Yule Log – Perfect Cake to Welcome Santa!!!

One of my favourite festivals is just around the corner. I love Christmas because it is filled with the warmth of the loved ones against the chill in the air, it is filled with festivity and positivity and last but not the least it is a festival for the sweet tooth! One such cake that I love baking and decorating is the Yule log or the Buche De Noel as it is called in the European countries. This cake is actually a swiss roll or a roulade made from sponge filled with a sweet filling and decorated to resemble a log of wood.

Yule or Yuletide is a festival celebrated in Scandinavia and other countries of Northern Europe like Germany, during the month of December. The Yule log is a specially selected log of wood that is placed in the hearth and burns to give the house warmth during the cold winters. This log of wood is big enough to continue burning for 12 days  and the left over is supposed to be auspicious and kept for next year as tradition. The origin of this custom is not clear but it seems to have been derived from Germanic paganism. Whatever may be the origin of this festival, it is said to symbolise  the win of the good over the evil.

Yule Log, the cake, is a sweet roulade often made from Genoise sponge cake. It is either a yellow or a chocolate sponge baked into a thin sheet in a swiss roll tin. It is filled with flavoured chocolate ganache or butter cream icing and rolled into a tight roll. A part of it is cut and attached on the side to resemble like a chopped off branch of a tree. It is the iced with chocolate icing and wooden pattern is created by running fork over the icing. It is sprinkled with sugar that symbolises the snow. It is then adorned with elements that indicate Chrismas such as meringue mushrooms, fresh berries, rosemary sprigs etc. 

I am sharing an easy recipe of this classic yule log which you could make this Christmas. I baked a vanilla flavoured genoise cake and filled it up with Nutella as my daughters love it. I covered the cake with dark chocolate ganache and used fork to give it the bark like texture. As fresh strawberries are available, I made some strawberry fans and used rosemary sprigs for decoration.

Yule Log

This is what you require :

  1. Flour – 85 g
  2. Powdered sugar – 115 g
  3. Eggs, whole – 3
  4. Baking Powder – 3/4 tsp
  5. Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
  6. Hot water – 2 tbsp
  7. Nutella Hazelnut Spread
  8. Dark Chocolate Ganache Icing – 2 cups
  9. Strawberries and Rosemary for Garnish

This is how to make it :

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° C. Line a Swiss roll tin of 12 inch by 10 inch dimension with a baking paper.
  2. Whip eggs and sugar together till almost triple in volume and leaves a ribbon like trail when you lift the whisk.
  3. Fold in the flour very gently taking care to retain the egg volume. Mix in the vanilla essence and hot water.
  4. Drop the batter into prepared pan an spread it lightly to completely cover the pan. Bake for 9-10 minutes or till done at 200° C.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest for 5 min. Un-mould while still warm. Spread the nutella over the cake and roll the cake into a tight roll.
  6. Let the cake cool down completely. Drizzle the cake lightly with dessert syrup from cherry tin.
  7. Cut a small portion of the cake and attach it to the main cake alongside to resemble a chopped branch.  Place the whole assembly on a serving plate.
  8. Cover the cake with dark chocolate ganache and run a fork through the icing to resemble bark texture. Drizzle sugar to resemble snow and embellish with strawberries and Christmas decorations. Cool in a refrigerator till service time.

This cake is very simple to make but looks absolutely stunning. Be the star of your Christmas party by baking this Yule Log cake or the Buche de Noel as the French like to call it!