Chocolate Yule Log

14 Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 58 minutes

Chocolate Yule Log is the ultimate festive show-stopper. Chocolate cake filled with buttercream, topped with ganache, and shaped a log!

This amazing Cake Recipe is perfect for the holidays! After a filling Christmas dinner, you can serve this beautiful cake later in the evening. The sweet, creamy filling and Chocolate Ganache Topping make it the most indulgent and delicious way to end the holiday. 

Chocolate Yule Log with powdered sugar and holly garnish


This Chocolate Yule Log is sure to impress your friends and family! The luscious chocolate cake is a holiday tradition in a lot of homes, and it’s no wonder why. Not only is it delicious, but the amazing chocolate cake is made with the appearance of tree branches. It makes a great centerpiece on the Christmas table for everyone to “ooh and aah” at. 

There are three pieces that make this Yule Log recipe the amazing, flavorful dessert it is. Firstly, the tender chocolate sponge is the base for the whole recipe. The light and moist cake is a chocolate lovers dream! Then Buttercream flavored with Baileys Irish cream and mascarpone cheese is spread over the cake before forming it in a tight roll. Finally, it’s all finished off with a rich chocolate ganache. The chocolate frosting adds to the wonderful taste and is styled to look like bark before serving. 

Chocolate Yule Log collage of prep steps

When the Chocolate Yule Log is first presented it looks wonderful all formed to look like a tree. But, the beautiful presentation doesn’t stop there. Because of the creamy filling, each slice of cake has a spiral of white going through it. The filling also perfectly balances the otherwise deeply chocolatey flavor with a light and sweet tangy taste. 


Chocolate Yule Log rolled and being cut


A fun way to make the Chocolate Yule Log look even more like a tree is to add meringue mushrooms. After you spread the topping to look like bark, top the log off with adorable homemade, edible mushrooms. Then add a dusting of confectioners sugar for the perfect snowy scene. 

  1. To make the meringues add ½ cup egg whites to a metal bowl and whisk them together until they are foamy.
  2. Then add ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  3. Continue whipping until the egg whites form soft peaks.
  4. Then sprinkle in 1 cup granulated sugar slowly. Continue whipping as you go until stiff peaks form.
  5. Put the meringue in a piping bag with a round tip. Squeeze out round mounds onto a lined baking sheet for the mushroom caps.
  6. To make the stems, put down a tiny bit of meringue and then pull the piping bag straight up. It should make a shape similar to a Hershey’s kiss.
  7. Dust the mushroom caps lightly with cocoa powder.
  8. Bake for 1 hour in a 225-degree oven.
  9. Melt chocolate to use as glue to hold the mushrooms to the stems.
  10. Arrange the completed mushrooms on the Yule Log before serving. 
Chocolate Yule Log using a fork to make bark pattern in ganache frosting


How can I decorate a Chocolate Yule Log?

There are lots of additions you can make for a final touch on your Chocolate Yule Log. Try piping on vanilla frosting in swirling patterns, adding chocolate curls, crushed nuts, or sugared cranberries.

What other fillings can I use for the Chocolate Yule Log?

For a nice fruit flavor, you can make a cherry filling to replace the buttercream. Use store-bought cherry pie filling, or make your own. To make the cherry filling combine 2 cups pitted cherries, ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes until it thickens.

Chocolate Yule Log slice on plate with powdered sugar and holly garnish



  • Serve: Keep the tender chocolate cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. The creamy center won’t keep well at room temperature for an extended period.
  • Store: To keep leftovers, tent the cake loosely in tin foil, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: You can also freeze the cake for up to 1 month. Put it in the freezer on its serving dish for about an hour until it’s firm then move the Chocolate Yule Log to an airtight container for long-term storage.
Chocolate Yule Log with powdered sugar and holly garnish

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Chocolate Yule Log

Chocolate Yule Log is the ultimate festive show-stopper. Chocolate cake filled with buttercream, topped with ganache, and shaped a log!
Yield 14 Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 58 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


For the Irish Buttercream Filling:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Creme , or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

For the Sponge Cake:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Chocolate:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cups dark chocolate chips

For Assembly:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar , for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 13×18 baking sheet with baking spray.
  • Line with parchment paper and spray the top of the parchment paper with baking spray.
  • To your stand mixer add the eggs and sugar on medium speed.
  • Beat for 2-3 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.
  • Lower the speed to the lowest setting and add in vanilla extract, cocoa powder, flour and salt until well combined, about15 seconds.
  • Pour batter onto prepared baking sheet, tapping the pan on the countertop to pop any bubbles in the batter.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until the top is dry.

To Make Buttercream:

  • Clean your stand mixer and while the cake is baking add the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until just combined.
  • Raise speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add in salt, Bailey's Irish Cream (or heavy cream), and beat for 30 seconds.
  • Add mascarpone cheese and beat for 30 seconds.

Chocolate Cake:

  • Once the cake has come out of the oven dust the top with powdered sugar liberally and run a knife around the edges of the pan to make sure the cake is not stuck to the pan.
  • Lay a clean kitchen towel onto the cake and add a second baking sheet over it upside down (so the bottom of it is on top of the cake).
  • Flip the baking sheets and remove the baking sheet you baked the cake in.
  • Carefully peel the parchment paper off the cake and dust with more powdered sugar.
  • Carefully and slowly roll the cake into a spiral in the clean towel and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Unroll the cake gently.
  • Add all but ¼ cup of the buttercream to the top of the cake and spread evenly.
  • Roll the cake back into a spiral using the towel to guide it, but don’t wrap the towel in the cake this time.
  • Carefully move the cake to a piece of plastic wrap and wrap the log well.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours along with the leftover buttercream.

To Make Ganache:

  • Add heavy cream and chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute.
  • Let sit for 2 minutes then stir until smooth and glossy.

To Finish:

  • Cut a diagonal piece of the cake about 3 inches from the end.
  • Use the remaining buttercream to frost the side of the cake and the cut piece together.
  • Spread the ganache all over the cake evenly, except for the edges of the cake.
  • Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Using a fork, draw tree-like lines into the cake, including a few knots (circles and lines around the circles).
  • Dust with just a bit of cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
  • Top with any desired decorations.


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 663IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg
Chocolate Yule Log Collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I have not tasted this yet, but the buttercream recipe was so thin it just ran out, even after adding an extra 1/2 C sugar to the recipe.

    1. Buttercream can melt quite easily, so if you’re having trouble with it staying stable try refrigerating it until you need to spread it or waiting for the cake to cool down a bit before you spread it on.

  2. Tried to make with a box recipe, which I had no issue with the cake, like the others, but the filling was significantly inadequate. I used the correct size of pan but I almost needed 3x the amount of filling.

  3. Tried this recipe out today, and I’m a little sad with how it came out. We followed the recipe exactly, but the cake came out significantly smaller than what is shown in the pictures. I was expecting there to be more rise in the cake. :/ It tastes good though.

  4. The cake did not rise at all. The filling is quite good, but I would use another more traditional sponge cake recipe & method if I wanted to make a Yule log again.

  5. Not sure how you got that look with so little flour. This does not taste good, and you need at least a little baking powder to fluff it up a little.