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A Chocolate Bûche de Noël Cake decorated with utterly delicious Chocolate Frosting – Perfect Chocolate Cake for the Christmas Season!

I have had so many requests for a Yule Log recipe that I literally can’t count them any more – so I decided, this is was a must recipe for Christmas this year! The absolutely WONDERFUL thing about this recipe, is that it is moist, delicious and is naturally Gluten-Free! Thats right – no gluten containing ingredients so everyone can enjoy it!

The recipe for the cake is made up of very few things, but works like an absolute dream. I have made swiss roll recipes in the past and they have been rubbery, or a little tasteless.. but this really isn’t. When the cake had finished baking, it had ballooned up quite a bit as it had so much air in it that I popped them with a cake skewer – but this was evidence of the fact that I hadn’t knocked out the air when folding my mixture together – and it is totally worth it. The cake is so chocolatey, moist, and stays good for days compared to going rubbery after a few hours like other recipes I have found!

The Chocolate Frosting is made with melted dark chocolate because I wanted a deeper coloured Frosting compared to when its made with cocoa powder, and it worked an absolute treat. The Frosting is smooth, rich, sweet, yet not heavy when you eat it! Its the perfect frosting for such a cake, and it looks great too!

When I decorate this recipe, I always roll my cake from the longer edge, to the longer edge… this means its long enough to decorate and create the second brand like I have done in the picture.. however, this does of course mean there is less ‘layering’ you could say as there is much cake to roll up! So, if you prefer more rolls in your cake, do it the shorter way!

This cake serves 8-10!


The Cake
– 250g Dark Chocolate, Chopped
– 4tbsp Cold Water
– 6 Large Eggs
– 150g Caster Sugar
– Icing Sugar to dust

The Chocolate Frosting
– 200g Dark Chocolate, Chopped
– 250g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
– 300g Icing Sugar. plus extra for dusting
– 1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract

To Decorate
– Green/Red Fondant
or – Green/Red Buttercream
or – Green Candy Melts/Red Sweets


1) Preheat your oven to 220C/200c Fan and Line a 23cmx33cm Swiss Roll tin with parchment paper. I find its easier to grease the tin so the paper sticks – leave to the side.

2) In a Large Heatproof Bowl over a pan of simmering water (Double Boiler), melt the Chopped Dark Chocolate with the 4tbsp Cold Water – stir occasionally whilst melting – leave to cool. (Alternatively, melt the Chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, then add the water and beat till smooth!)

3) Separate the eggs into two different bowls, yolks in one, whites in the other. Add the Caster sugar to the Egg Yolks and with an electric whisk, whisk until light and creamy (may take 2-3 minutes). Once mixed, fold through the cooled Chocolate.

4) In the other large bowl, whip up the egg whites with a CLEAN whisk until they form stiff peaks. Don’t over-beat them however as they can go dry and then deflate – they will be unusable then.

5) Mix in two spoonfuls of the egg whites into the Chocolate/Yolk mix so that it loosens the mixture – then carefully fold through the rest of the egg whites as carefully as possible – once combined, carefully pour into the prepared tin, and bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes. It won’t need any longer as it may start to catch!

6) Once baked, get a clean Tea-Towel and liberally dust with icing sugar – flip the cake over onto the Tea towel so the top of the cake is face down onto the icing sugar covered towel – peel off the paper and roll the cake from the longer side, to the longer side (including the towel) so that the rolled cake is longer and thinner, not short and fat! Doing this means it will be far easier to roll again later & decorate. Leave the cake to cool fully in the towel sausage!

7) Once cooled make the Frosting – melt the Dark chocolate and leave to cool slightly. Beat the butter & Icing sugar together till smooth, then add the vanilla, and fold through the cooled melted chocolate.

8) CAREFULLY unroll the cake again and spread a couple of spoonfuls of the frosting onto the cake, and roll back up – it doesn’t matter if it cracks as this will be covered up! At an angle, cut off a few inches of the end of the cake and sit it next to the rest of the cake (like shown in the pictures!) Cover the cake with the rest of the frosting and create lines using a fork or a skewer so it looks like bark on a tree!

9) If you have any spare fondant lying around, make a little holly leaf – if not, it doesn’t matter! I used some leftover Green Candy Melts, melted them down and piped them on, and topped with three red M&Ms! Dust the cake with icing sugar and serve!

Tips and Ideas

The cake recipe is inspired by Paul Hollywood, the Frosting is my own!

I find it easier to roll it when the cake is warm, but be careful not to burn yourself. If you roll the cake when its cold you might find its much harder and is more likely to crack. However, even if it cracks, you can easily just glue it back together with some of the frosting to form the log shape, and then still decorate as you won’t see the cracks once its decorated!

I know the idea of putting water into the chocolate is a little terrifying – but it makes a delightfully thick ganache like chocolate. Just be careful with it – don’t over mix the chocolate if its melting over a Double Boiler, but if you’re doing it in the microwave and then adding the water after, beat like crazy so that its smooth!

This cake will last for 3 days in an airtight container!


Find my other Christmas & Cake Recipes on my Recipes Page!

You can find me on:

J x

© Jane’s Patisserie. All images & content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words and credit me, or link back to this post for the recipe.


  1. Emma on December 18, 2020 at 7:07 am

    I noticed you said about adding water to the chocolate being scary, but I can’t see where it says to do this in the recipe?

  2. Gemma on December 16, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Hello, how many days could this be left in an air tight container before eating? Would prefer not to freeze but wondered if it could be made and then eaten in the third day? Thank you.

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 18, 2020 at 10:00 am

      I would say 2-3+ days at room temp, so it should be okay!

  3. Lisa on December 16, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Would dark cooking chocolate work for this recipe? Thankyou

  4. Louisa on November 27, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Would it be possible to add peppermint essence to this either icing or sponge? I am looking at creating an ‘After Eight’ Yule log…. I use your recipes all the time (usually follow them to the letter). Any advice on adding flavouring would be great.

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 28, 2020 at 11:16 am

      Yes for sure!! You could do both or either – but I do have a minty version coming soon…!!

  5. hannah on November 13, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    would this recipe work with milk chocolate?

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 14, 2020 at 10:22 am

      I would really really really recommend following the recipe correctly – it doesn’t taste ‘dark’ if thats what you are worried about x

  6. Cheryl on December 28, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Do you have a picture of how the cake should look rolled up in the tea towel?

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 29, 2019 at 8:50 am

      No – I don’t take process photos.

  7. Robin Wheeler on December 22, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Hi, can this be sized down to make a smaller version? Would you just halve the recipe?

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 23, 2019 at 8:57 am

      I wouldn’t recommend making a smaller version due to the sponge being thin and perfectly sized for a swiss roll tray!

  8. Janet Cosgrove on December 15, 2019 at 10:01 am

    I would like to cook this a week before Christmas and freeze. Would this be possible and at what stage would I freeze it? I’m hoping I can put butter cream in the middle then roll back up and freeze. Would this work?

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 15, 2019 at 10:39 am

      I would say at least put the filling inside, otherwise unrolling again after being frozen might be a little bit of a disaster! You can freeze the whole thing though.

  9. Emma on December 14, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Can this be frozen please? 🤔

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 15, 2019 at 10:36 am

      I have never personally frozen it, but yes you can!

  10. Lauren Castellano on December 20, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    is there a reason for the long thin roll VS the short fat roll?
    I feel like I would want more of a swirl in the middle?

    ALSO, can I use white chocolate for the filling? (just to add more contract from the swirl and cake and outside frosting??
    would the measurements be different for white chocolate?

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 21, 2018 at 9:12 am

      The short size will just be really very short, so you can’t shape it much at all (classically yule logs are always longer to shape). And do you just mean melted white chocolate??

    • Lauren Castellano on December 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      well using melted white chocolate instead of melted dark chocolate in step 7

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 21, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      Ooh so for a buttercream, yes it should!

  11. Jane on November 30, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Is there no flour at all? I’m concerned it’ll just be a rubbery chocolate omelette?

    • Jane's Patisserie on November 30, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      No, there isn’t. Follow the recipe as is.

  12. Brenda on September 24, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    I always was taught never to add water to chocolate because it would cause the chocolafe to seize. Otherwise, your cake looks adorable, yummy and whimsical!

    • Jane's Patisserie on September 24, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      That rule only applies when you’re adding a small amount, such as even one drop. However, if you add enough, it doesn’t matter and creates something quite wonderful!

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