Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)

5 from 5 reviews

A spectacular and easy Yule Log (Bûche de Noël) to make at Christmas time. Recipe with step-by-step photos.


For the chocolate cake

For the chocolate frosting


To make the chocolate cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) (without fan).
  2. Separate the eggs into two large mixing bowls. For this recipe, I like to use a KitchenAid stand mixer with two separate bowls.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.
  5. Add the vanilla extract,cocoa powder and flour.
  6. Lightly fold the whisked egg whites into the chocolate mixture, one-third at a time.
  7. Line a Swiss roll baking pan with baking paper.
  8. Pour the cake mixture into the pan and even it out with a palette knife.
  9. Bake the cake for 20 minutes.
  10. Leave the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, before carefully inverting it onto another sheet of baking paper. Remove the sheet of baking paper which is attached to the bottom of the cake (which should be now facing up).
  11. Let the cake cool completely.

To make the chocolate frosting

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or in the microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Cream together the icing sugar (powdered sugar), butter and vanilla extract until you have a thick and smooth mixture.
  3. Add the melted chocolate, and lightly beat to incorporate all of the ingredients.

To assemble the Yule Log

  1. Place the cake in front of you with the long edge of the cake facing you.
  2. Dollop some of the frosting (about 1/3 of the mixture) over the cake and use a palette knife to spread it evenly all over the cake.
  3. Start rolling the cake together from the long side facing you, and rolling away from you. Use the baking paper underneath the cake to help you get a tight roll.
  4. Once the cake has been rolled, carefully transfer it to a serving platter.
  5. Trim both ends at a slight angle – these pieces will from branches from the log, so keep this in mind when deciding on how much to trim.
  6. Arrange the trimmed pieces of cake next to the main body of the cake. I like to “attach” the branches to the log with a bit of frosting.
  7. Cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
  8. Create a wood-like texture by using a cake skewer to make grooves and tree rings on the cake. If you are unhapy with your artistic work, you can simply use a small palette knife to smooth out the frosting and start over again.
  9. Let the cake set for at least 1 hour before serving.
  10. Lightly dust with icing sugar (powdered sugar) just before serving.

Kitchen Notes

It is best to make and assemble this Yule Log on the same day when the sponge is still soft, which will make rolling the cake easier and also make it less prone to cracking. However, if there are any cracks in the cake when you roll it, don’t worry too much because you will be covering the cake with frosting anyway. I find it best to make this Yule Log the night before serving, which gives it a good amount of time for the frosting to set.

As this is a frosted cake, it keeps very well for a few days under a covered container (in the rare event that you have any leftovers!).

You can omit the flour from this recipe to make the cake gluten-free. The texture of the cake will be slightly softer, but it will still be delicious. 

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.