There is nothing can be more holiday-y than a Chocolate Yule Log Cake. An international symbol and an ode to a Christmas’s spirit. This light spongy cake layered and covered in yummy chocolate fudge frosting will brighten your mood throughout this holiday.
It’s only August and what I am doing with chocolate yule log cake, you might think? Well, it’s never too soon to think about and prepare for the holiday in my opinion. If you’re a holiday person like me, you’d better start your baking list now. Just something small and easy like gifting these traditional cookies to your neighbors and best friends. Or something a little bit sophisticated and elegant like Greek yogurt cheesecake, this definitely can be a dessert masterpiece for your holiday dinner.
Don’t you just love it when fall is here and winter is coming? The seasons that carry all the marvelous things in the world. The wonderful decorations, the put-pumpkin-spice-in-everything thing, the apple cakes, the breeze air, the turkey, and last but not least the yule log. Instead of buying it, how about this year you’re trying to make one? And don’t worry, it looks complicated but the truth is it’s easier than you thought.
You’ll find a detailed and completed guide from A-to-Z of what you need to do in order to perfect this amazing Chocolate Yule Log Cake.
The job will be so much easier if you have the right equipment. In case you’re not familiar with baking, don’t worry, these are just very basic baking needs and not anything so fancy. If you’re already a baking lover, well, consider this as your check list.
- Rimmed baking half sheet pan – when it comes to rolled cake, half sheet pan is your best friend. I preferred this over a full size sheet pan. It’s not too big so it makes the rolling job so much easier.
- Spatulas – you’ll need two different types of spatula for this yule log. A straight icing spatula for spreading the cream/frosting/icing all over the cake. And an offset spatula for handling small and delicate work on the log such as spreading frosting around the corner.
- Cake stand – you need something to put the yule log on. Ideally the one with big surface like a cutting board (as seen in photos) if you intend to make a big one with many props and decors. If not, a regular cake stand would do the job.
- Cake stand mixer – a star and a must have item on every kitchen counter. It can do so much besides mixing cake batter and cookie dough. If you haven’t got one, this holiday is a perfect excuse for you to bring one home. Nothing can beat this elegant Artisan stand mixer, let make your counter top shine this holiday.
Very basic ingredients were used to make this yule log: egg, AP flour, sugar, baking powder with the addition of vegetable oil and lime juice.
As for decoration and frosting, I used baking grade bittersweet chocolate chip. However if you couldn’t find one, regular chocolate bar should fill in the job easily too. It doesn’t matter if it is dark, sweet, bittersweet, or milk chocolate; it’s completely your choice.
To resemble snow, I used powdered sugar, white chocolate truffles, and some marshmallows. I also put few strawberries and raspberries here and there to create contrast color. If you want to go big or go home with decoration, here are some references that you can take into account.
How long does this chocolate yule log last?
Well, it depends on what you intended. If you want to eat the yule log, it will last somewhere from 2 to 4 days in the fridge. I’ve tested the edible range of the log, ideally it should be consumed within 2 days. On those 2 days, you can keep the log in the room with high A/C on for 2 hours max in case you need to showcase your master piece for a while. Why not right? It’s totally fine if you’re doing so. Don’t worry about the texture nor the taste, they remain the same.
If the purpose of the yule log is for decoration only and no eating involved, it can stay in good shape for maximum a week in a chill environment (e.g: a room with high A/C setting). You might consider to change those fresh fruits after 2-3 days if necessary.
Chocolate Yule Log Cake
- Half sheet pan lined with parchment paper
- Icing spatula, for frosting
- Offset icing spatula, for frosting
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment
- Cake stand or big platter
- Regular spatula, for scraping the sides of mixing bowl
- Heavy bottomed sauce pan
- 8 oz AP flour sifted
- 8 medium eggs yolks and whites separated
- 6 oz sugar
- 1 dash Kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 7 oz warm water 120F – 130F
- 0.5 oz vegetable oil
- 1 medium lime juiced
Chocolate fudge frosting
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate chip
- 2.5 oz cocoa powder preferred Hershey
- 4 oz sugar
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 c heavy cream
- powdered sugar
- white chocolate truffles
For sponge cake
- Preheat oven at 350F.
- Combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt, and half amount of sugar in a mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment on a stand mixer.
- Combine egg yolks, oil and water. Add the yolk mixture gradually to the dry ingredients on medium mixing speed. After a paste has formed, use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Continue adding the yolk mixture until everything is incorporated. Set aside (or transfer to another bowl if you only have one mixing bowl for your mixer, remember to wash mixing bowl and whip attachment before using for egg whites).
- Combine egg whites and lime juice and whip on medium speed with a clean whisk until frothy. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip. Stop when medium peaks has formed.
- Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining beaten egg whites. The more quickly the two egg mixtures are incorporated, the less the amount of volume lost.
- Quickly pour the batter in a lined half sheet pan. Use an offset spatula to even out the surface. Then put it in the oven and bake until the cake springs back when touched, 20 to 30 minutes.
- When the cake is done cooking. Take it out of the oven. Wait for 2 minutes then carefully transfer it (with parchment paper) to another half sheet pan or big cutting board.
- Wait for another 3 minutes, then carefully roll the cake into a log using parchment paper. Do not remove parchment paper. At this step, the cake is supposed to rolled with parchment paper inside it to help keep a rolling shape.
- Let the rolled cake cool completely to room temperature.
Chocolate fudge frosting
- Combine the chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine sugar and heavy cream, gradually and gently stir while bringing the mixture to boil over medium high heat. When the mixture reaches boiling point, carefully pour it into the chocolate bowl above. Slowly stir then let the mixture sit for 1 minute.
- Continue to let the mixture cool down to room temperature completely. Then transfer it to a mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment. whisk on medium high speed for 2 to 4 minutes. The mixture should be silky smooth and double in volume.
- Use the frosting right away or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Do not freeze the frosting.
- Unroll the cake, remove parchment paper. Use icing spatula to spread a 1 inch layer of chocolate fudge frosting on the cake. Then carefully roll it into a log again.
- Move the rolled cake layered with chocolate frosting to a cake stand or any decoration platter you intend to use.
- Use offset spatula to cover the surface of rolled cake with the rest of chocolate frosting. Create few strokes on top to resemble wood log shape. It does not have to be perfect. Just do as you wish. The point is to make it look real with imperfect patterns.
- Cover the log with powdered sugar (to resemble the snow). Then continue using white chocolate truffles, marshmallows to make a pile of snow. Use strawberry and raspberry to create contrast color.
- You can also use whatever props you want to decor your yule log. Be wild. Have fun.
- Yule log should be kept in the fridge or in a room with A/C on. The cake will be good for 2 days in the fridge and should be eaten in a day if left at room temperature (with A/C support).