Chocolate Log Cake with Nutmeg
This Chocolate Log Cake, flavoured with fresh nutmeg, is my version of a traditional Yule Log. I make one of these cakes every year for Christmas as most of my family members prefer a chocolate cake to a traditional, fruited Christmas cake.
Although it is a great seasonal recipe, particularly with the sweet and spicy flavouring of the nutmeg, I make it all year around. It looks attractive and is much easier to make than you might think. In fact, it is my go-to birthday cake for the chocolate lovers in my family.
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What you need to know about this recipe
This is what you need to know about this easy Chocolate Log Cake recipe.
- This cake cooks in only 10 minutes so it is actually a very quick recipe. However, as with any iced cake, you do need to allow time for the cake to cool down before you add the icing.
- As with any simple recipe, the quality of the ingredients is the key to the final flavour. Make sure that you use good quality cocoa powder and dark chocolate (at least 40% cocoa solids).
- Also, I strongly encourage you to buy whole nutmegs and grate them yourself. You can use a normal kitchen grater to grate off what you need. You don’t need need any special equipment. Whole nutmegs are readily available in most supermarkets and keep for a very long time. The rich, spicy and complex flavour of freshly-grated nutmeg is totally different from ready-grated.
- The process of rolling up (points 10-12 in recipe) and filling the cake (point 13) sounds complicated but is pretty easy. If the cake looks a bit cracked or imperfect it really doesn’t matter. It will be coated in delicious nutmeg-flavoured chocolate ganache which will cover up any imperfections. You can cut off the ends of the cake when it has been iced to neaten it up.
- When you ice the cake (point 14) have a jug of hot water to hand. If you dip your palette knife in this periodically to make it hot, the icing will go on much easier.
Other chocolate recipes
Other Christmas treats
The festive season is a great time to do a bit of baking. I know a few non-bakers who get inspired to bake at this time of the year. I think it is due to maybe having a bit more time available as a lot of people will take a bit of annual leave at this time of year. Also, Christmas is a time when there is a focus on entertaining friends and family. A few home-baked goodies are a great way to get into the festive mood! I have a lot of great baking recipes for easy biscuits (cookies), cakes and desserts.
If you like this Chocolate Log Cake recipe and are looking for more ideas for sweet and savoury Christmas bakes and snacks, you might also like some of these recipes.
- All the best celebrations start with a few drinks and nibbles. Instead of buying ready-made snacks, why not try making crisp and savoury Cheese Biscuits , Spiced Roasted Nuts or Moroccan-style Dukkah? I also have a few more substantial non-baked snacks such as Marinated Feta, Smoked Salmon Pate or Butternut Squash Hummus.
- No festive celebration is complete without some warm and fragrant Mince Pies made with home-made vegetarian Mincemeat. If Mince Pies are not your thing, you might like my Cinnamon Biscuits (Cookies) which are filled with Christmas spices, tangerine and cranberries.
- Some of my favourite festive dessert alternatives to Christmas Pudding include Cranberry Pavlova, Cranberry Ice Cream, Banoffee Pie, Lime Cheesecake and Rhubarb Roulade.
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This easy Chocolate Log Cake, or Yule Log, consists of nutmeg flavoured chocolate sponge filled with whipped cream and covered in a rich chocolate icing.
For the cake:
- 4 eggs
- 100 g (3.5 oz) caster sugar
- 65 g (2.5 oz) self-raising flour
- 500 g (2 oz) cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
For the filling:
- 250 ml double cream
For the icing:
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream
- 150 g (5 oz) good quality dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Set your oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas Mark 3.
- Grease a 33 cm x 23 cm (13 x 9 inch) Swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment.
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
- Put the egg yolks and caster sugar into a bowl and whisk until combined using an electric or hand-held whisk.
- Sift the self-raising flour and cocoa powder into the bowl. Then add the grated nutmeg. Stir to combine with the egg yolks and caster sugar.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites using an electric or hand-held whisk until they form soft peaks.
- Fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture in the other bowl.
- Pour the mixture into the Swiss roll tin.
- Cook the cake for 1o minutes until it is springy to the touch.
- Put another piece of baking parchment, slightly larger than the size of your Swiss roll tin onto your work surface. Then invert the cooked cake onto it and peel away the baking parchment that lined your Swiss roll tin.
- While the cake is still warm, score it with a knife approximately 1 cm from one of its longer edges. Working from that edge, start to roll up the cake with the new piece of baking parchment inside it. Leave the rolled up cake to cool.
- Make the icing by gently heating the double cream in a small saucepan. It will be hot enough when you can just bear to put your finger into it. Remove from the heat. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add it to the warm cream. When the chocolate has melted, add the grated nutmeg, stir to combine and then allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Assemble the chocolate log but gently unrolling it and removing the baking parchment. Whip the double cream for the filling using an electric or hand-held whisk until it forms soft peaks. Spread the whipped cream onto the cake and re-roll it.
- Using a palette knife, smooth the chocolate icing over the outside of the rolled cake. Using a fork, make lines on the surface of the cake so that it resembles a log. You can cut off the ends of the cake to even them up once it has been iced if you wish to do so.
As this cake contains fresh cream, it needs to be stored in the fridge if it is not going to be eaten immediately.
Keywords: chocolate, Christmas, nutmeg