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Yule Log

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling

Makes

8 servings

This holiday, pull out all the stops by making a yule log cake recipe. In 19th-century France, people would cut down a tree to burn throughout the Christmas season. Later on, folks sweetened the idea by making cakes that resembled the logs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 can (16 ounces) coconut-pecan frosting
  • 1 can (16 ounces) milk chocolate frosting, divided
  • Optional: Large marshmallows, mini marshmallows and baking cocoa

Directions

  1. In a bowl, beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla on high until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in chocolate and water until blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well.
  2. In another bowl, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly in a greased and floured 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle a kitchen towel with confectioners' sugar. Invert cake onto the towel. Starting from a short end, roll up cake in the towel. Place seam side down on a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Unroll cake; spread coconut-pecan frosting to within 1 in. of edges; roll up cake without the towel. Cut and reserve a narrow diagonal slice from each end of the cake. Attach diagonal cake slices with a little of the chocolate frosting to opposite sides of cake. With remaining chocolate frosting, frost the top and side of the cake. With the tines of a fork, make strokes in the frosting to resemble bark on a tree trunk.
  5. For the mushrooms, half large marshmallows widthwise for mushroom caps. Attach cut side of caps to mini marshmallows for stems. Dust tops of mushrooms and log with cocoa; place mushrooms around the log.

Yule Log Recipe Tips

What is in a yule log?

A yule log cake, also called a Buche de Noel, is a rolled sponge cake shaped and decorated to resemble a wooden log. This fanciful dessert is holiday baking tradition that dates back to 19th century France, when folks baked a cake to symbolize the burning log that kept them warm during the Christmas season.

What are the traditional ingredients in a yule log?

A traditional yule log is a chocolate flavored cake with a cream filling. The cake’s exterior is often decorated to resemble tree bark and is even sometimes garnished with meringue mushrooms or moss made from chopped pistachios. Decorations can vary from simple frosting and festive garnishes—chocolate curls, sliced almonds, sugared cranberries, rosemary sprigs, crushed candies—to detailed treatments using chocolate bark or rolled fondant.>

What different flavors can I add to a yule log?

While most yule log cakes are chocolate, feel free to get creative by switching up the flavor of the cake batter or cream. Red velvet, gingerbread, pumpkin, white chocolate, mocha, peanut butter, peppermint, hazelnut and caramel are just a few flavor variations. You can also spruce up your cake by adding cherries, raspberries or strawberries to the cream filling or on top as a garnish. Or boost the flavor of your filling with dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, crystalized ginger or a splash of Bourbon or Bailey’s Irish cream.

How do you roll a yule log without breaking it?

Yule logs are basically rolled sponge cakes. Since this cake is tender and can tear easily, work slowly when spreading the filling and rolling the cake in a clean towel. Cool the rolled cake seam-side down to prevent it from unrolling. Find more tips for how to make a yule log.

Research contributed by Amy Glander, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 610 calories, 30g fat (10g saturated fat), 106mg cholesterol, 337mg sodium, 80g carbohydrate (64g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.