My middle daughter can’t eat many things including gluten and dairy. She is also taking french this year and they prepare lots of cakes, pastries and fondues for extra credit or to experience the french culture. One of the things they made was Buche de Noel, which is a rolled cake that looks like a tree log. This is a recipe that is pretty good for anyone that has allergies and you can also adapt it pretty well to your allergies as long as you can eat eggs.

6 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (superfine cane sugar recommended)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup potato starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel, optional
Extra powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 400° F

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper with butter.

Separate egg yolks from whites. Place egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Set egg whites aside. Beat egg yolks on HIGH using an electric hand or stand mixer. Add sugar and vanilla and continue to beat on HIGH until mixture is creamy. Combine cocoa, potato starch, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Stir with a large whisk to thoroughly mix OR sift ingredients. Gently fold dry ingredients into egg-sugar mixture. Fold in grated orange peel until combined. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat on HIGH until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Use a large spatula to gently fold the egg white mixture into the cake batter. Fold until ingredients are blended. Use a spatula to scrape cake batter into prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the cake begins to pull away from the edges of the pan. Cool cake on a wire rack. When the cake is completely cool, carefully invert it- with the parchment paper still on the bottom, onto a large sheet of waxed paper, lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Slowly peel the parchment paper from the cooled cake. The cake is ready to fill with buttercream, whipped cream or softened ice cream.

When you roll the filled cake, roll slowly towards you while peeling away the waxed paper at the same time. If the cake cracks or tears while rolling, (which ours did and my daughter was almost in tears) do not worry once frosted it is not noticeable. Roll the cake from either the narrow side or the wide side, depending on the size cake you prefer. You can cut off a portion to make a smaller branch or leave as is. When you frost the outside of the cake you can use whipped cream or frosting but add a little cocoa for color. Use the tines of a fork to make the bark pattern and top with powdered sugar to look like snow. Rolling the cake is the hardest part so make sure your frosting looks great so no one notices any imperfections. Happy Eating!!

For a video showing the rolling and decorating go here.