“Yule” Be The Talk of the Town with this Holiday Cake

We recently developed a recipe for a Yule Log Cake for our 2014 Holiday Brochure. In my family, our holiday traditions revolved around cut-out cookies; a Yule Log was never part of the mix. So I was intrigued and did a little bit of research to see what this was all about.

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blog_image by Mallory

blog_image by Mallory

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We recently developed a recipe for a Yule Log Cake for our 2014 Holiday Brochure. In my family, our holiday traditions revolved around cut-out cookies; a Yule Log was never part of the mix. So I was intrigued and did a little bit of research to see what this was all about. It turns out the history of the Yule Log (or Buche de Noel) dates back to before the medieval era when the winter solstice was celebrated by burning logs. The ashes were kept for medicinal purposes, and it was also said they guarded against evil.

Fast forward to the early 1800s and, while the tradition of burning yule logs was still being practiced, Napoleon outlawed wood-burning fireplaces. This led people to celebrate the season by baking Buche de Noel cakes in place of burning the traditional yule logs. Pretty cool, huh?

Since our gas fireplace does not allow us to burn actual logs, I figured I would try baking a Yule Log Cake for our 2014 holiday celebration. Here’s how to tackle it:

Bake the cake base. Run a butter knife around the edges, and then, while it’s still warm, flip it out on a kitchen towel (sometimes called a tea towel – think the smooth kind, not shaggy) that has been dusted with cocoa powder. This way it won’t stick to the towel, and the cocoa powder won’t show up as obviously as flour would.

Baked Cake

Remove the parchment paper.

Peel Back Parchment Paper off Cake

Cut the cake in half lengthwise….

Cut Cake in Half

…and lay short ends end-to-end on the towel.

Lay Cake Side by Side on Towel

Cut 4 inches off one end and place next to one short end of the cake. This little piece will make the branch.

Cut Small End of Cake

Then roll up the cake in the towel and set it aside to cool.

Roll Cake in Towel

Now make the two frostings – one with cream cheese and chocolate hazelnut spread, and another with chocolate, butter and powdered sugar. And try not to sample them directly out of the bowl.

Yule Log Frostings

While the cake is cooling, make the “mushrooms” to embellish the cake. I think they are so adorable! All you need is pre-made meringue cookies, melted chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Dip the bottoms of the meringues in the melted chocolate.

Dip Meringue in Chocolate

Attach a mini marshmallow to the wet chocolate and let stand until hardened.

Add Mini Marshmallow

Once the cake is completely cooled, unroll the cake. Spread the little piece with about 1/4 cup of the hazelnut filling and reroll. Refrigerate until it’s time to assemble the rest of the cake.

Unroll Cake to Frost

Spread the larger cake(s) with the remaining filling.

Frosting Log Piece of Cake

Roll up the cake carefully.

Roll Up Yule Cake

Stand the cake on a plate.

Standing Yule Log on Plate

Frost the sides with the chocolate butter frosting.

Frost Sides of Yule Log

Cut the end of the smaller cake roll at an angle so it’s easier to attach to the sides of the larger cake.

Cut Cake at Angle

Use toothpicks to attach.

Attach with Toothpicks

You can also prop a mushroom underneath the branch to help it stand up.

Prop Up Cake

Now frost the sides of the branch carefully, and then use a fork to draw bark designs on the sides of the cake.

Use Fork to Design Bark

Garnish the log with mushrooms, rosemary sprigs and a gnome for good measure.

Garnish with Mushrooms

Now if that isn’t a show-stopping dessert, I don’t know what is. Not to mention that it’s over-the-top delicious. Win-win situation, I’d say! Do you have any holiday baking traditions in your family? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Happy holidays!

Final Yule Log Plated

 

 

Ready to make the recipe? Let’s get started making Yule Log Cake!

Yule Log Cake Image
Yule Log Cake

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