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Using a detailed recipe, step-by-step photos, and a complete video tutorial, let me show you how to make a lovely from-scratch yule log, also known as a Bûche De Noël in French. This traditional Christmas cake is decorated to resemble a log. My recipe starts with a cocoa flavored sponge cake that we’ll fill with cocoa hazelnut whipped cream. We’ll top it with chocolate ganache and a variety of fun optional garnishes including mushroom shaped meringues plus sugared cranberries and rosemary for a shimmery finishing touch. It’s show-stopping and elaborate, yet completely doable in your home kitchen!

yule log (buche de noel) with chocolate ganache and meringue mushrooms

Christmas is a time rich with tradition. Christmas cookies for Santa, ornaments and decorations, jingle bells and hot cocoa by the fire. For some and in European regions, it’s making a yule log cake, also known as a Bûche De Noël in French. I’ve tasted plenty during the holiday seasons, but hadn’t attempted a from-scratch recipe until this year. Initially overwhelmed by the process, I learned that it’s just like other at-home baking projects: fun quality time in the kitchen. Made even better with an extra dose of chocolate!

By the way, here’s another at-home baking project: a homemade gingerbread house with a free printable template for constructing it.

Tell Me About This Yule Log Cake

  • Texture: Underneath all this festive decor, we have a soft and airy sponge cake. If you’ve tasted angel food cake before, you’ve had sponge cake. What’s interesting about sponge cake is that, unlike most cake recipes, it’s (usually) made without butter or oil. All of the magic happens with the eggs, a crucial ingredient in any sponge cake recipe. Note: I include a touch of oil in this cake for added moisture.
  • Flavor: My Bûche De Noël includes a light cocoa cake, cocoa hazelnut whipped cream spiked with Frangelico (can definitely skip the booze if you want), and is topped with smooth chocolate ganache. Since ganache is incredibly rich, the other elements have lighter cocoa flavors. In fact, the cake tastes like a mug of hot cocoa.
  • Ease: Advanced, but it’s a fun project to do by yourself or with your family. If you watch the video tutorial and read through the very detailed recipe prior to beginning, you’ll be set up for success.
  • Assembly: If you’ve ever made pumpkin roll or any other jelly roll cake before, you’re familiar with this assembly. If you haven’t, it’s nothing to be nervous about as long as you have a solid recipe and the right equipment. (Tools list below.) Have fun with the garnishes and watch my video tutorial before beginning.
  • Time: Yule log cakes aren’t anything you can rush; this recipe will take you all day. My advice is to concentrate on one element/step at a time. Make sure you’re following the cooling and chilling times closely. I don’t want you to ruin all your efforts by not letting portions of this recipe cool/thicken/set up properly.
sliced yule log with chocolate ganache and meringue mushrooms

Yule Log Christmas Cake Video Tutorial

4 Parts to This Yule Log Cake:

  1. Cocoa Sponge Cake
  2. Cocoa Hazelnut Whipped Cream
  3. Chocolate Ganache
  4. Decorations

Let’s review each part with step-by-step photos to guide us along.

Cocoa Sponge Cake

Start by whisking a few of the ingredients together. In terms of volume, there isn’t much: cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder for added lift, and a little salt. Eggs are the cake’s main ingredients. Separate the eggs, then whip the egg whites with sugar into stiff peaks. Set those aside. Then whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, a little oil for moisture, and vanilla extract until thickened. You get more volume with room temperature eggs than cold eggs. Before beginning, set the eggs in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes to warm them up.

Below left: whipped egg whites + sugar. And below right: thickened egg yolk mixture.

egg white mixture and egg yolk mixture for cake batter

Below left: In 2 additions, fold the fluffy egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. And below right: In 2 additions, fold in the dry ingredients. Like the finished cake, the cake batter is very light and airy.

cocoa sponge cake batter

Bake the cake roll in a 12×17 inch pan. So there’s plenty of cake for sectioning off and decorating, this a larger roll cake than my champagne cake roll and red velvet cake roll, both of which are baked in a 10×15 inch pan. Feel free to use any of my roll cake recipes as the base of your bûche de Noël, but know that if they’re baked in a smaller pan, you’ll have a smaller cake.

yule log cake batter in pan

How to Shape a Yule Log

Shaping a cake roll is easier than it looks. There are two tricks:

  1. The 1st trick is to roll the cake up, without filling, while it’s still hot. Why? If the cake cools in the rolled shape, it will make rolling the cake with the filling inside EASIER.
  2. The 2nd trick is to roll the cake up with a clean kitchen towel or piece of parchment paper. Why? The warm cake will be sticky and stick to itself otherwise. Dust the towel or parchment paper with cocoa powder to prevent any chance of sticking!

These two tricks help guarantee no rips, no cracks, and no sticking.

rolling up a yule log cake

Cocoa Hazelnut Whipped Cream

As the warm rolled cake cools down, make your whipped filling. Heavy cream is the base and we’ll sweeten it with a little confectioners’ sugar and flavor it with cocoa powder and hazelnut liqueur. Feel free to swap with the same amount of another flavored liqueur such as amaretto, Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, or other. You can also replace the alcohol with strong (cold or room temperature) coffee or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Or if you want to skip the cocoa and liqueur in the filling completely, make this whipped frosting instead. 

cocoa hazelnut whipped cream with frangelico bottle in background

Feel free to add finely chopped hazelnuts on top of the whipped filling. As you roll the cake, if it appears sticky and moist, dust with more cocoa powder.

filling and rolling a cocoa sponge cake roll with cocoa hazelnut whipped cream

Assembling the Yule Log

One end of the yule log cake is traditionally cut off and placed on the side or on top of the roll to resemble a branch. You can cut it at a diagonal angle as pictured below:

slicing yule log cake on a cutting board
shaped yule log on white serving platter

Chocolate Ganache

I have a separate and very detailed post showing you how to make chocolate ganache. Feel free to review it if you’re a beginner. You need 2 ingredients: pure chocolate and warmed heavy cream. The ganache is very thin right after you make it, so it’s imperative you let it cool down before using. Ganache thickens as it cools.

chocolate ganache in bowl

Spread the thickened ganache all over your shaped cake. This next part is easy– lightly drag a fork through the ganache so that it resembles tree bark.

running a fork in chocolate ganache to make the yule log design

Decorating Your Bûche De Noël/Yule Log

Your cake is nearly complete! Some garnish suggestions include:

  • meringue mushrooms (recipe below)
  • sugared cranberries & rosemary (recipe below)
  • pinecones set on your platter
  • herbs & edible flowers
  • shaped marzipan
  • chocolate shavings
  • a dusting of confectioners’ sugar to resemble snow
decorated yule log cake
slice of yule log cake on plate

I’m extremely detailed in these recipe directions, so don’t be overwhelmed. If I can do this, you can do this. See my make ahead instructions if you want to get prepared– there’s plenty of ways you can prep this yule log cake in advance. Take your time and enjoy the festive process. Wishing you a season of good cheer. We all need it!

Tools You Need:

  • Electric Mixer (hand or stand) for cake batter, meringues, and filling.
  • An egg separator is very helpful for the eggs.
  • 12×17 inch baking pan for the cake.
  • Parchment paper for lining the pan. I love these sheets.
  • Offset spatula for spreading the whipped cream filling and ganache.
  • Fine mesh strainer for dusting cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar.
  • Wilton 2A piping tip or any tip with around a 1/2 inch opening (plus a disposable or reusable piping bag) for meringue mushrooms.
  • Thin kitchen/tea towel or parchment paper. You need either for rolling the cake, but I strongly recommend a towel because it’s better at helping to prevent cake cracks. It will get pretty dirty from the cocoa powder and cake, but stains should come right out in the wash especially if you rinse it with warm water first.
  • Plus the usuals: mixing bowls, whisk, rubber spatula, cutting board, saucepan, etc
  • Pictured: large white platter from Juliska’s Whitewash Berry & Thread line and square appetizer Christmas plates from Pottery Barn
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yule log (buche de noel) with chocolate ganache and meringue mushrooms

Bûche De Noël (Yule Log)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 8 hours (includes cranberries)
  • Cook Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes (includes meringues)
  • Total Time: 10 hours
  • Yield: 1012 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French


The meringue mushrooms and sugared cranberries & rosemary are completely optional garnishes. The recipe below includes both. For all make-ahead instructions, see recipe notes. I recommend watching the video tutorial above and reading the full recipe below before beginning. There’s a lot of cooling down, chilling, and other moving parts here!



Sugared Cranberries & Rosemary

  • 1 cup (120g) fresh cranberries*
  • 45 rosemary sprigs (optional)
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (240ml) water


  • 1 and 1/3 cups (157g) cake flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (10g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For Rolling

  • 3 Tablespoons (15g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder

Meringue Mushrooms

  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • less than 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (about 1/16 teaspoon)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder (optional for dusting)
  • 1 ounces (28g) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

Cocoa Hazelnut Whipped Cream

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) cold heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) Frangelico liqueur
  • 1/4 cup (30g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (5g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (60g) finely chopped hazelnuts (optional)

Ganache Topping

  • 6 ounces (170g) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream


  1. Make the sugared cranberries and rosemary: If you want to decorate the cake with sugared cranberries and rosemary, start them the night before because they need to sit for several hours. Place cranberries and rosemary in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar and the water to a boil and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour sugar syrup over the cranberries and rosemary and stir to combine. Let the cranberries and rosemary sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator (lightly covered) for 6 hours or overnight. You’ll notice the sugar syrup is quite thick after this amount of time. Drain the cranberries and rosemary from the syrup and pour 1 cup of sugar on top. Toss to coat. Pour the sugared cranberries and rosemary on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet and let them dry for at least 2 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 12×17 inch baking pan with nonstick spray or grease with butter, so the parchment paper sticks. Then line it with parchment paper so the cake seamlessly releases. Spray or grease the parchment paper too. We want an extremely nonstick surface for this cake roll.
  3. Make the cake: Whisk the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside until the next step. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and 1/2 cup (100g) sugar together on high speed for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl. Using the same mixing bowl you just had the egg whites in (no need to clean it), add the egg yolks, remaining sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat together on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until thickened and light in color.
  4. Add half of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Beat on low speed for 10 seconds. Repeat with remaining egg whites and beat on low for 10 seconds. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low or fold with a rubber spatula until combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Avoid over-mixing and deflating those egg whites. Batter will be very light.
  5. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Gently bang the pan on the counter a couple times to pop any air bubbles. Bake for 18-19 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly poked with your finger. Cake will look a little bubbly on top when it’s done. That’s ok. Avoid over-baking cake because it will crack if over-baked. As the cake bakes, get started on the next step.
  6. Prepare to roll: As the cake bakes, place a piece of parchment paper (larger than the cake) or a thin kitchen/tea towel flat on the counter. (Note: I find a kitchen towel is better to help prevent cracking.) Using a fine mesh sieve, dust parchment/towel with 3 Tablespoons (15g) of cocoa powder. Once the cake comes out of the oven, quickly run a knife around the edges to loosen it. Immediately invert it onto the parchment/towel. Peel off the parchment paper that was on the bottom of the cake as it baked. Starting with the narrow end, begin tightly rolling the hot cake up with the parchment/towel. Do this slowly and gently. The cake will be warm. Allow the cake to cool completely rolled up in the parchment/towel. Feel free to place it in the refrigerator to speed it up, about 3 hours and up to 1 day.
  7. During this time, make the meringue mushrooms: Preheat oven to 200°F (93°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a completely clean residue-free large glass or metal mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg white, cream of tartar, and salt together on high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes– this is a small amount and the whisk on a stand mixer might not reach it, so whisk by hand until foamy if needed. With the mixer running on high speed, slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff glossy peaks form, about 2 more minutes. Snip off the end of a plastic bag or fit a round piping tip in a piping bag. I use and recommend Wilton 2A piping tip or any tip with around a 1/2 inch opening. Pipe quarter-sized circles (these will be the round mushroom tops) and 1-inch tall cones (these will be the stems). You will have enough meringue batter for about 16 mushrooms. I usually only make 8-12 and discard leftovers, but feel free to make all 16. Using a moistened finger (just a dab of water is fine), smooth down any peaks. If desired, lightly dust mushroom tops with cocoa powder using a fine mesh sieve. Bake for 2 hours. Do not open the oven as the meringues bake. Turn off the oven after 2 hours and let the meringues sit inside the cooling oven for 20 minutes. Remove meringues from the oven and cool completely. When they’re just about cool, melt the 1 ounce of chocolate in a double boiler or use the microwave. If using the microwave, melt in 15 second increments, stopping and stirring between each until melted and smooth. Cool for 5-10 minutes. (Easier to adhere mushrooms if the melted chocolate is a bit cool.) Once meringues have cooled, use a flat spatula to remove them from the baking sheets. Dot a bit of chocolate onto the center of the bottom of a mushroom top. Adhere a mushroom stem to it. Place back on the baking sheet to set. If stems or tops still have a little peak, scrape off with a knife or your spatula, as you see me do in the video above. Leaning them against the rim is helpful if they keep toppling over. Repeat with remaining tops and stems to form mushrooms. Let chocolate cool and harden, about 1 hour.
  8. Remove the cake roll from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for a few minutes to warm up as you prepare the whipped cream.
  9. Make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, Frangelico, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa powder on medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
  10. Gently and very slowly unroll the cake. Spread whipped cream evenly on top, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the cake. I like using a large or small offset spatula to spread. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top. Gently roll the cake back up, without the parchment/towel this time. Roll it slowly. This part is messy. Carefully place on a cutting board. If the exterior of the cake looks moist, dust with a little cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days before shaping and topping with ganache.
  11. Make the ganache topping: Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil– that’s too hot.) Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate. Slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted. Ganache will be thin, so it has to thicken before using. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour to thicken.
  12. Remove rolled cake from the refrigerator. Diagonally slice a 3-4 inch section off one end. At this point, I usually place the cake on a serving platter. Place the angled side against a side of the roll, forming a branch. Slowly pour and spread thickened ganache all over the top and sides of cake. Feel free to leave the cut ends exposed (as you see in these photos) or spread ganache over the ends– there should be plenty of ganache to use. Use a fork to make textured lines resembling tree bark. Feel free to wipe the serving plate if ganache dripped all over.
  13. Decorate with meringue mushrooms, sugared cranberries and rosemary, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
  14. Cover leftover cake and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can get started on the sugared cranberries and rosemary 1 day ahead of time. See step 1. You can make the meringue mushrooms in advance (step 7) as long as the weather is dry. (Humidity will ruin them.) Store at room temperature for up to 2-3 days before using. You can make the roll cake in advance (steps 2-6) because it must cool/chill completely before filling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. You can also refrigerate the filled cake roll (steps 9-10) for up to 2 days. You can make the whipped cream (step 9) 1 day in advance too. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. You can make the chocolate ganache topping (step 11) 1 day in advance, but if you let it sit for longer than 1 hour, it will thicken too much. If refrigerating for longer than 1 hour, cover it. To thin it out when ready to use, stir and warm it in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water for about 1 minute. Do not microwave it. Entire cake can be made 1-2 days in advance too. (Steps 1-12.) Cover and refrigerate until ready to decorate and serve. You can also freeze the assembled cake before or after adding the ganache. (Steps 1-11 or 12.) Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before continuing with the recipe. It’s best to decorate with sugared cranberries, meringues, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar (step 13) closest to serving.
  2. Cranberries: Use fresh cranberries, not frozen. The sugar syrup doesn’t coat evenly on the frozen berries, leaving you with plain shriveled cranberries.
  3. Frangelico Liqueur: This is a hazelnut liqueur. If desired, feel free to swap with the same amount of another flavored liqueur such as amaretto (almond), Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, or other. You can also replace the alcohol with strong (cold or room temperature) coffee or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or other flavor extract.
  4. Chocolate: You need 6 ounces of pure chocolate for the ganache topping and 1 ounce for the mushrooms. Pure baking chocolate is sold in 4 ounce bars, so 2 bars will be a little more than enough. I recommend Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands, both sold in 4 ounce bars in the baking aisle. You can use semi-sweet or bittersweet. If using white chocolate, reduce the amount of heavy cream in the ganache to 1/2 cup (120ml).

Keywords: yule log, Christmas cake, chocolate, hazelnut

Have you made it down this far? Let me show you how to make the optional garnishes.

Meringue Mushrooms

I taught you how to make meringue cookies before. Meringues require precision, so feel free to visit that post if you need a little refresher. As instructed in step 7 above, pipe mushroom tops and stems using a round piping tip. Moisten your finger with water to smooth down any peaks. Bake in a relatively cool oven, then adhere the cooled pieces with melted chocolate.

This seems to be the only way my daughter will eat mushrooms. HA!

the making of meringue mushrooms in 4 step by step photos
meringue mushrooms

Sugared Cranberries & Rosemary

You need sugar, water, fresh cranberries, and rosemary. Feel free to skip the rosemary if you’d like. As instructed in step 1 above, make your sugar syrup on the stove. Pour over cranberries and rosemary and let it all soak for several hours. (Great to make these in advance.) Drain, then toss in sugar. Let it all dry out for about 2 hours before using as decor. You can also use this glitzy garnish on pumpkin pie, cranberry orange Bundt cake, gingerbread snack cake, too.

sugared cranberries and rosemary in glass bowl

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Holy cow. I found a new baking project for December. I can’t wait to tackle this. I’ve got a question though- would using hazelnut syrup (those flavored ones you add to coffee or whatever) instead of the alcohol or coffee mess with the texture of the whipped cream? I’d love to get the chocolate hazelnut flavor, but I don’t like using alcohol (other than extracts). Also, when rolling the cake, is it long way or short? I’m thinking it’s the long way (like cinnamon rolls) but haven’t yet watched the video. It’s not specified in the instructions so want to double check.

    1. Thanks Lydia! I’m unsure about a flavored syrup, but they should work just like any other liquid in whipped cream. I recommend reducing to 1 Tbsp though. For rolling, start from the narrow end. (See step 6.)

    1. Hi Julie! You’ll want to use cake flour so that the sponge is nice and light. If you don’t have cake flour available to you, I have a DIY version.

  2. I am DEFINITELY making this for Christmas..can’t wait to tackle it! Where can I get the tiny pine cones? Any idea?

    1. Hi Lori, I found the little pine cones with some random Christmas decorations. I’m sure you can find some pine cone decor at craft stores or online!

  3. Sally, you did an amazing job once again! This bûche de Noël takes me back to my sweet childhood memories when I would bake it every year with my mom. But we would never make the meringue mushrooms ourselves, they would come pre-baked in French grocery store. I just LOVE the fact that you decided to bake them yourself (the video tutorial is super helpful by the way), and they’re oh-so-cute to resist. Again, your bûche de Noël is stunning. Bravo mon amie 🙂 Del

    1. Thank you, Del, for taking the time to write this incredibly kind comment and to share your sweet bûche de noël memories. Let me know if you decide to give it a try!

  4. Sally. You are amazing. Just like this cake roll. It is beautiful. Too pretty to eat I’m gonna try it if my family can get together at Christmas with this awful COVID going on ☹️ . Stay safe. Happy holidays and thank you for this amazing cake

  5. AHH I’ve always wanted to make one of these!! My little sister is allergic to all nuts except almonds….:( Is there anything I could use instead of hazelnut that could taste just as good?

    1. Hi Jaya, you can leave out the chopped hazelnuts or replace with mini chocolate chips or finely chopped almonds. Feel free to use the vanilla extract substitution listed in the recipe notes for the hazelnut liqueur.

  6. Hi Sally,

    I actually made the whole thing, including the mushrooms as a trial run for Christmas. I only have one remark, my ganache did not get thick enough, I chilled it for two hours in the fridge and it was still too liquid. So I decided to whip it like whipping cream, which worked just as well. Maybe it’s because I am in Europe and we have different chocolate here?

    Anyway, other than that a wonderful recipe. I simply brushed some cranberries and rosemary sprigs with egg white and coated them in sugar afterwards. Works just as well and is less work, in case you are lazy.

    1. Hi Jenny, could be the difference in chocolates available or even the fat percentage in cream. I usually use Bakers or Ghirardelli brands, which are pure baking chocolate. Mixed with the same ounces of heavy cream, which is at least 36% milk fat, the ganache should eventually thicken. Our regions may have different products. Regardless, I’m so glad that you were able to try this. Thanks for reporting back!

      1. I had this question when looking at the ganache in this recipe too. The recipe looks 1:2 chocolate to cream….shouldn’t it be the other way around? Doesn’t look like enough chocolate to make it set…?

      2. Hi Sarah, The ingredients have different weights but by volume the chocolate and the heavy cream are a 1:1 ratio. Hope this helps!

  7. I made this just yesterday and it turned out beautifully, but was dry. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Wayne, Thank you for trying this recipe! I wonder if the cake was simply overbaked. If you try it again check the cake a minute or two earlier and bake just until the cake springs back when lightly poked with your finger.

  8. Oooooooohhhhh thank you so much for this recipe! We always buy a buche from a french artisan because I am afraid to make it from scratch. I think I may give it a try this year! Any chance you have a moka version of this bûche (my family is not a huge fan of chocolate unfortunately )

    1. Hi Leila! So happy to hear you’re considering making my recipe. I don’t have a mocha flavored cake roll at time, but you could us Kahlua or coffee in the filling in place of the Frangelico (see recipe notes section). Let me know if you give it a try!

  9. Hello Sally I love ALL your recipes and am giving this a go for thanksgiving. I picked up pastry flour since my store did not have cake flour. Will the pastry flour work as well as cake flour? Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  10. Looks lovely! Your ganache is so shiny! I’ve made a different Yule log the past two years (one tiramisu, one orange cream filled) and the cake base I use is very similar to yours. It’s actually baked in a water bath (slightly larger sheet pan underneath with water and a towel) which so far has prevented a dry bottom. You’re a pro, but I needed that fool proofing. I love your cranberries and rosemary decorations too!

  11. Hello Sally! My Son and I are so excited to make this recipe. We do not want to use alcohol in the cake, however we want that hazelnut flavor. Would Nutella work? Or, should we go with the coffee and vanilla that was mentioned above? Thanks so much for all you do!

    1. Hi Ellen! I’m sure you could add a Tablespoon or 2 of Nutella to the heavy cream mixture before beating into whipped cream, but I fear the consistency won’t be stiff enough. I’ve tested the recipe with the other options listed in the recipe notes. The coffee substitution is great.

  12. Hi Sally, I would love to try this out. But it’s quite impossible to find corn syrup here. Is there any replacement to achieve the glossy look?

    1. Hi Janice, I didn’t use corn syrup in the pictured ganache, however I do use it to add a shiny appearance in other recipes. Instead of corn syrup, you can use honey. I recommend 1-2 teaspoons. Add it when you pour the warm cream over the chocolate.

  13. hello, can I use All Purpose Cream instead of heavy cream on whipped cream filling? thank you.

  14. I am sooo excited (and a little initimidated!) to try this! Question – is it possible to leave out the cocoa from the filling and have it be more of a vanilla/hazelnut flavor or will that change the consistency of the filling? Thanks!

  15. This looks great! Can I make in advance, and assemble the whole cake and then freeze it ? (Without the decorative add ons)

  16. Thanks for this recipe. Will be trying it this week. I have all purpose flour and not cake flour, would that still work?

  17. Can the cake be made and rolled about a week in advance and freeze it. I am not fond of the plain white filling and this recipe sounds delicious. That would be just the cake that I freeze. The cranberries and mushrooms would be added after the cake is defrosted.

    Thank you

    1. Absolutely. You can freeze the assembled cake before decorating. Thaw in the refrigerator, then decorate.

      1. Thank you. How long does it take to thaw? I want it for December 24th, and I am making it on the 15th.

  18. Hi! I am planning on doing this recipe this christmas but I only have 10×15 pans. Do I need to adjust the batter quantity or it is fine? Also can instant halzenut coffee replace the cacao powder in the sponge to make it more hazelnut? Thanks for all your great recipes! You are my go to for baking recipes 😀

    1. Hi Kim, I strongly recommend a 12×17 inch pan for this recipe. If you don’t have one, you’d have to slightly decrease each ingredient in the cake batter. You can try my champagne cake roll or red velvet cake roll instead if you’d like. Instant coffee should be OK to use, but I wouldn’t add 2 Tablespoons. Replace only 1 Tablespoon of fht cocoa powder with it.

  19. I’m so excited to try this recipe! I don’t have your specified pan size unfortunately. Wondering if it’s better to sub it with a 9×13, 12×13, or 16×13?

    1. Hi J, Unfortunately for the best shape we really recommend using the specified cake pan. Your 16×13 is the closest although since it’s a little larger your cake will be thinner.

  20. This is my second year making your Buche recipe and I want to share a couple of things that make this easier. I ended up “dedicating” an old linen pillowcase to your rolled cakes. I wash and iron it smooth ( NO fabric softener) and use this dusted with cocoa to roll the cake. It never sticks and is easy to wash and bleach clean. This year I added espresso powder to the cake and Kahlua to the whipped cream for a less sweet but intense chocolate coffee flavor. The mushrooms are SO fun to make and they always looks so beautiful. A friend who lives in Paris says it looks perfectly French. Sally, I hope people aren’t intimidated by this recipe. It’s actually really easy – just lots of steps. I will Insta a picture of the final Buche on Christmas Eve. Thanks again (I know I said it before) for such a great recipe!

  21. Hi Sally. Can I just make everything one day in advance? Including filling the cake roll, making the mushrooms, and topping it with the ganache?

    1. Hi Emily, The entire cake can be made 1-2 days in advance too. (Steps 1-12.) Cover and refrigerate until ready to decorate and serve. It’s best to decorate with sugared cranberries, meringues, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar (step 13) closest to serving. See the make ahead directions in the recipe notes for more details.

  22. I’ve wanted to make a Buche de Noel since I lived in France almost 20 years ago. This recipe gave me the confidence to go for it! It looks amazing and even better, it tastes great too! Thank you!

  23. When I made this recipe, the cake came out very dry despite cooking it a minute less. Also, the ganache was extremely thin after refrigerating for an hour. I ended up adding powdered sugar to it and whipping it to make it spreadable.

    1. Hi Michael, Thank you for trying this recipe! I wonder if the cake was simply overbaked, even with one minutes less. If you try it again check the cake even earlier and bake just until the cake springs back when lightly poked with your finger. For the ganache what type of chocolate did you use? Be sure to use semi-sweet or bittersweet pure chocolate bars for the best results.

  24. The cake is awesome, but about an hour after I assembled the mushrooms, they got soft and sticky on the outside. When I tried them, it stuck to my teeth. How do I keep them hard and smooth for up to 4 days?

    1. Hi Emily! This happened with a couple of my test recipes– it’s due to humidity. On drier days, the mushrooms stayed wonderfully crisp. Always check the weather if you can.

  25. Hello, I’m wondering if you recommend using a 1″ or 2″ deep jelly roll pan? Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi Ellen, The pan used here is one inch high. Happy baking!

  26. I will never look at cake rolls the same way again. Soft, moist, and decadent, this chocolatey dessert really takes the cake! The meringue mushrooms were a lovely touch, but I think a bit more cocoa powder in the cake could do wonders; Sally, how much more cocoa powder could I put in the batter without drying out the cake? And how could I make a chocolate soaking syrup?

    1. Hi Emily, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this! This is a very light chocolate flavored cake but if desired, you could try adding 1 more Tablespoon of cocoa powder. I recommend looking up a recipe for chocolate simple/soaking syrup. I’ve actually never made one before, but now I’m intrigued.

  27. Hello, I am excited to try this recipe, but I am making it for a larger gathering (20 people), is there a way to double the recipe and use a bigger pan, or do I need to make 2 separate cakes in order to maintain the shape and integrity of the cake?

    Thank You!

    1. Hi Michele, For the best results and texture we recommend making two separate batches. Happy baking!

  28. Hello Sally,

    Love your blog, love your recipes! I’m planning to make this for Christmas. Can I use 1 teaspoon hazelnut extract instead of the frangelico?



  29. I will be using your cake flour alternative method of swapping out a little bit of AP flour for corn starch. For the amount of flour needed for this cake, do you know how much flour to remove and how much cornstarch to add? Thank you!

    1. Hi Brittany, I don’t know those calculations off the top of my head, but to be super accurate, I would make 1 and 1/2 cups of cake flour. By using the cake flour substitution, that would be 21 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour sifted twice with 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch. From this, use 1 and 1/3 cups. (Save the rest for another time.)

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