As you’ll discover next week, my upcoming cookbook post will be a little bit on the . . . snoozy side (good and tasty results, just a bit repetitious in the recipe try-out arena). So I decided to bring you a special bonus holiday dispatch to tell you about a more exciting cooking adventure! Here goes . . .
Erin and Keith, in an attempt to travel “easier” this past holiday season, decided to come for Christmas . . . after Christmas. (Which turned out to be a very fortuitous decision, since everything here was shut down for the Christmas blizzard, and flights were disrupted for days.) Anyway, we had long been planning a belated family Christmas celebration/dinner . . . and Erin was excited to be able to do a little baking here in my kitchen. (She loves to bake, but has a very teeny kitchen in her apartment in California. She takes advantage of my bigger kitchen whenever she visits.)
What did she want to bake? Why . . . a yule log . . . as dessert for our family Christmas dinner! (She was very keen on “rolling” a cake.)
We decided on the Gingerbread Yule Log from Smitten Kitchen . . . and Erin got to work!
It was a fabulous experience/baking adventure. (If Paul Hollywood had been here, Erin would have gotten a handshake!) Yeah . . . it was a bit futzy to make. But Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen recipe (link here) includes helpful, detailed instructions and loads of photos. And . . . best of all. . . there is a YouTube video (link here) with Deb demonstrating her entire Yule Log recipe/process (in only 13 minutes). (We did watch the video before beginning.) Deb Perelman makes cooking and baking accessible and do-able, thanks to her easy-breezy vibe and her you-can-do-this-too attitude. She inspires confidence . . . even when you’ve never rolled a cake before!
Final result? Great fun to make. Looked awesome. And . . . tasted fabulous! This was a GREAT holiday dessert — and it may become a new tradition around here.
It all looked so gorgeous! From the beautiful cake to those sparkly berries! And Erin has some mad baking skills… bravo to her!
I got a yule log birthday cake one year and have been a fan ever since. Erin picked the Perfect project! So glad to see her on your blog.
I’ve made rolled cakes before (John loves them) but never a gingerbread yule log so I would like to try this someday. Erin’s skills are impressive – no cracks and a perfect spiral!
I am super impressed! Having watched numerous Bake Off contestants try (and often fail) to get a good swirl, I can wholeheartedly agree that this cake would have earned a handshake. If only we could get a taste through the blog!
That looks delicious and so festive for the season.
Well done, Erin!! Every time we watch BBS, I get an urge to ‘roll a sponge’! (Have I done it? Not *yet*) What fun. And I’m so glad for your already-scheduled post-Christmas Christmas. We had young travelers in the thick of it–and we’re still trying to get out from under it. Ack.
Have a cozy weekend!
How wonderful! The pictures have me drooling. When Colin was in grade school he brought home a recipe for a Yule Log (Buche de Noel) which we did make. It did not turn out as pretty as Erin’s and I thought it was a ton of work…but it was ultimately fun to do. So glad you were all able to get together!
I love a Yule Log! I haven’t heard of a gingerbread one but it looks amazing!
Erin reminds me of my kids – they all have tiny apartment kitchens (2 in San Franciso), so whenever they come home, they’re glad to take over the kitchen. (And I’m glad to let them!) My 2 boys are especially adventurous cooks, so it’s always fun to see what they make.
yum and yay … and all the smiles for giving your kitchen over to someone else to bake! also wow, she looks SO HAPPY! and smiles, too, to see Keith helping with the decorations.
What a fabulous dessert. What is even more fabulous is the time you spent with your daughter in the kitchen. Somehow there is nothing quite like rubbing shoulders in the kitchen. Any Smitten Kitchen recipe I have tried has always been a winner.
What a great looking Yule Log! I am a fan of Smitten Kitchen recipes — ever since a friend brought Salted Brown-butter Rice Krispie treats to a party and recommended Deb’s recipes. We had our kids after Christmas this year too (though they traveled earlier and were at the other parents for Christmas day, as were we). Kind of took the pressure off to be celebrating and entertaining NOT on “the day.”
I’ve made rolled cakes (jelly, chocolate, pumpkin) but never attempted the extra level of a Yule log. This looks great and I love that Erin wanted to make it for all of you.
Oh fun! It looks delicious!! We made that for Covid Christmas (after Christmas) and it felt like I earned a notch on my apron!