A Yule log is a traditional Christmas cake, often served as a dessert near Christmas, especially in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and several former French colonies such as Canada, Vietnam, and Lebanon.
Ingredients of Yule Log Cake
- 1 ⅔ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅓ cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or as needed
- 1 cup heavy cream, boiling-hot
- 1 package dark chocolate chips
How to Make Yule Log Cake
- Whip powdered sugar, butter, coffee-flavored liqueur, cocoa powder, salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted on high speed.
- Transfer filling mixture to a separate bowl and add mascarpone cheese. Mix until combined; set aside.
- Prepare a sheet pan for the sponge cake: Brush a little melted butter over the sheet pan, then line the pan with parchment paper, and brush remaining melted butter on top.
- Whisk cocoa powder, flour, and salt together in a bowl, making sure to break up any clumps.
- Place eggs in the clean bowl of your stand mixer. Add sugar and whip with the whisk attachment until fluffy, thick, and very light in color for 5 minutes.
- Add vanilla and 1/2 of the cocoa powder mixture; mix on low speed for a few seconds. Add the remaining cocoa mixture and mix on low for a few seconds.
- Switch to high speed and mix until the mixture is moistened but not fully blended.
- Put batter onto the prepared sheet pan and spread out with a spatula, almost to the edges, but not quite.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides, 10 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, sift powdered sugar onto a clean kitchen towel to cover an area slightly larger than the sponge cake.
- Remove cake from the oven.
- Dust some powdered sugar over the top.
- Quickly flip the pan on top of the sugared area on the towel to invert the cake.
- Gently roll the cake up inside the towel; allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Carefully unroll the cooled cake.
- Dollop as much buttercream filling as you like on top, reserving some for later; spread to the edges.
- Roll cake up over the filling, using the towel to lift it if needed. Sprinkle more powdered sugar on top over the log, then wrap in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate about 2 hours.
- Put hot cream over chocolate chips in a bowl. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk until chocolate is melted.
- Make an angled cut 3 inches from one end of the log. Place log on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
- Apply some filling to the angled slice and attach it to one side of the log. Spread a layer of ganache all over the cake, except for the swirls on the ends. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm up the ganache.
- Use the tip of a knife to carve lines into the ganache to create the appearance of tree bark. Refrigerate until completely chilled.
Dust with cocoa powder and powdered sugar before serving.