Roulade cake decorated with colourful buttercream flowers. Yule Log Cake. Cake Skazka. (Photo by: Anjelika Gretskaia/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
How Yule Log Cakes Became A Christmas Tradition
By Ashley Reut
Many things can symbolize Christmas depending on the family traditions you grew up with, but one universal sign that the holidays are here is a Yule log or "bûche de Noël," as some call it. We're not talking about the cozy faux-fireplace image that flickers on your TV screen — we're referring to the tasty sponge cake with some variation of a delicious filling.
The name yule log came from pre-Industrial Europe, where local Victorians were burning actual logs in honor of the Norse god. Old Viking traditions spread throughout Europe, and their practices stuck and intertwined with existing European solstice events, including one tradition that burned logs to keep out winter darkness. 
The logs symbolized a sense of continuity and were said to have protective powers if you slept with them under your bed. Today, the tradition of logs has turned to accommodate smaller fireplaces and transformed into delicious chocolate or vanilla yule log.