If you have a birthday— for either a child or adult—that falls during the holidays to fete, why not celebrate it with the season's spirit? This tasty cake stems from a long-standing Christmas tradition. "During the Middle Ages," explains Food Editor Mary Beth Jung, "people would cut down a huge tree to burn throughout the Christmas season. Later on, folks sweetened the idea by making cakes that resembled the logs. So here's our own Crafting Traditions birthday cake version of a yule log!"
Total TimePrep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 can (16 ounces) coconut-pecan frosting
- 1 can (16 ounces) milk chocolate frosting, divided
- Large marshmallows
- Baking cocoa
- In a bowl, beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla on high until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in chocolate and water until blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly in a greased and floured 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sprinkle a kitchen towel with confectioners' sugar. Invert cake onto the towel. Starting from a short end, roll up cake in the towel. Place seam side down on a wire rack to cool completely. Unroll cake; spread coconut-pecan frosting to within 1 in. of edges; roll up cake without the towel. Cut and reserve a narrow diagonal slice from each end of the cake. Reserve 2 tablespoons chocolate frosting for mushrooms. Attach diagonal cake slices with a little of the frosting to opposite sides of cake with remaining frosting. With the tines of a fork, make strokes in the frosting to resemble bark on a tree trunk.
- For the mushrooms, half marshmallows widthwise. Flatten half of each marshmallow for cap of mushroom; roll other half between palms of hands for stem. Attach caps to stems with the reserved frosting. Dust tops of mushrooms with cocoa; place around the log.