Red velvet bûche de Noel with boozy cranberry liqueur serves six

  • Ingredients
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) cranberries
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 150ml (5fl oz) RubyBlue cranberry liqueur
  • For the herb butter
  • 125g (4oz) Golden Cow unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large Skea eggs, separated
  • 140g (5oz) Neill’s plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml (3 3/4fl oz) Dale Farm buttermilk
  • For the caramel yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 30ml red food colouring
  • For the filling
  • 200g (7oz) cream cheese
  • 150g (5oz) mascarpone
  • 75g (3oz) butter
  • 175g (6oz) icing sugar
  • 175g (6oz) white chocolate, melted

sugar snowflakes (optional)


Heat 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar and 300ml (1/2pt) water in a pan over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the cranberries and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Drain and then transfer to a bowl. Cover with the liqueur. Chill until needed.

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Grease and line a 23 x 33cm (9 x 13in) Swiss roll tin. In a bowl, beat the butter and remaining 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar with an electic whisk, until fluffy, then gradually beat in the egg yolks.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into a separate bowl. In a jug, combine the buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar and food colouring.

Fold in a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by a third of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold them into the cake mixture.

Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the sponge

Dust a large sheet of baking paper with caster sugar. Turn out the bûche onto the sugar and peel off the lining paper. Lightly score a line about 1cm (1/2in) from one of the shorter ends, being careful not to cut through the sponge, then roll it up. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a bowl, whisk the cream cheese, mascarpone, butter and icing sugar. Whisk in the melted chocolate and 2 tbsp of the cranberry soaking liquid, until smooth.

Unroll the sponge and spread with a third of the icing, then roll it back up and put on a serving plate. Using a palette knife, spread the top and sides of the bûche with the remaining icing.

Drain the cranberries and arrange over the bûche. Decorate with sugar snowflakes (if using) and an extra dusting of caster sugar. Serve.