Yule Log

The final Daring Bakers’ challenge of 2007 was hosted by Lis and Ivonne.

You can read their challenge posts here:

Lis – Yule Be Happy to Know I Made It!

Ivonne – ‘Tis the Season!

For a .pdf version of the recipe, click here.

Serves 12
Cake should be stored in a cool, dry place. Leftovers should be refrigerated

What Is Required

– A genoise cake (using the recipe below)
– A coffee buttercream frosting (using the recipe below)(Note: For those of you that have an aversion to coffee,
you can use another flavour for your buttercream, however, the buttercream must be dark in colour. We don’t
want any white or cream-coloured Yule Logs!)
– Meringue or Marzipan mushrooms (using the recipes below)

Plain Genoise


3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
3/4 cup / 5 1/4 oz / 150g granulated sugar
1/2 cup / 2 1/4 oz / 65g cake flour – spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off (also known as cake & pastry flour)
1/4 cup / 1 oz / 30g cornstarch


1.Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F / 205°C / Gas Mark 6, and prepare a 10 x 15″ / 25 x 38cm jelly-roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) by buttering, lining with parchment paper and then buttering again.

2.Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.

3.Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100°F / 40°C if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger – it should be warm to the touch).

4.Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume. The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.

5.While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornstarch.

6.Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.

7.Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

8.Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake doesn’t over bake and become too dry or it will not roll properly.

9.While the cake is baking, begin making the buttercream.

10.Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack.

Coffee Buttercream


4 large egg whites
1 cup / 7 oz / 200g granulated sugar
3 sticks / 1 1/2 cups / 12 oz / 340g unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
2 Tbsp rum or brandy


1.Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

2.Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip with the whisk on medium speed until cooled. Switch to the paddle and beat in the softened butter and continue beating until the buttercream is smooth. Dissolve the instant coffee in the liquor and beat into the buttercream.

Filling and frosting the log

1.Run a sharp knife around the edges of the genoise to loosen it from the pan.

2.Turn the genoise layer over (unmolding it from the sheet pan onto a flat surface) and peel away the paper.

3.Carefully invert your genoise onto a fresh piece of parchment paper.

4.Spread with half the coffee buttercream (or whatever filling you’re using).

5.Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake into a tight cylinder.

6.Transfer back to the baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours.

7.Unwrap the cake. Trim one end on the diagonal, starting the cut about 2″ / 5cm away from the end.

8.Position the cut piece on each log about 2/3 across the top.

9.Cover the log with the reserved buttercream, making sure to coat around the protruding stump.

10.Streak the buttercream with a fork or decorating comb to resemble bark.

11.Transfer the log to a platter and decorate with meringue or marzipan mushrooms and whatever other decorations you’ve chosen.

Meringue Mushrooms


3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1⁄2 cup / 3 1/2 oz / 100g granulated sugar
1/3 cup / 1 1/3 oz / 40g icing sugar
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting


1.Preheat the oven to 225°F / 110°C / Gas Mark 1/4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Have ready a pastry bag fitted with a small (no. 6) plain tip.

In a bowl, using a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar while beating. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Continue until the whites hold stiff, shiny peaks. Sift the icing sugar over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, fold in until well blended.

2.Scoop the mixture into the bag. On one baking sheet, pipe 48 stems, each 1/2″ / 12mm wide at the base and tapering off to a point at the top, 3/4″ / 2cm tall, and spaced about 1/2″ / 12mm apart. On the other sheet, pipe 48 mounds for the tops, each about 1 1/4″ / 3cm wide and 3/4″ / 2cm high, also spaced 1/2″ / 12mm apart. With a damp fingertip, gently smooth any pointy tips. Dust with cocoa. Reserve the remaining meringue.

3.Bake until dry and firm enough to lift off the paper, 50-55 minutes. Set the pans on the counter and turn the mounds flat side up. With the tip of a knife, carefully make a small hole in the flat side of each mound. Pipe small dabs of the remaining meringue into the holes and insert the stems tip first. Return to the oven until completely dry, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool completely on the sheets.

4.Garnish your Yule Log with the mushrooms.

Marzipan Mushrooms


8 oz / 225g almond paste
2 cups / 8 3/4 oz / 250g icing sugar
3 to 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
unsweetened cocoa powder


1.To make the marzipan combine the almond paste and 1 cup of the icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until sugar is almost absorbed.

2.Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

3.Add half the corn syrup, then continue mixing until a bit of the marzipan holds together when squeezed, adding additional corn syrup a little at a time, as necessary: the marzipan in the bowl will still appear crumbly.

4.Transfer the marzipan to a work surface and knead until smooth.

5.Roll one-third of the marzipan into a 6″ / 15cm long cylinder and cut into 1″ / 2 1/2cm lengths.

6.Roll half the lengths into balls. Press the remaining cylindrical lengths (stems) into the balls (caps) to make mushrooms.

7.Smudge with cocoa powder.