Classic Chocolate Yule Log

Chocolate Yule log cake on a serving board
Classic Yule Log.

The Spruce

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 1 roll (6 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
436 Calories
27g Fat
41g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 roll (6 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 436
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 175mg 58%
Sodium 70mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 9g
Calcium 64mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A Yule log isn't the easiest cake to make, but neither is it the most difficult. All that is needed is time, patience, and a light hand. Best of all, the sponge contains no flour at all, so this is a potential treat for those with gluten issues.

This cake is a rich, decadent, and utterly delicious treat for Christmas. It makes a perfect replacement for those who don't like the traditional British Christmas cake. However, there is no reason why you can't have both if you wanted. After all, it is Christmas.

Ingredients

  • For the Swiss Roll:
  • 6 large eggs (separated)
  • 2/3 cup superfine/caster sugar
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao or greater)
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups double cream (or heavy cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: confectioners' sugar, chocolate sprinkles, or any other edible Christmas decorations

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this yule log is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Swiss Roll

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Swiss Roll
    The Spruce
  2. Heat the oven to 425 F/220 C/gas 7.

  3. Lightly grease and line a 9 x 13-inch Swiss roll/jelly roll tin with parchment paper. Apply a light layer of vegetable oil with a piece of paper towel.

    Slightly grease tin
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  4. Separate the egg yolks and whites.

    Egg and butter
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  5. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a large, roomy, baking bowl with either an electric beater or a hand whisk until a light-yet-thick mixture is formed.

    Whisk the sugar and eggs
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  6. Break the chocolate into pieces then melt with 4 tablespoons water in either the microwave (take care to not overcook) or over a pan of slightly simmering, boiling water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.

    Break the chocolate into pieces
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  7. Add the chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture and stir gently.

    Mix chocolate
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  8. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff, fairly firm peaks when the whisk is lifted from the bowl.

    Mix egg whites until they have stiff peaks
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  9. Fold 1 tablespoon of the egg white into the chocolate sponge mixture to lighten it.

    Fold egg whites into chocolate
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  10. Add the remaining whisked egg whites and gently fold through.

    Add remaining egg whites
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  11. Spread the sponge mix into the prepared tin, smoothing the surface very, very gently with a spatula taking care to not knock out any air.

    Spread sponge mixture into pan
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  12. Bake in the heated oven for 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a little crisp on the top. Do not overcook or the sponge will become dry.

    Bake in the oven
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  13. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

    Place cake on cooling rack
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  14. Lay a large sheet of parchment paper onto your work surface, quickly flip the pan over onto the paper and gently ease the sponge out. Peel away the parchment paper on the sponge and trim any ragged edges of the cake.

Make the Filling and Assemble the Yule Log

  1. Gather the filling ingredients.

    Ingredients for yule log
    The Spruce 
  2. Whip the cream lightly with the vanilla extract until the cream loosely holds its shape.

    Whip cream
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  3. Spread the cream evenly over the entire surface leaving a 3/4-inch margin on either of the two short sides.

    Spread cream over surface
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  4. Using a small sharp knife, cut a small incision 3/4-inch in from one of the short edges taking care not to cut right through the cake.

    Spread with knife
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  5. Carefully fold this in towards the cream, then use the paper on the work surface to roll the cake away from you until a log is formed. Do not worry if cracks appear on the surface, these are part of the character of a Swiss Roll.

    Carefuly fold the yule log
    The Spruce
  6. Top with confectioners' sugar, grated chocolate or chocolate sprinkles, holly (but not the berries), or any Christmas theme you choose.

    Swiss roll
    The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy!

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