Christmas cake is a traditional seasonal treat – and here’s how to make a gorgeously boozy one – but not everyone is fond of that festive favourite.

For those who prefer something a little different, Mary Berry’s yule log might be the dessert for you over the holidays.

BBC Food shared how to make the beloved baker’s tasty chocolate dessert in nine easy steps. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and between 10 and 30 minutes to cook, so will be on the table in no time.

Mary Berry’s recipe serves eight to 10 peckish guests, so is perfect for if you’re hosting family or friends.

BBC Food said: “Mary Berry shows you how to make a foolproof chocolate yule log a.k.a Bûche de Noël. It’s utterly delicious and a perfect alternative to Christmas pudding!”


For the chocolate sponge

  • Four large free-range eggs
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • 65g/2½oz self-raising flour
  • 40g/1½oz cocoa powder

For the chocolate ganache topping

  • 300ml/½ pint double cream
  • 300g/10½oz dark chocolate (around 35-40% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces

For the cream filling

  • 300ml/½ pint double cream, whipped

To decorate

  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • A toy robin or sprig of holly


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas six. Lightly grease a 33x23cm/13x9in Swiss roll tin, and line with non-stick paper or baking parchment. Push it into the corners to cover the whole surface.

2. For the sponge, whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl using an electric hand whisk. The finished mixture should be pale, light and frothy. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and cut and fold together using a spatula. This is done when the cocoa and flour are incorporated. When you’re doing this, be careful not to beat any air out of the mixture.

3. Pour the mix into the lined tin and spread out into the corners. Pop it in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for eight to 10 minutes, or until it is risen and firm to the touch. The sides should shrink away from the edges.

4. Place a piece of baking parchment bigger than the Swiss roll tin on the work surface. Dust with loads of icing sugar. Carefully turn the cake upside down onto the paper and take away the bottom lining paper.

5. Cut a score mark 2.5cm/1in in along one of the longer edges. Starting here, tightly roll up the sponge using the paper. Roll with the paper inside and sit the roll on top of its outside edge to cool.

6. Let the cake cool and make the ganache topping in the meantime. Heat the cream in a pan, but not so much that you wouldn’t be able to keep your finger in it. Take it off the heat and add the chocolate, then stir until melted. Set it aside to cool to room temperature, then firm it up in the fridge. Do this so the icing is thick enough for piping.

7. Once cool, uncurl the Swiss roll and take away the paper. Spread the whipped cream on top, and re-roll again, making sure it’s rolled tightly. Slice a quarter of the cake off from the end on the diagonal. Transfer the bigger bit to a serving plate and angle the cut end in to the middle of the large cake to form a branch.

8. Put the chocolate icing into a piping bag and fit with a star nozzle. Pipe long, thick lines over the cake lengthways so it looks like the bark of a tree. Depending on how you want your roll to look, cover each end with icing or leave un-iced. Or, you can use a palette knife to spread on the icing and use a fork to create a bark texture.

9. Sprinke over some more icing sugar and garnish with fresh holly or a little robin – anything festive (and clean).