Pumpkin and ghost buttercream decorations on top of a purple cake

Ghoul Log Halloween Roulade Cake

Halloween people need an iconic seasonal cake, too.

Yule logs are out. Ghoul logs are in.

The most festive cake of the spooky season has arrived: Meet the GHOUL log, an eerie roulade cake decked out for Halloween.

An orange and purple cake decorated with Halloween sprinkles on a white plate

A roulade cake, also known as a Swiss roll or a rolled cake, is typically the style of cake used in a yule log cake. The cake, often a sponge cake, is rolled up with buttercream or whipped cream and then frosted and decorated on the outside.

ICE Los Angeles Pastry & Baking Arts Chef-Instructors Missy Smith-Chapman and Carrie Smith created the ghoul log for Halloween lovers everywhere.

The chefs came up with the idea while brainstorming unique Halloween treats to please a crowd. They made two differently colored versions of the same cake and buttercream base — one with white cake and buttercream and the other with orange cake and purple buttercream — to test out different decor schemes.

Pro-tip from the ICE chefs: After you add initial food dye to a buttercream, to intensify the color more, scoop about one-quarter of the total amount of the buttercream into a microwave-safe bowl, microwave it until just melted and then mix it back into the rest of the buttercream. The color will deepen without having to add even more dye to your mix.

One of the most important steps when making a roulade cake is the rolling. Some of the chefs' top tips for a successful roll include:

  • Use a flexible cake base, like a sponge cake
  • Rolling while the cake is still warm

Roulade cakes, though often decorated with meringue mushrooms or sugared cranberries around the holiday season, are versatile for any occasion. Plus, they're super fun to decorate with buttercream pumpkins, ghosts and eyeball sprinkles.

This year, try your hand at making a ghoul log. After all, why pass out Halloween candy when you can hand each precocious trick-or-treater a thick slice of rolled cake and send them on their way? Or just make it and use it as a centerpiece at your Halloween party.

Whichever you choose, here's how to make it at home.


Roulade Cake

Makes 1 cake


  • 6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 6 ounces sugar
  • 1 ounce honey
  • 6 ounces cake flour, sifted 
  • 4 cups Swiss meringue buttercream
  • *Optional* Food color of choice


  1. Preheat conventional oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk egg yolks, 3 ounces of sugar and the honey to a ribbon stage.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and 3 ounces of sugar to a medium-peak meringue.
  4. Fold the meringue into the ribboned yolk mixture.
  5. Fold in the sifted cake flour.
  6. Spread the batter into a sprayed, paper-lined 1/2-inch sheet tray.
  7. Bake until the cake springs back to the touch.
  8. Once the cake is out of the oven, allow to cool.
  9. Spread about half of the buttercream on one side and then carefully and evenly roll up the cake.
  10. Immediately put the rolled cake in the freezer and allow it to firm up for about 20 to 30 minutes. 
  11. Once the cake has firmed up, ice with the rest of the buttercream. Decorate with additional buttercream designs and sprinkles.

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