The Yule Log
This excellent article does a good job of explaining the Yule log. Why re-invent the wheel? Above is a picture of the cake version.
Perhaps I'm weird, but I like a third alternative of turning a log of wood into a candleabra able to hold three taper candles. I simply use a spade bit of the appropriate size for my candles on a drill, and in a few minutes I have a Yule Log to "burn" with reasonable care. No, I don't let the tapers burn down into the socket I've made and set the log alight! I'm not that stupid.
However, this does give me the opportunity to decorate the log with burnable decorations such as sprigs of evergreen and holly. Trust me on this, don't use silk or plastic. The smell will run you right out of the area if you ever do burn your Yule Log.
Oh, and I highly recommend finding a copy of "Wheel of the Year" by Pauline and Dan Campanelli. They have a lovely bit of ritual suitable for the burning.