Yule Log Recipe: Bring Some Warmth to This Holiday Season


Lea Mihok, Staff Writer

When I think of Christmas I think of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. I think of my cousins, aunts, and uncles buzzing around a kitchen, chopping, and seasoning, and bumping into one another. I think of Aunt Cecelia’s baking and the family Yankee swap. This year we will not have that, but I can bake. Or at least, I can try.

One of my favorite Christmas dishes is the Yule Log or the Buche De Noel. It is a cake, traditionally sponge, filled with cream, rolled, covered with chocolate icing, and decorated with meringue mushrooms so that it resembles a log. This year I was set on finding the perfect recipe: I searched the internet, our home cookbooks, and even asked my aunt for her own special recipe. Then, I took the best ones and added some original twists to create my own.



  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • ⅓ cup of unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup baking cocoa
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons cold coffee (the stronger the better)



  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ⅔ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur (if you do not have this you can substitute cooled coffee, vanilla extract, or another liqueur)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder



  • 6 large eggs 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup cake flour (If you do not have cake flour you can substitute ⅔ cups of all-purpose flour. Remove one tablespoon of flour and replace it with cornstarch.)


Meringue (optional):

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of sugar




  1. To make the filling, whip butter, salt, powdered sugar, coffee liqueur, and cocoa powder together at high speed. When combined, whip in the mascarpone cheese until combined. Set the filling aside (Do not put in the fridge, the butter will harden and make it difficult to spread).



  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Line a baking pan (you can choose the size, but for this recipe, bigger is better. I used a 14.5 by 11-inch pan.) with parchment paper and grease with butter.
  3. In a medium bowl mix together the cocoa powder, cake flour, and salt.
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on a high speed for about ten minutes, or until soft peaks form (Use an electric mixer if you have one, if not you can beat by hand). Then, gradually add the sugar.
  5. Fold the cocoa mixture into the batter (If you do not mind having a denser cake you can just mix it in).
  6. Pour batter into the baking pan so that it is about a quarter of an inch thick and put in the oven. Bake for about fifteen minutes, until the top is light and springy (test if it is ready by sticking a toothpick into it; if it comes out clean, it is done).9. Dust a kitchen towel on both sides with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. When the cake is finished baking lay the pan face down onto the towel, and slowly remove it, leaving the cake resting on the towel. Peel off the parchment paper and slowly roll the cake up in the towel. Set out to cool for 10-15 minutes.



  1. To make the icing beat the milk, butter, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and coffee together at a medium speed. When finished set aside (again, not in the fridge).
  2. After the cake is finished cooling slowly unroll the towel and coat the top of the cake with chocolate filling. Gently roll the cake back up. 
  3. Coat the outside with mocha icing, using a fork to etch lines into the icing and give it the appearance of bark.
  4. If you choose to make the meringue mushrooms use them to decorate the log. You can store the cake in the refrigerator, but you should take it out a little before serving so that the filling and icing have time to soften.


Meringue Recipe:

If you want to go the extra level and make meringue mushrooms it will be pretty easy, but they do take a long time to cook. This is my favorite meringue recipe, but there are tons out there and some are a lot quicker, so feel free to look around and find your own recipe.

  1. Preheat oven to 200℉.
  2. Beat egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar together at a medium speed until soft peaks form (To test whether or not the mixture is ready stick your spatula into the mixture and pull it out. If the peaks you form in the batter do not sink back in completely then the mixture is ready. It should be an opaque white at this point)
  3. Slowly add 1 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form (do the spatula test again, the peaks should hold their position completely).
  4. To make the mushrooms get a baking sheet and fill a piping bag with batter (if, like me, you do not have piping bags, just cut the end of a Ziploc bag.)
  5. Line a medium-sized baking sheet with parchment paper and pipe mushrooms on top.
  6. To make the mushroom heads pipe large circles (about twice the size of a quarter). For the stems, pipe long, teardrop shapes.
  7. Bake until crisp and completely dry, about 2 hours.