The Collector Store

Yule Love This Holiday Recipe: How To Make a French “Yule Log” Cake


By Abby Keathley

With the current pandemic sweeping over the nation, many families have been searching for ways to get into the Christmas spirit from home. Baking is a safe and festive way to get into the holiday mood. But this year, rather than baking cookies, it might be the perfect time to try something new. 

Most Americans may not be familiar with the Buche de Noel or “Yule Log.” It’s common throughout Europe, originating in France in the nineteenth century. It is a chocolate cake roll with cream filling and decorated to look like a log. The cake represents the log that would be burned in medieval times during Yule, a winter festival that lasted from December to January. Baking the Yule Log is now a modern tradition in France and other neighboring European countries.

Servings per Yule Log: 12


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup white sugar

Make sure your work space is clean and organized prior to starting. Have out all of your measuring cups and bowls and ingredients. Always wash your hands before touching anything you’re using to cook. If you’re not an avid baker, make sure you have someone to help you, in case you need extra guidance.


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit and line a 10×15 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Begin by combining ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar, 2 cups of heavy cream, ½ cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla using a hand mixer with clean beaters. Once it becomes stiff and thick, refrigerate the mixture. This will be the cream filling.

Next, begin making the batter. Separate the egg yolks and whites in separate bowls. Use a hand mixer to beat the egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar until it becomes thick and pale.

In the sugar and egg mixture, add ⅓ cup of cocoa, 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and blend.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they become white and soft peaks form when you pull the beaters out.  Then, gradually add ¼ cup of sugar, and proceed to beat until stiff peaks form in the egg whites when you pull out the beaters. If it is done mixing, the peaks will stay up instead of immediately going away.

Fold the yolk mixture into the whites immediately with a rubber spatula, just to incorporate the two mixtures.

Spread the batter evenly onto the 10×15 baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Take the cake out of the oven. You will know it’s done when you poke it and it springs back.

Lightly cover a clean dish towel with confectioners’ sugar. Use a knife to separate the parchment paper from the baking sheet and turn the warm cake out of the pan and on to the towel. Remove the parchment paper. On the short side of the cake, begin carefully rolling with the towel. Once rolled, let it cool for 30 minutes.

Unroll the cake and spread the filling on the inside and roll the cake up again. Use chocolate icing on the outside of the roll to make it look like bark. Dust confectioners’ sugar on the top to make it look snowy. Add whatever you like for decoration. Yule logs are commonly decorated with meringue mushrooms, but feel free to add whatever you like to make it look more festive.

Lastly, enjoy your Yule Log.