Midwest Twist on Yule Log Cake

Midwest Twist on Yule Log Cake
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 5:07 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Tiphanie Cannon of Oh So Sweet enchants us once again as she continues her PSL “Season of Sweetness” series.

Cannon shares a family recipe that features a Midwestern twist on a traditional French Buche de Noel that is made with chiffon cake with an espresso buttercream filling and festively decorated with a rich chocolate buttercream, cranberries, and rosemary.

Baking, prepping, and assembling this cake is not for the faint of heart! But she points out, the process can fun and much more manageable if you stretch out the many steps over a couple of days to finish this showstopper of a cake that is the ultimate centerpiece for a Christmas feast.


1/4 C vegetable oil

4 eggs separated (egg yolks in one bowl, egg whites in the other bowl)

1/3 C plus 1 TBSP water

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 C plus 2 TBSP flour

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 C sugar

1/2 salt

2 egg whites

1/4 t cream of tartar

Coffee Syrup

1/4 C coffee

1/4 C sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, 4 egg yolks, water and vanilla. Set aside
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 1/2 C plus 1 T of the sugar.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mister, add the egg yolk mixture and whisk briskly until very smooth, about one minute.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the 6 egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until the egg whites hold soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining 3 T of sugar and beat until egg whites hold firm shiny peaks.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, scoop about one third of the whites into the yok mixture and fold gently. Once those are incorporated, fold in the remaining egg whites until combined.
  7. Pour the batter in to a jelly roll pan that’s been lined with parchment, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cake is set. Cool completely.
  8. Make the coffee syrup: mix together the coffee and the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  9. To assemble the Yule Log: Invert the cake onto a clean towel and peel off the top sheet of parchment. Using a pastry brush, moisten the cake with the coffee syrup. With an off set spatula, spread the espresso buttercream evenly over the cake, leaving a one inch border on the long sides. Starting from the long side, roll up the cake, using the parchment to help you lift and roll it evenly and tightly. If it cracks, just keep rolling!
  10. Refrigerate the cake until the buttercream is firm, about two hours.
  11. To frost and decorate the log: Using a sharp knife, trim the ends of the log, about 1/2 inch on each end. Cut a 6 inch piece from one end of the log and cut diagonally in half.
  12. Place the log seam side down on a serving platter. Cut the 6″ piece in half and place them on opposite sides of the log. Place two large dollops of the chocolate buttercream on top and smooth the buttercream out to look like a log.
  13. Decorate the log with the sugared cranberries and rosemary.
  14. Espresso buttercream filling


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  • Dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla in a bowl or cup and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the butter and beat with a whisk attachment on high for five minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar- ½ cup increments are good- and let each addition completely combine.
  • Once all of the powdered sugar is in, scrape the bowl and then whip for a minute or two until fluffy and light.
  • After that add in the espresso-vanilla mixture and mix on low until combined.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 C butter

3 1/2 C powdered sugar

1/2 C cocoa powder

3 TBSP heavy cream or milk

2 tsp vanilla

  1. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 1 full minute. Add 1/4 cup more confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Taste. Beat in another pinch of salt if desired.
  2. Use immediately or cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting on medium speed for a few seconds so it’s creamy again. After thawing or refrigerating, beating in a splash of heavy cream or milk will help thin the frosting out again, if needed.

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