The Christmas holidays are approaching! This period marks the great return of the Yule log. Original decorations, captivating flavors, a very particular shape, this pastry has conquered young and old alike.
At each table, its log!
For several years now, both amateur pastry chefs and professionals have wanted to innovate and offer increasingly original, exotic and colorful Christmas cakes . Some even push their requirements further by trying to create harmony between their Christmas decoration, their centerpiece and their Yule log .
If you've run out of fuel and haven't yet found THE yule log that will delight your family on New Year's Eve, here is a small summary of the best yule log recipes .
How to make a Yule Log?
This is the question that comes up on the table every winter!
There are so many possibilities and recipes for pastry chefs that the real question to ask is:
Are you more traditional or modern, or even revolutionary? And your guests appreciate fruity desserts, melt for chocolate or succumb to intense and bitter flavors?
Choosing your Yule log seems trivial and it sometimes becomes a path full of pitfalls 😉!
Here are some ideas that we hope will be inspiring, but before that, let's discover the history of the Yule log !
The traditional Yule log
History of the Christmas log
The Yule log is the traditional cake for this family celebration meal. If today it becomes a classic of our family tables, its history is however quite recent.
Indeed, this prestigious cake was born in 1870. However, it is inspired by a much older tradition in our European countries.
The custom of the wooden log
This custom could go back, according to some historians, to 2500 BC. Originally, the log is linked to the winter solstice. This night is the longest of the year, so it was well worth special attention!
After choosing the most beautiful and largest log, you had to pour a little wine or oil as an offering. Then, the eldest and the youngest placed it in the hearth of the fireplace. It therefore represents a sacred family bond.
Depending on the region, some variants of the tradition wanted the log to burn only on Christmas Eve , for others it was consumed on Christmas night until Epiphany (12 days later!). Finally, the ashes could be kept in the hearth or scattered in various corners of the house to protect it from bad luck.
The appearance of the pastry log
Around 1870, the custom will be symbolized by the Christmas cake in the shape of a log. Many pastry chefs compete for the creation of this cake: an apprentice pastry chef from Saint-Germain-des-Prés, chocolate maker Felix Bonat from Lyon or even Pierre Lacam, ice cream maker to Prince Charles III of Monaco. It will be several decades before the log becomes the iconographic Christmas cake as we know it today since it became popular after the liberation in 1945 and 1950.
The traditional Yule log is meant to be rolled!
Although the original yule log recipe calls for the sponge cake to be rolled in buttercream, there are many variations that are just as delicious as each other. Everyone has their own tastes and desires to please their loved ones and savor a delicious dessert on Christmas Eve.
The basics: The recipe for the traditional Yule log!
For the sponge cake , you will need:
- 65 g of flour
- 65 g powdered sugar
- 50 g of melted butter
- 3 eggs
For the buttercream , you will need:
- 200 g of butter
- 150 g of sugar
- 6 egg yolks
Then it's time to choose and flavor your cream. You can decorate it with coffee, vanilla or chocolate extract, praline, chestnut...
The recipe steps:
- Mix all the ingredients for your sponge cake then spread your dough on baking paper (about 1 cm thick). Bake for about 20 minutes at 210°C.
- cook the sugar for your buttercream at 120°C.
- put the young eggs in a bowl, then pour the sugar, stirring constantly until your mixture sets and cools.
- Add the softened butter and mix well to obtain a homogeneous paste.
- all that remains is to incorporate the perfume into your cream (reserve a small part of your cream for decoration.)
- soak your sponge cake with butter cream then roll it all up.
- coat your roller with cream all over the surface.
- book at the expense
The decoration is then left to everyone's taste.
For a traditional log effect, you can use a fork to make ridges, or use a piping bag with a toothed tip for a very professional effect.
Finally, you can decorate your Yule log with small characters and Christmas accessories such as: a lumberjack, mushrooms, reindeer, fir trees, Santa Claus, gifts...
The recipe of our grandmothers
It is chocolate of course!
For the cake roll , you will need:
- 100 g of sugar
- 100 g of flour
- 5 eggs
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
For the cream, you will need:
- 100 g of sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup of water
- 250g soft butter
- 100 g of dark chocolate
- 2ml coffee extract
A yule log to bake with the children
Cooking is a fabulous moment to share. Children are often demanding, but time is sometimes lacking the rest of the year. They are probably starting to get excited and eagerly await Santa 's arrival. Why not suggest that they participate in the preparation of the Yule log for your New Year's Eve?
The chocolate classic
A really generous recipe that children love is that of the chocolate cream roll
30 mins of preparation, 15 mins of cooking... just as long as your children will remain fully attentive!
A slightly more chic version!
You can also let yourself be carried away by a slightly more peppy version with a lemon raspberry rolled log.
Always 30 minutes of preparation and 15 minutes of cooking, ideal to please children while making them discover the beginnings of cooking.
A log without cooking
You can make a more complex and fragrant version for adults, and a simple but tasty version for children.
Here is a version without cooking, ideal to save time on D-Day!
A log in honor of Santa's reindeer
Your children will be delighted to wait for their gifts by participating in the creation of a log in the image of Santa's reindeer !
For the rolled biscuit you will need:
- 3 eggs + 1 egg white
- 100 g of flour
- 100 g of sugar
- ½ packet of baking powder
For the Italian meringue and buttercream, you will need:
- 4 egg whites
- 180 g powdered sugar
- 5cl water
- 250g soft butter
- 60 gr of dark chocolate (+ 8 squares for decoration)
- 60g chocolate praline
- 2 squares of white chocolate
- 1 truffle or a ball of chocolate (for the reindeer's nose)
A Yule log to amaze the whole family!
If you like pastry so much, you will probably want to add a touch of originality and indulgence to your pastry. Here are some original yule log recipes to amaze your guests and delight them!
A bit of freshness, color and exotic scent on your plate is quite possible, also and especially on New Year's Eve .
Here are our more complex recipes, but so extraordinary and delicious that it would be a shame to deprive yourself of them!
A black forest Christmas log
- 4 eggs
- 100g sugar
- 30g flour
- 25g bitter cocoa
Chocolate mousse :
- 150g milk
- 40g sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 15g cornstarch
- 100g dark chocolate
- 175g whole cream
Sweet whipped cream :
- 150g whole cream
- 20g sugar
To prepare your Christmas log mousse
To prepare your sponge cake, beat your 2 eggs and 2 yolks and the sugar for 5 minutes. Add the sifted flour and cocoa. In a separate container, beat the 2 egg whites and fold into the rest of the preparation. Spread and cook for 7/8 min
For the chocolate mousse , you need to heat the milk and half your sugar. Mix the second half with the yolks and beat together. Pour in the cornflour then the hot milk. When your preparation thickens, remove from heat.
Whip the whipped cream and pour into the cooled cream.
Cut your sponge cake into 3 parts, a layer of sponge cake, a 1 cm layer of whipped cream, a layer of sponge cake, a generous layer of chocolate mousse, cover with the last piece of sponge cake. after unmolding your log, cover with chocolate mousse and decorate with a little whipped cream and decoration
Exotic lychee passion Yule log
- 280g passion fruit purée
- 40g sugar
- 4g gelatin
- 65 g egg whites
- 17 g powdered sugar
- 37 g ground almonds
- 10g cornstarch
- 45g icing sugar
- 25 g flour
- 30g ground almonds
- 25 g brown sugar
- 25g butter
- pinch of salt
- 80g white chocolate
- 260g lychee purée
- 7.5g gelatin
- 300 g whole liquid cream
- 35g sugar
Star decor and montage
- 50g white chocolate couverture
- yellow dye
- Pearl spray
This Christmas log is as sublime to look at as it is generous in the flavors it develops. A pretty white log sprinkled with golden yellow stars with a heart of passion fruit and lychee mixed with crunchy almonds… huuum a treat.
The recipe steps:
Heat your passion fruit purée and add the gelatin. You can then refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
To prepare your almond dacquoise , after whipping your egg whites and whipped sugar, you will incorporate the rest of the ingredients into your preparation. Remember to sift well for a homogeneous paste. Spread with a spatula and bake for 10 min at 190°C. Cut out a lower bottom for your mold.
To prepare a delicious almond crisp , mix the dry ingredients, the butter and knead by hand. Spread your dough on reusable baking paper and bake for 20 minutes at 160°C. Finally, you are going to melt the white chocolate and spread your crisp on the dacquoise.
For the lychee mousse , heat your lychee puree with the previously rehydrated gelatin. Whip the liquid cream and add it to your mixture then set aside in the fridge
For the star decoration , melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie or over low heat in a saucepan and add the yellow colouring. Spray food coloring in the imprint of your mold using your pastry airbrush , let your chocolate cool inside for 5 minutes in the refrigerator.
A log... which is not in the shape of a log!
What if you changed a little this year to offer your family an original dessert that evokes the magic of Christmas ?
For the cookie you will need:
- 120g 70% dark chocolate
- 100 g icing sugar
- 110 g ground almonds
- 20 g of egg whites
- 30 g of flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 10 g of oil
For the milk chocolate Bavarian :
- 190 g of milk chocolate
- 45 cl of full liquid cream 30% fat
- 35 cl custard
- 6 g of gelatine leaves
For the custard:
- 50g of sugar
- 25 cl full cream 30%
- 25 cl whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
And finally for the passion fruit insert you will need:
- 30 cl of passion fruit pulp
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 sheets of gelatin
For the recipe for this log with insert, here are the steps:
Prepare the passion fruit insert by mixing the passion fruit pulp and sugar in a saucepan over low heat with the softened gelatin. Pour into mignardises and reserve in the freezer for about 2 hours.
For the biscuit, mix all the ingredients with the melted chocolate then incorporate the flour. Bake for 10 min at 180°C.
While your chocolate is melting in a bain-marie , prepare your custard. With part of the cream you have prepared to dissolve the gelatin and incorporate the rest of the cream. Mix with the chocolate in small quantities. Pour the mixture into a half-sphere silicone mould . Place the sweets in the heart of the half-sphere and pour the Bavarian. Then keep in the freezer overnight.
Turn out your half-spheres and stick the two pieces together and decorate with red velvet spray. Compose with a few marzipan pieces like snowflakes .
Put your beautiful Christmas balls on your cookie. Enjoy!
The frozen version of the log
New Year's Eve meals are often copious, a light and frozen dessert generally goes very well if not better than a pastry.
This iced log with lemon and gingerbread is a delight that will amaze your guests while preserving them from a pastry that is a little too heavy at the end of the meal.
You will need:
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 150 g of vanilla sugar
- 30 cl of liquid cream
- 3 lemons
- 5 cl of limoncello
- 3 slices of gingerbread
After having recovered the zest of a lemon then squeeze your lemons to extract all the juice. In a mixing bowl, beat the yolks with your zest and the limoncello until your mixture becomes frothy.
Pour your preparation into a saucepan and add 100 g sugar and the lemon juice. Mix and heat to 110° (using a cooking thermometer).
Once your syrup is ready, pour it over your egg yolks and mix until your preparation thickens. It should gain 3 times its starting volume.
After beating the egg whites , you will be able to incorporate the rest of the sugar then beat again and incorporate everything into your lemon preparation.
Whip the whipped cream and pour it into your mixture.
There you go, your preparation is ready. You will be able to pour it into a mold lined with baking paper and reserve it in the freezer for at least 6 hours, but you can also do it a few days in advance.
For dressing, simply place your frozen log on slices of gingerbread and decorate it.
The essential accessories to make a sublime and gourmet Yule log
A good pastry chef must be well equipped! For baking, good products greatly facilitate your life on the one hand, and allow you to experiment with original and gourmet recipes.
Here is a small list of the main baking utensils you will need for these recipes. They will also serve you in many pastry creations.
Basic baking utensils:
The cooking :
- baking paper/reusable baking paper
- cooking thermometer
- Sweets mold
- Log mold
- Insert mold
- Half-sphere mold
- food airbrush
- food spray
- Christmas character decoration
Have a great Christmas party with those you love and share a good time around one of our Yule logs.