To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush a 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan with melted butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang...

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Makes 12 to 16 servings


– Melted butter, flour and parchment paper for cake pan
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
– ½ cup sifted cake flour
– 1/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– ¼ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch more
– 4 eggs, separated
– ¾ cup granulated sugar
– ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– ½ teaspoon mint extract
– 1 quart mint chip or peppermint ice cream, softened


– 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
– ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
– 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting
– ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. To prepare cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush a 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan with melted butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the short ends. Brush parchment again with melted butter and dust lightly with flour. Tap out excess.

2. Sift together ½ cup flour, cocoa powder, soda and ¼ teaspoon salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.

3. In the same bowl in which the whites were beaten, beat egg yolks until fluffy. Gradually add granulated sugar and beat until thick and lighter in color. Beat in vanilla and mint extracts. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Beat in melted butter, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold about a fourth of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then fold in remaining whites until just blended; make sure you’re getting to the bottom of the bowl.

4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake about 12 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched gently in the center. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan no more than 5 minutes.

5. Run a knife around the edge of the cake, cover with a large piece of parchment paper and then a clean kitchen towel. Invert onto rack so that the towel is on the bottom. Lift off pan, then remove parchment lining. Starting with one long side, grasp fresh parchment and towel and roll cake into a cylinder. (The cake will probably crack.) Let cool to room temperature.

6. Unroll cooled cake on kitchen counter. Dot surface with spoonfuls of softened ice cream, then spread evenly. Reroll cake with parchment and towel and freeze about 2 hours.

7. To make frosting: Put chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 1 minute. Stir well until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Combine butter, powdered sugar and cocoa with an electric mixer, beating until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add vanilla and cooled chocolate, beating until smooth and shiny. Set aside.

8. Remove cake from freezer. Using a large, serrated knife held at an angle, cut off a 1-inch piece from one end and a 2-inch piece from the other. Spread cut side of smaller piece with a little frosting and place on top of log. Do the same with larger piece and place on the side of the log. Using a metal spatula, ice cake with frosting so it resembles bark. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze overnight or up to 1 week.

9. Remove cake from freezer, unwrap and place on serving platter 10 minutes. Use a fine mesh strainer to lightly dust cake with powdered sugar. Cut pieces on the diagonal.

From “Christmas Family Gatherings” by Donata Maggipinto.