Recipes

gingerbread yule log

Because I’m a restless cook, never interested in making things I already know how to, a couple years ago I challenged myself to turn my favorite gingerbread cake into a roulade. Or, yes, a Yule log.* Five bottles of molasses, two jars of ground ginger, a gallon of heavy cream, several frantic pleas to friends that I had too much Yule log in my apartment and would they please come take some home, and two Christmases later, stop what you’re doing, you are going to love this.


gingerbread yule log

My goal was a holiday baking project that feels festive, looks a little fancy, but where every step is totally doable. You don’t need to have pre-committed to a life of fussiness to make this. You don’t need an elaborate sprinkle collection, gold leaf, piping bags, or a candy thermometer; we’re not even going to separate eggs. The cake is one-bowl, can be whisked by hand, takes all of 5 minutes to make the batter and 8 minutes to bake it. It rolls, unrolls, and rolls again without cracking — I would never lie to you. The filling is just whipped cream because as tempted as I was to make an eggnog-flavored German buttercream filling, I prefer gingerbread with barely sweetened, slightly tang cream. The cranberries are sugared. And the bark? Wait until I tell you about the bark. [Me, to every friend who I texted with yesterday, despite none of them actually asking me about the bark.]

what you'll needwhisk wet ingredientswhisk in flourpour and bakecoat with powdered sugarroll cake, then coolsoak cranberries in simple syrupsugared cranberrieswhip creamspread with whipped creamroll back upmake the chocolate barkchocolate barkadd white chocolate bark

I wanted something a little extra but not, like, tempering chocolate or making meringue mushrooms** extra. Typing “yule log chocolate decoration” into YouTube came through, brilliantly. I melted chocolate chips, spread them thin on a piece of parchment, rolled it up, chilled it until firm (this took about 5 minutes on my pre-blizzard patio yesterday), and then unrolled it and it crumbles in bark-like pieces and maybe it’s just because the bar for “exciting” is a little of low in a season without holiday parties, or maybe, maybe it’s because I’m a dorky person who delights in gleefully simple kitchen things, but this is genuinely the most fun thing I’ve learned this week, and I hope you enjoy it too.

gingerbread yule log

Not cold where you are? This ice cream cake roll could be similarly Yule-d.

* Although I’m so Jewish, I just had to Google the meaning of the word “Yule”
** I made a brown sugar meringue frosting in one audition and torched it, but my absolutely savage 5yo told me it looked like “bird poop on a log” and she was not wrong. Also, we didn’t love the sweetness here.

Previously

6 months ago: Whole Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
1 year ago: Unfussy Sugar Cookies
2 year ago: Falafel
3 years ago: Dutch Apple Pie
4 years ago: Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts
5 years ago: Pull-Apart Rugelach and Tres Leches Cake + A Taco Party
6 years ago: Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix and Gingrebread Biscotti
7 years ago: Eggnog Florentines
8 years ago: Cashew Butter Balls
9 years ago: Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs
10 years ago: Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
11 years ago: Coffee Toffee
12 years ago: Zuni Cafe’s Roast Chicken + Bread Salad
13 years ago: Chicken and Dumplings
14 years ago: Pecan Squares

Gingerbread Yule Log

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print

For a simpler cake, you can skip both the whipped cream on the outside (reduce the cream to 1 cup, the sugar to 1 to 2 tablespoons) and the white chocolate bark, and dust the cake with powdered sugar. If you only have a half-sheet pan (13×18-inch), you can 1.5x the recipe; the baking time will be, at most, 2 to 3 minutes more. Since this will bring you to 4.5 eggs, you can safely bump it up 5 eggs. Don’t like white chocolate? You can use any kind of chocolate here.

Note: You can watch an Instagram Story demo of this recipe here.

    Cranberries
  • 1 cup (200 grams) plus 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (235 grams) water
  • 1 cup (100 grams) fresh cranberries
  • Cake
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (145 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (150 grams) molasses or treacle [updated weight]
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) mascarpone, sour cream, or applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Several gratings or two pinches nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (100 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling
  • Bark
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) white chocolate chips, or chopped white chocolate from a bar
  • Filling and frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) heavy cream
  • Scant 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more to decorate
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) mascarpone or sour cream

Make the sugared cranberries: Bring 1 cup the sugar and 1 cup water to a simmer on the stove, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add cranberries. Let syrupy cranberries chill in fridge overnight, if you have time, or an hour or two, while you prepare the rest of the cake. [I left mine outside at 34°F for an hour.] Drain cranberries (you can reserve syrup for sweetening drinks). Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl and roll cranberries in it. Arrange them on a plate and chill until dry to the touch, about another 45 minutes in the fridge [or 20 minutes outside for me].

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°F and line the bottom and sides of a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan with a large piece of parchment (I used a pre-cut half-sheet rectangle). Dabbing the edges and corners of empty pan with a bit of water can help parchment stay in place. Coat the parchment with butter or nonstick spray.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a whisk or electric mixer, until well-mixed and bubbly. Add brown sugar, molasses, and applesauce, sour cream, or mascarpone and mix again. Sprinkle baking soda, salt, and spices over the batter and whisk thoroughly into batter, giving it several more whisks around the bowl than seems necessary. Sprinkle flour on batter and switch to a rubber scraper to stir. Stir slowly from the center of the batter, drawing in a little flour at a time until all the flour disappears. Scrape bowl well.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 4 minutes; rotate pan 180 degrees. Bake for another 4 minutes, and check for doneness. The finished cake may look sticky and underbaked, but will not move when the pan is jiggled, and a tester inserted into the cake will come out clean or only with a couple sticky crumbs, not loose batter. Return to the oven for 2 minutes more, if needed, [updated] and in additional 2-minute increments until cake is set.

Transfer cake pan to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes. While it cools, grab several things: A second large sheet of parchment paper, a large cutting board or flat tray, powdered sugar, and a mesh strainer to sift the sugar over the cake.

Run knife around between the cake edge and parchment, loosening it. Tilt the pan and gently tug the parchment and cake onto the cooling rack. Sift powdered sugar all over. Put the second sheet of parchment over the cake, and the cutting board over the parchment. With potholder-ed hands, grab cooling rack and board together, and flip cake onto the board. Gently, carefully peel back the parchment on the back of the cake. Sift powdered sugar all over the back of the cake.

Use the parchment underneath the cake to help you roll the cake from the short side into a snug coil and rest seam side down. Let it cool completely in this parchment log; this take a couple hours at room temperature or about an hour in the fridge. [But I chilled mine outside and it took about 45 minutes.]

Make the bark: Melt about 2/3 of the chocolate chips (you can eyeball it) in the microwave — give it 30 seconds, then stir, add another 30 seconds, if needed — or on the stove in a small pot over medium heat. Off the heat, stir in the remaining chocolate chips until melted. This will bring down the temperature of the chocolate so you can use it right away.

Spread chocolate thinly over a large piece of parchment paper — I use the same size I do for the baking pan, a 13×18-inch sheet. Roll it up into a log; I leave about 1 to 2 inches open in the center, for a looser coil — imagine rolling it around an invisible dowel. Chill in the fridge until firm [I sound like a broken record but I put mine on the patio for 15 minutes].

Make the cream: Place heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar (I use the lower amount; I prefer a barely sweetened cream here) in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer — or with a large whisk — until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Whisk in mascarpone or sour cream until it disappears. This adds both a very slight tang and stabilization; the cream will stay thick for days.

Assemble the cake: Gently, carefully unroll your cooled cake. Spread it with about 2/3 of the whipped cream, in an even layer. Carefully re-roll your cake with the cream inside, carefully peeling off the parchment as you do. Sometimes, barely any cake stuck to the parchment. Other times, a bit more did and a scraper helped separate it. Place the rolled cake seam side down on the final serving platter.

Cover cake with remaining cream, leaving ends exposed. Slowly unroll your chocolate bark coil. The pieces of chocolate will separate in long and short curved pieces. Arrange them over the whipped cream to resemble bark. Shower cake with powdered sugar and decorate the tray with sugared cranberries.

Do ahead: Yule log will keep for several days in the fridge. The cake gets a bit softer every day.

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272 comments on gingerbread yule log

  1. sallyt

    I AM *SO* making this for our tiny (4 people) Christmas Dinner! I’ve been looking at a ton of yule log recipes, but I really prefer a non-chocolate variety. I made a Dorie Greenspan gingerbread one a few years ago (featured in the NYT), and it was good, but not show-stopping. I am slightly tempted by your German buttercream suggestion, but I also prefer a slightly less sweet gingerbread cake.

    I’m making your latkes tonight! 3x the recipe, but only 2x the onion. Perfect ratio. Thank you!

  2. Charlotte

    I looked at the photo with the bark and thought that looks way too hard. Then I read the description and it is taking a lot to keep from making bark right now. This looks amazing.

  3. Melissa

    This might be a dumb question, but just to clarify- four minutes and rotate for another four minutes? That seems miraculous, if true. It’s been a long year and I need to clarify most things at this point. Thanks!

      1. CAROL

        I was so excited so see your post, this is the perfect replacement for my epic chocolate yule log fail! Do you think using Bob’s Red Mill 1to1 guten free flour will work as well as all purpose flour?

          1. Sarah in Indiana

            Tart cherries would work perfectly, I think. Other thoughts I had were red currants or frozen cranberries if you can get any of those.

          2. Susie Hanna

            Dianne, can you get kumquats in Melbourne? They’re phenomenal when candied, and you can pop one in a glass of whiskey to sip while you’re making this blessedly simple and scrummy looking yule log. That’s what I’ll be doing here in Toronto, Canada!

        1. deb

          I haven’t tested it gluten-free here, but since the eggs are a big part of the structure, I think it will be fairly forgiving of the flour swap. But please let us know how it goes.

          1. Jess

            Yes, I want to know too. Someone try it GF and report back! I have had good luck with half almond flour/half cup4cup and a reduction in sugar (bc sugar works differently in GF baking and GF flour is sweeter). BUT I haven’t tried rolling a GF cake! :)

            1. Alene

              I found this by googling gluten free gingerbread Swiss role:
              Gluten Free Gingerbread Swiss Roll with Spiced Buttercream
              Source: Sisters Sans Gluten. There are several recipes online.

          2. Heather

            I made this yesterday using Pillsbury’s gluten free all purpose flour blend (which includes xanthan gum). It came out great!
            (did take a little longer to bake, 12 minutes total).
            we found the bark made the whole cake a little too sweet for our taste, but looked lovely.

        2. Alene

          I would like to know too. Sometimes a little extra zanthum gum or psyllium husk powder, like a half a teaspoon, will help hold gluten free baked things together. There’s a very old Gourmet Magazine with a pumpkin roulade on the cover. I should have tried it before I had to be gluten free.

      2. Matt

        To clarify, if I am making the cake in a full half sheet, I only increase the eggs and cooking time or do I need to multiply the other cake batter ingredients? Thanks in advance!

    1. Olga

      I have a 17.25*11.5 inch pan. Should I double the recipe? 1.3? I’m planning to make this for our Russian New Years celebration tomorrow.

  4. MadeleineC

    I noticed the bark immediately, Deb, really! I made chocolate yule logs every Christmas Eve for years and tried multiple ways to make nice bark. None looked as authentic as yours, which I expect can be equally well done with regular chocolate as white. Sadly, however, after years of making yule logs, my family nervously and delicately informed me that they never really liked it all that much and would like to try something else for Christmas dinner dessert, please.

  5. Rachel

    How do you think the flavors would work with a semisweet chocolate bark, in place of the white chocolate? Too much messing with perfection?

      1. Natalie

        Made this for Christmas and it came out so beautifully!! I used cream cheese for the filling because I couldn’t find mascarpone at the store, but I wouldn’t do that next time. I’d get something that mixes in easier. Even with that, and over-whipping my cream, it was a beautiful, tasty, and simple to make stunner! Thanks for this recipe, I’ll use it again and again.

  6. MickyMcK

    With apologies to all you white chocolate fiends out there, I can’t stand the stuff. Can I use the same technique with semi-sweet chocolate chips?

        1. deb

          Yes; keep uncovered in the fridge. It’s good for a few days but the whipped cream on the outside is probably best in the first two. It’s not bad after, but it absorbs into the cake more.

    1. deb

      Yes. I actually made a version where I’d marbled milk and white chocolate on the paper, which can almost give the bark a faux-bois-ish look but prefered pure white here; you could also marble milk and dark chocolate.

  7. Angela

    I literally just baked two loaves of your gingerbread snacking cake this afternoon! This is clearly a project for next week when those loaves will doubtless be gone :) I wanted to clarify the 50g for 1/2 cup of treacle though. The snacking cake uses a full cup which I generally find comes out around 300g. Is this a typo or have I been doing something VERY odd to the other recipe?

  8. Becky K

    The gingerbread description sounds so good but I’m just not feeling the yule log. Thoughts on other forms? Cupcakes? Round cake? Loaf pan? What would be best?

  9. gcc

    Friends of mine have made the Gramercy Tavern’s gingerbread cake and I *loved* it and I’ve also always wanted to make a Yule log, so I’m excited about this recipe!

    Comparing the cake recipe here with the Gramercy Tavern gingerbread one, I see there’s no stout or oil in this one. I’m guessing maybe they didn’t work with the thin cake that needs to be rolled?

  10. ErinAlison

    I’ve made your Gingerbread Layer Cake for Christmas Eve the last couple of years and I already had my husband buy me a bottle of oatmeal stout. This year we can’t spend Christmas Eve with my parents, so I was planning on making two cakes and dropping one off at their house all socially distanced like, but maybe I’ll make them a Yule Log instead! I’ll have to come up with a different decoration because my Dad is allergic to chocolate. How hard to make can meringue mushrooms really be?

    1. Amy L Flexsenha

      Check with your Dad to verify, but I was under the impression that white “chocolate” doesn’t have any chocolate in it. It has cocoa butter though – depending on what his allergen specifically is it might be ok???

      1. Betsy W

        Yes, he could be allergic to the cocoa butter. I was traveling with friends, one allergic to chocolate, could eat chocolate chip cookies occasionally but given a white chocolate bar (my other friend saying, it’s not really chocolate) and she was sick as a dog!

  11. Libby W.

    My cross to bear in this life is that my husband is allergic to chocolate (even white). I know something will be lost if I leave it off, but I’m guessing it would still taste great — what do you think?

  12. Ellen

    I love gingerbread cakes and have been hankering to make a roulade, so this is perfectly timed! Would including and grated fresh ginger throw off the cake too much?

  13. Ali

    Beyond perfect timing. I always make a yule log for December solstice and this year my chocolate adverse partner requested gingerbread, and my white chocolate loving child thought yule log would be the right place to squeeze in some white chocolate. I only recently saw bark like this and was speculating about how its done.
    I will have to adapt to make it gluten free (above family members are celiac), but since most of the structure comes from the eggs I expect any high starch blend will work.
    Thank you for always being a step ahead.

    1. Ali

      Replying to myself to say that I successfully made this GF. I used a blend of flours I often use for cake (rice/tapioca/ cornstarch/ powdered milk). It came out really nicely, cracked a bit on rolling with the filling, but no more than I think a gluten full version would.

  14. Sarah R

    Making a (chocolate) Yule log on Christmas Eve is my favourite Christmas tradition and there’s no way I could skip it, but you just made me into the sort of person who makes two Yule logs!

  15. Joyce Mao

    Thank you thank you for this! My kids and I have been researching yule log recipes for the past few days and nothing seemed to quite fit the bill until this beauty. Can’t wait to try it out.

  16. Caz

    Oh good! I saw this on your Instagram, and went “oooh” and then immediately “ :-( oh but I bet it’s not the Gramercy Tavern one.” So I was very happy to read your 1st paragraph

    In a family that lacks a Christmas dessert tradition, since we all abandoned the Christmas pudding no one actually liked once my Grandma stopped hosting Christmas, your gingerbread cake became ours and it was fantastic.

    Alas, in our pandemic holiday celebration of 3, that now includes a child, I’m not sure gingerbread cake will be on the menu this year. But if it is, I’ll try this one.

    That said, I notice it’s missing the Stout and I was wondering why? I always thought that was a key ingredient to why I loved the original so much.

    Xo

  17. RobynB

    I’m pretty sure this will be my new favorite dessert ever. And it’s gorgeous!!! Thank you! Any idea the consequences of omitting the sour cream and just making normal whipped cream? I like my whipped cream unadulterated.

    1. deb

      I’d keep it uncovered in the fridge. It’s good for a few days but the whipped cream on the outside is probably best in the first two. It’s not bad after, but it absorbs into the cake more.

  18. Marisa

    I need this in my life, but my son is allergic to eggs, even in baked goods for the time being. I have used an egg replacement that uses soy, and it typically does the job. Do you think this would be highly risky? Any egg alternatives?

    1. Karen

      Have you tried using aqua faba ( the liquid from canned chick peas/garbanzo beans)to replace eggs? 1/4 cup per egg being replaced. I baked egg free for years and used aqua faba as a replacement successfullyin some recipe. Silken tofu blended to a puree can also work, again 1/4 cup per egg being replaced.

      1. Coriander

        Really, Deb?! The one time you don’t put a picture link is when your “savage” child says that what you just made looks like “bird poop on a log”?! I can’t be the only one that wants to see that! I’ve been here since the cinnamon swirl pictures, can we please see photographic evidence of the brown sugar meringue frosting? Frosting and child, if possible. Thanks.

        1. Coriander

          Oops. Not where I meant to put the above comment. As long as I’m here, aquafaba is amazing. I thought it would be a weird color and have an aftertaste, but my friend made some cookies with it and they were startlingly white and tasted exactly like meringue! The whip looked like whipped cream and tasted like marshmallow! How well does it whip up when you’re using it in an application such as this?

        2. Rachel

          If I was going to use chocolate (non-white) would you recommend adding some cocoa powder to the whipped cream, for more consistent coloring? Wondering what the right amount would be?
          Can’t wait to try this! Thanks!

  19. Melaura

    If anyone wants to go the German custard eggnog buttercream route, I just made that today, by chance. The cake was SK’s gingerbread layer cake. I frosted it with the custard buttercream from the new classic wedding cake post, but made with half milk and half eggnog, extra nutmeg. Really delicious, and not too sweet for me.

  20. Thea

    I’m making your icecream cake roll for Christmas this year (it’s going to be about 86F in my area of Australia this year!) so I’m excited to try Yule-ing it up!

    1. Thea

      Update – I made it and it was very well received! Made milk chocolate bark but it was melting in my hands as I placed it on (the perils of baking in summer). Didn’t look nearly as pretty as yours but tasted delicious.

  21. Agnieszka

    You write that the cake will be softer with each day, is that good or bad? I’m not sure if I should make this cake the day before or morning of the day we will eat it? It’s for guests so I want to make sure it’s at its best.

      1. Shari

        Thank you! Since we aren’t seeing my in laws for the holiday, I’m going to attempt her traditional buche de noel with her recipe, but your method.

    1. Emily

      I’ve made lemon whipped cream before – I used granulated sugar rather than powdered, and rubbed the lemon zest into the sugar to release the oils and flavor. I would also omit the vanilla, obviously.

  22. Kate

    I’ve read the cake transfer from the pan instructions about 10 times now, and I must have missed something. Loosen the cake and gently tip pan, pull parchment and cake onto cooling rack, so why would you need the hot pan to flip the cake? I’m probably overthinking this. LOL

    1. Emily

      I *think* that’s supposed to say cake RACK, not cake pan. Honestly you could probably do it either way – slip the cake onto the cake rack using the parchment sling underneath, then flip it onto the cutting board, or flip it while still inside the pan. The only thing I can think that advantages removing it from the pan first is ensuring it fully releases. I know this cake can be tricky to get out of a pan so it’s likely she wanted to avoid any tearing if it happened to stick to the pan while upside down.

    2. Susan Robinson

      LOL—I had the same reaction. It must be a typo. By then the cake is out of the pan and resting on a cooling rack, so you need potholders presumably to hold hot cake and invert onto a board.

  23. Beth

    I made this for our holiday lunch and it was fantastic. I made 2 others (a chocolate and a pumpkin one) and the gingerbread was far and away the best of the three.

  24. Julia Hanauer-Milne

    Deb–What will happen if you don’t pre-roll the cake while it’s cooling? When I have made chocolate roll, it was cooled flat.

  25. JP

    Is it difficult to cut through the white chocolate bark, particularly after refrigeration? Would it help to heat the knife briefly under hot water and dry it before each slice? I can just see perfecting that bark and then messing it up when serving! Thank you!

    1. Sue

      My bark was too thick and exactly what you feared happened. I’d use the thinnest possible bark pieces or wait til the cake isn’t refrigerator-cold.

    2. deb

      Yes, it will be tricky to cut through. I’m going to tell you how I cut mine, and it’s definitely insane but it does work: I snipped each piece of bark with kitchen shears where I planned to slice the cake, so 1″ in. It takes about 20 extra seconds and then you slice right down and you have a perfect slice, with bark all over. Fiddly? Yes. But perfect slices and not actually very hard.

  26. Bea

    My kids were watching my face at the moment I saw this post. It went like this:
    Me- “OooOoOooohhh!”
    Kid1- “Uh-oh, she getting ambitious again…”
    Kid2- “Take a deep breath, mommy. Like this.” Proceeds to guide me through deep breathing from a point-blank range so I can’t see the screen through all the noggin. “Ok, now that you’re calm, you can have your screen back.”

    1. Mickey2942

      Bless their little hearts. They have memories sharp as tacks. “Remember when Mama made that gingerbread house that looked like a shack after an earthquake?”.

  27. kasia

    I saw this recipe today and couldn’t help myself. I am in the middle of it now. I just baked the cake. Waiting an hour or two for the cake to cool its a bit too late in the night since it is midnight. I hope leaving the rolled cake outside overnight will not dry it out too much. Have you ever left it overnight before putting the whipping cream inside?

  28. We are making this cake this weekend for a friend who is post-surgery and can’t do her own baking this year. It’s beautiful! Quick question. After the cake comes out of the oven and cools for five minutes, you say “Tilt the pan and gently tug the parchment and cake onto the cooling rack.” So – the cake comes out of the pan and onto the rack, you kind of just slide it over there? We have not made a roll cake before so we are novices! Also, I only have small cooling racks so we will slide this onto a big cutting board. Hope that works!

    1. Update: BEST CAKE EVER!
      We made this yesterday. I figured out the flipping thing. I did indeed kind of scooch the cake onto the cooling rack, put parchment paper on cake, put cutting board on parchment paper, be brave, flip entire thing over. Worked great. We cooled everything on our snow covered porch. Our post-back surgery friend is going to be SO happy! We did “trim” the ends off the log so we had two slices for us – omg, SO good. SO good. And this was not hard at all. Thanks for a great recipe!

    2. deb

      A cutting board should be fine. And yes, you just slide it out by the parchment. Cakes like this are bendy (so they can be rolled) and can handle a bump.

        1. I think this would work fine. The bark, the cream, and the cranberries can definitely be made separately. I think if you made the cake and rolled it up, you could probably wait a day or so to unroll and assemble it.

    1. MJ

      My similar question: I am thinking of making the cake and maybe the bark on Christmas Eve and leaving them rolled in the refrigerator overnight, then doing the cream, assembly, and eating it on Christmas Day. Will that work?

  29. Mary Siegel

    May l make the cake two days in advance and ice the day I serve it? I’m trying to avoid as much last minute as possible!! Thank you.

  30. Clara

    Dear Deb,
    This sounds and looks wonderful, and I love gingerbread. Can hardly wait to try it.
    However, I really wish you would give us an eggnog-flavored German buttercream
    recipe. I love eggnog almost as much as gingerbread.
    Happy Holidays, Clara

  31. Beth

    I just measured a 1/2 cup molasses and starting pouring it into the eggs… I got to 83 grams when I was only halfway through the measuring cup… any advice?? Thanks!

  32. Sydney

    Hi Deb/other bakers! How would you go about adding eggnog to the filling/frosting? Would subbing some of the heavy cream for eggnog work?

  33. Robin

    Can you translate the brown sugar and molasses into white sugar and blackstrap molasses? I usually use this combo to replace brown sugar. Thanks!

  34. Julie

    Hi Deb, I want to make this but where is the “print” button? Lazy me…I have to copy and paste :( Thank you for this recipe – it looks amazing! And that white chocolate bark technique – genius!

    1. Becky

      For me, the print button is down at the bottom right before the comments. Deb has pictures of a few recipes related, then there’s a See More and Do More. Printer icon is second from the right by Do More I hope that helps!

  35. Kelley Engelbrecht

    I’m so excited about this – I’m also trying to plan with ahead with a birthday on the 22nd and (super safe post 14 day quarantine) travel on the 23rd. If i made this tomorrow, the 21st, will this be totally soggy on the 24th?

    1. Kelley Engelbrecht

      oops! I saw that it could be kept uncovered in the fridge for a few days. I might do that, with the whipped cream filling on the 21st, then wait to frost and decorate with the chocolate, the night of the 23rd.

  36. Sarah

    I made the cake part just the other day. I was nervous as I’ve never attempted a rolled cake before. It turned out perfectly! Very easy and quick to bake. Your recipe describing the rolling process was just right. I used an eggnog pastry cream to fill and a chocolate cinnamon ganache to finish and made some very cute marzipan mushroom to decorate.

  37. Betsy

    The same day you posted this, I found out my daughters (9th graders) had to make a buche de noel for French class. I sent them the link and they made it today. It’s beautiful and was so easy to roll! I can’t wait until after dinner to taste it. :D

  38. Sue

    YUM! Just ate this and my daughter’s comment was “tastes like Christmas!”

    I made as per the recipe and used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of white. The only tip I have is to make sure your chocolate bark is as thin as possible. I made mine too thick so when I went to slice and serve the log, it crushed the spiral role shape. I also served it cold straight from the fridge so maybe if I’d been patient and let it sit out a bit the chocolate would be softer and easier to cut through.
    I will make this again – delicious and a straightforward recipe. My first roll!

    1. deb

      No, it’s not rich enough. I did do a version where I tried to apply eggnog flavors to the cream — brandy, nutmeg, a little brown sugar — but it didn’t come through strongly.

  39. Lindsey

    Could I use the chocolate cake roll from the ice cream roll but do everything else according to this recipe? My husband doesn’t love gingerbread, and he’s offering to make it LOL!

    1. Alene

      Go way up to the top of the comments. Somebody used Pillsbury gf flour and it worked, somebody used their own blend (see Ali’s comments), and I found a recipe for the same cake gluten free at: Gluten Free Gingerbread Swiss Roll with Spiced Buttercream
      Source: Sisters Sans Gluten. I just found their site, and it looks pretty good.

  40. Becky

    Deb, oh my gosh, this was amazing! I’ve always been too terrified to try a rolled cake but this year, why the heck not. It baked like a winner, rolled like a winner, the cream came out perfectly and the white chocolate bark?! Stunning. Everything came out perfectly and I am just beaming. No stuck cake pieces, no cracking, and a beautiful spiral (Paul Hollywood eat your heart out!). I am over the moon at how much fun this was to bake and can’t wait for it to grace our little table of 3 this Christmas.

      1. Your rolled photos (from what I can tell) look like the cake is rolled the long length. If I roll this up short side (10×15) won’t this be a HUGE, but short roll-or is the cake so thin that it works?

  41. Oh if I ONLY had this recipe a few days earlier! However, I will make it for New Years! I can’t WAIT! This will be divine w the ham and fixings! Thank you Deb, for all your hard work and wonderful recipes! May the New Year bring all that you hope for and more!

  42. Denise

    Deb, Thank you for this log, I’ve spent way too much time researching then just found this!
    Not clear re bark, “…leaving 1-2 inches open in center” what do you mean?
    Is that a Pillivuyt platter? Very nice size, which one is it, nice for appetizers too.
    Thank you.

    1. deb

      Can’t find a photo now but it’s basically hollow in the center, rather than tightly coiled, as if there is an imaginary, skinny, paper towel cardboard tube in there. It ensures the bark pieces aren’t too narrow. The platter is from CB2 and it’s pale pink (but I also grabbed the brown color and liked the way it looked with this cake).

  43. Making a (chocolate) Yule log on Christmas Eve is my favourite Christmas tradition and there’s no way I could skip it, but you just made me into the sort of person who makes two Yule logs!

  44. Cait

    I made this on winter solstice. I printed the recipe so I didn’t have the benefit of the photos and I didn’t realize that you left the parchment on the cake when you roll it. Luckily it was cooled enough (and had a sufficient layer of powdered sugar) that it didn’t stick to itself and ruin the cake. It turned out quite well! I also ended up with way too much whipped cream which is alright because we are enjoying it in our coffee. Next time I will probably make half as much. Excellent recipe! Thanks for giving me the courage to try my first yule log. :)

  45. Bridgit

    I am SO looking forward to making this for our masked, distance bonfire Christmas bonfire instead-of-church plans. I found a couple tablespoons of cream cheese, thoroughly whipped before adding the cream, also makes a great stabilizer.

    1. Bridgit

      I made the chocolate roll on silpat: I do NOT recommend it. We ended up with much smaller shards, and they worked ok, but next time I’ll do a super thin layer on parchment. On the other hand, an empty flattened cereal bag worked well for the second sheet of parchment (the one the cake is flipped onto, not the one it’s baked on, obviously).

  46. Sarah

    Hi! I’m wondering if I can make the cake, bark, and whipped cream on one day then assemble it the next so it’s freshest when eating?

    Thanks!

  47. Meg

    Thank you for this! It was just what we were looking for, festive and not complicated. We had everything in the pantry except white chocolate so used regular chocolate chips. We made with gluten-free flour and a 1/4t. xantham gum. It turned out great! The kids loved it (ours ended up with a little more powder-sugar snow than yours!). We ate it for the Solstice and read the book The Shortest Day.

  48. Nathalie

    Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for–modest effort, beautiful execution, and (hopefully) pleasing to household members small and large. It’s like you read my mind.

  49. Marie-Luise

    I just made this for tomorrow. Couldn‘t find any molasses or treacle and could not be bothered going into the third grocery Store.
    So i swaped it for honey (70g) and dark maple sirup (30g).
    I think it will be fine. The batter tasted nice 🤞

    1. Agnieszka

      How did it turn out for you? I also didn’t have molasses and substituted with maple syrup (which I do with other recipes) and unfortunate the cake was like plastic. The whipped cream and chocolate on top (I used dark chocolate which had beautiful contrast with powered sugar) were delicious, but the cake itself was uneatable. Really a shame as I made it for company, and it looked so good so the expectations were high.

  50. Sarah

    If I cool my cake as a spiral overnight and decorate the next day, is it better on the counter or the fridge? Or just make the whole thing the day before?

    Also- my jelly roll pan keeps warping in the oven, I guess it’s time for a new one but in the meantime, shave off some cake or just add extra frosting in that side to keep it from being too lopsided?

    1. deb

      Counter is fine. Mine is utterly warped — that’s part of the reason I insist we rotate the pan midway, and you can do it more often too. I don’t know how lopsided your cake is, but I suspect it will roll up fine and nobody will know.

  51. Aurore Labenheim

    I just finished making it, and I’m very happy with the result!! I followed the recipe to the T for the cake and the whipped cream, and it was perfect. I was able to roll the cake, unroll it, nothing sticked to the paper, it didn’t break – PERFECT! 8 min in my oven. For the bark, I went the dark chocolate route because it’s all I had on hand, and it looks pretty as well. The trick works the same! I decorated with slices of dried oranges, hazelnuts, little branches of pine tree, it’s a winter wonderland. If you hesitate to do it, don’t! You won’t regret it

  52. Marielle

    I think I over beat mine and it’s super light like a sponge cake. It currently cooling in the fridge. I’m planning on serving it tomorrow night, can I keep it rolled up overnight and put the whipped cream on it tomorrow? I’m worried it will get too wet/soft if I do it in advance.

  53. Katherine

    Hi, love your recipes! Do you have any suggestions for making this at high altitude (around 7000 feet)? I tried it today and while the cake tasted delicious, it did not cook well. Thanks!

    1. Christine

      We also live at 7000 feet, and just finished baking it. It came out great! No guarantees, but here’s how we changed it. We used 5 eggs, and whipped the whites separately. We cut the dark brown sugar to 1/3 cup. The other ingredients and method were all the same, even baking soda. We folded in the egg whites at the end. We cooked it for 8 minutes at 375 degrees. It filled up the pan (ours is a jelly roll) pretty high, so make sure your parchment or greasing goes all the way up the sides. It worked! Haven’t filled it yet, but that’s the easy part.

  54. Harper Wayne

    Hi! I have been so excited to make this tomorrow for Christmas Eve dinner. I saw that it calls for a 10×15 jelly roll pan which I didn’t have, so I ordered this one:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015CQZK4C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    However now that it’s arrived I realize that despite being advertised as 10×15 inches, it’s actually 10×15 outside and only 8.5×13 on the inside. Will this work? Is this what you meant when you said a 10×15 inch pan? I am so sad that I might not be able to make it tomorrow :(

  55. Laura

    For the molasses, should it be regular molasses or “black strap?” The interweb in all of its wisdom says treacle is most like blackstrap, but most ginger bread recipes call for traditional molasses . Thank you !

  56. Kathleen

    For anyone worrying and checking the comments as they bake this morning – my cake needed about 5 extra minutes instead of 2 (very jiggly) and it rolled just fine without breaking. I also likely overmixed it because my mascarpone just would. not. blend in at first. The batter tasted wonderful either way :-)

    I recommend using a knife to spread the white chocolate on the parchment paper. Really get in there and spread it. I used a spatula and mine seems a bit too thick, not sure how it will break.

  57. Chayah Lichtig

    I am currently having a total fail with the cake part!! I didn’t have a jelly roll pan, so I used a 10×15 glass lasagna pan. The edges are cooking, but the middle is still a puddle!! Sigh.

    1. deb

      Cook it another minute or two longer until it sets. In the future, it can be better to bake at a lower temperature with glass, about 25 degrees. Hope it all still works out! (I bet it will.)

  58. Luke S

    This took much longer than 8 mins to bake at 350o. I would say closer to 14-15 mins. It seems to puff up a bit and suddenly sets firm. Persevere it will cook eventually.

      1. Gerrie

        Me three! Took at least an extra 5 min and then turned out perfect. No cracking when rolling. Also my filling squished out all over when I rolled it leaving only the center filled but it still tasted extraordinary. I think I tried for too tight a roll. Oh well. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

    1. Vanessa

      Argh i baked for 13 minutes and the cake was”jiggly” but passed the toothpick test… however it is a gooey mess now that it has cooled. It didn’ rise either. Is it my baking soda????

      1. Yelena

        Same thing happened to me. Was totally jiggly at 8 mins, but rose a lot. Several extra 2 min intervals later, it fell flatter and seemed ok. I rolled and cooled it. When it came to unrolling and frosting, it was very sticky and I had to really scrape it off the paper. I think the problem was that I used 3 medium sized eggs instead of large. Should have added an extra egg.

        1. Greg

          I cooked this tonight. When unrolling for the final assembly, the first half unrolled with no problem, but the second half was quite sticky and impossible to work with. It still tasted delicious, but did not have quite the perfect look or tight roll I would have liked. I think it needed a few extra minutes of baking time, but would appreciate any other ideas.

    1. Viv

      We made this for Christmas morning – easy with the great directions (and no problems cooling the rolled cake on the counter overnight before filling it in the AM). We swapped the whipped cream for cream cheese frosting, so the effect was similar to sweet roll but so much simpler to create.

  59. Jess

    I made this GLUTEN FREE by using 2/3 the brown sugar and using Cup4cup flour plus 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum. It baked in about 11 minutes. It tastes and looks good and behaved well for rolling. 😅 It’s a tiny bit springy but that’s to be expected. Looks super yummy and not hard!

  60. Carrie

    Oh god, just realized I lent out my jelly roll pan and I don’t have enough ingredients to scale up to half sheet. Can I do the cake in a quarter sheet (9.5×13) or will it be too thick to roll?

  61. Ingrid

    Just finished making this and have a couple of notes… First, I would highly recommend sifting your flour before adding it to the batter. Mine had a bunch of little lumps that were not removed by the careful incorporation of the flour into the liquid components. Second, I had a much easier time creating bark pieces after i froze the rolled up chocolate for about 5-10 minutes. After that,as I unrolled the parchment it basically shattered off in lovely shards. Work quickly to stick them on while still cold and unroll over another piece of parchment to catch the shards. It looks gorgeous – so looking forward to having it for Christmas dessert!

  62. Rachel

    I made this for our tiny Xmas Eve dinner and it turned out perfect—but I’m curious for thoughts on bake time, if anyone else had this issue: my sponge took about 15-16 minutes to reach the non-jiggly stage. I double-checked the recipe and it doesn’t look like I miscalculated anything (was working in grams for the larger measurements). My oven is otherwise pretty regular. Could it be older baking soda? Anyone else find this to be the case?

    Thank you for a gorgeous holiday recipe!!

    1. deb

      It’s not just you. It seems to be taking longer for a lot of people — I will update the recipe to note it. I’d still rather everyone check at 8 and 10 minutes (mine have taken 8, 8, 8, 10, 10 in five tests!) because it’s better to check early than overbake it.

  63. Madeline

    This was a hit! I used King Arthur’s Measure for Measure flour replacement, for a gluten-free version, and also subbed in Greek yogurt for the sour cream/mascarpone. It was delicious! The cake was soft and required a few more minutes in the oven–I did 3 but probably could have done 5 or 6, on top of the 4-and-4 in the recipe. But it rolled up beautifully and the mildly tart frosting was perfect! Definitely making this one again.

  64. Soña Garcia

    This was the perfect cake for our family Christmas celebration. The benefit of a smaller gathering (or none) is a perfectly small but beautiful cake. This took close to 15 minutes for me to bake but the rest worked out exactly as written. And it looks amazing.

  65. Sara

    This was so fun! And way easier than I thought it would be. I upped everything by 1/3 for the 12″x16″ (ish) pan I had, but I think 1.5 would have been fine (it was really thin at the edges). Used maybe 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar and probably not that much honey (no molasses), and it’s not very sweet but it works. And it rolled like a dream (and I’ve never rolled cake before!). Thanks, Deb! And Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating!

    1. Emily

      I used frozen blueberries and it “worked” in that they were delicious and pretty, but they are so much soggier and more fragile than cranberries that they seeped a bit of purple juice onto the platter.

  66. P

    Perfect Christmas dessert! I originally saw a recipe for a Gingerbread Buche de Noel on the NYT that I wanted to make but the recipe seemed way too time consuming so I searched around and found this one instead. Everything was very straightforward and the end result is beautiful, especially with the white chocolate. I sprinkled a little pecan brittle on top when I served the slices which I high recommend. The cake is just as good the next day.

  67. S Russo

    Made this as a 1/2 recipe for 2 of us…3 nights of amazing dessert. The cranberries are perfect. Took an 1/4 sheet pan, added some rolled-up aluminium foil to the long edge to take out 2-3 inches, and lined the rest with parchment paper. Baked a touch faster than the recipe, but not much. Other than that, followed the recipe exactly, but halved. Highly recommend!

  68. I think this is a lovely, lovely idea–it’s sitting in the fridge right now for our Christmas dinner later on. I would issue one warning: Be sure, if you live in high altitudes (I live in Denver) that you make the requisite adjustments, most importantly cutting down on the baking soda, probably by half. I forgot all about this and ended up with a sheet of gingerbread candy-like stuff that is going to taste great but isn’t really cake. Because this is so thin and flat, it’s easy to overlook that it is, indeed, a delicate cake that needs adjustment. Also, I found that it worked better to just go ahead and use a separate bowl to whisk together the dry ingredients. I understand the desire to be able to call this a one-bowl recipe, but I just never trust my abilities to mix in small amounts of dry ingredients evenly. That said, I think this is going to be a huge hit.

    1. Jennifer

      Interesting, because I just made it yesterday in Boulder, and didn’t adjust anything — and it turned out lovely and gingerbread-y.

  69. Casey

    Deb, this was fantastic. Thank you for, as ever, being the patron saint of joyous, delicious, executable-by-mortals holiday meals. The “training” for the rolled shape is ingenious.

    Rather than doing a classic 1:1 simple for the cranberries, we halved the sugar in that step, while using the specified 1/3 cup for rolling. We found them pleasantly sweet while still tart enough to balance the sweetness of the rest of the cake.

  70. MJ

    Made the cake (took about 11 minutes to bake) and chocolate yesterday, left the cake rolled up on the counter and the chocolate in the refrigerator overnight, then finished it today. Used some plastic (!) holly as a garnish since we didn’t have cranberries. Pretty and delicious, plus not hard to make. I couldn’t get the chocolate to roll very well, but the flattish roll that I achieved worked fine. I used 2 T of sugar in the cream but next time might use the lower amount and maybe add a little more sour cream. Thank you, Deb!

  71. Abby

    This was exceptional. Ours took 14 minutes to bake through. It is beautiful, tastes delicious, and was a fun Christmas project to make with my dad. Thank you thank you!

  72. Sarah

    Made this over the course of yesterday and today and it was the best dessert I’ve had in a long time. Some changes that I made and things I’ll do differently next time (there WILL be a next time):

    – I used Bob’s red mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour and it was still amazing.
    – I added a little more sour cream than the recipe called for since GF can dry things out.
    – I didn’t rest the batter before baking which I usually do for GF baked goods cause I forgot but it didn’t need it.
    – I didn’t have a jelly roll pan so used a similar sized but way deeper roasting pan.
    – I greased the crap out of my parchment
    – the batter was so liquidy I was convinced I did something wrong but it was right!
    – it will feel like this cake will never cook and even when it’s done, it doesn’t look done. Just trust Deb and bake it until it doesn’t jiggle. My oven runs a little cold I think and GF flour probably affected my baking time but it took my cake almost twice as long as the recipe. I literally checked it every 2 minutes.
    – I left the cake rolled and UN-filled in the refrigerator overnight and it was still easy to work with. One small crack when I re-rolled it after filling but NBD.
    – next time, like in a couple of weeks, I will skip the white chocolate and cranberries and just fill the cake with cream and that’s it. Cause that’s all it needs and it’s perfect. I love white chocolate and cranberries but found myself picking them off of this because I just wanted cake and cream. BTW I went with the higher amount of sugar in the cream and have no regrets. Thanks for the great recipe Deb!

  73. Roxanne

    Decided to make this last minute and so glad I did! I didn’t preroll at all, just let it cool, spread the whipped cream on and rolled it on up flawlessly. I did use bread flour, more stretchy gluten, so maybe that’s why. I didn’t have white chocolate, so instead of bark I drizzled some of your butterscotch sauce that I made recently (ALSO SO GOOD) and made swoopy swirls with the back of a spoon. The butterscotch/whipped cream made a pretty marbled effect. Yummm! Xoxoxo

  74. Emily

    Well, that was a lot of fun and looks gorgeous too. Taste is phenomenal. It was relatively easy for me, even as a very amateur baker! I didn’t have cranberries because the store was sold out, so I used blueberries and they didn’t really work the same because they’re soggy. They still looked beautiful though. I put some pieces of juniper and the blueberries around the log and it was just so pretty.

    1. Tariqata

      I think I may have had either a user error or an oven mishap in making this – the cake took twice as long as specified to get to a non-jiggly state, and then I may have rolled it up too quickly although I did wait five minutes for it to cool. It was very sticky and gooey and almost seemed melted – but it was fabulous and festive tasting goo, so I persevered and made a messy roll for my little family of four. I will try it again and keep trying to figure it out!

  75. Jennifer

    For some reason, this merged in my head with Ottolenghi’s roulade/swiss roll recipe in the New York Times last week, so I made your cake and the whipped cream/sour cream filling, but also added a bunch of thinly sliced apples that I’d stewed gently and simply (I think ginger would’ve worked with the apples, but figured I’d try not to further complicate the flavors). The combination, with the cranberries on top, was simply amazing. Thanks!

  76. andreaborn

    Beautiful and delicious! Subbed nonfat greek yogurt + a little butter for the mascarpone option. It baked in 8 minutes and rolled beautifully despite being puffier in parts and thinner elsewhere. Used only 1C cream (TJ’s shelf stable box) and it was enough; flavored with almond extract and cocoa for color. Semi-sweet bark was great; I sifted powdered sugar on top and decorated with a few sugared frozen cherries and sprigs of rosemary. Basically — use what you have and power through.

  77. Aimee

    I made this today! At the last minute I regretted not doing a yule log and it seemed quick enough. I added mascarpone to the whipped cream though, which was delicious (my usual more fussy chocolate version involves a whipped-cream-and-mascarpone filling, the gingerbread paired with it just perfectly!). Easy and extremely tasty – I delivered slices to our neighbor who asked for the recipe, and I may have to make it again next year.

    I also accidentally burned the white chocolate in the microwave, so I was left with about 3oz un-burned and managed to still make the bark, huzzah!

  78. Lorraine D

    I made this yesterday for Christmas Eve dinner. Absolutely delicious!! Such a light cake, with a barely sweet filling, perfect dessert after a big dinner! Raves reviews from all :)

    1. Jamie

      This was fun to make, easy, festive and delicious! I think next time I’ll skip the white chocolate. Although it was pretty and a great, easy technique, we just don’t like white chocolate so it was picked off and wasted. I’ll have to think about how I can get a bark effect another way. Thanks so much for a fantastic recipe!

  79. Lisa

    I often make a yule log for Christmas dessert, and have experimented with all kinds of cake and filling combinations over the years. This was, by far, the best. The gingerbread cake was perfectly flavourful and paired so nicely with the whipped cream filling. I threw in some sprigs of rosemary with the cranberries and it made a beautiful garnish. Thanks Deb, this is a keeper for sure!

  80. sallyt

    This was delicious! I would do 4 oz of chocolate next time as I had a lot of leftover bark. For the second roll, I’d use a dishtowel rather than parchment – my parchment stuck a lot! Thank you!

  81. LGW

    A stunning Christmas dessert! Thanks. My mom who says she doesn’t like gingerbread thought it was stunning.

    I never follow a recipe exactly — it’s just not my style — so I brushed the sponge in brandy and birch syrup before adding the whipped cream to which I added a little amaretto.

    You are a baking goddess and I worship at your pots and pans.

  82. Claire

    Wow! This turned out truly amazing after I made it on Christmas day. I only had a regular sheet pan so I made 1.5x the recipe and it was perfect. The only trouble I had was there were small chunks of mascarpone after mixing. I spent time before pouring the batter into the pan to get as many out as possible and it didn’t affect the overall cake. Do you have any suggestions for this? Overall though a delicious, moist, and gingery cake! Highly reccommend!

  83. Bonnie

    I made this for Christmas. It was my first roll cake, so I was nervous, but the rolling all went much easier than I expected, and I will definitely make it again. Here is my question–I made the curled chocolate bark and it was very pretty. But, when I went to serve the cake, I realized I either had to try to slice through the curls (which did not go so well) or remove them somehow before slicing and try to reapply to each slice (which seemed really fussy). Any ideas?

  84. Laura

    I made this for Christmas dinner and it was a big hit! I had never made this style before but didn’t have any trouble with the rolling. My cake took the 2 extra minutes in the oven to set, and probably could have stayed in a third to reduce stickiness. I found that the mascarpone didn’t fully integrate in the batter, but there were no lumps in the final cake. Loved the cranberry method – will definitely adopt that as a garnish method. Highly recommend!

  85. Madeline

    I made this for Christmas and it was a big hit. The cake is soft and flavorful – and though I can see the impulse for an eggnog buttercream, I think this basically already tastes like it has eggnog buttercream. So great.

    A couple of notes:
    I had a half-sheet pan, so did the 1.5x version of the recipe. It still cooked in 8 minutes. I used sour cream.
    Like another commenter, I had little bits of flour in the batter. I have seen this cause problems in other gingerbreads, so this made me nervous. But I am also lazy, so didn’t do anything about them, and they didn’t end up being a problem here: the cake is moist (much more than other gingerbread quick breads) and they all dissolved, as they would in a muffin batter. But sifting might be a good option, too – it’s basically like sprinkling, right?
    I made it over two days, adding the chocolate “bark” (really clever and effective!) in the morning. I only made six ounces of chocolate, because I counted incorrectly, and still had enough for the slightly larger cake. I also had more than enough cream.

    Thank you for this recipe! I really needed something festive this holiday season.

  86. Anne Mahoney-Kruse

    This is probably the most spectacular delicious thing I have ever attempted. Will make it a tradition. Don’t skip on the candied cranberries as they off set the decadence.

  87. Ilana

    I adapted this into a black forest Yule log* and it was a.maz.ing. I had never made a Yule log and I am a shit baker, so thank you!!
    *I used cocoa instead of the spices, added preserved cherries into the cream (it turned pink!), used the extra third of cream that would be the topping to make dark chocolate ganache before adding the mascarpone, used milk chocolate for the bark, and drizzled with extra cherries and syrup to serve.

  88. Michelle

    Delicious! Used 1.5 tblsp of sugar in the cream and found this on the sweet side for my taste. Cooked for 8 minutes at 180 deg cels.
    The only thing I’ll change next time will be to spread the chocolate more thinly as the bark was very thick. My first rolled cake – much easier than I thought.

  89. Anna

    As written, this is a very strongly flavored gingerbread. If you don’t love the taste of molasses and don’t love aggressive spicing, it may be worth subbing out some of the molasses with another liquid (more apple sauce or sour cream?) and dropping the spice a bit. My family who truly love whipped cream didn’t mind, but I found the cake overpowering. Also, I definitely had to bake it a couple minutes longer than described, so don’t go strictly by the clock on this.

    1. andreaborn

      For what it’s worth — I used a little more spice than Deb called for (i.e. heaping spoons rather than flat), and my family actually called the gingerbread flavor mild — I would bump them up even more next time. My spices are admittedly on the old side, though.

  90. Catherine Wong

    I made this for my small family of 4 and it was a winner! So much so, it will now be replacing a 30+ year family tradition Christmas dessert.
    I used mascarpone cheese and treacle. I had to cook for nearly 4 minutes longer than the cooking time (but it is an amazingly quick bake, so, no biggie). The bark was delicious and surprisingly simple. It keeps in the fridge well….we finished the last if it today for dessert. Winner all around. Thank you!!

  91. Dee Dee

    Fantastic!

    Made with the help of my two teenage daughters for our Christmas Eve dinner and the result was perfection – in both presentation and taste! Delivered two pieces to the neighbor’s doorstep. Rave reviews!

    My girls plan to make again next year – solo. Thanks Deb!

    -We only ever have frozen cranberries here in Seoul – worked well.

  92. Julie A Armstrong

    Deb, thank you for everything you do! You have been my Monday highlight this year. My cousin and I prepared the Yule cake for Christmas and we hit it out of the ballpark with your recipe!! We have tried different Yule logs and ended up with lots of trifles as a result. Again thank you for your amazing website and for sharing yourself with your readers. I wish you and all of us the best in 2021!

  93. Barb Nies

    I made this for our Christmas celebration, a first time Yule log endeavor. What a showstopper! Mine did take significantly longer to bake, about another 6 minutes. Not sure if this was b/c my jellyroll pan’s “baking surface” was 1/4” smaller 🤷🏻‍♀️ The cake holds well in the fridge but I do not recommend putting on the outer layer of whipped cream in advance as the gingerbread color bleeds into it turning it brown. My family declared this the best tasting cake ever!

  94. Connie

    This yule log was a big hit at my house on Christmas Day! It was easy to make, the instructions were crystal clear, and everyone just loved it! The sugared cranberries were also a hit!

    Though I thought I spread my white chocolate super thin, the long pieces of bark were hard to cut through without shmushing the cake. So i will make them shorter next time.

    Thanks, Deb!

  95. David

    I’ve made a yule log before, but am always excited to try a Smitten version of anything….this was for a tiny 4-person family Christmas lunch & turned out just great. Mine took close to 15 minutes to bake; I was worried that the edges would be overdone, but it was fine. The gingerbread was just delicious. I cheated with Cool-Whip instead of making the filling, but did the white chocolate bark & cranberries, and it was a big hit. There wasn’t a crumb left by the next morning!

  96. Nancy

    I made this on Christmas for dessert and it was delicious. Surprisingly easy and yet beautiful to look at. Like other posters have noted, ours took longer to cook – more like 16 or 17 minutes to get past the jiggly stage. I thought the recipe was perfect as-is; the only change I might make next time would be to up the ginger or add chopped candied ginger to the cake, but I love me some ginger!

  97. Caitlin Van Dusen

    This was amazing. The flavor was perfect. A few tips: I used regular molasses, not blackstrap, which was too robust. I froze the white chocolate bark before peeling it off, for crisper shards. I used a tea towel rather than parchment paper for the inside of the roll. I baked it about 5 minutes longer than suggested. It rolled a little flat but didn’t break.

  98. K

    We made this on the 23rd to eat on the 24th, and not only did it totally hold up overnight, it was delicious and a showstopper!

    We don’t care for white chocolate, so we used semisweet instead, and we used mascarpone throughout, which was AMAZING. The cream tasted like fluffy ice cream. My only edit will be to use less molasses next time – it was borderline too strong for me. But overall, I think this will be a new holiday tradition for us, so thank you Deb!

  99. Hayley

    A fabulous recipe. As promised, not difficult…but would it please like the SK gingerbread layer cake? Oh yes , my family loved this cake – definitely a
    Christmas classic- and friends who missed out on sharing with us are hoping it’s not just for Christmas , but for a post-lockdown meal together. I added some golden syrup in with the quantity of treacle as I always make gingerbread with both. A new favourite!

  100. Jennifer B

    Cake is absolutely delicious! I used sour cream but it deflated too quickly. I’ll use another method to stabilize the whipped cream. Don’t skip the cranberries, they add a lot!

  101. Liz

    Tonight I discovered that this same website’s upside-down cranberry cake (from 2010) is the perfect companion cake to this yule log. It used up the remaining 2/3 of my bag of cranberries. I didn’t have sour cream on hand (required in the upside-down cake), so I substituted my remaining mascarpone and heavy cream for the sour cream, and the exact remaining volume of mascarpone and heavy cream was a perfect substitute by weight for the sour cream. If you’re looking for a way to use up your leftover yule log ingredients, the upside-down cranberry cake is a good place to use them!

  102. Patty

    I made this for Christmas Eve dinner. It was delicious but also so easy to prepare. It was basically foolproof. Thanks Deb for working out the kinks so I can look like I worked so hard making a delectable dessert.

  103. Maggie may

    This was just the BEST!!! So light, fluffy, easy, and perfect. I can’t wait to make every year on Christmas. My first SK recipe and not my last…thank you!!! M

  104. Suzanne

    ugh I sorely wish I had seen this recipe before i attempted a traditional yule log recipe and fucked it up….
    I will be making this next year with my favorite accoutrements: namely pastry cream inside, but made with orange or clementine juice instead of milk (trust me it works and it’s tangy and delicious), with a simple ganache to frost the top. G-d bless Deb

  105. Jenny

    I made this for our small xmas dinner, and it was amazing. Easy-peasy, delicious, fun to make, and beautiful. I did not have the pan sizes called for, or even the substitute. My pan was 17 * 11, so I multiplied the amounts by 1.25 (thanks for including grams and making this easy!) which worked just fine. I also didn’t have icing sugar, so I dusted the cake with superfine sugar and carefully buttered the parchment used for the rolling of the cake. I’m not sure the superfine sugar did anything, but the cake didn’t stick at all. The hands-on time is much less than suggested in the directions. Sugared cranberries are to die for and really cut the sweetness of the white chocolate ‘bark’. I’ll make this again and again.

  106. Jenny

    I made this for our small xmas dinner, and it was amazing. Easy-peasy, delicious, fun to make, and beautiful. I did not have the pan size called for, or even the substitute. My pan was 17 * 11, so I multiplied the amounts by 1.25 and used 4 eggs (thanks for including grams) which worked just fine. I also didn’t have icing sugar, so I dusted the cake with superfine sugar and carefully buttered the parchment used for the rolling of the cake. I’m not sure the superfine sugar did anything, but the cake didn’t stick at all. The hands-on time is much less than suggested in the directions. Sugared cranberries are to die for and really cut the sweetness of the white chocolate ‘bark’. I’ll make this again and again.

  107. Barbara

    I loved the sound and look of this cake! So I made it for Christmas dessert, and served it again on Boxing Day. It looked really pretty and my guests both days reallly enjoyed it. But one of them asked “what kind of cake is this?” And indeed, the gingerbread flavour was just too mild to stand up to the (slightly sweetened) cream and (very sweet) white chocolate and was hard to identify. If I make it again, I think I will up the spices, maybe add some fresh ginger, perhaps add some ginger to the whipped cream, and use dark choclate bark. White chocolate was just too sweet. On a technical note, I found that I had to bake the cake for 16 minutes, not 8, but Deb’s instructions on when the cake would be ready was a real help and the cake turned out fine. And the sugared cranberries were lovely and I will be using them in future desserts. So even though I was slightly disappointed with this one, I always learn something new from you Deb!

  108. Leslie

    Made this for Christmas eve dinner..huge success! I have never done a yule log or even a jellly roll before so this seemed a stretch to me. Your instructions were clear..it went together exactly as you said it would and was delicious. I really love the gingerbread spicing instead of chocolate.

  109. Michelle

    I don’t generally go for ornate desserts but this was worth every second of effort! Thanks to the super clear instructions, it wasn’t actually difficult. I would recommend making this when you have the whole day to be home – it doesn’t actually take that much time, you just have to do things in stages and let elements cool/rest. This was honestly one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever tasted, and certainly the most beautiful I’ve ever made. Thanks so much for a fantastic recipe – I think this will become a new holiday standard!

  110. Melissa

    This came out really well and most importantly, was SO delicious. I made an error the first time and added too much molasses. The cake never quite set in the oven and I realized my mistake so i am saving it for an extra sticky New Years trifle. I made it a second time and it was much better, though had to add some maple syrup to the molasses as my earlier mistake used a lot of it up! I also didn’t spread the white chocolate thin enough the first time and ended up with chunks, rather than bark, so I did that again too with much better results. If you can find fresh cranberries (took me 4 stores) it is well worth the effort as they not only look pretty but contrast nicely with the sweet cake. Thanks for yet another winner of a recipe!

  111. Celia Webster

    Oh … my … goodness! Made this for our NYE dinner and it was outstanding. The cake was moist and perfectly spiced, but its the addition of the tangy whipped cream, cranberries and white chocolate that elevates it to sublime. The minimal amount of sugar in the whipped cream is the way to go … the cake and white chocolate add plenty of sweetness. Like other commenters, I found I didn’t spread the chocolate thin enough which made it difficult to remove. I will use much less chocolate next time, but the leftovers were sprinkled on hot chocolate with whipped cream!

  112. Julie

    I made this to bring to work on Xmas Day, I omitted the cranberries as I didn’t have any I did mix a little cranberry jam that I had made to the filling and used black treacle instead of molasses. This was a hit!
    I’ll definitely make it again

  113. Brianna

    I saw this New Year’s Day after lunch. I realized I had every ingredient in stock (even the whipping cream! A rarity in my house). The cake was chilling on the porch ready to go for dessert before we sat down to dinner. An easy, excellent, elegant cake that the whole household enjoyed! Looking forward to having the last of it at tea (it really does last well in the fridge).
    The only things I didn’t both with were the cranberries and the white chocolate. Just dusted the top with more powdered sugar. Thank you, Deb, for all the testing. It is totally worth it!

  114. d

    This recipe got rave reviews for both taste and appearance and turned out to be much easier than I initially thought it would be (parchment had a much easier time sticking in the pan once I greased it, turned out). Great cake!

  115. tea

    I made this without the cranberries, and using dark chocolate for the bark. The cake, my god, is so delicious. I didn’t spread the chocolate bark thin enough on the parchment: it was heavy and hard to roll, collapsing into a flat, folded sheet of chocolate. Also, it was hard to cut through the thick chocolate bark after the shards were applied to the log. I would just do the cake and whipping cream only in the future, being a lazybones and averse to too much sweetness. Thanks, Deb. It was a fun project. Your flavours always deliver.

  116. Elean

    Baked in my boyfriend’s oven–big mistake! I think the temperature was low by at least 25 degrees. Puffed up, collapsed, still wasn’t done… took at least double the time to cook. Flat, but still spongy.
    We ate every bite.
    Next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll use MY oven.
    I’ll also make half the amount of whipped cream and only fill it, not frost with it. We love the spicy molasses flavor of the cake. (or maybe I’ll just eat the other half of the frosting/filling by itself. SOoooo good)

  117. Lauren

    This was incredible! It both tasted amazing and looked insanely awesome. My only change was making the bark with dark chocolate instead of white (because white is gross). I was nervous that the dark chocolate wouldn’t meld with the rest of the cake but it was fantastic, as were the candied cranberries. Everyone was very impressed with my Yule Log.

  118. Nivedita

    I’d bookmarked this recipe since it was posted. Finally made it for a family birthday and birthday boy loved it. The combination and proportion of spices is spot on – recreated the flavor of my mom’s gingerbread.
    I realized that since I didn’t have the correct pan size, I’d have to go with 1.5xthe recipe. Glad you’d already covered that possibility, saving me calculations and worries. I was really nervous about that much baking soda for so little flour. Thankfully it worked out – no bitter aftertaste from too much soda. I was also nervous about the amount of sugar and in general the ratio of wet ingredients to flour. That worked out too. I was worried about the cake crumbling on me or sticking too much to the parchment. None of that happened. The mascarpone stabilized the whipped cream beautifully. I left off the bark because I was worried it would be too sweet overall and also because I ran out of time. But the assembled cake isn’t too sweet. It’s just right.
    One thing I struggled with a little, was incorporating the mascarpone into the egg-sugar mixture with a whisk. It didn’t mix very well. The other is really my fault for not thinking through – a larger pan yields a longer log. Think carefully how you’re going to store it and preferably, place the log on a piece of parchment before frosting. Then use the parchment as a sling or use to slide frosted log to serving platter or storage container.
    This one’s a keeper! Thanks, Deb!

  119. Helena

    Do you think this cake would work in place of the chocolate in your ice cream cake roll? I really love gingerbread and was thinking it would be the perfect summer birthday cake either with a peach compote or fresh peach slices.

    1. deb

      Oooh! I’ve never thought of this but… I bet it would? Please let me know how it goes because I’d very much like to eat this right now. :)

      1. Helena

        It was great! The texture was perfect and the peach compote went wonderfully. I used a mix of vanilla bean ice cream and pistachio gelato and the pistachio flavour was a bit too subtle to stand up to the gingerbread, but it was wonderful anyway. Definitely will make again.