It’s not the holiday season without a lot of chocolate. This Baking Therapy chocolate espresso yule log is a fun way to celebrate the holidays — and it’s surprisingly easy to make. Made with dark chocolate sponge cake and filled with a creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting, this yule log recipe is not only delicious, but it also doubles as a centrepiece!

Yule log finished on platter

Chocolate Espresso Yule Log

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 9 to 12 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 52 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10 pieces of cake

Ingredients:

Yule Log
5 large eggs
⅔ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup icing sugar, for dusting

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
2 ½ cups icing sugar
⅓ cup cocoa powder
4 oz dark chocolate, melted
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp water
¾ cup cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp heavy cream

Yule log ingredients on kitchen counter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line and grease a half sheet pan with a lip (12 x 17) with oil and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, on high speed, whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture has tripled in size, about 5-7 minutes.

Yule log ingredients in standmixer

3 In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

4. Add the flour mixture to the stand mixture and then stream in the melted butter and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared sheet pan, spread the batter into one even layer. Bake for 9-12 minutes until the cake is set and when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Yule log on baking tray

5. While the cake is still warm, run a knife around the perimeter of the pan to release the cake. Dust the top with icing sugar, place a larger piece of parchment paper and cookie sheet over top and invert the cake. Gently peel back the parchment paper. Starting with the longer end, slowly and gently roll up the cake along with the parchment paper until you have a log. Let the cake cool completely as a log, about 2 hours.

Yule log process

6. To make the frosting: sift together the icing sugar, cocoa powder, set aside. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time, set aside. Mix together the espresso powder and water, set aside. In the bowl of stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add the icing sugar mixture in 2 batches, mixing well after each addition, about 1 minute. Add the melted chocolate and espresso mix and mix on high for 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, 1 Tbsp at a time and continue to whisk on high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Related: Festive Yule Logs for Your Holiday Table

7. To assemble: gently unroll the cake and evenly spread on a ¼ inch thick layer of frosting. Slowly roll up the cake again, without the parchment paper this time. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill. Once chill, slice off both ends to create clean edges. To create the yule log, slice off ⅓ of the log, then slice that log in half diagonally. Stagger the half pieces onto the longer log to resemble a branch, attach with a bit of frosting. Ice the entire cake with the frosting, leaving the ends exposed. To create the bark look, run a fork gently over top of the frosting to create ridges. Decorate with sugar-rolled cranberries and rosemary sprigs.

Yule log being decorated

Like Sabrina’s yule log? Try her gingerbread doughnuts or her chocolate eggnog sandwich cookies.