Bûche De Noël (Yule Log)

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! I set you up for success with my detailed recipe, step-by-step photos, and complete video tutorial.

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.

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
Print
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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: 10-12 slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Description

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!


Ingredients

Sugared Cranberries & Rosemary

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

Cake

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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

210 Comments

  1. Will definitely be baking again! I accidentally over baked the sponge but found it softened to the right texture overnight, which was a nice surprise. Perfect subtle cocoa flavor with rich ganache. It was gone the next day! Would definitely recommend making.

  2. Hi Sally!
    Thank you so much for this recipe, I’ve been wanting to try baking this cake for a while now. I have a question, when making the sugared cranberries and rosemary, do you leave the bowl uncovered overnight or do you cover it with plastic wrap? Will the syrup thicken the same way if I cover it?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Katya, I always lightly cover it.

  3. Hi Sally, I don’t have cake flour on hand. Could I use normal white flour instead? Thank you in advance!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melissa, we don’t recommend it. Cake flour is necessary for this light cake. If you have cornstarch on hand, you can follow our DIY cake flour recipe. Hope this helps!

  4. I took the plunge and decided to try this. Everything came out great…the cake, the filling, the mushrooms, and the cranberries!! However, I must have done something wrong with the ganache . It wasn’t smooth as the video when I spread it, it kept lifting the cake off 🙁 boo hoo! Any tips of what I may have done because everything else was so perfect. The cake did break a little when I unrolled it, but after adding the filling and rolling it back the outer part does not look cracked (I may have over baked it a tad), it looks like your picture. My husband (who is a very good cook), tasted the ganache (and I didn’t tell him that it didn’t look like your photo/video), said “great flavor for the ganache”. The ganache was stiffer and when I spread it on the cake, it still looks like a log! Lastly, I love your recipes. I did the peppermint Mocha cookies (a HUGE hit!!), and will try the Crusty Cranberry Nut No Knead Bread today! You motivate me! Thank you!

  5. Hi Sally. I don’t have cake flour, but I have tons of regular flour and a bit of 00 flour. Can I make the recipe with regular flour?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sara, We don’t recommend it. Cake flour is necessary for this light cake. If you have cornstarch on hand, you can follow our DIY cake flour recipe. Hope this helps!

  6. Snezana Zubic says:

    Excellent detailed instrctional video and recepie. I roasted hazelnats for 10 min which gave the unbeleivable aroma. My husband made cute mashroom out of large marshmellows and I used far less sugar for cranberries and rosemary ( always have fesh on hand outside in a large pot). Will take to my niece and her husband and boys on Christmass day! I will pack this in insulated bag with ice ( 300 mile drive). Will see the taste… will definitelly make again!,,

  7. Im in the process of making this. So far my roll(with kitchen towel worked well and is chilling in the fridge. I did dust the top of cake after removing the parchment paper with icing sugar so hopefully it doesnt stick to my towel. My question is on Christmas day should this be at room temperature or pull it out of the fridge just before serving?

    1. Hi Manjini, you can serve it right out of the refrigerator or let it sit at room temperature for a bit– I wouldn’t let it sit for more than a couple hours before serving. The filling tastes best when it’s a little cold.

    2. We made this recipe for Christmas and the video and instructions were very helpful! The only thing is the filling basically disappeared after we rolled it – we think it maybe was absorbed into the cake or was just not enough. Do you have any recommendations on how to resolve this? We are thinking to maybe double the amount of whipped cream next time but don’t want it to ooze out too much.

      1. My filling kinda looked little too so i ended up unrolling refilling and re-rolling. That gave it a nice swirl. I think my sponge was just overbaked so it got a little dry but other than that it was great

  8. I printed this recipe in the beginning of December and tried to make it today. The ganache did not thicken at all and looked like just a layer of thin cream over the cake, even though I let it sit for 2 hours in the fridge. After inspecting, I found that the amount of chocolate used for the ganache on my printed recipe lists 85g, while online it now lists 170g. I figure the author changed this without including an extra edit warning in her post. Pretty bummed out because of this as I can’t redo it due to time constraints. The edit warning would have actually helped me because I did check the online recipe today to look at the video.

  9. Though the ingredients are nice, all baking cred lost with using a stand mixer to fold in egg whites. This is a delicate process that MUST be done by hand with a spatula.

    1. “All baking cred lost”- good lord, what a weenie. I used to tediously fold in egg whites with a spatula but nowadays I find that using a paddle attachment on low speed is just fine and saves a bunch of time and effort. After using the mixer, just use a spatula to scrape the bottom and do a few folds to finish combining what the mixer missed. Followed the recipe and sponge was perfect. I’d say the baking cred is intact.

      1. I agree that it is much easier to just fold in the egg whites and the dry ingredients. As a professional chef I rarely use the paddle with delicate recipes but I don’t think it’s necessarily make or break.

  10. This recipe takes a while to make, as indicated, but it’s worth the time and effort. If you do exactly what Sally tells you to do, you will have no problem. This was my first Yule Log and it turned out really pretty. The cake is moist and the cream filling is full of flavor. I used Bailey’s Irish Cream instead of Frangelico liqueur and it was great. I’ll definitely make this again! Thanks, Sally!

  11. This is recipe is perfect! I still can’t believe that I managed to make an incredible bûche de Noël on my first try. Trust me…just follow the detailed instructions in this recipe, and you’ll have a fantastic cake. I folded in the flour mixture gently with a rubber spatula (rather than using the stand mixer) and was careful not to over-bake the cake (18 minutes at 350 was sufficient). I think a towel is almost necessary for rolling properly. Also, I did two layers of ganache: one thin layer after the ganache chilled for just 30 minutes and another after letting it chill for another 20. This will be the star of our 2-person pandemic Christmas! Thank you!

  12. I’m planning to make this tomorrow for Christmas but the grocery store was out of cake flour!!!! I saw that the Swiss roll cake recipe calls for all purpose so I’ll sub that. Are there any other differences I should consider?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jennifer, We don’t recommend all purpose flour for this particular recipe. Cake flour is necessary for this light cake. If you have cornstarch on hand, you can follow our DIY cake flour recipe. Hope this helps!

      1. Right that’s why I’m using the Swiss roll cake recipe instead. Just wondering if it will affect assembly in any way.

      2. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Sorry I misunderstood the initial question! The swiss roll uses the same size pan so assembly and decorating would be exactly the same this 🙂

  13. Sally, I love all your recipes. I made the cake and filling today. Yellow sponge and your cream cheese chai frosting for the filling. No cracking due to your excellent guidance. It is wrapped and chilled I will make the ganache on Christmas morning. I am also making the cranberry and rosemary garnish. It is sitting in the sugar solution now. Question If I take it out tomorrow and toss with sugar will it hold for another day or should I wait until Christmas morning to drain them and toss with sugar?

  14. Is it just me or does everyone think of Moira and David, from Schitt’s Creek and their folding cheese scene, when folding in the flour? I’m substituting a mocha Kahlua for Frangelico.

  15. My cake was so soft it cracked as soon as I started rolling it and then a few more times! Definitely looks like a log but not a roll. What did I do wrong?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Penny, I wonder if the cake was slightly overbaked. The ganache should cover any cracks, but if you decide to try this recipe again try reducing your bake time by a minute or two which should help. Also, we find rolling in a towel is a little easier to avoid cracks than parchment paper.

  16. Hi Sally!

    I just realized I only have an 18×13 pan or a 15×10 pan. Would this recipe work in either of these? I already bought all the ingredients!

    1. Hi Jill, you could stretch the cake batter to fit your 18×13 inch pan, but the bake time will need to be slightly reduced since the cake will be thinner. Careful rolling/unrolling since it will be thin.

  17. I made the Swiss Roll cake this past summer and it was such a hit with my family that I decided to make it again for Christmas. I learned a lot from the first time, and gained a lot of confidence with this one. I followed this recipe for the Yule Log to the tee and it came out beautifully! Not sure I would do the mushrooms again…they were sticky and difficult to place on/by the cake. I think it’s too humid here for them. Can’t wait to serve it!

  18. Hi I have loved this recipe so far! My cake is in the fridge cooling before I frost it, about how long should I leave it in there. I wont be making the garnishes because I am not too advanced yet and wanted to just try the rolled cake first.

  19. Oh man, so close yet so far! I thought the cake was turning out beautifully but when we cut into it, it was basically all cake and very little whipped cream. The cake itself too thick and dry. Quite a disappointment after spending most of the day with my 4 and 6 year old making all the different elements. We have used other recipes for this cake in the past and they have always turned out. I would probably go back to my old stand by next time, but maybe add the decorative elements from this recipe. My assessment: Looks great, tastes mediocre. For the record, the kids still thought it was yummy 🙂

  20. I made this over the last couple days with Bobs red mill gluten free flour! Decided on a mocha whipped cream filling and I’m so excited to truly try it. Just nibbling on the scraps from cutting the ends off, I’m so happy with how light and airy the sponge is. Great recipe and I have been baking for awhile but do like to come to your recipes for all of the extra info you include for each step; it is so greatly appreciated! Thank you and Merry Christmas! 🙂

  21. Deanna Romero says:

    Hi! I’m wondering what are the approximate dimensions of this cake? I’m looking to gift a couple and am trying to determine what size box I need. Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Deanna, The log is 12 inches long to start, then you are slicing off about 3-4 inches, so the finished log will be about 8 inches long and probably about 8-10 inches wide.

  22. This was my first try at making a Bûche, so I was a little apprehensive starting out. However, this recipe was outstanding! All of the tips along the way were incredibly helpful and I couldn’t be happier with the end result. The only down side is, I didn’t want to cut into it and destroy it! I will definitely be making this recipe again!!

  23. I did this recipe over the past 2 days after reading it approx. 8 times and watching the video many times. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it came out! This is the most proud I have been with anything I have ever baked, and I cut it into threes to deliver to different family members as we can’t gather this year.

    I weighed my cake flour – and 160g is definitely not 1 1/3 cup. I’m glad I stuck to the weight and not the measurement, because the cake is so beautiful and delicate. It definitely bakes with a ton of bumps on top; it does. not. matter. My heart sank seeing that, but it settled wonderfully and rolled like a dream. Also, I did not use the mixer to fold my ingredients together – I saw comments saying you definitely could but I just don’t trust the mixer with handling egg whites and folding.

    For the whipped cream, I popped it in the fridge a bit which made the spreading AND rolling much easier and less messy.

    For the sugared garnish, I used a slotted spoon to toss; found I got more control over how the sugar coated.

    For the ganache, I used a Lindt chocolate bars – one milk & one dark. I refrigerated it overnight and used Sally’s tip for reheating over a double boiler. It poured like a dream.

  24. I made this challenge for our family dinner, and it turned out beautifully. Next time, I will use 2 cups heavy cream to whip up for the filling. I thought the 1 cup was a bit light. Other than that . . . The ganache turned out great and the presentation is a show stopper!

  25. I’ve been wanting to make this for a while and made it this year for Christmas. This recipe does take a long time as indicated in the instructions. Just leave yourself plenty of time to go through the process. It was fun and enjoyable to make, and I do believe it is the prettiest thing I have ever baked! I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

  26. Hello, everything came out great, except that part of filling was squeezed out when I started to roll, resulting in a very thin layer of filling. Any suggestions? Thanks, Tara.

    1. Hi Tara, this can happen. See if chilling the whipped cream filling (which should already be cold, but this could help) for 30 minutes before spreading onto the cake helps keep it in place a little better. Always roll very slowly, too.

  27. Ershia François says:

    Hi Sally! Beautifully complex recipe but I attempted it for Christmas! It wowed everyone when I paraded the finished product around HOWEVER cutting into it was a task as the cake was very dry. I’m not entirely sure why as I followed the recipe to the T. The only thing I can say that differed was that I used a pan that was 12×18 as I could not find one that was 12×17. Could that be what caused the cake to be so dry? I also feel like the amount frosting inside hadn’t been sufficient for the cake as the layer was very thin making my cake to frosting ratio way off. Any suggestions? Should I have baked the cake for a shorter time to account for the extra inch? Also should I have doubled the frosting? Lastly, should I maybe incorporate a simple syrup to coat the cake since it spends so much time in the refrigerator? I plan on trying the recipe again and would love to know what I can fix to yield more promising results! Thank you so much in advance for your advice! And Happy Holidays!

    1. I’m just seeing your comment now, so my apologies on the delay responding to you! I’m so glad you tried this recipe and that many enjoyed it. Sponge is a drier type of cake. But I also think it could be because the pan you used was the slightest bit larger– definitely make sure you reduce the bake time since the cake is thinner in the larger pan– just by 1-2 minutes I’d say. When testing this recipe again, I added more filling and the recipe now reflects that update. I think a simple syrup would be delicious and a few readers commented saying the same. You can brush the cake with it after you unroll it to spread on the filling. I hope this is all a bit helpful if you try it again!

  28. This is a stunner! Just finished…totally doable and such a holiday crowd pleaser.

  29. Hi Sally, loved your recipe – thank you for sharing! I also added some mushrooms made out of fondant to the meringue ones and some pistachio moss. One thing I struggled with was the filling – It was practically all absorbed in the cake by the next day. Is that because I used regular flour or something else?

    1. Hi Katerina, I’m so glad that you tried and loved this recipe. Thank you! I wonder if your sponge was simply too moist (or even too dry?) and absorbed the filling. I made countless test recipes and this never happened, so I appreciate this feedback. Did you store the cake in the refrigerator or at room temperature? I do recommend cake flour if you can use that next time. What also might help is doubling the filling or 1.5x it so you have more inside.

  30. What a great recipe! My family was in awe. I have made a roulade before and your recipe did not disappoint. My only modification was to make a dark chocolate ganache. The garnishes put it over the top. Nothing like assembling meringue mushrooms after midnight. I would definitely make this again, just not on Christmas Eve as it requires too much time.

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