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Bake a Yule Log Cake - recipes & frosting

Updated on October 3, 2013
relache profile image

Raye gardens organically, harvests rainwater, strives to eat locally, and honors the gods from her home in the Pacific Northwest.

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

How do you like Yule Log cakes?

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    • louromano profile image

      louromano 5 years ago

      cake looking so testy !

    • profile image

      kims3003 5 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 5 years ago from Portugal

      Great hub :)

    • texasgirlfw profile image

      texasgirlfw 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      mitchell and camron 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Firebird 5 years ago

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

    • gaiaVision profile image

      gaiaVision 5 years ago from Big Island Hawaii

      Nice addition to the Winter Solstice feast! Thank You!

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 5 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 Morgan Gregory 5 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 5 years ago from California

      This looks soooo good!

    • jamterrell profile image

      jamterrell 6 years ago

      Very interesting and fun hub! I enjoyed reading this.

    • dusy7969 profile image

      dusy7969 6 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 6 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 6 years ago

      Visually appealing.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 6 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 6 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 6 years ago from Montreal

      yummy! merry xmas!

    • relache profile image
      Author

      Raye 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      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 6 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 6 years ago from Australia

      Nicely done on the decorations.

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