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 (160g) cake flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (11g) 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

286 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. I made this cake for Christmas and it was delicious! The recipe is amazing and very easy to follow! Not to mention how cute the final product is 🙂
    I actually did not have Frangelico so I decided to used Amaretto instead and it was actually delicious! An interesting twist, but turned out really great!
    I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a simple and delicious Bûche de Noël recipe.

  4. Seriously disappointed. I hate to say that, because so many elements were phenomenal. I followed this recipe exactly to a T. The cake was absolutely gorgeous yet my heart sank with the first bite. The cake was dense, sponge-like, and fell apart when I cut it, even though it was perfect when I rolled it to cool and unrolled it to fill. The whipped cream and cake were both pretty flavorless. The ganache was so thick in texture. I feel most upset that I spent two days working on it and will throw away the leftovers. Decorations, meringue, and cranberries get top marks. Try a different recipe for everything else. I really want to cry.

  5. Great recipe!!
    Slightly advanced recipe, but super easy to follow instructions!
    Takes a while to make everything, but worth it.
    Was not enough filling. Next time I will 1.5-2x the filling recipe and use as much as I need.
    Otherwise it turned out beautifully!!

  6. Just made this today. It was a big hit! My whole family loved it and your detailed instructions and video made making this cake a lot simpler! Thanks for this great recipe 🙂

    1. I made this yesterday for Christmas and the directions were easy to follow and the cake turned out beautifully. Elegant and delicious. If anyone is on the fence about trying this please do. You wont regret it! Thank you for such a beautiful and easy to follow recipe.

  7. I made it again with rum in the cream and a chocolate simple syrup after the cake cooled down and it was even better than the vanilla extract version

  8. This was the perfect dessert for our Covid Christmas dinner. I followed the instructions carefully and the result was a Showstopper worthy of the Great British Baking Show. Your recipe has earned a coveted spot in my personal recipe collection!

  9. This was my first time making a cake roll of any kind, and it turned out really well! It looks beautiful, and nothing was very difficult. Loved the whipped cream filling. I toasted the hazelnuts before chopping them and they added a nice crunch! I do with the chocolate flavor would have been a bit stronger, and that there would have been a greater volume of filling, but overall it was a big hit for a Christmas dessert!

  10. The taste was amazing! The family loved the filling, however the cake itself was quite dry. How can we fix this for next year?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Chrissy, Be sure you are using cake flour and that you use the spoon and level method of measuring (or weight) instead of scooping. Also it could have simply have been baked a minute or two too long. This is a very thin cake so keep an eye on it and next time check it a bit earlier. You want to bake it just until the cake springs back when lightly poked with your finger.

  11. Delicious! Acknowledging that it is a sponge cake, I’m hoping that next time I can make the cake a bit more moist. Suggestions?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi June, Be sure you are using cake flour and that you use the spoon and level method of measuring (or weight) instead of scooping. Also it could have simply have been baked a minute or two too long. This is a very thin cake so keep an eye on it and next time check it a bit earlier. You want to bake it just until the cake springs back when lightly poked with your finger.

  12. Laborious undertaking, but the results were great. I’d double the cream filling if I were to make it again. One cup of whipped cream was not enough.

  13. This was by far the thing I was most excited to attempt this Christmas. I watched the video and read all the instructions. I started making parts of it 2 days before I needed it. It turned out great! The only thing I will do different next time is make the piece I cut off a little shorter so the main trunk will be a little longer. Thank you for such detailed instructions. I never thought I would ever make a yule log, but now I have! Merry Christmas Sally!

  14. I was very nervous about this recipe, having never made a jelly roll style cake before. And turning out the hot cake was scary! But the video and excellent instructions made this so approachable! It turned out tasty and my family was impressed. Thanks for this delicious recipe Sally!!!

  15. I made this cake for christmas dinner and started it the day before. the instructions were very easy to follow and the cake came out beautifully (and the sugared cranberries are delicious) but the sponge itself came out dry and a bit like cardboard. I was very careful to not overbake so I don’t think that was the problem. the filling was tasty but it’s not enough to carry the cake as a whole. better to look at then to eat. also, I wouldn’t recommend putting the meringue mushrooms on until right before serving, they absorb the moisture from the cake and start to melt after a while.

  16. I enjoyed making this on Christmas Eve day and I served it on Christmas Day. I was nervous but I followed these detailed instructions and it turned out better than I imagined! I am so glad I made it and it’s given me the confidence to try other “advanced” recipes!

  17. This was divine – a massive hit with everyone – the instructions were brilliant – even my meringue mushrooms turned out perfectly

  18. Girl, I made the heck out of this recipe! It turned out awesome on the first go – though I feel I got a little too ambitious for a new mom at Yuletide. I took the cake out at about 16 minutes and I think I could have shaved another minute off, so other readers should bear in mind that different ovens and pans can cook a lot faster. As a result, I think the sponge was slightly too dry. If making again I would keep a really close eye on the baking. We were zooming with the inlaws while I made it so I was a little distracted. But, it rolled up perfectly with only a small amount of cracking on the first turn.

    I roasted my hazelnuts before chopping, and probably added more than you directed, but it was sooo great, especially as we didn’t have Frangelico and I wasn’t keen to buy it just for this recipe.

    The sugared cranberries were so good, and the rosemary imparted a bit of flavour to the cake on the second day that my husband loved. He even suggested trying to bake some into the cake next time.

    All this to say: I love your recipes and this one turned out great!! I’m a huge fan. Happy Holidays!!

  19. Made this for Christmas dessert for my husband and I. It was my first attempt at a rolled cake and it turned out perfectly! I followed the recipe exactly and although it was time-consuming, it wasn’t at all difficult.

  20. WOW, this has been on my to do list for ages and this was the year TJ take on a new challenge. It turned out so much better than I expected. Appearance, taste, everything was outstanding. I had been worried about the meringue mushrooms since I didn’t have a pastry bag. I filled a ziplock and snipped the corner off and they came out SO good! I showed a photo of the finished cake to my cooking buddy and he said “you did Sally proud”.
    Thank you for such a fun and easy recipe, I will be making this again!!

  21. Made this for Christmas and it was a big hit. I made a few changes to the recipe as I ran out of cocoa powder. So a spice sponge cake was a great alternative- substituted cinnamon powder, allspice and pumpkin spice for the cocoa powder!

  22. Your instructions need a little work. Your first instruction is to mix the dry ingredients together. Sugar is a dry ingredient. When combined with the flour it’s a little hard to now mix with the egg whites

    1. Hi Patrick, thank you for your feedback and I see your latest comment about calling this a hoho of a cake instead of a buche. Sorry you feel that way. The instructions clearly read to mix the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together. The sugar is used in the egg whites and yolks, also explained in the blog post above. Thanks again for your feedback!

  23. We made this recipe for our family’s annual yule log competition. The cake part was very dry and dense (we weighed the cake flour and didn’t bake the full recommended time). But the filling was wonderful! I doubled the filling in hopes of having leftovers for coffee, but ended up using it all in the cake. Because the cake was too dry (and because of the cocoa powder dusting), the frosting had a hard time adhering. In the past I have had better luck wrapping in a damp dish towel to cool before filling.

  24. CAITLIN POLLESTAD says:

    This was the most complex bake I’ve ever done and it was so fun and the steps were actually understandable. This recipe had new techniques for me to tackle: meringues, roll cake, sugared decorations. Everyone I showed was so impressed! I used Baileys instead of Frangelico and it worked well and really came through. Thank you so much for the easy to follow step by step instructions so I could advance my baking and feel proud of the outcome!

  25. Sally, I’ve been a follower of yours for years. Thank you for everything! However, this recipe is not good. Inedible actually. I’m a proficient baker (thanks to you!) and followed recipe. Sponge was tasteless and too large for a roll cake. Zero flavor. Whipped cream was not sweet enough for the bad sponge. The ganache was not sweet enough either. I was so embarrassed on Christmas Eve when me and my family ate our slices. Me, my mother in law and uncle threw our slice away after one bite. I threw the rest in the garbage. Toss this recipe quick!

    1. Hi Nikki, thank you so much for your feedback. I’m so appreciative that you enjoy my blog and recipes! We all have different tastebuds and I agree that the filling and ganache aren’t overly sweet. Neither are supposed to be. I wonder if you altered the recipe at all or left anything out of the sponge? The size is quite large, but it’s cut to form the shaped log. Regardless. thanks for your feedback. Appreciate it!

  26. This was a great project! I had already made mushrooms like this before as well as sugared fruit. Cake rolls have not been my friend in the past, but I persevered. Lack of patience was my downfall! I let my ganache cool for 45 minutes, but it was still to thin. lol. My tree looks like it has a beetle infestation. If I do it again, I will wait a lot longer for the chocolate. Thanks for providing guidance and support, especially in 2020! Happy New Year.

  27. Nicole Campbell says:

    I made this for NYE and it was amazing, both in presentation and taste! All the directions, the video and the notes make it so easy to do. I cant wait to make another one, I just find the whole process so fun! Thank you, Sally! I have yet to find a recipe from you that disappoints, and I’m excited to try out many more from you!

  28. Lots of fun to follow this well-thought out and detailed recipe. Thanks so much! The results were lovely!

  29. Thank you for such wonderful, encouraging step-by-step instructions! This was so much fun to make and I would never have attempted it without your help! Merry Christmas! (tried to share a picture but couldn’t get anything but a link to show up. I’ll try on the Facebook page. 😉 )

  30. This cake was something of a failure for us. The sponge was overdone even though we baked it less than the minimum time. The amount of whipped cream was much too little, leaving a thin filling. And the cake simply did not have enough flavor. We saved it a bit by brushing the cut slices with Cointreau before serving, bringing a little more flavor and moistness to the sponge. The ganache was very good. If we use this recipe again, we will watch the sponge very closely and check it earlier while baking, perhaps add orange zest to the batter and brush the sponge with Cointreau to add more flavor, and double the amount of filling.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

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