The traditional yule log cake, also called buche de noel, is the ultimate Christmas recipe. It looks stunning, like a tree stump and tastes super delicious! This cake originates in France and the traditional buche de noel is made out of a rectangle shaped sponge cake, filled and rolled with chocolate buttercream. One end or both ends are cut off to resemble branches of a tree. The entire yule log cake is covered in chocolate buttercream and bark is carved into the chocolate. Often it is decorated with edible mushrooms to make it look like a Christmas cake.
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My yule log recipe varies a bit, as I often found it too chocolatey, thus I chose caramel as filling. I am using a thin layer of caramel and a caramel cream cheese frosting for the fillings and it is amazing and looks even more like a tree stump.
How To Make Yule Log Cake
For the buche de noel recipe a couple of things are important to keep in mind. I’ll show you here my top tips for a perfect and easy recipe to bake a beautiful noel cake.
First, the vanilla sponge cake. As usual first the eggs are beaten until fluffy, add the sugar while continuing to mix. Add the flour mixture gently and there it is, a beautiful sponge cake. That was the easiest step in the yule log cake recipe.
Second, place a 12×14 inch / 30x35cm parchment paper on the baking sheet. In case the baking sheet is bigger, place something one side to stabilize, so that the sponge cake bakes evenly.
Third, bake the sponge cake for only 10 minutes at 320°F / 160°C, it should not change color or bake for too long, otherwise it will become harder to roll and the sponge cake could crack.
Fourth, place a clean kitchen towel on the table, spread about one or two tablespoons of sugar on the kitchen towel. It will help make the cake not stick to the kitchen towel. Place the sponge cake on the kitchen towel upside down. Remove the parchment paper and roll it in the kitchen towel. Not it should cool down for about three hours until it has come to room temperature. Watch my Instagram Highlights for the entire baking process.
Christmas Log Cake Recipe
The original log cake is also sometimes called la buche de noel or bush noel cake. Most probably this is the English adaption of the French name. But for this chocolate yule loge cake, I am not only using chocolate buttercream, as in the original recipe, as I think the cakes becomes too chocolatey, having the same chocolate buttercream inside and outside. Thus, I decided to have caramel and a caramel cream cheese frosting inside this Christmas cake. It not only tastes unbelievably good, but also makes it more look like the inside of a tree trunk.
Once the sponge cake is cooled down to room temperature, it can be rolled out and the kitchen towel should be easily removable due to the sugar layer between cake and towel. To make the consistency of the caramel more firm, we mix it with butter and then spread a thin layer with only 1/3 of the caramel on the sponge cake. The remaining 2/3 of the caramel buttercream is mixed with cream cheese and then spread on the sponge cake. Once this is done the yule log cake can be rolled up. Cut of one end diagonal and place it on the side of the Christmas log cake.
Chocolate Bush Noel Cake
The chocolate ganache makes it a real chocolate log cake! Only two ingredients needed: heavy cream and chocolate, but importantly this should be made a day before in order to get firm overnight and the next day it only needs a quick stir. For the yule log decoration it is important to resemble the tree bark with the chocolate. Once spread on the yule log cake, use a fork or something similar to carve the chocolate. Decorate with greens, berries or mushrooms made out of baiser or marzipan and we are ready to celebrate this Christmas cake!