The Yule log is a classic Christmas bake, but this roulade is often all about the look rather than the taste, meaning it can be overly sweet.
For this version, we’ve cranked up the Christmas and given it some festive spice, a brandy butter filling and a chocolate truffle icing so it looks great and has plenty of flavour.
10 tips for the perfect Yule log
1. Flourless sponge makes it extra light
2. Thinner base for a defined spiral shape
3. Brown sugar gives a toffee flavour
4. Christmas spice for interest
5. Use the best cocoa
6. Brandy butter filling for festive cheer
7. Chocolate truffle icing for decadence
8. Decorate with white chocolate leaves
9. Add snow and sparkle with icing sugar and lustre
10. Make ahead for pure ease
Using a flourless sponge base keeps your Yule log extra light and airy. If you use a pure cocoa powder, the sponge also becomes gluten-free.
2. Thinner base
We’ve made the sponge base thinner than the average roulade so you get more of a spiral shape running through the middle.
3. Brown sugar
We’ve gone with light brown soft sugar as our main source of sweetness to give the log a bit of toffee flavour.
4. Christmas spice
To give the log some festive flavour and stop it being one dimensional, we’ve added some warming mixed spice and powdered ginger.
5. Not all cocoa is equal
Cocoa powder can differ hugely in quality, from powders that are more like drinking chocolate (with the addition of icing sugar and cornflour) to pure cocoa powder. The pure variety will give you the best flavour and colour.
6. Brandy butter filling
To keep with the theme of Christmas desserts, we’ve made a buttercream filling inspired by brandy butter. Rum or whiskey would work just as well in place of the brandy.
7. Truffle coating
For extra decadence, we’ve coated the log in the same rich chocolate mix you would use to make chocolate truffles.
8. White chocolate leaves
While these are an optional extra, they’re really easy to make and help add to the winter woodland theme. Use bay or organic rose leaves, and if you have time, a double coating of chocolate will guarantee it easily peels away from the leaves.
9. A festive dusting
A light dusting of icing sugar gives a snowy effect, and you can add some shimmer by using edible gold lustre, if you like.
10. Get ahead
There are enough last-minute things to do at Christmas without having to knock up a chocolate cake, which is why this Yule log can be made up to two days ahead and kept in the fridge.
See the full recipe for our next level Yule log.