Lazy Man's Buche de Noel

By: Sara Levine

Countdown to Christmas: 3 days. If you’re one of those type-A holiday overachievers, all of your presents are ready and wrapped, the whole menu is planned and the grocery shopping is done. Multiple batches of cookies are tucked away in tins, you’ve decorated an entire gingerbread village and you’re putting the final meringue mushrooms on a painstakingly detailed homemade Bûche de Noël. Your Christmas spread is not complete without this lifelike log of sponge cake and buttercream, a French holiday classic.

And for the rest of us…good news. If you’re up for it, there’s still time to tackle a Bûche de Noël—just don’t stress too much about the décor. Bobby Flay is not a pastry chef either, but he made a delicious  Bûche for an episode of Food Network's Throwdown and kept the décor nice and simple. Dust yours with lots of “snow” (i.e., powdered sugar) to cover any imperfections.

Then again, there’s no shame in going the bakery route. Many Bûche de Noël are shockingly expensive and need to be pre-ordered, but check out these cute little gems from Ceci-Cela, a charming French bakery in New York. They’re individual-size and cost $6. You could also follow their lead and fashion mini logs yourself. If you step up and make your own, these tiny Santa toppers are a fun, festive and effortless touch. Pick some up at a party store if those meringue mushrooms aren't looking so great.

Next Up

How to Have the Best O.C.-Style Chrismukkah Celebration Ever

Get Chrismukkah recipes and ideas for a Christmas and Hanukkah party like The O.C.

What I'm Gifting From My Kitchen This Year

This year, Kelsey Nixon is giving out her aunt's famous gingerbread cookie recipe.

How to Pair Wines With Sweets

Get our guide to which wines are appropriate for your dessert soiree.

Christmas "Circus" Cookies

Make mini Christmas cookies, inspired by the Circus cookies Nealey Dozier ate as a child, with this recipe from Cooking Channel.

On TV

So Much Pretty Food Here