reminding me of Madeline! Your cake baked up beautifully and you've inspired me to just go ahead and do it. Too bad I have to wait till the weekend. Merry Christmas to you and yours!