It’s the week of Christmas which means you probably have all the time in the world to make a show-stopping dessert!
And what could be more show-stopping than chocolate yule log?
Yule logs are a traditional European Christmas dessert and date back to the 12th century when people used to eat wood and bark and termites. Just kidding. I don’t know. My history with yule logs, however, dates back to two Wednesdays ago when I made my first one ever with my baking partner, April.
Amazingly enough, we made a beautiful log on the first try! Which means YOU can make one right on the first try! So let’s all stop what we’re doing and make one of these crazy things!
Chocolate Yule Log
To start, gather up all of your ingredients because ain’t nobody got time to scrounge around for these items once we get going.
To start, spray a jellyroll pan (mine is 10 x 15 x 1) with cooking spray and coat with a light layer of flour. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
Next, preheat your oven to 375˚.
In a large mixing bowl, add all 6 eggs and beat on high speed for a couple minutes until light, frothy and pale yellow. Really get some air into those eggs!
Next, add the cake mix to the eggs in fourths, beating on medium speed until each addition is all mixed in.
Finally, add 1/2 cup water and 1/4th cup vegetable oil and fold into the batter until fully incorporated.
Pour ONLY 3-1/2 cups of the batter into your pan and spread as evenly as possible.
Line a muffin tin with 7-8 cupcake liners and pour the remaining batter into the cups. Bake for 8-10 minutes and, I dunno, toss them to your kids. Or mourn the loss of wasted cake batter. Whichever.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until the surface of the cake springs back when you touch it.
Next, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.
Quickly place a large, clean dish towel on a flat surface and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar.
Line the pan up along the edge of the towel and smile for the camera. (April is ready to do this.)
In one quick movement, flip the pan over the towel. Take a moment to congratulate yourself for your mad flipping skills.
Carefully lift the pan off the cake and peel the parchment off the surface.
This next part is tricky!
Using the towel as a guide, carefully and loosely roll the cake all the way up.
Some cracking in the cake may occur in the beginning but keep going! Keep the rolled up cake in the towel and place on a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
TIP: You must roll the cake while it’s still very warm.
THE CHOCOLATE ICING
While the cake cools, prepare the chocolate icing.
In a small saucepan, add 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and heat over medium heat until it just begins to bubble, 1-2 minutes.
Turn heat off and stir in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon corn syrup until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and place in the fridge for an hour.
Sorry for the lack of photos in the section. I got all distracted yule logging. 🙂
Assemble the cake in the following manner:
- Carefully unroll cooled cake.
- Spread 2 tubs of whipped vanilla frosting evenly over the entire surface of the cake.
- Carefully roll the cake up again into a “log.”
- Evenly spread chocolate icing over the top and sides of the log.
- Use the tines of a fork to create bark marks in the icing.
Chill the log for at least 1 hour before serving. Slice and serve. To store, wrap well in plastic wrap and store in fridge.
Tip: This cake tastes best the day after it’s made. Allow cake to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving to allow chocolate icing to soften.
April and I were so pleased with the results that I decided to make another one by myself….
Chocolate Yule Log NAILED-IT! Version
Let’s say that whole cake-rolling business didn’t turn out so well. Let’s say you were feeling stubborn and decided to pour ALL of the cake batter into the pan. 3-1/2 cups only. Pfft! What’s one more cup, after all? Besides, what am I gonna do with 7-8 cupcakes?
Well, apparently 1 extra cup of batter is one cup too many because this happens:.
While trying to roll the cake, it broke into four pieces. If you find yourself in a similar pickle, do the following:
- Shout every bad word you know 11 times.
- Splash cold water on your face, run around the block, watch a scene from Rocky.
- DON’T TOSS THE CAKE! (and allow it to cool completely)
- Stack your broken pieces up and slice the edges until all pieces are evenly-sized.
Ironically enough, the excess I cut away was roughly equal to 7 or 8 cupcakes.
Unstack the cake layers and assemble your NAILED-IT! yule log as follows:
- Place the first layer on a large platter.
- Spread 1/3rd of a tub of icing over the entire surface.
- Stack the second cake layer on top.
- Repeat until you finish with the final cake layer on top.
Carefully spread the chocolate icing over the top and sides of your big ol’ mess of a log.
Spread the second blessed tub of icing evenly on all sides of the log.
While you’re at it, be creative with your icing. Use the tip of your spatula to create texture. Make this pile of shit look natural and shit.
Once the log is iced, use the tines of a fork to create bark lines along the surface.
Next, cut a small bunch of sprigs from the dusty cypress bush out front and arrange them around your snowy log.
Try not to think about the countless bird and squirrel germs coating these sprigs and the fact that you’ve just placed them right up against your food.
Thanks to fork tines, a few dirty branches and 3 M&M’s, this disaster of a yule log turned into quite a festive snowy log.
So whether you achieve the perfect yule log or you create a snowy log, it’s all the same pile of chocolate cake, chocolate icing and vanilla frosting. With 7-8 cupcakes leftover. HUMBUG!
Have a baking blunder story to share?
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 1 extra-moist devil’s food cake mix
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tubs whipped fluffy white vanilla frosting (like Betty Crocker’s)
- CHOCOLATE ICING
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375˚.
- Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Place 7 cupcake liners in a muffin pan and set aside.
- Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until eggs are frothy and pale yellow, 2-3 minutes. Switch mixer speed to medium and add the cake mix in four additions, mixing well in between each addition. Scrape sides of bowl while you beat. Add water and oil and gently fold in until completely combined.
- Add 3-1/2 cups of the batter onto the baking sheet and spread as evenly as possible. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the cake springs back when pressed with a finger.
- While the cake bakes, Place a large, clean kitchen towel on a flat surface and sprinkle with a light dusting of granulated or powdered sugar.
- Pour the remaining batter into the lined muffin cups and bake for 8-10 minutes until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and run a knife around the edge of cake. Carefully line up the edge of the pan along the edge of the sugared towel. Quickly flip pan over/face-down onto the towel. Gently pull pan away from cake and peel the parchment off the top of the cake.
- Using the towel as a guide, carefully roll up the warm cake. Set rolled up cake on a cooling rack and allow to completely cool, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the chocolate icing. Pour whipping cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium-heat until just boiling, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in chocolate chips and corn syrup until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and place pan in the fridge to chill for an hour.
- When the cake has cooled, carefully unroll and evenly spread the 2 containers of frosting over the entire surface of the cake. Carefully roll the cake up again into a log.
- Stir the chocolate icing until smooth and spread it over the top and sides of the log. Use a fork to make bark patterns in the icing and place in fridge for 1 hour. Wrap tightly and keep refrigerated.
- Best if served the next day.