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Cocoa Frosting Yule Log

Here is a holly-trimmed version of the traditional yule log cake that is sure to cause murmurs of appreciation. It is one of my most requested Christmas recipes.—Jane Birch, Edison, New Jersey
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    14 servings


  • 1-1/3 cups finely ground walnuts
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 10 large eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Additional baking cocoa
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Optional: Confectioners' sugar and fresh raspberries


  • Line 2 greased 15x10x1-in. baking pans with parchment. Grease parchment and set aside. In a bowl, combine the walnuts, flour and cocoa; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, beating until mixture is thick and light yellow, about 10 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add cocoa mixture; stir until combined.
  • In another large bowl, beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Gently fold 1/3 of the meringue into cocoa mixture until thoroughly incorporated; fold in remaining meringue in 2 additions.
  • Spread batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool cakes in pans for 5 minutes. Turn each onto a kitchen towel dusted with additional cocoa. Gently peel off parchment. Working quickly, roll up each cake in a towel, starting with the short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Unroll cakes and spread evenly with cream mixture to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up each cake again.
  • Place 1 cake roll seam side down on a serving plate. Use the second cake roll for the branches. To make branches, measure 3 in. from top right corner of the second cake roll; cut at an angle from that point to the bottom right corner. Measure 3 in. from the top left corner; cut at an angle from that point to the bottom left corner. Save end pieces for another use. Measure 3 in. from the top right and 3 in. from bottom right; cut between the marks. Place cut cake sections along sides of cake for branches.
  • For frosting, sift confectioners' sugar and cocoa together into a large bowl. In a another large bowl, beat butter and vanilla until blended. Beat in confectioners' sugar mixture alternately with enough milk to reach desired consistency. Frost top and sides of cake with cocoa frosting. Using an offset spatula, make short strokes in frosting to create bark pattern. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar and garnish with fresh raspberries.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 594 calories, 35g fat (18g saturated fat), 207mg cholesterol, 336mg sodium, 66g carbohydrate (56g sugars, 2g fiber), 9g protein.

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  • grace17
    Dec 3, 2013

    I used this recipe and it was pretty good. Just like "egoyette" said the corn syrup made the frosting very heavy and prevented it from setting wich cause the frosting to slide down the sides of the cake! My daughter siad that it was terrible and so did my son. I was dissapointed and my husband said it was ok not the best recipe! DON'T USE THIS RECIPE!

  • egoyette
    Dec 26, 2011

    I used this recipe for its cocoa frosting recipe, which tasted REALLY good! Not too sweet, but definitely chocolaty! My only problem was that the corn syrup made the frosting very heavy and prevented it from setting, which then ended up with the frosting sliding down the sides of the cake! I'd leave the corn syrup out of the recipe next time, and add more butter if needed to maintain consistency. The cake recipe sounds good, but I decided to use a different recipe I found using actual chocolate, instead of powder. It's the original yule-log recipe here on this site. I also used a basic butter-cream for a filling, mixed with chopped walnuts.

  • kateykat
    Dec 26, 2009

    No comment left

  • katiewill04
    Dec 16, 2009

    the cake color doesnt look very dark, it needs more chocolate cocoa powder or something...i like the look of it, but the color is off