My family growing up, much like many families, made Christmas cookies as a tradition. In recent years, I’ve decided to branch out into making cakes instead. I’m still dipping my toes into cakes, and experimenting with different kinds of cake and different ways of decorating them, so please forgive any little mistakes here and there!
I am by no means a professional cake decorator. I’ve seen versions of a Christmas log cake decorated to look like a real log, and they look stunning! Mine is nowhere near that detailed.
For this recipe, I took inspiration from my grandma’s pumpkin roll cake, but I wanted to make it a little more Christmas-y. So, I added mint and made it chocolate! Sounds great, right? The cake is coated with a mirror glaze style ganache, and it’s actually pretty fun to make.
Tips and Suggestions
This cake is actually pretty simple to make, it just takes it a bit to get the eggs to the right consistency when you’re mixing it all together.
When you’re ready to roll and chill the cake, I highly recommend coating it with cocoa powder like in the image above. Most of it doesn’t stick in place, but it’s a great way to prevent the cake from sticking to anything while it cools and chills.
You don’t have to use the same mint style I did. I think this would be super tasty if the inner filling was a strawberry cream, or you can leave it a plain vanilla by replacing the mint extract with vanilla extract. Similarly, you don’t need to top it with sprinkles like I did; chopped mint candies, powdered sugar, or even just using a knife to run woodgrain lines across it would work great!
Also, be prepared to move your cake. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to move it, but a couple of spatulas and a bit of care did just fine.
Don’t be scared off by the long time for the recipe; most of it is cooling and chilling!
Christmas Log Cake
- Stand Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- Cooling Rack
- Cookie Sheet
- Double Boiler
- Clean Hand Towel
- Parchment Paper
- Plastic Wrap
- Icing Knife
For the Cake
- ½ Cup Flour
- ⅓ Cup Cocoa Powder Plus extra for rolling.
- 4 Eggs
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Melted Butter
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
For the Cream Filling
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- ½ Tsp Peppermint Extract
For the Ganache Coating
- ¾ Cup Chocolate Chips
- ¾ Cup Heavy Cream
- ¼ Cup Andes Mint Bits
- Sprinkles or other topping Optional
Make the Cake
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a small 11×17 baking sheet with parchment paper and plenty of grease; you don't want this cake to stick.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Set this aside.
- In your stand mixer, beat together the eggs and vanilla on high until foamy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add your sugar to the eggs about ¼ cup at a time, blending each time.
- Add in the melted butter and mix well.
- Mix in the dry ingredients and blend until they just come together.
- Pour your batter in your baking sheet and spread evenly. You can tap this on the counter to help remove bubbles and spread it out.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on how thick your batter was.
- Spread out a dish towel on your counter and place your cooling rack on top of it, and then carefully flip the still-hot cake onto it. Remove the parchment paper and set it aside.
- Dust the exposed top of the cake with cocoa powder. I used nearly ¼ cup, and brushed off the excess. Put the parchment paper back on top of the cocoa powdered side of the cake.
- Carefully roll up your cake, keeping the parchment paper on top as a separating layer. Optionally, wrap your towel around this cake.
- Allow the cake to cool for at least an hour.
Make the Cream Filling
- In your mixer, whip together the cream ingredients to make whipped cream. Adjust flavors however you prefer.
- Carefully unroll your cake. Remove the parchment paper, then spread an even layer of whipped cream across it. Top with any sprinkles, candies, or other add-ins you prefer.
- Roll your cake back up, and wrap snugly with plastic wrap. Chill this in the fridge for 1-2 more hours.
Make the Ganache Coating
- Unwrap (but don't unroll) your cake, and place it seam side down on your cooling rack, on top of your baking sheet or another surface to catch excess chocolate. Trim the ends flat if you prefer.
- In your double boiler, melt the heavy cream and chocolate together.
- Pour or spread this ganache over the cake, allowing excess to drip off. To coat the ends of the roll, either pour extra carefully, or use a rubber spatula to spread it on the end. Top with any additional candy or sprinkles you prefer.
- Set this entire assembly in the fridge to chill for another 20-30 minutes, allowing the ganache to set.
- Slice and enjoy!