The making of the Yule Log cake

24 Dec 14

It’s Christmas Eve morning and it is raining buckets here in Western Oregon. It was so loud on the roof this morning that it woke up my husband (who then woke me). I am happy that I am going to make a Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake) today, to bring to a friend’s house tomorrow. I used to make them annually for a Solstice party I would host, but have not made one in years. Making a fancy dessert makes me happy. The recipe I follow is an “easy” one, not as complex as Julia Child’s, and it lacks some of the traditional features (marzipan, chestnut filling, meringue mushrooms). It is still very delicious and fancy-looking, however.

I dragged out my sifter this morning, something I don’t often use. However, for the texture of this cake, it is an important tool indeed. My sifter is old, a long-ago gift from a friend who swore he used it to clean his weed in college in the 70s. Personally, I don’t think it would be that effective for cleaning weed, and weed nowadays doesn’t have seeds and stems (or SO THEY SAY, not that I would know).  It IS fun to think about when you use a sifter, though.

Clean some weed with this?

Clean some weed with this?

A note on cake flour:  if you are like me, and never have any, you can make some by substituting 2 tablespoons of corn starch for 2 tablespoons of the flour.  Sift together well!

And in an inconsistent move, as a non-meat-eater, I am using gelatin to stabilize my whipped cream so it will still be firm tomorrow. The compromises we make to have a fancy dessert and avoid weepy whipped cream! I am also adding some cherry-infused brandy to the whipped cream (in lieu of the Drambuie recommended by the recipe). The cherries that have been sitting in the brandy since we picked them in July might get dipped in chcolate as an extra treat. They will likely be better than meringue mushrooms.


Gelatin! Brandied cherries!



Carefully peeling the waxed paper off the warm baked cake. Cake is on a powdered-sugar-covered kitchen towel. Bonus points for using tie dye.



Roll the cake when warm; unroll when almost cool; spread with whipped cream and re-roll without the cool towel


Best chocolate frosting ever

Best chocolate frosting ever


The finished product looks good — I hope it tastes great! I know for sure that the frosting does. I made way too much. Darn.

I am not so big on decorating, but it does have some snow sprinkles...

I am not so big on decorating, but it does have some snow sprinkles…

Happy holidays and happy baking!


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