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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! I know you all love my Rocky Road Christmas Pudding, my Gingerbread NYC Cookies, Mint Chocolate Yule Log, and my Christmas Tree Cupcakes – so hopefully you love this festive bake just as much!

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 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 branch 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!

For the holly sprig on top, I used regular green candy melts melted down, which i then piped on top. You could alternatively use regular buttercream using this recipe and this green colouring, which I then piped on top using this leaf tip. For the berries I just used 3 red m&m’s! You could use anything you fancy – you could use fondant and make or cut out your own, you could buy holly sprinkles – its completely up to you!

This would for SURE be a hit at the Christmas dinner table – and easy twist on a timeless classic, and suitable for everyone! The cake is so chocolatey, moist, and stays good for days compared to going rubbery after a few hours like other people’s recipes I have found do! I hope you all love it just as much as i do! Enjoy!

Christmas Yule Log

A Chocolate Bûche de Noël Cake decorated with utterly delicious Chocolate Frosting – Perfect Chocolate Cake for the Christmas Season!
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Category: Cake
Type: Cake
Keyword: Chocolate, Christmas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Cooling and Decorating Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 43 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Jane's Patisserie



  • 250 g dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 7 medium eggs
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • icing sugar (to dust)

Chocolate Frosting

  • 200 g dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 250 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 300 g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract

Decoration Options

  • green/red fondant
  • green/red buttercream
  • green candy melts/red sweets



  • Preheat your oven to 220ºC/200ºC Fan and line a 23cmx33cm swiss roll tin with parchment paper (I find its easier to grease the tin so the paper sticks), then leave to the side.
  •  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, then once fully melted leave to cool. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave on short bursts, then add the water and beat until smooth!)
  • 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 (this may take 2-3 minutes). 
  • Once mixed, fold through the cooled dark chocolate.
  • 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!)
  • Mix in two spoonfuls of the egg whites into the chocolate and 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 evenly 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!
  • Once baked, get a clean tea towel and dust the tea towel with icing sugar.
  • Flip the cake over onto the tea towe,l so the top of the cake is face down onto the icing sugar covered towel and peel off the parchment paper.
  • 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!

Chocolate Frosting

  • Melt the dark chocolate and leave to cool slightly.
  • Beat the unsalted butter & icing sugar together until smooth, then add the vanilla bean extract, and fold through the cooled melted chocolate.
  • 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!

Decorating Options

  • I used some 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!


  • 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, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months!
  • I used this Swiss roll tin
  • I used this Dark Chocolate
  • I recommend this green food colouring
  • I recommend this red food colouring
  • I use this baking parchment
  • I recommend these green candy melts
  • Recommend this Leaf tip


Find my other 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. Clare on December 3, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    When I unrolled the cooled sponge it broke into pieces (long sections) I baked it for nearly 13 mins. How can this be avoided next time

  2. Jill on December 21, 2022 at 11:53 am

    Is there a way to make it a baileys Yule log? Any top tips on how to make that magic happen?

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes they are my go to always!

  3. Serena on December 9, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Jane, I made this yesterday from your book, but it was the chocolate Orange Yule Log, it was wonderful the flavour, however the log has not hardened, and is still extremely moist, today, I wonder if you can tell me what went wrong and how can I harden the outside chocolate of the log. Thank you.

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 15, 2022 at 1:30 pm

      Hiya! Do you mean the ganache coating the log? If so, your cocoa content may have been slightly too low! Hope this helps! x

  4. Maria Kennedy on November 30, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Do you have a red velvet version of this. Thank you x

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 6, 2022 at 9:18 am

      Hiya! Sadly not, however it is on my to do list! Hope this helps! x

  5. Niamh on December 21, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Hi, I’m going to make this in the next couple of days, if I put the frosting filling in, can I also put jam in as the filling??? Would that then be able to be frozen, and also how long do you think it will take to defrost???? Thank you!

    • Emily on December 25, 2022 at 1:28 pm

      Hi, what cocoa content is best for the dark chocolate?

    • Jane's Patisserie on January 3, 2023 at 10:38 am

      Hiya! I always use chocolate with at least 70%, hope this helps! x

  6. marie on December 16, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    so far the flavour is wonderful, but when I opened it up to add the filling it just collapsed completely, it is more of a chocolate blog than a log. did I leave it too long? I wanted it cold enough not to melt the filling.

    • Jane's Patisserie on December 20, 2021 at 10:59 am

      Hiya! This may have been slightly overbaked, which would have dried it out slightly! Hope this helps x

  7. 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?

  8. 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!

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

    Would dark cooking chocolate work for this recipe? Thankyou

  10. 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…!!

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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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