A Yule log cake, also known as a Bûche de Noël is a traditional dessert, a Christmas cake, served near Christmas, more specifically on Yule in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Canada, Lebanon, Syria, and several former French colonies such as Vietnam, as well as the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Spain.
Burning a yule log is a Yule tradition begun by Pagan but later adapted for a Christmas tradition during the Medieval Times. People would carefully select a Yule tree (Same as a Christmas tree), bring it into their home and place the largest end into the fire. The whole tree would be burned and keep the fire going for the day.
We don’t know who exactly made the first Yule log cake, but judging from the individual ingredients it could have been as early as the 1600s. Marzipan and meringue decorations, two of the most popular choices for Yule logs, appeared on many a medieval table. Sponge cake, which often constitutes the base of the log, is one of the oldest cakes still made today. It dates back to at least 1615, when the first known recipe appeared in Gervaise Markham’s tome “The English Housewife.” However the French made it popular in the 19th century using elaborate decor.
There are many different flavors you can use but this is one of my absolute favorites.