Yule Log Cake

Yule Log Cake

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Show off your holiday spirit by baking this amazing yule log cake! A chocolate cake rolled with a cream cheese filling and topped with a chocolate ganache. It doesn’t get much better than this!

I can’t get enough of all things chocolate so if you’re like me then you MUST TRY this cake, these cupcakes, and this delicious chocolate lasagna! You will go crazy over all of them!

A yule log cake on a platter with garnish.

Yule Log Cake

Is it just me or do you think that Christmas brings out the BEST desserts!? I can’t get enough of all of the Cinnamon Roll Wreaths, the delicious Eggnog Fudge, or the classic Fruit Cake. Yes, I know that there are other holidays that bring out the sweets but I really think that Christmas takes the (Yule Log) cake… I couldn’t resist that pun!

This yule log cake is to die for!! It’s a classic dessert that I’m sure that you’ve seen, if not eaten, before. If you’ve had a pumpkin roll then it’s similar to that! Except this one is made of a moist chocolate cake. And before you frost it, you actually cut it apart and arrange it so that it looks like an actual log! It’s super festive and delicious. It’s a dessert that your friends and family will go crazy over!

Ingredients You Need for a Yule Log Cake

This cake uses pretty simple ingredients. Take a look in your kitchen, I bet you already have most of them ready to go! See the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Flour: I used all purpose flour in this recipe.
  • Cocoa Powder: Dark cocoa powder will give you the most depth and flavor
  • Baking powder: This baking powder is what will help your cake rise and be soft.
  • Instant coffee: Your cake won’t taste like coffee, this just brings out the chocolate flavor more!
  • Salt: This is used to enhance the flavors of all of the other ingredients.
  • Eggs: If you get your eggs to room temperature beforehand then they will mix better!
  • Granulated sugar: This is used to sweeten up the cake!
  • Sour cream: The secret ingredient to getting your cake super moist is this sour cream!
  • Butter: use unsalted butter so that you don’t have to adjust the added salt!
  • Vanilla extract: This adds a bit of flavor to the sweet taste.

Filling

  • Cream cheese: Make sure that your cream cheese is softened before you mix it. It will make the filling so much more smooth.
  • Powdered sugar: This is used instead of granulated sugar because it dissolves so much better and helps keep the filling smooth and not grainy.
  • Vanilla Extract: This adds a sweet flavoring.
  • Heavy cream: When you mix this in, it makes everything so thick and creamy.

Whipped Ganache

  • Chocolate Chips: Use semi sweet chocolate chips for this ganache!
  • Heavy cream: When you use heavy cream it makes the ganache super creamy.

Let’s Bake a Cake!

Now that you have all of your ingredients ready to go, it’s time to bake this amazing yule log cake!

  1. Preheat oven and prep baking sheet: Preheat the oven to 350° and prep a 17×12 inch rimmed baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick baking spray and lining it with parchment paper. Be sure to let the parchment paper have at least 1 inch overhang on all sides. Spray the parchment lightly with the non-stick baking spray.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, instant coffee and salt. Set aside.
  3. Mix wet ingredients and combine with dry ingredients: In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined and light in color. Add in the sour cream, butter and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Whip and beat egg whites: In another bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold ⅓ of the whipped egg whites into the batter until combined and then add the rest and fold until just barely combined and no white streaks remain.
  5. Spread cake batter and bake: Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when gently pressed on.
  6. Let cake cool for 2 mintues, then turn cake out of pan onto towel: Let the cake cool for just about 2 minutes. Meanwhile prepare a clean kitchen towel by dusting it lightly with powdered sugar. Once the cake has cooled for 2 minutes and is still pretty hot, run a knife around the edges and then very carefully and quickly turn the cake out onto the kitchen towel. Carefully and slowly peel back the parchment paper from the cake, making sure not to tear the cake at all. Dust the cake with more powdered sugar.
  7. Roll and let cool: Starting from the short end, use the towel to roll the warm cake snuggly so the towel is being rolls up inside it. Place the towel with the cake’s seam side down and let it cool completely, about an hour.
4 pictures showing how to mix up and bake chocolate cake.

Filling Instructions

  1. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar: Add the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to mix at medium speed for about 1 minute. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Add cream and vanilla. Mix and set aside: Add the heavy cream and vanilla to the stand mixer and whip on high speed until medium soft peaks form. Add the cream cheese mixture and whip on medium until creamy and fluffy. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble your yule log cake.
6 pictures showing how to roll and fill a yule log cake.

Whipped Ganache

  1. Heat up chocolate and combine with cream: Place the chocolate in the bowl of a mixer. Heat the cream in the microwave until steaming but not boiling, about 1 minute. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a whisk to combine the chocolate and cream.
  2. Let cool, then whip ganache: Let the ganache cool to room temperature, or chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Using the mixer and the whisk attachment, whip the cooled ganache on high speed for about 3-4 minutes, until light in color and thick and fluffy.

Cake Assembly

  1. Unroll cake: Gently unroll the cake from the kitchen towel. Make sure none of the cake sticks to the towel as it’s unrolled.
  2. Spread filling and reroll: Spread the whipped cream filling evenly over the cake, leaving a/4 inch border around the edges. Re-roll the cake using the towel to help roll it. Cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight before frosting.
  3. Cut off branch and angle it on side of cake roll: When you’re reach to frost the cake, remove it from the fridge and unwrap the cake. Cut off about 3 inches of one end of the cake at a sharp angle to use as a branch. Place the branch on one side of the cake with the angled edge against it.
  4. Spread the ganache: Spread the whipped ganache all around the cake, smoothing with a frosting spatula. You can use a fork or the frosting spatula to give the ganache a bark-like texture.
  5. Dust and garnish: Dust with powdered sugar and decorate with rosemary or thyme and sugared cranberries.
4 pictures showing how to make a chocolate ganache and spread it onto a cake.

Baking Tips

This yule log cake just takes some time but it’s not hard! And, it will look and taste amazing when you are all done! Here are a few tips to help make this cake turn out perfectly.

  • Room temperature ingredients: I know that this can take a bit of thought beforehand but it really helps! Make sure to take all of your refrigerated ingredients out and put them on the counter a few hours before you plan on baking. Bringing your ingredients to room temperature really helps them mix nicely together and makes the dough really smooth! 
  • Don’t open the oven door: I know that it’s tempting to open the oven door while you are baking your cake. After all, you just want to see how it’s doing! But when you open the door while you are baking, you let a lot of the heat out. This makes it so that your cake might bake unevenly.
  • Wait for it to cool: It’s super important to follow the directions closely so that this cake doesn’t fall apart when you are rolling it. Make sure that you are allowing it to cool so that it rolls easily. Also, you want to wait for the ganache to cool before spreading it so that it stays thick!

A yule log cake with a slice showing the inside swirl.

How to Store Leftovers

If you have leftovers of this yule log cake then you should call yourself lucky! It’s so good that I bet your leftovers don’t last too long. This is how you can store it to eat later:

  • Refrigerate: Cover your yule log cake loosely with plastic wrap. Then, store it in your fridge! It will last for up to 3 days (if you don’t eat it all before then!)

A close up of a yule log cake.

Whipped Ganache

Optional Garnish


Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350° and prep a 17×12 inch rimmed baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick baking spray and lining it with parchment paper. Be sure to let the parchment paper have at least a 1-inch overhang on all sides. Spray the parchment lightly with the non-stick baking spray.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, instant coffee, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined and light in color. Add in the sour cream, butter, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.

  • In another bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold ⅓ of the whipped egg whites into the batter until combined and then add the rest and fold until just barely combined and no white streaks remain.

  • Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when gently pressed on.

  • Let the cake cool for just about 2 minutes. Meanwhile prepare a clean kitchen towel by dusting it lightly with powdered sugar. Once the cake has cooled for 2 minutes and is still pretty hot, run a knife around the edges and then very carefully and quickly turn the cake out onto the kitchen towel. Carefully and slowly peel back the parchment paper from the cake, making sure not to tear the cake at all. Dust the cake with more powdered sugar.

  • Starting from the short end, use the towel to roll the warm cake snuggly so the towel is being rolled up inside it. Place the towel with the cake’s seam side down and let it cool completely, about an hour.

Filling

  • Add the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to mix at medium speed for about 1 minute. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add the heavy cream and vanilla to the stand mixer and whip on high speed until medium-soft peaks form. Add the cream cheese mixture and whip on medium until creamy and fluffy. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble your cake.

Whipped Ganache

  • Place the chocolate in the bowl of a mixer. Heat the cream in the microwave until steaming but not boiling, about 1 minute. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a whisk to combine the chocolate and cream.

  • Let the ganache cool to room temperature, or chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Using the mixer and the whisk attachment, whip the cooled ganache on high speed for about 3-4 minutes, until light in color and thick and fluffy.

Cake Assembly

  • Gently unroll the cake from the kitchen towel. Make sure none of the cake sticks to the towel as it’s unrolled.

  • Spread the whipped cream filling evenly over the cake, leaving a/4 inch border around the edges. Re-roll the cake using the towel to help roll it. Cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight before frosting.

  • When you are ready to frost the cake, remove it from the fridge and unwrap the cake. Cut off about 3 inches of one end of the cake at a sharp angle to use as a branch. Place the branch on one side of the cake with the angled edge against it.

  • Spread the whipped ganache all around the cake, smoothing with a frosting spatula. You can use a fork or the frosting spatula to give the ganache a bark-like texture.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and decorate with rosemary or thyme and sugared cranberries.



Serves: 12

Serving1sliceCalories567kcal (28%)Carbohydrates41g (14%)Protein7g (14%)Fat42g (65%)Saturated Fat25g (125%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat12gTrans Fat1gCholesterol178mg (59%)Sodium211mg (9%)Potassium257mg (7%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar30g (33%)Vitamin A1377IU (28%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium101mg (10%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Keyword yule log cake