Vanilla yule log cake recipe

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This vanilla yule log cake ticks all the boxes: light as a cloud vanilla sponge, rich booze spiked chocolate filling, and a cheat’s marshmallow frosting.

Vanilla yule log cake
(Image credit: TI Media)
Serves8–10
SkillMedium
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins plus cooling
Cost RangeCheap

This vanilla yule log cake is a beautiful and tasty twist on the all chocolate original, with a vanilla sponge and sweet marshmallow frosting on the outside. 

This gorgeous bake serves 8-10 people and makes a beautiful pudding after a Christmas feast, or a great alternative Christmas cake to serve up at tea time. Use whatever liqueur you fancy for the chocolate filling, but we think Amaretto, rum, or brandy work particularly well for the festive season. The flavours are a reversal of the classic yule log recipe (opens in new tab), so that it's snowy white on the outside and richly chocolatey in the middle. To make this festive cake, you’ll need around 30 mins to prep, and an extra 15 mins to bake it, and cooling time.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 55g plain flour
  • 55g ground almonds
  • ½tsp baking powder

For the filling:

  • 150ml double cream
  • 200g chocolate, melted
  • 2tbsp liqueur (pick your favourite)
  • 2tsp vanilla paste

For the frosting:

  • 125g Marshmallow Fluff
  • 150g full-fat cream cheese
  • Cocoa, to dust

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 20x30cm Swiss roll tin.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar with an electric hand whisk for 3-4 mins, until thick and pale – it should leave a trail when the beaters are lifted from the mix. Sift in the flour, almonds and baking powder, then fold in gently. Spoon into the tin, smoothing the surface. Bake for 12-15 mins, until golden and slightly springy to the touch. Cover with a tea towel and leave to cool.
  3. Whip cream to soft peaks, add melted chocolate, booze and 1tsp vanilla and whisk to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the Marshmallow Fluff, cream cheese and rest of vanilla.
  5. Turn the cake out onto a large sheet of baking paper, dusted with icing sugar, peel off the cooking paper. Spread with the chocolate cream, leaving a 3cm margin along one of the short edges, then roll up gently from the opposite edge, using the baking paper to help you. Transfer to a serving plate. Dollop over the cream cheese frosting, smooth with a knife then use to create a bark effect on the surface. Dust with a little cocoa powder and serve, or chill for up to 24 hrs, loosely covered.

Top tips for making this vanilla yule log cake

How do I stop my yule log cracking as I roll it up?

Don't overmix the batter as it can lead to a bad rolling texture. Also, don't let the cake cool down too much before you roll it, as that can cause cracking. Don't worry if it cracks a little on the outside - this will be covered by the topping anyway. 

The sponge has split - how can I fix it?

Don't worry too much if this happens. Don't forget the finished cake will be covered in Marshmallow Fluff, which you can use to deftly cover up all sorts of little mistakes. Use the filling to roll the cake as best you can, then cover with the topping. By the time you're slicing in, people will be too excited about eating it to notice little mistakes.

What is Marshmallow Fluff and where can I buy it?

You can find Marshmallow Fluff in major supermarkets or on Amazon. You can use the cheat's marshmallow frosting to add a festive twist to everything from brownies to cookies.

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Rosie Hopegood
Recipe Editor


Rosie Hopegood is a former professional chef turned journalist with a passion for veggie food. She spent several years working as a chef aboard superyachts, catering for the culinary demands of the very rich and sometimes famous. She also worked as a private chef in the Swiss Alps, the Scottish Highlands, and the Balearic Islands. Later, she spent five years looking after the food pages at Reach Plc’s magazines. Rosie lives in New York and writes for Al Jazeera, Sunday Telegraph, and The Guardian.