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The Yule Log Cake Tradition

During many Christmas gatherings what is the one dessert that is most commonly seen on the dinner table?  It’s none other than the log cake.  Some of you might have wondered why log cake?  Why is it not a star-shaped cake or reindeer design?


In the Nordic region they have a tradition of burning Yule Log back in the medieval times.  The Yule Log was originally an entire tree that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with a grand ceremony.  This is to welcome the winter solstice.  The large end of the log would be placed in the fire hearth and lit from the remains of previous year’s log.  This is a very important re-lighting ceremony that can only be carried out by someone with clean hands.  It is a must that after the Christmas celebrations, a piece of the Yule Log is kept for the next year’s re-lighting ceremony.


Of course in this day and age the tradition of burning Yule log has been phased out following the disappearance of hearths in homes.  Some homes might still have hearths albeit a smaller one.  Nowadays families just place a small, decorated log in the Christmas centerpiece on the table.


It is not known who baked the first Yule log cake or when was it baked.  Some people are saying that it could be as early as the 1600s because the popular ingredients for Yule logs like marzipan and meringue can be found on many medieval tables. The symbolic cake representing Yule log is a Christmas staple in many households for several years now.  There are many variations and flavours of the Yule log cake like chocolate, vanilla or even alcohol-infused ones.


What kind of Yule log cake is your favourite?  Share with us by commenting below.