Yule Log Hacks

No time to make a festive yule log cake from scratch? No problem! The hosts of The Kitchen offer up these quick and easy work-arounds for this traditionally time-consuming holiday dessert.

Start with a store-bought Swiss roll cake, then decorate with the following trimmings:

Branch: Cut off the end of the Swiss roll cake at an angle. Place it perpendicular against the side of the rest of the cake to make a branch. Frost the entire roll.

Bark: Use a fork to texture the frosting to look like bark by dragging it along the outside of the cake.

Mushrooms: Use a melon baller to cut out pieces of apple. Slice the bottom of the apple pieces to make them flat. Use a toothpick to secure each piece to a marshmallow. You can also make mini mushrooms using a smaller melon baller and small marshmallows.

Pinecones: Yule logs often have marzipan-sculpted pinecones, but this is an easier version using cereal. Combine peanut butter, chocolate-hazelnut spread and confectioners' sugar in a bowl and chill to set. Shape the peanut butter mixture around pretzel sticks forming a cone shape on each, then stick chocolate-cinnamon crunch cereal in rows all the way around.

Sugared Rosemary: Use sugar to give rosemary a frosted look! Lightly beat egg whites, then dip the rosemary in the whites, sprinkle with sugar and place on a rack to dry.