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

332 Comments

  1. Sally I love all your recipes – thank you! Do you ever make this log cake with swiss merigue buttercream as the filling ? I live in the tropics, and whipped cream doesn’t last long in our climate. Could you recommend an alternative filling ?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi LH, we haven’t made this cake with a Swiss meringue filling, but that should work wonderfully! Let us know if you give it a try.

      1. Hi Lexi
        I did use chocolate swiss meringue butter filling n it turned out great. However where i live, I couldnt find any 12×17” cake pan so i bought a 13×15” pan instead. I baked for 15mins and it sprang back so i took it out and rolled it – seemed fine. But when i unrolled it to fill 3 hrs later, the cake cracked in two places on the inside. I could still roll it with the filling and the outside looked fine, but the cake roll is a bit loose. Do you think it’s because of the cake pan? I was afraid to roll it tighter in case it cracked more !

  2. I’m bringing dessert to our family gathering. Will the buche survive a 3 hr trip in the car? In a cold sleeve with ice pack?

    1. Absolutely, especially with the ice pack.

  3. Hello, and thank you for the help. With tendencies towards perfection, (I drive myself nuts but, getting a little better with age, ha) I have one more question. I have 2 pans, similar in size. One is 11″ x 17″(David Burke, Gold) and the other says it is 12 1/4″ x 17 1/4″ x 1″ (USA Pan). These are the 2 closest I have to a 12 x 17 inch pan. Which one should I use? Thanks so much!

    1. Happy to help– of those 2 options, I would use the 11×17 inch pan.

  4. All I can say is WOW! I had been interested in trying to make a Buche de Noel but was somewhat intimidated by the whole thing. Pulling up my handy-dandy Google search, I found your site and thoroughly read the instructions, and watched the video. I went to Michael’s to make sure I had the exact tools I’d need and went home to conquer the project. After a quick call with my mther-in-law, who suggested I watch a particular episode of The Great British Baking Show, whose latest Christmas episode had multiple Noel fails, I took a quick watch of lots of failed swirls and went to the kitchen to bake! My mantra for the day… patience. There was absolutely no rushing, especially with cooling times. Rolling was easy, I taped parchment paper to my dining room table and put the cocoa-covered towel on top of that, so clean up was quick and I popped the roll into the refrigerator for a few hours. I was out of Frangelica but had plenty of Kahula so used that sub in the frosting. Hazelnuts and Kahula didn’t sound quite right, but I did have a new jar of Amarena Cherries, so I chopped them up for the filling and it was delicious. My roll was perfect, with a gorgeous swirl. My husband tried the end pieces and thought they needed to be sweeter, but there wasn’t yet ganache on it. I told him to just wait until it’s put together, he wasn’t buying the “patience mantra”.

    Once fully assembled, it was time to try it. Playing Paul Hollywood, my husband commented on the perfection of the swirl, the beauty of the cherries, the sponginess of the sponge. Oh, and he now understood why the filling wasn’t as rich, once combined with the ganache. Star Baker goes to… ME!

    I’m so glad I found this site, thank you for your detailed instructions.

  5. Hey Sally, Been a huge fan of your blog for three years now.

    Sadly, I’m the latest member of the dry sponge club… womp womp lol. Every other element was magical, but the cake was pretty dry from an 18-min bake.

    I’m curious… Does putting a sponge in a fridge during a roll-up dry it out? I followed the recipe and set a timer for 3+hrs of refrigeration before unrolling and adding the filling.

    The mushrooms also slouched and got soggy in the fridge overnight.

    I’m wondering if the fridge was the enemy here(?) lol.

    The only changes I made to the recipe were sifted APF instead of Cake Flour and Amaretto instead of Frangelico. Maybe the APF did it? I was able to successfully roll it without breaks.

    Still love and worship you/r blog.
    Thank you for always challenging me and providing me with tasty bakes.

    xx
    -s

    1. Hi Scott, ahh yes the refrigerator– sometimes it can be a cake’s best friend! That may be the culprit but keep in mind that sponge cakes can be on the drier side. I strongly recommend cake flour. Let the filled/frosted cake come to room temperature and then try it. It may not be as dry tasting once it comes to room temperature.

  6. This is probably the prettiest thing I have ever made!!! And that whipped cream filling is amazing!! I used Baileys and made an extra batch for our coffee.

    Absolutely delicious and the cranberries and rosemary turned out beautifully. Perfect Christmas Dessert!

  7. I understand that the cake can be made ahead of time and frozen and while it is recommend to. Assemble closer to serving, is it possible to make the cranberries, rosemary, and meringue mushrooms ahead and freeze separately?

    1. Hi Angela, I do not recommend freezing and thawing the other aspects of the recipe because each do not thaw very nicely. The sugared cranberries shrivel, the sugared rosemary seeps liquid, and the meringues weep.

  8. I made this last year and it was wonderful! However, the cake kind of absorbed a lot of the whipped cream. I was thinking about lining the cake with a thin layer of ganache before adding the whip cream and rolling it up. Do you think this would prevent the absorption? If not, do you have any other suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Madison, We have not ever had that happen before, but yes, adding a thin layer a ganache would be a wonderful way to prevent it!

  9. My cake didn’t crack, but my sponge seems dry. I’m not sure where I went wrong, but the cake at least ended up aesthetically pleasing!

  10. Hi Sally,

    I want to make this for my husband and I, but he does not drink alcohol. Is there any way to make the hazelnut whipped cream without using the liquor?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kylan, You can replace the alcohol with strong (cold or room temperature) coffee or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or other flavor extract.

  11. Hi Sally!
    I was wondering if I could use cranberries that were in the freeze?

  12. I made this recipe and Julia Child’s Yule Log recipe for years and from my trial and errors (and there were many) I learned that the mushrooms keep best in a tight lidded container such as Tupperware or cookie tin, but they need to be really dry. Put decorations on just before serving. if you want to freeze or eat leftovers for days (breakfast my fave) consider making it with Italian Buttercream instead of the whipped cream version. More complicated but doable and really sturdy… both recipes are yummy.

  13. Couple questions! First, I see that it’s best to not decorate until shortly before serving. If I’m only doing the cranberries and rosemary, not the mushrooms, would it be ok to still decorate it that morning instead of right before? Second, and more importantly, I’d be bringing it with my to my mom’s house for Christmas, and I’m not positive she’d have room in her fridge to store it till dessert. Would it be ok at room temp from mid-morning until evening time? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Emily, you can decorate with the cranberries and rosemary earlier in the day. The cake will be fine at room temperature for part of the morning and afternoon until ready to serve. For longer storage (making a day or 2 in advance) I recommend the refrigerator.

  14. I have made many of your recipes that have turned out PERFECTLY, but this was not one of them. It looked beautiful, the ganache and filling turned out perfect, both in looks as well as taste. The cake, though… The only thing I changed was that I used your homemade version of cake flour in place of the real thing, but I did sift it and weighed it, used an oven thermometer, turned off the convection feature on my oven and took it out after 17 minutes. I knew immediately that it was way over done. Knowing how dry it was, I didn’t even bother with the mushrooms. We ate it (as a holiday birthday cake) and because it was family I didn’t have to pretend it was perfect, but laughed at it. If I make it again–and I can never resist because they are so impressive–I won’t use this particular recipe for the cake part.

  15. I’m sitting here trying to decide if this will hold up if I make it tonight for Christmas….

  16. Im wondering if I want a vanilla cake instead of chocolate, do I just omit the cocoa powder and substitute cake flour instead?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Luisa! Unfortunately, a vanilla cake roll would not be as simple as substituting cocoa powder from this recipe. We suggest using this cake recipe instead (it will make a smaller cake) – enjoy!

  17. Hi Sally…I made the cake yesterday, the 22nd, and it’s been rolled and in the refrig. since. I’d like to make your swiss meringue buttercream for the filling but I still want to add the cocoa and hazelnut liquor. Could I do this but I’m not sure of the amounts to add to that buttercream, if that’s even possible?? I’m afraid the cake may absorb most of the whipped cream filling if I do the whipped cream too soon and then try to hold it in the frig in the cake from today, 23rd, until the 25th. (?) Also, could I fill it with the SMB today and store it in the frig until the 25th and put the ganache on today, 23rd, or tomorrow? Please help…! Thank you!

  18. I plan to make this cake but use mint ice cream for the filling. If I put the ganache on, will it be OK to put the finished log into the freezer?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mimi, Yes that should be fine – and delicious!

  19. I made a Yule log last year using the whipped cream and the ganache here, but a different sponge recipe. It was beautiful and delicious, but this year I decided to make the sponge recipe here. It came out too dry and without much flavor. It was rather thick in the 12×17 pan. I think last year I made a sponge in a bigger pan with a much shorter cooking time and that led to a thinner, spongier, longer Yule log. Maybe that would work with this recipe.

  20. I have always wanted to make this cake but was intimidated until now. I’m not a regular baker but fancy myself one. This was so easy to follow! It takes awhile but I really enjoyed the process. My cake baked in exactly the time it should have but I checked it a lot because of the reviews. I had no problem rolling or unrolling the cake and the cake texture was very light. I had plenty of whipped cream. The meringue mushrooms are ready to be added right before serving but I wish I had made them the day before only because they’re a little sticky now…they look fine so I don’t think it’ll matter once on the cake. I would definitely make it again but maybe only 1 day ahead. The cake is gorgeous and I snuck a little while evening out the end…it’s delicious! Thank you for the recipe!!!

  21. Best Rolled cake recipe I have EVER found!!
    They always seem to have some cracks not matter what you do but not this one! I made two for my customers and they look fabulous. I did take my time and let me cool and stay rolled for hours. I just used stablized whipped cream for the filling as that is what my clients wanted but wow!! what a great sponge recipe. I will use it more often

  22. Wow, amazing!
    I‘ve had this recipe on my have-to-try-list for a long, long time.
    Relatively big effort and I was happy that I started the day before.
    So worth it! It turned out exactly like in the picture and the instructions were 100% spot on. An eye-catcher for this year‘s Christmas.
    The only two minor differences I encountered: the mushrooms didn‘t brown a bit! Usually I have the opposite problem – the meringue browns ever so slightly and I hate it. This time I waited for it and nothing! lol. Lots of cinnamon and chocolate powder did the trick.
    And the chocolate ganache was ready to be used within 15 minutes. Would I have waited longer it would have been to hard (in my opinion).

    Thank you for this beautiful, tasty recipe!

  23. To make the cooling time for the cake faster, I just stick in the the freezer for five minutes, or until it’s mostly cooled (but the middle is still a bit warm and the edges aren’t frozen or cold) and leave it to finish cooling at room temperature while I make the filling. No 3-hour cooling time needed!

  24. Hey, I’m planning on making this today and I’m wondering if I can substitute your homemade version of cake flour for the cake flour. Or would that just turn out gross?

    Thanks,

    Phoebe Jane

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Phoebe, You can follow our DIY cake flour recipe. Enjoy!

  25. I made this tonight, my first ever, and it came out great! The recipe is very informative and made the long step by step process easy to follow. Thanks and happy holidays!

  26. A little too dry

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi April Thank you for trying this recipe! I wonder if the cake was simply over baked, even with one minutes too much can make a difference. If you try it again check the cake even earlier and bake just until the cake springs back when lightly poked with your finger. I will say– the filling helps moisten the crumb as it sits. So even if it tastes dry now, it may not in a little while!

  27. This was amazing and turned out beautifully! I made all the parts. Everyone was so impressed and it was delicious. Thank you!

  28. Christina George says:

    I have always wanted to make a bûche de Nöel but was always too intimidated. This year, I decided to go for it and I was largely inspired by the amount of detail included in your recipe. I did all the steps over three days and it turned out perfectly. Just gorgeous. Thank you for the excellent, precise and thorough directions. The video is also extremely helpful. Instead of Frangelico, I used 1 tablespoon of espresso and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. It is one of the most delicious cakes I have ever eaten, as it is well balanced in richness of the ganache and whipped cream and in the lightness and dryness of the sponge cake. Brilliant!

  29. What a great recipe! My 11yo son and I attempted the bûche for the first time this year and it turned out perfectly! It really looks exactly like the one in the photo. The steps and explanation of what is happening and why – and the video – are just invaluable. I can’t imagine we’d have a perfect bûche de Noël for tomorrow without this site. Thank you!!!

  30. I’m so sad! I made this cake for a large Christmas Eve dinner, and the sponge was terrible. 2 Tablespoons cocoa was nowhere enough to get a proper chocolate flavor, and the color was an unappetizing light brown. It rolled fine, but was too thick for the amount of cream inside. I’ve got another one ready to assemble in the fridge, but I’m going to remake the sponge. I’m so sorry! The rest of the recipe was delightful.

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