Buche de Noel – Yule Log Cake

Buche de Noel, or Yule Log Cake, is a classic Christmas dessert for a reason.  I know you’ll love this chocolatey, rich, (gluten-free!) yet surprisingly light cake.

Why you’ll love this Buche de Noel

First of all, it’s chocolate (always a good thing) and, even better, it can be made well ahead of time. (See the Work Ahead tips at the end of the post.)

The base of my Buche de Noel is a flourless chocolate sponge-cake. The cake has just 4 ingredients, and two of them are chocolate! Because this is a true sponge cake where all the structure comes from the eggs, the cake is resistant to cracking when you roll it up.

Both the sponge cake and the fluffy, whipped-cream filling are super light. You’ll find that a bite of this festive dessert almost melts in your mouth. The ganache frosting adds just the right amount of richness.

 Since the cake is flourless this also happens to be a gluten-free dessert.


Ingredients for yule log cake in bowls.

How to make a Buche de Noel:

chocolate cake batter in a sheet pan. A cake in a sheet pan covered with a towel.
  • Gently spread the batter into the pan. Bake until the center springs back.
  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven place clean kitchen towel over the pan until the cake is completely cooled.
Chocolate Whipped Cream in a cake roll
  • Spread the whipped cream over the cooled cake then use the parchment to help roll the cake.
a partially rolled chocolate cake log
  • Use the parchment paper to continue rolling the roulade.
  • Ice the roll with chocolate cream.
  • Chill the cake until the cream filling sets up.
a icing comb creating lines in a chocolate cake
  • Trim the ends of the cake and attach to the sides to form “branches”.
  • Ice the entire cake with chocolate ganache.
  • Use an icing comb or fork to create the “bark” on the chocolate ganache.
an icing comb forming texture on a yule log cake
  • You can ice the ends with whipped cream or more ganache.
  • Use the comb to form the rings.
  • Decorate the cake with mushrooms, holly and silver dragees.
  • Sprinkle with sugar for “snow”.

How to work ahead

  • The cake can be baked, rolled and iced with chocolate cream, then wrapped tightly and refrigerated for several days or frozen for up to a month.
  • The meringue mushrooms and holly leaves can be made up to a month before and held in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Once the cake is iced with ganache, it can be refrigerated for 3 – 4 days. Add the decorations just before serving.


The cake should be held in the refrigerator up to 1-2 hours before serving. Leftover slices can be wrapped and frozen for up to a month.

Merry Christmas!!

You could also make this Chocolate Swiss Roll cake or this Peppermint Log Cake for the holidays.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

This is a slice of chocolate Buche de Noel, Yule Log Cake
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4.50 from 10 reviews

Buche de Noel – Yule Log Cake

Buche de Noel, or Yule Log Cake, is a classic Christmas dessert for a reason.  I know you’ll love this chocolatey, rich, (gluten-free!) yet surprisingly light cake
Prep Time2 hours
Bake Time15 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
18 servings
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Flourless Chocolate Roulade

  • 8 large eggs (separated)
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • 1/2 oz dutch process cocoa powder (2 tablespoons )
  • 5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (melted)

Chocolate Cream

  • 5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (melted)
  • 12 oz heavy cream (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 2 oz confectioner sugar (½ cup)


Make the chocolate roulade

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a ½ sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1/2 oz dutch process cocoa powder until light and fluffy. Add 5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (melted) and whisk until combined.
  • In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peak. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and whip to full peak. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread to an even layer. Bake about 12-15 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to cool.

Make the chocolate cream

  • Melt 5 oz semi-sweet chocolate. Whip 12 oz heavy cream with 2 oz confectioner sugar and 1 tablespoon rum to soft peak. Add a big scoop of the cream to the melted chocolate and immediately whisk to combine. Whisk the chocolate back into the cream. Set aside about 1 cup of the chocolate cream and you'll use the remaining cream to fill the cake.


  • Use the parchment paper to slide the cake from the pan onto your work surface. Flip the cake over onto the towel and peel away the parchment paper. Flip the cake back over with the parchment and remove the towel.
  • Spread the remaining cream onto the cake. Use the parchment paper to roll the cake from the long side. Use the paper to flip the roll, seam side down, onto a tray
  • Ice with the reserved cup of chocolate cream and set it into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour until the cream is set (see note).
  • Cut an angled 2" piece from each end of the log. Attach the cut pieces to either side of the log to resemble branches.
  • Ice the cake with the ganache and use a fork or an icing comb to make a bark design on the surface. Decorate with holly leaves and berries and silver/gold dragees.
  • Just before serving add the meringue mushrooms and sprinkle the cake with confectioner's sugar to look like snow.

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At this point the cake can be wrapped and refrigerated for several days before finishing or frozen for several weeks.
The cake can be refrigerated until 1/2 hour before serving. Do not place the meringue mushrooms on the cake while it's refrigerated.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 391IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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  1. I love a good classic recipe and this one looks so fantastic! Thanks for posting this one! I’ve never attempted to make one but I want to now!