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How to Make a Yule Log

Follow our simple steps to make a stunning Chocolate Gingerbread Yule Log for the holidays.

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Chocolate Gingerbread Yule Log

A Yule log is a traditional dessert served for Christmas, especially in Europe. It starts with an easy sponge and lots of buttercream frosting, and is beautifully decorated with shards of chocolate “bark.” Here’s how to make this eye-catching dessert!

See more Christmas desserts from around the world.

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Step 1: Whip the Egg Whites

Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat on medium until soft peaks form. The fluffy egg whites are key for making cake batter that’s light and airy!

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Step 2: Roll

While the cake is still warm, roll it into a log. (The towel keeps the cake from sticking to itself.) Keep it rolled until cool. This trains the cake to hold its final shape.

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Step 3: Unroll

Unroll your cooled cake—very carefully.

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Step 4: Spread the Filling

Spread the filling over cake to within 1/4 in. of the edges.

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Step 5: Roll Again

Roll up the cake again; trim ends and transfer to a platter.

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Step 6: Frost

Spread the chocolate buttercream frosting on the cake. Here’s what our Test Kitchen has to say about buttercream.

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Step 7: Spread the Chocolate

To make the “bark,” use an offset spatula to thinly spread 4 to 6 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate on a parchment paper-lined baking pan. The thinner the chocolate, the easier it is to break into shards. Refrigerate until set.

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Step 8: Snap the Shards

This is the fun part, so get cracking! Uneven pieces add lots of bark-like character. If chocolate softens while you work, pop it back in the fridge.

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Step 9: Decorate


Take the chocolate shards; arrange over buttercream, overlapping slightly. Refrigerate your Yule log cake, loosely covered, until ready to serve. Using a serrated knife, cut cake into beautiful slices.

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