Hairy Bikers’ chocolate Yule log recipe

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serves: 8 - 10
Skill: medium
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 25 min
(plus cooling and chilling time)
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  • The Hairy Bikers' chocolate Yule log is truly scrumptious: a light fluffy chocolate Swiss role covered in delicious chocolate icing and sprinkled in 'snowy' coconut, it couldn't be more Christmassy.

    The Hairy Bikers chocolate yule log is just the best. Yule log is an fantastic alternative to a Christmas pudding or can be made as a Christmas Eve treat – no-one will be able to resist your show-stopping cake!

    This Yule log recipe will take around 55 mins to prepare and make and serves between 8-10 people. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days (although we doubt this moreish Yule log would go that long uneaten).

    Dust with icing sugar before you dish up your Yule log for a really lovely snowy-effect. You could also make festive fondant toppers to decorate with too. How about a Nativity scene? Or Santa’s grotto complete with reindeer? The kids will love it, no matter how you decorate your Yule log! Love cooking for Christmas? We’ve got loads more scrumptious Christmas recipes right here.


    • Soft butter for greasing
    • 6 large eggs, separated
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 50g cocoa powder
    • 200g plain, dark chocolate, broken into squares
    • 200g icing sugar
    • 200g butter, room temperature
    • 2 tbsp Camp chicory and coffee essence
    • Fresh holly leaves or leaves made from ready-to-roll coloured icing
    • Icing sugar or desiccated coconut


    • Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a 23 x 33cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment, grease with a little butter and set aside.

    • Put the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk with an electric beater until thick and creamy. Sift the cocoa powder over the egg mixture and whisk in thoroughly. Wash and dry the beaters and whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold a third of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture, then gently fold in the rest until evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the tin and spread gently with a spatula. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until well risen and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.

    • Remove the cake from the oven, loosen the edges with a round-bladed knife and leave to stand for a few minutes. Place a piece of baking parchment on the work surface, turn the cake onto the parchment and leave it to cool completely – 30–40 minutes.

    • Meanwhile, make the icing. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, but do not allow it to set. Put the icing sugar in a food processor, add the butter and blitz until smooth. Add the coffee essence and 2 tablespoons of melted chocolate, then blend until smooth. Make sure the chocolate is cool, or it will melt the butter.

    • Take just over half the icing mixture out of the processor and put it in a bowl to use for the filling. With the motor running, slowly add the remaining chocolate to the icing mixture in the processor and blend until smooth. This will be used for icing the cake.

    • When the cake is cool, trim off the crusty edges. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread the filling over the cake, taking it right to the edges. Starting at one of the long sides, gently roll up the sponge, keeping the first roll fairly tight so it forms a good spiral shape. Spread the icing evenly over the cake and drag a fork through it to resemble the ridges on the bark of a tree.

    • Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the icing to set. Decorate your chocolate log with sifted icing sugar.

    Top tip for making Hairy Bikers’ chocolate Yule log

    Decorating the yule log with desiccated coconut gives it an extra Christmassy look

    The best way to roll your roulade cake base is to do so while it's still warm from the oven. By doing this it trains the cake to be able to remember the form when you roll it a second time with the filling. First dust your cake with a little cocoa powder so it doesn't stick to it's new surface, and flip the cake out of the baking tin and onto a tea towel - make sure to leave about an inch and a half of the tea towel on one side. Using the side of the tea towel that extended past the cake, gently and tightly start to roll your cake. Don't worry about the tea towel being rolled up in the cake as you'll soon unroll it to put the filling inside. Let your cake cool whilst in its rolled up position for at least half an hour to train it to keep its rolled shape.

    If you want your yule log to look really authentic follow these simple steps. First, glaze your cake with a chocolate buttercream or frosting as thickly or thinly as you like. Secondly, take a fork and drag it across the surface of the icing, creating grooves down the cake - try to vary longer streaks and shorter streaks. This will help to create a bark like texture and your yule log will look much more like a log of wood. You can then dust your cake with a little icing sugar to give the impression of freshly fallen snow.

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