Outsourced Bûche de Noël

Andie/Etsy

We love making homemade buche de noel for the holidays, but sometimes it's time to turn it over to the pros. Whether you're in it for the cake and want to call in decorations, are down with the meringue mushrooms but aren't feeling up to rolling the cake, or a combination of the two, we've got you covered with our favorite mail-order buches and accessories.

Complete Buches de Noel

Perfect Endings Buche de Noel
$85 at Williams-Sonoma.com

This classic Paris-style buche is densely chocolatey — there's a chocolate genoise cake, chocolate ganache, and chocolate buttercream — but manages to avoid being cloyingly sweet. It comes with a packet of realistic-looking meringue mushrooms, which you can use to decorate the cake however you like.

Buche de Noel Cake
$100 at NeimanMarcus.com

An American take on the buche, this cake uses an airy chocolate sponge rolled with a raspberry-spiked chocolate buttercream and frosted with still more buttercream, with swirls of frosting piped to resemble knots and whorls. It's birthday-cake sweet, perfect with a glass of milk, and pre-decorated with fondant poinsettias — the real flower may be poisonous, but this version is perfectly edible.

Buche de Noel Decorations

Meringue Mushrooms
$14.95 at Williams-Sonoma.com

Buy a whole pint of the delicate meringue mushrooms from Williams-Sonoma's buche — they'll take your homemade cake to a new level, or you can use them to pave a store-bought version with a veritable sugar-mushroom explosion.

Make This Cake and Eat It Too Edible Decorating Set
$92.60 on Andie Specialty Sweets/Etsy.com

Your buche will be the most jaw-dropping in town with this comprehensive decorating set (pictured above right), which includes 9 assorted sugar-and-chocolate mushrooms, 11 pieces of sugar foliage (including exquisite ferns and fiddleheads), 3 candy acorns, and three tiny, perfect sugar ladybugs. (You can go lower-key by buying the elements separately: candy acorns, shiitake-style mushrooms, chocolate toadstools, and even candy snowmen.)