For a cake that comes out looking so incredibly fancy, a yule log (or bûche de Noël) is surprisingly easy to make. It’s basically just a jelly roll cake: a thin, flat génoise that any fool can glop filling on and then roll up into a reasonable facsimile of a log. Icing the cake is equally easy, as it doesn’t require particularly steady or skilled hands, just a load of buttercream frosting tinted brown and some powdered sugar to mimic snow. This video from a couple of bakery owners has some additional helpful tips for refining your cake technique. These bakers use meringue mushrooms, but I prefer marzipan mushrooms: They’re ridiculously easy to make (indeed, here is a tutorial!), and plus, you get to bite into a big marzipan thing, which is always nice.

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