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Yule Log Cake on a white platter with a slice on its side

Yule Log Cake (Bûche de Noël)

4.68 from 43 votes
This festive yule log cake is chocolate cake filled with whipped cream, rolled into the shape of a log, and coated with a chocolate ganache - a classic European holiday tradition!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 to 12 servings


Chocolate cake:

  • 4 eggs, separated and room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Chocolate ganache frosting:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

Whipped cream filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, more or less, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


Chocolate cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 10x15 baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In the large bowl of a stand mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well combined and a pale yellow color. Add vanilla and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt.
  • Add the dry mixture to the bowl of egg yolk mixture and stir to combine - it will be very thick!
  • Add half of the egg whites to the mixture and stir vigorously to combine completely.
  • Gently fold in the other half of the egg whites. Take your time and, again, be gentle - you don't want to eliminate all the air you whipped into them.
  • Pour batter onto the prepared pan, gently using a spatula to evenly distribute the batter.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cake is spongey and bounces back when touched.
  • While it's baking, lay out a flour sack or kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle it with a layer of powdered sugar.
    Tip: I like to use my flour sifter so that it's a relatively even layer and I don't miss any spots!
  • Let the cake cool for a minute on the baking sheet, then carefully turn it out onto the towel and remove the parchment paper from the bottom.
  • Starting from one of the short ends, roll the cake up (rolling the towel with it as you go). Lay the wrapped cake seam side down and let cool completely.

Chocolate ganache frosting:

  • While the cake is baking, make the ganache. In a small heatproof bowl, combine chocolate, butter, vanilla and salt.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over low heat until you see the edges start to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over the bowl of chocolate mixture. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir until completely combined and smooth. Set aside to cool (or place in the fridge until you're ready to use it - you'll just need to give it a stir once you take it out before you can frost the cake).

Whipped cream filling:

  • In the large bowl of a stand mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  • Add powdered sugar (to taste) and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Assemble the cake roll:

  • Once the cake is completely cooled, carefully unroll it. Using a spatula, add an even layer of the whipped cream filling to the top of the cake, leaving about ½" of space on the edges.
  • Gently re-roll the cake and then move it, seam side down, to a serving platter.
  • Use a spatula to coat the outside of the roll with the chocolate ganache frosting, on all sides.
  • Time to make it look like a log! Here are a few suggestions:- Use a fork to drag lines down the ends and across the top, lengthwise.- Use a toothpick or skewer to draw lines lengthwise across the top, and in spirals on the ends.- Use a small spatula to give it some wavy texture.
  • Let set, then garnish! My personal favorite is to top it with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs, then a coating of powdered sugar. Slice, serve and enjoy!


Storage: Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. I like to stick toothpicks into a few places on the cake so that the plastic wrap isn't clinging directly to the cake itself.
Freezing: It's better to store the yule log cake because it's been frosted and decorated, but if you need to store it in the freezer after you've already covered it in the chocolate icing... it can be done. Make sure you have enough space in your freezer to let the uncovered cake (on a baking sheet) set for at least an hour. At this point, the frosting should be hardened and you can wrap it in plastic wrap and store inside an airtight container or large bag for up to 3 months. I recommend not fully decorating it until after you've thawed it and you're getting ready to slice and serve.
Thawing: Keeping it covered, transfer the cake from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw slowly for at least a day. Then you can place it on a counter (still covered) and let it come to room temperature. If you uncover it before it's come to room temperature, the frosting will form condensation. While it will still taste good, it wouldn't be pretty!


Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine European
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