Desserts · Recipes

Chocolate Yule Log

A creamy, light Christmas dessert. Also known by its French translation, Buche de Noël.
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Cooling Time30 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Christmas, roulade, sponge cake
Servings: 8 slices


  • 3 large mixing bowls (at least one should be glass)
  • 10"x15" jelly roll pan (a smaller, rimmed baking sheet)
  • parchment paper
  • clean dish towel
  • sifter
  • electric mixer
  • serving platter
  • spatula


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 oz confectioner's sugar (for the icing; about ½ cup)
  • 1 oz more confectioner's sugar (for the cake; about ¼ cup)
  • 1 oz even more confectioner's sugar (optional, for decoration; about ¼ cup)
  • 2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (for the icing; about ½ cup)
  • 1 oz more unsweetened cocoa powder (for the cake; about ¼ cup)
  • 4 oz normal, granulated sugar (for the cake; about ½ cup)
  • 2 oz more granulated sugar (also for the cake; about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (for the icing)
  • 1-½ tsp more vanilla extract (for the cake)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs
  • some chocolate bark (optional, for decoration)
  • 3-4 Maraschino cherries (optional, for decoration)
  • some green frosting (optional, for decoration)


Make the icing (15 min)

  • In the first large bowl*, combine heavy cream, and the first portions of confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and vanilla
    *If you only have one glass bowl, don't use that one yet.
    2 cups heavy cream, 2 oz confectioner's sugar, 2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Use an electric mixer to whip until thick and stiff and the mixer's tracks remain; a couple of minutes on high
  • Refrigerate the mixture
  • Clean the mixer's beaters, because we'll need them again soon

Make the cake batter (30 min)

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Line at least the bottom of a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper
  • Get the second and third large mixing bowls (one of which should be glass)
  • Crack the 6 eggs and separate the whites into the glass bowl and the yolks into the other one.
    (If they're both glass and different sizes, put the whites in the larger one.)
    6 eggs
  • Add sugar to the yolks
    4 oz normal, granulated sugar
  • Use the electric mixer to beat them until thick and pale yellow, but still liquidy — a couple of minutes on high
  • Add in the salt and the second portions of cocoa and vanilla
    1 oz more unsweetened cocoa powder, 1-½ tsp more vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp salt
  • Blend with the mixer until the ingredients are well incorporated
  • Clean the mixer's beaters again
  • In the large glass bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks, a couple of minutes on high
  • While still whipping, gradually add more sugar, and continue whipping until the mixture forms stiff peaks and mixer's tracks remain, another couple of minutes on high
    2 oz more granulated sugar
  • Fold the yolk mixture into the whites and mix with the spatula until well mixed
  • Spread the batter somewhat evenly into the prepared pan, on the parchment — uneven parchment paper can trick you, around corners and ends

Heat and cool the log (60 min)

  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched
    Don't worry if it raised a little — it will drop back down
  • Lay out the clean dish towel
  • Using a sifter, thoroughly dust the clean dishtowel with confectioners' sugar
    1 oz more confectioner's sugar
  • After the cake dropped back down, run a knife around the edge of the pan to free it
  • Turn the warm cake out onto the towel, parchment side up
  • Peel off and discard parchment paper.
    Some cake will come off and it won't look nice but that's okay — this side ends up rolled up on the inside
  • At one of the short edges of the cake, fold the towel about an inch over the cake to start, then roll the entire cake up with the towel as the filling and cover
  • Cool for 30 minutes

Assembly and Decoration (15 min)

  • Take the filling out of the fridge
  • Unroll the cake
  • Spread most of the filling to within 1" of the edges, leaving like a fifth of the filling for later, to ice the outside
  • Roll the cake back up with the filling inside
  • Place seam side down onto a serving plate
  • Spread the rest of the filling on the outside of the cake
  • Trim a little off one end so it's clean cut, and eat the trimming
  • Cut about 3" off the other end and place it on top of the log, with the clean cut side facing up and about a third of the way from one of the ends, so it resembles a cut branch on the log
  • Fix the icing as needed and clean it off the plate around the log, with a paper towel or something
  • Rake the icing with a fork to resemble log bark
  • Mount chocolate bark onto the filling to resembled cracking bark on the log
    some chocolate bark
  • Place 3-4 Maraschino cherries on the log to resemble wild berries
    3-4 Maraschino cherries
  • With the green frosting, make leaves around the cherries
    some green frosting
  • Using the sifter, dust with 1 oz confectioner's sugar to resemble snow
    1 oz even more confectioner's sugar


Adapted from AllRecipes and a very helpful video.
Curious why this recipe uses weights for dry measures? See the Weights page.