When it comes to favourite Christmas desserts, not much can beat a traditional Christmas Pudding. But if there’s anything that can compete with the old British favourite, it has to be a Christmas Yule Log.
Not only is it a delicious chocolate treat but it’s also the perfect sweet finish for even the most (over)indulgent of Christmas dinners. A dessert that is a favourite with all the family and not likely to result in any leftovers for Boxing Day.
The iconic Yule Log is something that holds origins from France and the 19th Century but is now enjoyed across the globe, particularly in Europe. Known as bûche de Noël in it’s native language, the Yule Log cake was inspired by the traditional Yule log, an actual log which would be burned around Christmas.
This Yule Log recipe comes straight from Granny and is exactly what you’d expect; a light chocolatey sponge, rolled to perfection, filled & smothered with sweet chocolate buttercream, and festively decorated however you please.
For the Cake Roll:
For the Buttercream:
- 160g Butter (softened)
- 180g Icing Sugar
- 30g Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tbsp Milk
- Pre-heat your oven to 190°c (170°c for fan-assisted ovens or Gas Mark 5) and line a (approx) 35x25cm Swiss roll tin with grease proof paper and grease with butter, then dust with flour.
- In a bowl, sift the flour and cocoa together and set aside.
- In a large, grease-free bowl add the eggs and whisk lightly before adding the sugar. Whisk together until you have a light coloured, creamy, thick batter. This can take a while by hand so an electric mixer is preferable.
- Add the sifted flour/cocoa an gently fold to create a batter. Add a tbsp of water and fold in also.
- Pour the batter into your prepared tin and spread over evenly. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes.
- Have a piece of greaseproof paper ready on your work surface. Turn out the baked sponge onto the greaseproof paper. Whilst still hot, peel off the greaseproof paper on the sponge (from the tin). Trim a thin strip from the 4 sides of the sponge, to remove the crisp edges.
- On one narrow end, score the sponge about 1cm from the edge with a knife, being careful not to cut right through. Starting on this edge, roll the sponge up in the greaseproof paper. Leave to cool.
- Prepare your buttercream by creaming the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, before adding the cocoa, vanilla and milk. Mix until combined. If your buttercream feels a little thick, add another tbsp of milk.
- Once cool, unroll your sponge and spread the inside with about 1/3 of the buttercream. Re-roll the sponge, leaving behind the greaseproof paper and sit the sponge seam down.
- Cut a section off at an angle and attach to the side with some buttercream to create the log shape. Spread the sponge with the remaining buttercream, finishing with a fork for a bark-like effect. Decorate as desired with things like fondant holly leafs, pine cones and even a robin. Dust with icing sugar before serving.