Bake a Yule Log Cake - recipes & frosting

Have a Yule Cake as the Highlight of your Holiday Party

When I was a little girl, I pointed to a picture one day in my mother's Sunset magazine cookbook and said, "Mommy, I want you to make THAT!" And I pointed to a picture of the yule log cake. It was a roll cake made to look like a fallen log in the woods, with little mushrooms growing off of it (meringue) and a light dusting of snow (powdered sugar) across its bark (chocolate frosting).

Doesn't that sound just great? If you're not convinced, try staring at the picture here for a little bit.... (you're getting hungry.... for yule log cake...)

Here are some great recipes and variations for baking your own delicious Yule Log Cake! This is definitely a project that you can't leave until the last minute so be prepared to fix this the day before and even consider making one just for the immediate family as a practice run before you try to bake one for the big holiday event.


Holiday Log Cake

The yule log cake... with EVERYTHING!
The yule log cake... with EVERYTHING! | Source

Order Your Log Cake or Send one to a Friend

Decorating Your Yule Log Cake

Scoring the icing and adding some meringue mushrooms helps make the cake look more like a real log.
Scoring the icing and adding some meringue mushrooms helps make the cake look more like a real log. | Source
A "white bark" yule log can be made from mocha or vanilla frosting.  Sprinkle the mushrooms with just a touch of cocoa to decorate their tops.
A "white bark" yule log can be made from mocha or vanilla frosting. Sprinkle the mushrooms with just a touch of cocoa to decorate their tops. | Source

Creating The Frosting Effects

Here are some suggestions to help you with the frosting effects found on a yule log cake. Some variations can be extremely realistic looking, while others are more cake-like in appearance. How elaborate a cake you bake is up to you.

Tree Bark - The rough texture of tree bark is often simulated by dragging a fork or a knife over the frosted cake. You can also pipe darker brown grain onto a frosted log roll. Don't try to do perfectly straight lines or markings. You get a better effect by having them be slightly crooked and wavy.

Smalls bits of extra cake can be frosted over to make little branches that stick out from the main trunk. If your branch knobs won't stay in place, try using some toothpicks to anchor them and then frost over everything. You can even carve a heart and initials in your log cake frosting if you use the tip of a bamboo skewer.

Leaves - These can be made from frosting, or they can be very thin jelly candies with a little frosting piped on to make veins, or you can go all out and craft them from marzipan.

Ivy - Carefully washing a piece of dwarf ivy, you can then lay this on top of the finished cake. As this is a non-edible decoration, be sure to remove this before serving. You can also make ivy by piping frosting on the log. Use a circular tip for the vine part, and then switch to a wider, flat nozzle for leaves.

Snow - A light dusting of snow can be easily added by sprinkling powdered sugar over the frosting at the very end. If you don't have a powdered sugar sprinkler, you can put some into a small strainer and gently tap it with a spoon to create the same effect. Shake out just enough so that where the sugar lands naturally on the top of the log forms a thin solid layer.

Mushrooms - these are often a fun addition to a Yule Log cake, and they are crafted from meringue and baked separately. These often get cocoa dusted over them to make them look more like fungi.

See A Yule Log Cake Being Made

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How do you like Yule Log cakes? 44 comments

louromano profile image

louromano 4 years ago

cake looking so testy !


kims3003 4 years ago

Printing right now as I am going to give it a try. Thanks for a great recipe - so well written and easy to understand. Nice work!!


malhota profile image

malhota 4 years ago from Portugal

Great hub :)


texasgirlfw profile image

texasgirlfw 4 years ago

Good hub. I make a yule log cake every year. Chocolate cake, filled with mocha and frosted with dark chocolate. Yum


mitchell and camron 4 years ago

cant wait to make a cake like this!!?!?!


Firebird 4 years ago

A great idea for desert on christmas just make plenty if you have company for christmas


gaiaVision profile image

gaiaVision 4 years ago from Big Island Hawaii

Nice addition to the Winter Solstice feast! Thank You!


Karen N profile image

Karen N 4 years ago from United States

Looks delicious, I've always wanted to make a yule log and maybe this year I'll actually give it a try.


Kim M Gregory profile image

Kim M Gregory 4 years ago from The Coast of The South Carolina Lowcountry

Your cake looks really great! The pictures are really good. I can almost taste it. Thanks for sharing.


kevingomes13 profile image

kevingomes13 4 years ago from California

This looks soooo good!


jamterrell profile image

jamterrell 5 years ago

Very interesting and fun hub! I enjoyed reading this.


dusy7969 profile image

dusy7969 5 years ago from San Diego, California

I tried for three years to make a yule log cake. I probably made 5 or six of them. They were always spongy and the frosting had a weird consistency. Then, my mother in law bought one and it tasted the exact same as the ones I had made. It looked a lot prettier though.


AnkushKohli profile image

AnkushKohli 5 years ago from India

My Wife usually order the Yule Log Cake.But this year she's very interested to making a Yule Log Cake. Thanks for your great information Hub!! Thanks for adding to our holidays.


jtrader profile image

jtrader 5 years ago

Visually appealing.


midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 5 years ago from Hermosa Beach

it looked to easy to make in the video but i doubt if i can make it look that way. lols


deblipp profile image

deblipp 5 years ago

Good Hub!!!!

Photographs are great. It looks more delicious than what the actual taste of the dish would be. The depiction of the rough texture of tree bark is often simulated by dragging a fork or a knife over the frosted cake. Thanks a lot for sharing such an enjoyable peace of text.


funmontrealgirl profile image

funmontrealgirl 5 years ago from Montreal

yummy! merry xmas!


relache profile image

relache 5 years ago from Seattle, WA Author

Katie, the effort it takes to make a yule log cake winds up being worth the time especially if done with family! I haven't made one for a while, but I'm thinking it's time this year to do it.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

My twelve year old asked about making a yule cake, we usually order them and this year she's very interested in baking herself. So I searched and found your yule log cake recipe, just wanted to say thanks for adding to our Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Relache :)


berrybutterfly profile image

berrybutterfly 5 years ago from Australia

Nicely done on the decorations.


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