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Black Forest Yule Log
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5 from 7 votes

Black Forest Yule Log

Naturally gluten free, this Black Forest Yule Log is the classic combination of chocolate, black cherries and Kirsch all wrapped up in rustic Christmas style. This recipe is for a 20cm x 30cm (12" x 8") cake pan
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: Worldwide
Servings: 6


For the Cake

  • 4 Eggs - large
  • 100 g/ ½ cup Caster sugar
  • 40 g/ ⅓ cup Cocoa powder see notes
  • ½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Finely ground espresso (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Icing (confectionary) sugar

For the filling & Garnish

  • 1 x 425g/ 15 oz Tinned pitted black cherries in light syrup
  • 2 tablespoon Caster Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kirsch
  • 3 tablespoon Black cherry jam
  • 200 ml/ ¾ cup + 2 tbsp Double (heavy) cream
  • 2 teaspoon Icing (confectionary) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Grated chocolate


Make the Cherry Syrup

  • Drain the cherries and put the liquid in a small, heavy based pan along with 2 tablespoon sugar
  • Bring to a boil over a high heat and let bubble away until the liquid has reduced to ¼ of it's original volume. Meanwhile, cut the cherries in half
  • When the liquid has reduced, add the cherries (along with any extra juice) to the pan. Let boil for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until the cherries have darkened and the liquid has reduced and thicken to create a cherry sauce
  • Take off the heat and drain. Take 2 tablespoon of the syrup and stir the kirsch into the it. Set this mix and the cherries aside to cool completely
  • NOTE: ensure these components are cold before using to fill the cake otherwise the cream will melt

Make the Cake

  • Separate the egg white and yolks - put both into medium sized mixing bowls
  • Add half of the sugar (50g) to the egg yolks
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually add the remaining half of the sugar - a spoonful at a time - whisking well each time
  • Using the same whisk (no need to wash it), whisk the egg yolks and sugar together on high speed for approx 5 minutes until pale, thick and creamy. The mixture should leave a thick ribbon-like trail when the beaters are lifted
  • Sift the cocoa powder, cinnamon and espresso (if using) over the mix and gently fold in
  • Fold in a large spoonful of the egg whites into the mixture to loosen the batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites using a large metal spoon
  • Gently pour into the baking tin and spread to the corners of the pan
  • Bake for 5 minutes at 200C/ 400F/ GM6 then reduce the heat to 180C/ 350F/ GM4 and cook for a further 12-15 minutes until firm and springy. Remove from oven and let cool in the tin for 5 minutes
  • Lay a large piece of baking parchment onto the worktop. Sieve 1 tablespoon icing sugar over the parchment. Carefully turn the cake out onto the parchment (I quickly flip the tin over). Remove the parchment from the cake (taking care not to damage the cake). Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool completely

Assembling the cake

  • Remove the tea towel. Turn the cake so the short edge is facing you and about 1.5cm/ ½ inch in cut a line about half the cake's depth right the way along this short side - DO NOT CUT RIGHT THROUGH THE CAKE
  • Drizzle the Cherry & Kirsch Syrup over the cake - either brush on with a pastry brush or drizzle it on using a dessert spoon.  
  • Spread the cherry jam over the cake
  • Whip the cream until it holds it shape firmly but is not stiff. Set aside enough to pipe 5 rosettes on top of the cake (approx ¼) and spread the rest over the cake
  • Set aside 5 cherry halves and scatter the rest of the cherries over the cake
  • Using the parchment to help you, carefully roll the cake up as tightly as you can - the initial cut will help get things going. When finished, ensure the seam is to the side or underneath
  • Trim the ends of the cake if desired and pipe 5 rosettes of cream on top. Put a cherry half into the centre of each rosette and garnish with a little grated chocolate
  • Just before serving sieve the remaining icing sugar over the cake
  • Keeps in an airtight container for up to 48 hours in the fridge. Bring out 1 hour before serving to take the chill off the sponge


All pure, dark cocoa powders should be gluten-free. If unsure check the package label