Posted in Everyday, Recipes

Mocha Baileys Yule Log Cake

Here’s one last recipe to round off my holiday baking. Yule log, bûche de Noël – whatever you want to call this cake, it is delicious and festive and I think close to being the best thing I have ever made. So let’s dig in, shall we?

There are four separate parts to this cake, but trust me, the time put into making the whole dessert is well worth it – everything comes together perfectly. The four parts are the cake, a mocha Baileys syrup, a mocha filling, and a mocha Baileys chocolate icing. Here’s the ingredient breakdown:

Here’s what you need:

Vanilla sponge cake

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup boiling water

Mocha Baileys syrup

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp Baileys

Mocha filling

  • 1 & 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar

Mocha Baileys chocolate icing

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp 2% milk
  • (optional) Baileys to taste, no more than 1 tbsp*

*If you do a tbsp of Baileys, then I would suggest only putting in 2 tbsp of milk, so as to not make the icing too soft; if icing does turn out a little too soft to pipe and stay in place, put it in the fridge to harden up a bit (but not so hard that you can’t pipe it at all).

Here’s what you do:

Vanilla sponge cake

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 12- or 13-by-18-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
  • Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or electric beater, whip the eggs on medium speed for 1 minute
  • Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip on medium-high speed until the eggs are thick and pale in colour, about 5 minutes
  • Turn the mixer down to low and alternate adding the dry ingredients and the boiling water, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, three parts dry and two parts wet. Scrape down the bowl after each addition. Mix until thoroughly combined
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly to the edges of the pan
  • Bake for 10-11 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cake should still be very light in colour
  • Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes; while the cake is still slightly warm, generously sprinkle the top with sugar and flip it over onto a second piece of parchment paper
  • Carefully move the cake back onto the pan and gently peel off the top (first) parchment paper
  • Your cake is now ready to be filled and rolled

Mocha Baileys syrup

You can start on this while your cake is in the oven

  • Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat
  • Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar, stirring constantly so as not to burn anything
  • Remove from heat and set aside to allow the syrup to cool completely before putting onto cake


Mocha filling

This filling is, I think, the best thing I have ever made. It is soooooooo good.

  • In a bowl, add the whipping cream and then the coffee powder; stir until the coffee dissolves completely, leaving the liquid a nice light brown colour
  • Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or electric beater, whip the mixture until it begins to thicken
  • Add the sugar; continue whipping until stiff peaks form; basically, you’re making yourself up some delicious mocha whipped cream


Mocha Baileys chocolate icing

  • Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or electric beater, whip all the ingredients together until smooth

Assembling the cake

Here comes the fun part!

  • Brush the cake generously with the cooled syrup; you want the syrup to soak through the cake; don’t worry about the discolouring this causes, all of that will be covered by the icing. Don’t feel like you need to use all of the syrup either (I didn’t); you don’t want the cake to be dripping wet
Left side: sponge cake without syrup. Right side: sponge cake with syrup
Cake thoroughly soaked with syrup – yum!
  • With an offset spatula, spread the filling over the entire cake, leaving about 1 inch bare along the long edge farthest from you


  • Pick up the long edge of the cake closest to you and begin to roll away from you, using the parchment paper to help you roll but (obviously) not rolling the parchment paper into the cake. The seem should end up on the bottom of the cake and you should end up with about two complete swirls


  • Using a sharp serrated knife, trim off about 1 inch from both ends of your roll to clean up the edges. Feel free to eat these bits and marvel at your success so far
  • Using the same knife (but cleaned), cut a 3-inch piece from one end. Don’t eat this part; you will need it to make the knots on the log. Cut this piece in half at a diagonal angle. Set aside for later
  • Carefully transfer the rolled cake onto the serving platter you wish to use, keeping the seam on the bottom. If it tears or cracks, don’t worry, it’ll be covered by the icing

Icing the cake

It’s decoration time! Now it’s really going to start looking like a log!

  • Making sure that your icing is soft enough to pipe, but not so soft it will ooze off the cake, pipe icing onto the cake using a large star-tipped piping utensil
  • Start at the bottom edge of the log and pipe one long strand from one end of the cake to the other end. Work your way up and around the cake in this manner until entire cake is covered in the chocolate strips
  • Place the flat end of one of the knots on the top of the log, slightly off to one end
  • Place the flat end of the other knot onto the side of the log, slightly off to the other end
  • Pipe the “bark” around both knots, piping vertical strips
  • You can finish it off by piping small dots around the open ends of the log and its knots
  • For an extra flair of whimsy, sprinkle a light dusting of sugar over the cake, to give the appearance of freshly fallen snow


(I haven’t sprinkled the sugar yet; I used regular sugar)

The cake is best served at room temperature and should be stored in the refrigerator until a few hours before serving (storing the cake somewhere cold will also help to resolidify the icing, which might soften as you ice it).

I made this cake for our Christmas party and it was a huge hit. We practically ate the entire thing. It’s seriously one of the yummiest things I have ever made – that filling especially!

Enjoy! ♥


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