Holiday baking is always so much fun. These recipes are unique, delicious and can be made even more enjoyable with help from family and friends.
Bûche de Noël
Bûche de Noël, also known as a Yule Log, is a traditional Christmas cake that originated in France. Actual Yule Logs are large and extremely hard logs that would be burned in home fireplaces during the 12 days of Christmas. To commemorate that tradition, French bakers started making these cakes to remind families of the days of old. There are several variations; however a favorite of ours is a chocolate sponge cake with a chocolate whipped cream filling. You can find the basic recipe on line but we wanted to include a few tips on how to create your own Bûche de Noël.
- If you do not have a Swiss roll pan, you can bake the cake on a half sheet pan or shallow baking dish using parchment paper to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
- Dust a kitchen towel generously in powdered sugar before pulling the cake from the oven. When the cake comes out, immediately flip it onto the dusted towel. Peel the parchment paper off and dust with powdered sugar. While the cake is still hot, roll the cake and towel starting from the short end, and allow to cool completely while rolled in the towel. This is important because it will help prevent cracking after filling the cake.
- Drag the prongs of a fork through your frosted cake to create the “bark-like” appearance.
- Use fondant or marzipan (found at most grocery stores) to create small mushrooms to add to your yule log. Create the mushroom cap by making a small ball and using your thumb to indent the bottom. Create the base by rolling a small amount into a cylinder shape and attach the bottom by pushing it directly into the underside of the top.
- Dust the finished cake with a bit of powdered sugar to create a snowy feel.
Christmas Tree Cupcakes
Using your favorite cupcake recipe or boxed mix, you can create these easy Christmas Tree Cupcakes. Simply bake the cupcakes according to your recipe or directions and allow to cool completely. Using a simple butter cream recipe, such as the one listed below, frost the cupcakes with white frosting and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Create a green frosting by adding green food coloring to the white buttercream. Place into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Starting with a wide circle as the base of the tree, begin to spiral the frosting up to a point to create your tree. Be sure to complete the tree in one movement for the best outcome. Use sprinkles, such as these light bulb sprinkles, to decorate your tree.
Individual Wreath Cakes
We created these individual wreath cakes using a traditional vanilla cake recipe baked in mini-Bundt pans. The Bundt pan provides the perfect wreath shape! Simply frost the individual cakes with a green buttercream, being sure to fill in the middle too. Then, decorate your wreaths using sprinkles of your choice.
buttercream frosting ingredients
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
- 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar – sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high until it appears smooth, fluffy and all lumps are removed. Add Vanilla and salt and combine.
- Slowly add sifted sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until you have added 3 cups. From there, begin adding additional sugar to taste.
Helpful Tip: cover your mixer with a kitchen towel while adding in sugar to prevent a sugar-dusting in your kitchen!
- Continue beating on medium until frosting is smooth and fluffy.