Yule Log Cake Recipe (Bûche de Noël)

yule log cake near tree

This yule log cake recipe uses applesauce for a moist tender cake crumb, combined with lightly sweetened whipped cream filling and rich chocolate ganache “bark”.


Units Scale

For the Cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For decorating:

  • 3/ 4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chip
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream

Additional confectioners’ sugar, optional

Edible greens and berries, optional

Meringue mushrooms, optional


For the cake:

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, almond and vanilla extracts, and applesauce.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well. (The batter will be thick).
  3. Spread into a greased and waxed paper-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
  4. Turn onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Peel off waxed paper and roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool on a wire rack.

For the filling:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whip cream; blend in powered sugar and vanilla.
  2. Unroll cake; spread filling to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again and place seam side down on serving platter

For decorations:

The simplest decoration is to dust with confectioners’ sugar.

For chocolate ganache “bark”, melt ¾ cup chocolate chips and 6 tablespoons heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and cool until mixture starts to thicken slightly.

Trim ends of cake if desired and brush off loose crumbs. Gently spread ganache over cake, working from top to bottom. Use a butter knife or spatula to create bark like ridges in the ganache.

Add extra trimmings if desired. You can dust with confectioner’s sugar for a ‘snow” effect, place some edible greens and berries around the cake, or add meringue or marzipan mushrooms.

Refrigerate until serving.


If you don’t have applesauce on hand, you may substitute mashed bananas.

Keywords: yule long, Christmas, holiay, solstice, chocolate