Red Velvet Yule Logs: From Disaster To Delicious

It was time for another Bake Sale at school. The Pumpkin Rolls had been such a success that we wanted a repeat. This time Sheila and I brain stormed and our thoughts ran from small Red Velvet Cakes to Red Velvet Rolls to Red Velvet Yule Logs. Perfect. A cake roll with a Yuletide twist. I had the perfect Red Velvet Cake Recipe, a classic that is very much like this one give or take a tablespoon of buttermilk and cocoa. This cake is a winner every time, in normal cake form that is; buttery, moist, and wonderful. Except this time…

One cannot make a cake roll come out of the pan when the recipe calls for lots of butter. It is a lot of eggs you want, not a lot of butter when making cake rolls. I should have known better. Hard lesson learned but my children were happy to get this moist pile of cake in their lunches everyday! I still will use this recipe for regular cakes though. Delicious. Even Maggie thinks so!

I quickly emailed Sheila to let her know not to use my cake recipe and she scoured the internet for a Red Velvet Roll recipe and found The Imperial Sugar Company’ Red Velvet Cake Roll Recipe. I knew right away that it had the correct wet to dry ingredients ratio to make a good roll and this time plenty of eggs. Happy to say this recipe was just right and came out perfectly each time. 18 times that is. I made eighteen of them using pretty much the same method as the Pumpkin Rolls. Only this time wet and dry ingredients separate.

One change I did make and Sheila agreed, was to reduce tha amount of red food coloring. We used 1 tablespoon for two cakes. One ounce per cake seemed a bit much for our poor livers to handle plus did alter the flavor in our opinions. Instead of the bright red we got a deep burgundy, very rich indeed.

I had made labels for each Yule Log telling the recipient how to store, serve, and allergy information. These logs freeze beautifully.

We packaged these in a few layers of plastic wrap, as many of them were heading for the freezer until Christmas, then a layer of cellophane and raffia bows. A label attached along with a little bag of decorative mushrooms. I learned to make these by watching Sandra Lee one year.

Simply insert toothpick through a mini marshmallow then into the bottom of a Hershey’s Kiss. I used Hugs and Peppermint Kisses. Have you had the Peppermint Hershey Kisses yet? Very good and I love the red nonpareils inside. Anyway the mushrooms are the traditional decoration of a Yule Log and symbolize luck in Western Germany. Usually made from merigue, we needed mushrooms that would be easier to make, package, and travel well. The Kiss version was cute, whimsical and fit our needs. It is also traditional to cut off about an inch from one end of the cake and lay it on top of the roll to look like a branch had been cut off from the log. Then sprinkled with powdered sugar to look like snow, I think our Red Velvet Yule Logs turned out splendidly!

I took this one to a neighbors house for a dinner party. We played the most fun Wine Tasting and Guessing game. It was brilliant!

Red Velvet Cake Roll From Imperial Sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar or Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 oz. red food coloring
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups Imperial Sugar Confectioners Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Additional Imperial Sugar Confectioners Sugar or Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar, to dust cake
Optional glaze: White chocolate bits

Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Coat jellyroll pan (cookie sheet with sides) with cooking spray. Line with waxed paper. Coat with cooking spray. Beat the eggs for five minutes. Slowly add Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar or Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar and oil. Beat well. Add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and red food coloring. Sift together dry ingredients. Add slowly to liquid ingredients. Beat two minutes, until well combined. Pour batter into pan. Bake on middle rack for twelve to fifteen minutes, until the cake springs back when touched in center. Sprinkle a cloth dishtowel with Imperial Sugar Confectioners Sugar or Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar. Immediately turn cake out onto towel. Peel off waxed paper. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel together. Place seam side down on rack to cool for thirty minutes. Combine filling ingredients. Beat well. Unroll cake. Spread filling over cake. Trim any rough edges. Re-roll the cake without the towel. Place seam side down, on cookie sheet. Dust with Imperial Sugar Confectioners Sugar or Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, slice cake one inch thick. If desired, melt white chocolate in microwave for one minute. Thin with a little water. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over sliced cake or simply dust with additional Imperial Sugar Confectioners Sugar or Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar. Serves eight.

We sold each log for $12.00. Go to Sheila’s blog to see her Red Velvet Yule Log post.


For excellent Red Velvet Cake use Pinch My Salt’s Recipe.

Well I showed you the big mess in the BRK while I was baking…

It is once again shiny and clean!





See the cleaned up version here!

Tomorrow in BRK- Little Christmas Tradtitions at the House of BRK.


  1. Rachael
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Looks exactly like my pantry! I cleaned my fridge out before I went grocery shopping yesterday, but did not clean the pantry. As as result, I have crammed massive amounts of food and baking staples in there….could fall on me at any minute!!

    The Red Velvet looks delicious πŸ™‚

  2. Joan Nova
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    No wonder you enjoy cooking! You have such a beautiful kitchen! with fabulous skylights! and windows! and appliances! and design! Can you tell I’m wide-eyed and drooling? Now go clean that pantry!

  3. Theresa
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Sorry about your mishap. But the final product looks delicious! My kitchen looked the same way the other day! Get to that pantry, girl!!!

  4. capegirlindc
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    I am ABSOLUTELY making one of these today. I have been thinking about it but you have me convinced. And, ok, I have to admit that Sandra Lee does have cute ideas despite all of my criticism for her.

  5. Rindy R
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    I know you will have your teaching job for life – Not because you are an extraordinary biology teacher (which you are) but because of those beautiful logs you keep producing for their bake sales!! They must love you there! Great Job!

  6. RecipeGirl
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    Those are beautiful! What a great job you did with that huge project πŸ™‚

    I can relate to the disastrous kitchen transformation (and the pantry!!)

  7. Sandy Smith
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    You did a beautiful job on that cake – I’m still in awe of the fact that you did so many of them at one time! The labels are a superiour touch!

    And speaking of awe, I’m sorry to confess this, but I’m coveting your counter space . . .

    I’m pretty sure your pantry is bigger than my kitchen! πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas!

  8. Anonymous
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    The real reason she cleaned her kitchen so sparkly was because Ma is coming for Christmas. Dad

  9. Frantic Home Cook
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Must say I love your Big. Red. Kitchen!

  10. Peter M
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    A little pain along the way but you pulled it well…WAY TA’GO!

    The Yule Log looks fabulous and almost a pity that it has to be eaten.

  11. Lisa
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    Wow, you are so creative! These are beautiful. I love that it comes as a sort of kit with labeling and instructions. And those mushrooms…too cute! Happy Holidays!

  12. Sheila
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    Oh, I love those anonymous comments… they are never quite so anonymous to the blogger though.

    The logs are beautiful; thanks for all your hard work and tweaking to get them just right!

    Glad I am not the only one whose pantry looks a little cluttered;)

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  13. Susan
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    You are so amazing…I wish I had seen this post yesterday! I made a chocolate Yule Log…I couldn’t find a filling I liked so I made one up with cream cheese- I also spread Nutella first before the filling…rolled and froze- I will blog it after I decorate it on Christmas Day!. Now I want to make a ganache to cover it. I also made some meringue mushrooms…1 made me crazy – how do you do 18? I want to bake with you!!!!

  14. I'm just the typist
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    They look great. Check out my baking “mishap” that happened earlier today at My new motto: never bake with children in the house. Merry Christmas, Danielle

  15. Tanya
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

    The cakes look beautiful, Robin! And for $12/each? What a bargain! I would have happily bought one. Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous by the way, even with the mess, but whoa! That pantry! It looks like a tornado passed through it. πŸ™‚ Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  16. Geri
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

    The logs are fabulous. Wow, that’s one messy pantry, but love your kitchen with the red (reminds me of mine).

  17. Robin Sue
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for all the kind comments everyone! You will be happy to know my pantry is fine now and back to normal! See Dec. 24th’s post (today!) In fact my entire house is in order so I can sit back and relax on Christmas. Until they unwrap everything that is. Merry Christmas Everyone!!

    • Annie
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

      does it take the hole 1 oz of red food coloring

    • Robin Sue
      Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:59 PM | Permalink


  18. Grace
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    merry christmas to you too, robin sue!
    and may i say, your filling to cake ratio is MAGNIFICENT. nicely done. πŸ™‚

  19. Lori
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    Dang girl, I completely understand about that pantry.

    I love the little red velvet logs. SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Snooky doodle
    Posted December 28, 2008 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Nice log πŸ™‚ Nice kitchen, not that nice pantry πŸ™‚ but once it was cleaned it was awesome πŸ™‚

  21. Ingrid
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    Your rolls came out perfect!! I want one! Can you hear the whine in my voice?

    You have a beautiful kitchen. Love the size of your pantry! But wow what a mess. I hate when things are not organized in my kitchen.

    Happy 2009!

  22. Rachelle
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

    oh wow! I love your kitchen with that big window panel and sky lights! Lots of great light!
    The logs look great! The little mushrooms are cute.
    Yikes about the pantry! Looks like the top shelves fell over, lol.

  23. capegirlindc
    Posted December 13, 2009 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    I made two of these yesterday for our Christmas party – delicious and really quite easy!

    Next, I am looking for a white chocolate strawberry truffle recipe – like the ones sold from Godiva.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    Help! The recipe isn't opening up on the Imperial website for some reason.

  25. Robin Sue
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Anon- try it now. Also posted the recipe here. Thanks for letting me know! Robin Sue

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