Bronwen is interested in food, diet, and creating recipes, as she has prepared family meals and organised church and home functions.
Yule Log Origin
The tradition of the yule log originated as a pagan festival and goes back thousands of years before Christianity. It is thought to have begun as a Norse mid-winter festival during which people honoured the god Odin. This festival was later adopted by Christians.
Among other things, Odin was the god of death and the festival was known as the "Feast of the Dead," but it was also connected with life and fertility. It was the custom of the people to go out into the snowy forest and cut down a large tree and drag it home. As they did this, they sang and asking the gods to bless their future crops and themselves with fertility.
At home they decorated the log with evergreens and holly (remember the Carol, "The Holly and the Ivy?) and then set it on fire. The log was thought to give the family magical protection and various customs endorsed this, some stories telling that they tried to keep it burning for twelve days, while others said it kept burning all year. More realistically, some kept a piece of the log and used it to light the next year's log.
The Yule Log traditions spread to much of the rest of Europe.
- In Britain: the log was cut in the woods and dragged home by oxen or horses.
- In France: it was made as a log-shaped cake that was then sprinkled with alcohol and set on fire at the table.
As the world expanded, the tradition spread to many other countries.
- In America: The Yule Log was either a real log that was burnt, or a small log that was decorated and placed on the mantlepiece.
- In Australia: The Yule Log has usually been of the edible variety.
A Yule Log Cake Recipe
By now, it is too late to make the traditional Christmas Cake with the dried fruits recipe, as it needs to be made about six weeks before Christmas, the same as the Christmas Pudding with its dried fruit and suet. Making it so long beforehand allows the flavours to mature and it is useful as it is made well ahead and helps to reduce that last minute rush.
Also, these days there seem to be a growing number of people who do not enjoy the traditional Christmas fruit-cake. A Yule Log Cake recipe seems to be the answer. This recipe is simple, does not require any cooking apart from melting the chocolate in the microwave oven, and it only needs to be made a couple of days before Christmas.
However, the basic recipe can be made a couple of weeks further ahead and only takes a few minutes to prepare. Then the cake, wrapped in foil, can be put in the freezer until it needs to be decorated. Ideal and always popular!
Rate This Easy Recipe
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
Serves six people
- 1 250 g packet Chocolate Ripple Biscuits, or similar
- ½ pint/ 600 mls thickened cream, beaten until it forms a shape
- 1 dessertspoon castor sugar, or icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 100 g block dark cooking chocolate, broken into pieces
- Add vanilla and castor sugar to cream; mix lightly. Spread a good length of kitchen foil on bench or counter.
- Spread a biscuit with the cream mixture, place another on top. Continue until you have 4 or 5 in a small tower.
- Place tower horizontally on foil and continue adding creamed biscuits to log. When log is required length you can eat the rest of the biscuits!
- Cover log with cream, tilting it on the foil so it is completely covered.
- Wrap foil around biscuits, keeping log shape. Refrigerate overnight to allow cream to soften biscuits. Cover and refrigerate remaining cream mixture.
- Melt chocolate pieces in a basin in microwave for 1 minute. Stir and repeat until chocolate is melted.
- Unwrap log onto serving plate. Mix chocolate into cream mixture; and spread over log.
- Decorate with grated chocolate. Desiccated coconut and holly or other decoration could be added.
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Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on May 03, 2015:
poetryman6969: Thank you for your comment. It looks good, tastes good, and is not difficult to make, as well.
poetryman6969 on May 02, 2015:
A crafty cake to be sure. I don't think I have seen a confection created in just this way before.
Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on September 13, 2014:
Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry I missed it before - we'll soon be up to preparing for Christmas again!
Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on December 31, 2012:
ImKarn23: You could always make it for New Year - give it another name! Thank you for your New Year wishes - may yours be a wonderful one, too.
Karen Silverman on December 31, 2012:
I love this cake - my mom used to make a variation of it - but it sure didn't look as gorgeous as this!
I'm too late for this year - but - this is now in my repertoire for next!
Happy New Year, my friend - may it be all you hope for and MORE!
Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on December 28, 2012:
Peggy W: What a great idea for a decoration! Your mother-in-law must have been really creative. Thank you for your interesting comments and vote.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 27, 2012:
My mother-in-law used to make a yule log cake decorated with a pastry axe, etc. She was quite the baker! This one looks simple enough to make and is undoubtedly good tasting. Thanks for the history regarding the yule log origin. Voted up and interesting!
Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on December 26, 2012:
LadyFiddler: What a good idea! It would go down well for New Year's Day. I hope you have time to make it and that it is a great success. May God bless you, too.
Joanna Chandler from On Planet Earth on December 25, 2012:
WAW this looks so simple and tasty i love your photos and your instructions on how to make this cake. Well for me it won't be for any dead but for the living lol.
Thanks i will love to try this soon, perhaps for new year day.
God bless you dearheart
Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on December 24, 2012:
faythef: Have fun and enjoy! Thank you and Merry Christmas.
Faythe Payne from USA on December 23, 2012:
Making two of them today for Christmas Eve
Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on December 23, 2012:
Thelma Alberts: It is easy and fun, too. Merry Christmas to you, too.
Sunshine625: I took one yesterday to a family gathering and it disappeared rapidly.
AlicialC: It tastes great, too. Thank you for your comment.
stars439: It's not so good for the diet, but I hope you do give it a try, I'm sure you won't be disappointed and Becky would have fun with you making it. GBY and have a wonderful Christmas.
stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on December 22, 2012:
A wonderful idea. One Becky, and I will have to give a try. GBY dear heart.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 20, 2012:
This is an excellent idea for creating a yule log, BlossomSB! The recipe sounds so easy, and the cake looks lovely in the photos.
Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on December 20, 2012:
Very festive and yummy! Merry Christmas.
Thelma Alberts from Germany on December 20, 2012:
Wow! It is easy to make and I don´t have to bake. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing blossomsb. Have a Merry Christmas! Voted up and shared;-)
mours sshields from Elwood, Indiana on December 20, 2012:
Looks really good and tasty!
Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 20, 2012:
this looks good enough to burn in the fireplace... and of course eat LOL great share :)
Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on December 20, 2012:
billybuc: I'm glad you noticed that holly - it's artificial as it's the wrong season for holly here. It's only a small thing, but it's been in the family and used every Christmas for nearly a hundred years.
Faith Reaper: It is interesting - and the cake is delicious, I'm actually saving it up for my birthday in a couple of days. Thanks for the vote and share and may God bless you, too, and may your Christmas be both merry and holy.
billybuc: Ha! Not spring, just winter at your place and summer at mine.
faythef: It's not good for the diet, but it's wonderful on the taste-buds!
Faythe Payne from USA on December 20, 2012:
Oooh this looks really good...I'm going to give it a go...
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 19, 2012:
I meant sprig! Duh!
Faith Reaper from southern USA on December 19, 2012:
Love knowing the origin of the Yule Log Cake. How very interesting. Thank you for sharing the recipe too. It looks very delicious. Great photos.
Voted up +++ sharing
God bless you. Merry Christmas.
In His Love, Faith Reaper
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 19, 2012:
Well that looks delicious; love the spring of holly on top! :)