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Bake a Yule Log Cake - Recipes & Frosting

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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!

Order Your Log Cake or Send one to a Friend

Yule Log Cake Recipes

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.

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.

Buche de Noel

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.

More Recipes for La Bûche de Noël

How do you like Yule Log cakes?

louromano on March 18, 2012:

cake looking so testy !

kims3003 on December 30, 2011:

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!!

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malhota from Portugal on December 29, 2011:

Great hub :)

texasgirlfw on December 27, 2011:

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

mitchell and camron on November 27, 2011:

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

Firebird on November 22, 2011:

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

gaiaVision from Big Island Hawaii on November 17, 2011:

Nice addition to the Winter Solstice feast! Thank You!

Karen N from United States on October 28, 2011:

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

Kim Morgan Gregory from The Coast of The South Carolina Lowcountry on October 21, 2011:

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

kevingomes13 from California on October 13, 2011:

This looks soooo good!

jamterrell on July 08, 2011:

Very interesting and fun hub! I enjoyed reading this.

dusy7969 from San Diego, California on February 13, 2011:

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.

Ankush Kohli from India on January 27, 2011:

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 on December 31, 2010:

Visually appealing.

Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on December 21, 2010:

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

deblipp on December 19, 2010:

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 from Montreal on December 11, 2010:

yummy! merry xmas!

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on December 06, 2010:

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.

Katie McMurray from Ohio on December 06, 2010:

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 from Australia on December 01, 2010:

Nicely done on the decorations.

Mark Greenley from UK on November 30, 2010:

Bookmarked for use come Xmas!

parkersarah8415 from USA on October 17, 2010:

Great photos. It looks more than delicious!

henrykasan from UK on September 21, 2010:

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 from Michigan on September 09, 2010:

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

adorababy from Syracuse, NY on June 16, 2010:

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

cakeLover on May 01, 2010:

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

Renee S from Virginia on January 17, 2010:

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

cashmere from India on December 15, 2009:

Yummy. I'm hungry!

christinecook on December 14, 2009:

we all love this cake..thanks

Truth From Truth from Michigan on December 05, 2009:

I enjoyed the recipe. thanks.

The Rope from SE US on November 12, 2009:

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 on November 10, 2009:

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

heydave on November 09, 2009:

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

BevsPaper from Central Indiana on November 09, 2009:

Looks so delicious!

ahmadnaim from Earth in where people's smile is worthful than platinum on January 08, 2008:

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 on December 16, 2007:

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

Kay Byrd from Washington on December 16, 2007:

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.

Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on December 16, 2007:

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 on December 15, 2007:

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

Marye Audet on December 02, 2007:

yum..I am making two this year.

Rudra on December 02, 2007:

looks devine-heavenly. thats what i call indulgence

luxeadj from South America on December 01, 2007:


The Good Cook on December 01, 2007:

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

caspar from UK on November 27, 2007:

Mmm...looks delicious!

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