Christmas log: the best recipe, origin and history of this cake

The story of the Christmas log

If the Christmas log is today a staple of the culinary customs of the feast of the Nativity, it is because this practice remained to us from the Middle Ages. As part of the rituals of fire, the log was then called Yule, Licht, ceppo, or tréfeu according to the region. During a family ceremony celebrating the arrival of the winter solstice, in each home were thrown large wooden pucks to keep the houses warm.

Later, around the twelfth century, this practice was taken over by the Catholic Church, but with certain modifications. The fire was then fed regularly on the evening of December 24, until the epiphany. According to tradition, a fruit tree was chosen which was to be cut before sunrise and decorated with foliage before burning. The burning of the log was a ritual that guaranteed a good year to come. Moreover, in some areas, as many logs were placed in the chimney as there were people in the house.

The Christmas meal ends with the traditional Christmas log

Christmas log festive cake

The evolution of the means of heating put an end to the custom of the burned logs. So, a new tradition is born: the preparation of a Christmas log in the form of cake. According to legend, it was in 1945 (according to other sources it happened in 1834) that the pastry was presented as we know it today.

Traditionally, this delicacy consists of biscuit sponge cake covered with butter cream and decorated with holly leaves. However, it can be broken down into fruit mousse, sponge cake or chocolate , in frozen nougats, or in tiramisu.

Christmas log with butter and milk chocolate

christmas log idea fruit decoration


For the rolled cake:

  • 50 g of butter
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 75 g cornflour
  • 6 eggs
  • 150 g of flour

For the chocolate mousse:

  • 250 g of milk chocolate
  • 5 eggs
  • 60 g of butter

For the syrup:

  • 200 ml of water
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 100 ml of Rum
  • 1 C. salt


Step 1: Preparation of the rolled cake

At first, preheat your oven to 210 ° C. Then put the butter in a saucepan and melt it over low heat. Let cool.

Separate the whites from the egg yolks. Beat the whites until stiff with a pinch of salt. Then whip the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture whitens.

Gently add 1/3 of the egg whites and melted butter to the mixture. After, add the flour and stir well so that it is incorporated. In the same way, add the cornflour. Finally, put the rest of the whites in snow and mix carefully.

Spread the dough on a plate covered with a sheet of buttered parchment paper. In the end, bake for 8-10 min until the cake turns golden.

Step 2: Preparation of the syrup

First, boil the water and sugar. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat. Then, let cool. Add rum and salt and keep well.

Step 3: Preparation of the chocolate mousse

In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and let it cool down.

Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs. Then put the yolks in the chocolate and heat while stirring. Remove the pan from the heat before boiling and then add the butter while stirring.

Beat the whites until stiff with a pinch of salt. Finally, incorporate them gently into the preparation.

Step 4: Preparing the log

Flip the cake over a damp cloth and then gently peel off the sheet of paper. Soak the cold syrup cake.

After, add the milk chocolate mousse and spread it on the cake. Then, roll it while squeezing to the maximum. Cover the roll with the remaining foam.

advice : You can draw lines with a fork to mimic the bark of the wood.

Before serving your log, place it in the refrigerator and wait at least 2 hours.

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