We’d be lying if we said we didn’t struggle with NOT calling this a yule log cake. This Christmas log cake tutorial is quite a bit different than your traditional ones each year.
Typically you see the cakes that mimic thinner horizontal chunks of wood with a swirl, creamy center. Guess you could say it’s more like a tree stump cake? Won’t matter what you call it once you see how cute it is! Queue all the lumberjack feels!
We’ve had this idea in mind ever since we started to prep for an outdoorsy, buffalo plaid lumberjack themed sweetscape. So we knew our main dessert had to be shorter, more proportional, and more like a tree stump and less like a log.
Now that we’ve overshared our semantic justification for our Christmas cake, let’s move on with this Christmas Log Cake Tutorial! 😉
This tree stump cake tutorial can be used for any party theme and once you see how stinking easy it is to make compared to other log cakes, you’ll never go back. Promise!
This lumberjack cake is the first of 4 posts this week for this buffalo plaid theme week. We don’t want to give too much away but there’s a huge announcement at the end of the week so keep an eye out!
Without further adieu, let’s get started!
Christmas Log Cake Ingredients & Tools
- Cake layers
- chocolate frosting
- vanilla frosting
- melting chocolate/chocolate bark squares
- pizza cutter
- white sugar crystal sprinkles
- lumberjack sprinkle mix
- large round piping tip
- parchment paper 1-3 baking sheets
How To Make A Log Cake
Not to oversimplify things, but look at how short the list of things to do is. This lumberjack cake is SO simple. Check out all the details below!
- Bake and frost layers
- Pipe wood circles
- Make tree stump bark
- Apply chocolate bark
- Winterize and decorate
Bake and Frost Layers
Layer and frost cakes as you would a normal one with chocolate frosting. This particular one is 4, 6 inch rounds, 2 inches high. No need to be perfectionist! The frosting doesn’t have to be smooth at all as you’re going to cover it up. As a matter of fact, a little texture helps the chocolate stick.
Pipe Wood Circles
Use a large round piping tip and lighter frosting to pipe the wood top. For the tan color we used here, mix just a little chocolate with vanilla frosting.
Make sure your icing bag is plenty full. Start in the middle and slowly work your way around the cake applying even pressure the whole time. Because the top will be visible, it’s really important to have a uniform swirl.
Make Tree Stump Bark
Measure the circumference of your cake by wrapping a piece of parchment paper around it, adding a few inches to give you a little wiggle room.
This is an easy way to make sure you have enough chocolate bark to go around the entire cake. If needed, cut parchment into two pieces to fit on baking sheets. You can skip this step but it’s much easier to work with the chocolate when chilled. The baking sheets allow you to move the chocolate.
Apply Chocolate Bark To Sides
Melt chocolate and smooth onto parchment paper. We used 4 squares of chocolate bark in this example. Use a small spatula to create a vertical pattern as seen in the pictures.
After a few minutes the chocolate will begin to set. Use a pizza cutter to trim one side so it’s smooth, and then cut vertical lines to create your pieces of bark. Again no need to be a perfectionist!
Let the cutter wiggle around a little to give the prices a bark like shape on one edge. Do a quick height measurement of your cake and chocolate at this point in case you need to trim a little extra chocolate off the bottom. You want it to peek right over the top like shown below.
After the chocolate is cut, chill chocolate until firm. NOTE: It’s really important to cut the chocolate as it sets prior to chilling, the cold chocolate will be more likely to shatter if cut after. We learned this the hard way!
Now that it looks like an actual tree stump cake, we move on to decoartions!
Winterize and Decorate
Use corn syrup or extra frosting to “glue”on the chocolate bark strips.
Using a large round piping tip, pipe vanilla frosting “snow” around the cake. While still wet, sprinkle with sugar crystals.
Top with lumberjack sprinkles and decorate the cake plate or border of cake with ribbon of your choice.
Here we used a pattern from our Sihouette to but fall follage and place between our cake plates. We also tucked a piece inside of our buffalo plaid ribbon. We were going for a lumberjack cake look here for our party.
And let’s just be honest, we are still completely obsessed with buffalo plaid. There, we said it.
Update: See our full party tablescape here!