A Yule log, or French Bûche de Noël, is a traditional dessert served at Christmas, and may appear to come straight out of the forest. Our version of the Christmas yule log cake is a bit fancier, decorated with roses, carnations, pine, and holly. Serve this holiday-worthy dessert as a spectacular Christmas eve dessert or at the end of your Christmas Day celebrations!

Yule Log Cake (Bûche de Noël)

A Yule log, or French Bûche de Noël, is a traditional dessert served at Christmas, and may appear to come straight out of the forest. Our version of the Christmas yule log cake is a bit fancier, decorated with roses, carnations, pine, and holly. Serve this holiday-worthy dessert as a spectacular Christmas eve dessert or at the end of your Christmas Day celebrations!
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Prep Time 1 hr
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Servings 10 servings

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Vanilla Sponge Cake Ingredients

  • ½ cup All-Purpose Flour sifted
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 6 Eggs whites and yolks separated
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • ½ cup Solid Vegetable Shortening
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter softened
  • 4 cups sifted powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons Milk, Heavy Cream or Water
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (pure or imitation)
  • Pinch of Salt (optional)

Instructions
 

Bake Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with vegetable pan spray.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
  • In a large bowl, combine egg whites, 1/4 cup of sugar and whip with an electric mixer until stiff but moist peaks form.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine egg yolks, vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup sugar then whip until creamy and light in color, about 4-5 minutes. Fold egg whites into the yolk mixture gently but thoroughly. Next, fold in flour.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and carefully spread to edges in an even layer.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the pan.
  • Loosen the sides of the cake with a knife and flip the pan upside down onto a cooling rack to remove the cake from the pan. Peel off parchment paper from the bottom of the cake then flip the cake back over onto a flat surface.
  • Starting at a short edge, roll up the cake with a kitchen towel. Transfer rolled cake to cooling rack; cool completely.

Make Frosting

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and shortening.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy for about 1 minute.
  • Beat in vanilla and scrape down the bowl occasionally.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, starting by mixing each cup on a low speed then beating well on medium speed.
  • Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl after each cup of sugar is added. When all sugar has been mixed in, the frosting will appear dry and stiff.
  • Gradually add milk or water, adding small amounts at a time until the desired consistency is reached; continue to beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the bowl once more and beat again to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Add a pinch of salt if too sweet and mix until completely dissolved.

Fill Cake

  • To fill the cake, gently unroll the cake. Cover with a thin layer of buttercream icing. Gently reroll cake without parchment paper; cut off ends of roll. Transfer to a cake board or serving plate.

Tint frostings & prepare decorating bags

  • Use Color Right base colors and QuickCount color formulas to tint ultra concentrated frosting in the following shades:
    • Dark Red: 1/4 cup white frosting + 60 C + 3 B
    • Dark Brown: 1/4 cup white frosting + 35 BR + 4 C + 4 R +4
    • Light Brown: 1/4 cup white frosting + 6 BR +1 C +1 R +1
    • Dark Green: 1/4 cup white frosting + 13 BR +12 Y +12 B +3
    • Light Green: 1/4 cup white frosting + 3 BR +3 Y + 3 B +1
    • Red Berries: 1/4 cup white frosting + 45 R +7
    • Crimson Stars: 1/4 cup white frosting + 40 C + 8 B
    • For all shades, mix 2 tablespoons ultra-concentrated frosting with 1/2 cup white frosting.
    • Use Ivory Icing Color to tint 1/2 cup white frosting.
    • Reserve remaining frosting white.
  • Prepare decorating bags:
    • Tip 104 striped dark red and light red frostings
    • Tip 12 and dark red frosting
    • Tip 12 and dark brown frosting
    • Tip 103 striped dark brown and light brown frostings
    • Tip 366 and dark green frostings
    • Tip 3 and dark green frosting
    • Tip 3 and light green frosting
    • Tip 104 and ivory frosting
    • Tip 8 and red berry frosting
    • Tip 14 and crimson frosting.

Make Flowers

  • Prepare a cake board covered with parchment paper. Use tips 104 with the striped red frosting bag, and tip 12 with dark red frosting bag to pipe 4 roses. Place the roses on the prepared board.
  • Use tip 104 with ivory frosting to pipe3 carnations. Place on the prepared board. Place in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes.

Decorate the Christmas Log Cake

  • Use tip 3 with the dark and light green frostings to pipe long and short pine needles on top of cake.
  • Pipe tip 366 dark green holly leaves; use toothpick to pull out points.
  • Use tip 12 and brown frosting to pipe 5elongated bead pine cones bases on top of the cake. Begin at the narrow end of the bead and pipe tip 103 striped brown scales.
  • Position roses and carnations on top of cake.
  • Add tip 366 dark green leaves, tip 8 dot red berries Pipe a tip 14 crimson star on each berry.

Notes

  • Sprinkle powdered sugar on the cooling towel. Dusting your cooling towel with powdered sugar helps absorb some of the moisture while your cake dries, allowing it to hold its shape better.
  • Do not let the cake cool for too long before rolling. You want your cake to be soft and pliable, and allowing it to over-cool could make it difficult to roll. Rolling while it's still warm will “train” the cake to hold its position once it cools.
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