I love making a Christmas Yule Log for dessert on Christmas Day as a tribute to my tribute to my British heritage. Though baking the sponge cake may seem intimidating, it’s actually quite easy. The best part is when the log is made and the decorating begins!
Assembling the Log
A Yule Log is basically a sponge cake with a whipped cream layer that is rolled into log shape and then covered with icing.
Start with the cooled sponge cake laying on a kitchen towel on the counter (see cake directions below). Spread the whipped cream filling leaving about 1/2 edge around the outside of the cake. The filling will push out as you roll up the sponge cake; keeping an edge keeps the filling from spilling out of the cake.
Carefully roll up the cake with the filling. Sponge cakes are pretty sturdy though you don’t want to toss it around the kitchen during this process. Place the rolled cake on the serving platter with the seam to one side. Check out the picture above to see where my seam ended up.
If you’re a messy frosting person, place strips of wax paper or parchment paper under the long sides of the cake. This keeps the serving platter underneath clean. Frost the cake with your choice of icing. I personally prefer chocolate since I can sprinkle confectioners sugar over top to simulate snow on bark.
To make the chocolate look like bark on a tree, I used a fork and drew lines with all of the tines. Another option is to use one tine and vary the spacing between the lines to make the “bark” look more natural. To simulate snow, sprinkle confectioners sugar over the “bark.” Tuck a sprig or two of holly around the log, and you’re finished.
If you’re making the Yule Log ahead of time, keep it in a cool spot to prevent the frosting or whipped cream filling from warming up. An unheated garage works just as well as the fridge.
- 1 cup sifted sugar
- 3 to 6 eggs yolks, room temperature
- ¼ cup boiling water or coffee
- 1 T lemon juice or 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup cake flour (I used all purpose white flour or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 to 6 egg whites, room temperature
- one cup of heavy whipping cream with vanilla extract and confectioner's sugar to taste
- Chocolate Icing
- Grease a jelly roll pan on the bottom or cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan.
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites and set aside the whites.
- Beat the egg yolks until they are very light, and then gradually mix in the sugar. Add the boiling water or coffee, mix, and wait for the batter to cool to room temperature.
- When the batter has cooled, mix in your choice of flavoring.
- Sift the cake flour before measuring, and then resift with the baking powder and salt. Slowly add the sifted ingredients to the batter mixing until the batter is blended.
- Whip the egg whites until the peaks remain stiff, but the egg whites are not dry. Using a spatula, carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Carefully spread the batter in a jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 in a preheated oven for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing it. I like to place a clean kitchen towel over the cake before gently flipping it over and removing it from the pan.
- Whip these ingredients together in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk until the whipped cream is firm but not overwhippped
- Chocolate Icing
one cup of heavy whipping cream with vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar to taste
Whip these ingredients together in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk until the whipped cream is firm but not overwhippped