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Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • Science
  • D & T
  • Maths

Make a yule log

Learn how to make a yule log. Use key maths skills to work on the weighing and timing for this delicious Christmas dessert.

Follow our easy recipe to make a yummy Chocolate Yule Log for Christmas.

This excellent activity for kids brings together baking skills and mathematics and tastes delicious!

What ingredients will you need?

For the chocolate sponge

• 6 free-range eggs – white and yolk separated
• 100g caster sugar
• 35g self-rising flour
• 35g cocoa powder

For the chocolate buttercream

• 85g softened butter
• 175g icing sugar
• 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 1 tablespoon milk

For the filling

• 300ml double cream
• Raspberry jam (optional)
• Extra icing sugar for dusting


Step 1 - Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (°C) /180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Step 2 - Grease the Swiss roll tin.

Step 3 - Line the tin with non-stick paper or baking parchment, pushing it into the corners. (Use a ruler to measure the paper and cut it to size, if it is too big, you’ll end up with a very thin Swiss roll, or if it’s too small, your cake mix might overflow.)

Step 4 - For the sponge, whisk the egg yolks with 40g of the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until they are pale.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until they become soft peaks, then add the remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time. The egg whites should hold their shape as you are doing this.

Then, use a metal spoon to gently fold the egg yolk and egg white mixtures. When combined, fold in the flour and cocoa powder so that all ingredients are combined.

Step 5 - Pour the mixture into the lined tin and spread out evenly into the corners.

Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes, or until well risen and firm to the touch and the sides shrink away from the tin’s edge.

If unsure if it is completely cooked, gently slide a cocktail stick into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready.

Step 6 - Meanwhile, have ready a sheet of greaseproof or baking parchment the same size as before. Lay it on the work surface and sprinkle on some icing sugar.

Step 7 - Turn out (gently tip out) the cake quickly onto the paper and trim away the edges. Place a second sheet of paper on top of the sponge and roll it up loosely using the sugared paper underneath as a guide. If you roll it up, starting with the short edge, you will notice a distinct spiral through the middle of the Swiss roll.

Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack covered in the sugared paper. It is best to do this when the sponge is still slightly warm, as this will prevent it from cracking and splitting, and it also means the sponge is more pliable.

Step 8 - While the cake is cooling, make the buttercream topping and the cream filling.

Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl.

Put the softened butter into another bowl and, using an electric whisk, mix in 1/3 of the icing sugar/cocoa mixture, then another 1/3 along with the milk, and add the final 1/3 until everything is well combined.

This buttercream icing needs to be fairly thick to pipe it. You can do this by hand, using a spoon, but it will take quite a while, and you’ll need strong muscles! Put the buttercream aside for later.

Step 9 - Pour the double cream into a bowl and whisk until it’s fluffy and firm. Careful not to over-whisk, or you’ll get butter!

Step 10 - Uncurl the cold Swiss roll cake carefully and remove the paper. Spread the whipped cream on top and firmly re-roll. But be careful not to squeeze the cream out as you roll! Transfer the rolled cake to a serving plate.

Top tip: Add a layer of raspberry jam to the whipped cream before you roll this up for extra delicious flavours.

Step 11 - Use a palette knife to spread the buttercream along the Swiss roll and create a rough bark texture by running a fork along the length of the cake. If you are feeling ambitious, you can pipe the icing onto the cake – see step 12 below or skip to step 13 if not.

Step 12 – if piping your buttercream
First, slide the nozzle down inside the cone of the bag so that it is sticking out of the bottom.

Then, put the icing bag into a tall glass, and roll the wide top edge of the bag down so that it is being held open by the top of the glass and the narrow part of the cone is hanging down inside the glass.

Carefully spoon the buttercream into the piping bag. Twist the piping bag at the top so the icing doesn’t spurt out when you start to pipe. Hold the icing bag with two hands, keeping one hand at the top to stop the twist from loosening and squeeze the mixture out gently. The other hand should squeeze lower down the bag and guide the nozzle where you want it to pipe.

Pipe long, thick lines along the cake, covering it completely so it looks like the bark of a tree. Cover each end with icing or, if you wish to see the cream, leave it un-iced.

Step 13 - Dust with icing sugar to look like snow and decorate ready to serve.

Download our activity sheets and notes for teachers for free below.

Oh ho ho, and please do share your homemade yule logs with us @IETeducation #SantaLovesSTEM.


Bake a Yule log

Watch how to bake your own chocolate yule log

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