How to bake the perfect cake for the holidays

A yule log cake makes the season bright


Cas East

Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake)

We may not be surrounded by as many treats and goodies as we usually are this time of year. That means we need to make our own!

Here’s our recipe for a Bûche de Noël, also called a Yule Log Cake. We used this recipe to get us started, but we put our own twist on it to make it unique. 


Ingredients for the cake

  1. Cooking spray
  2. 6 large eggs, separated
  3. 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  4. 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
  6. 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  7. Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
  8. Ingredients for the filling 
  9. 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
  10. 1/4 c. powdered sugar
  11. 2 tsp. gelatin (optional)
  12. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  13. Pinch kosher salt


Ingredient for the frosting and decorating 

  1. 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
  2. 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for garnish
  3. 5 tbsp. cocoa powder
  4. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  5. 4 tbsp. heavy cream
  6. Pinch kosher salt
  7. Chocolate curls, for garnish
  8. Cranberries, for garnish
  9. Small rosemary sprigs, for garnish



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. 
  2. In a large bowl beat egg yolks until thick. Slowly add ½ cup sugar and beat until pale then beat in flour mixture. 
  3. In another large bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter in two batches.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until top springs back when lightly pressed, 12 minutes. 
  5. Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar and invert warm cake onto the towel. Peel off parchment paper. 
  6. Starting at the short end, use the towel to tightly roll the cake into a log. Let cool completely. 
  7. Make filling: if using gelatin, place 2 tablespoons cold water in a shallow microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle gelatin in an even layer on top. Let bloom for 5 to 10 minutes, then microwave for 10 seconds until gelatin is runny
  8. In a large bowl, beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, until medium peaks form. If using gelatin, strain and stream into whipped cream at this point while continuing to beat the cream. Refrigerate until ready to use. 
  9. When the cake is cool, unroll and spread the filling evenly over the cake. Roll cake back into a log, using the towel to help create a tight roll. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and refrigerate until well chilled, 1 hour. 
  10. Make frosting: In a large bowl beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat until no lumps remain then beat in vanilla, heavy cream, and salt. 
  11. When ready to serve, trim ends and frost cake with chocolate buttercream. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and top with chocolate curls. Place cranberries and rosemary on log to create mistletoe.
  12. To add sugar on the cranberries wet your hands with water then roll a handful of cranberries around in your hand. Then place them in a small bowl with some sugar in it and shake them around.