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Bake a Yule Log Cake - Recipes & Frosting

Updated on January 18, 2018
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.

How do you like Yule Log cakes?

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    • louromano profile image


      7 years ago

      cake looking so testy !

    • profile image


      7 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


      7 years ago from Portugal

      Great hub :)

    • texasgirlfw profile image


      7 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 

      7 years ago

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

    • profile image


      7 years ago

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

    • gaiaVision profile image


      7 years ago from Big Island Hawaii

      Nice addition to the Winter Solstice feast! Thank You!

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      7 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 

      7 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


      7 years ago from California

      This looks soooo good!

    • jamterrell profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting and fun hub! I enjoyed reading this.

    • dusy7969 profile image


      8 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

      Ankush Kohli 

      8 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


      8 years ago

      Visually appealing.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      8 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


      8 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


      8 years ago from Montreal

      yummy! merry xmas!

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      8 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

      Katie McMurray 

      8 years ago from Westerville

      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


      8 years ago from Australia

      Nicely done on the decorations.

    • Mark Greenley profile image

      Mark Greenley 

      8 years ago from UK

      Bookmarked for use come Xmas!

    • parkersarah8415 profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Great photos. It looks more than delicious!

    • henrykasan profile image


      9 years ago from UK

      Good Hub!!!!!

      The recipe shared of Yule Log Cake is terrific and steps used for the preparation of the cake is very easy to understand and practice. Photographs displayed are awesome and provide huge visual delight. Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful peace of text.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Hmmm, Christmas is coming around again. I may have to try this! Thanks.

    • adorababy profile image


      9 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      I agree, one of the best cakes that I have ever tasted.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      looks good and it looks hard to make...hmmm

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 

      9 years ago from Virginia

      Yummy! I love this. I'm a sucker for sweets and chocolate.

    • cashmere profile image


      9 years ago from India

      Yummy. I'm hungry!

    • christinecook profile image


      9 years ago

      we all love this cake..thanks

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      I enjoyed the recipe. thanks.

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 

      9 years ago from SE US

      Exactly what I was looking for - needed a new idea for this Christmas as it will be differnt for us. Thanks for sharing, am bookmarking so I can find it and practice before the "big week".

    • gonnawantseconds profile image


      9 years ago

      This looks beautiful! I'd like to start a new tradition of making this for Christmas eve!

    • heydave profile image


      9 years ago

      My Grandmother use to bake one every year when I was a kid...long time ago.

    • BevsPaper profile image


      9 years ago from Central Indiana

      Looks so delicious!

    • ahmadnaim profile image


      11 years ago from Earth in where people's smile is worthful than platinum

      OH Woww!!So delicious!! Yule Log Cake maybe the best cake to bake in the world..Thanks for posting the full recipe,,this site may be very suitable for rookie chef who wanna start their carrier with baking Yule Log Cake!

    • daoine profile image


      11 years ago

      Oh right! Guess I could make a summer log out of ice cream...

    • Cathanne profile image


      11 years ago from Washington

      Wow. I feel like a voyeaur. I keep looking at the pictures. THanks for this post. I'm all over the mocha log. Yep. That's Christmas for me.

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Daoine, I'm cracking up thinking of how tons of folks are going to be baffled by your commentt, as it's winter here, but I know it's summer where you are Down Under... LOL!

    • daoine profile image


      11 years ago

      Oh, yum, yum, yum! I'll bookmark this for winter...

    • profile image

      Marye Audet 

      11 years ago

      yum..I am making two this year.

    • Rudra profile image


      11 years ago

      looks devine-heavenly. thats what i call indulgence

    • luxeadj profile image


      11 years ago from South America


    • The Good Cook profile image

      The Good Cook 

      11 years ago

      Another truly great hub - but then, I expect no less! Congratulations.

    • caspar profile image


      11 years ago from UK

      Mmm...looks delicious!


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