Vegan Yule Log Cake to Make Christmas Complete

11

A traditional French Yule Log, or Bûche de Noël, is rich with dairy and eggs. But this vegan yule log is dairy-free and egg-free, and it can even be made nut-free and soy-free! It’s a delicious sample recipe from the cookbook Vegan Holiday Cooking by Kirsten Kaminski.

Vegan Yule Log Recipe - also known as Bûche de Noël or Chocolate Roll Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Filling and Chocolate Ganache

This Vegan Yule Log Cake will Make Christmas Complete

This decadent chocolate roll cake is the ultimate festive dessert. You can actually serve it for just about any occasion. But spreading the chocolate ganache in rustic lines, like tree bark, is what makes this a classic
Bûche de Noël, or Christmas Log.

Vegan Yule Log Recipe - also known as Bûche de Noël or Chocolate Roll Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Filling and Chocolate GanacheVegan Holiday Cooking is all about Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. It’s filled with mains, sides, and sweets to make the perfect feast. The recipes have an air of tradition, but boast some of Kirsten’s special twists.

The vegan Yule Log recipe below is just one of the enticing dishes that you will find in Vegan Holiday Cooking, but I think it’s an excellent example. Kirsten doesn’t shy away from indulgence, especially around the holidays. Nevertheless, she interjects healthier ingredients when they work. You might have noticed that the cake and cream filling use unrefined sweeteners, but she recognizes that powdered sugar is best for the chocolate ganache.

Substitution Tips

For those of you with additional diet concerns, I have a few suggestions for Kirsten’s vegan yule log recipe.

  • Starch Options: If you aren’t a fan of cornstarch or need corn-free, then you can substitute another starch, like arrowroot or tapioca starch.
  • Milk Beverage Options: Kirsten uses almond or soymilk, but you can substitute your favorite dairy-free milk beverage. Most will work without notable changes to the finished cake.
  • Vinegar Option: Kirsten uses just a little bit of vinegar to help in the cake texture and rise. If you don’t keep apple cider vinegar on hand, you don’t need to run out and buy it for such a small amount. You can substitute plain white vinegar.
  • Sweetener Options: If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand, you can substitute another granulated sweetener. If you need lower sugar, there are sugar-free powdered sugar substitutes like Swerve Confectioners’.

Vegan Yule Log Recipe - also known as Bûche de Noël or Chocolate Roll Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Filling and Chocolate Ganache

Special Diet Notes: Vegan Yule Log / Bûche de Noël

By ingredients this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

3.5 from 2 reviews
Vegan Yule Log (Bûche de Noël)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a proper Yule log. This recipe creates a perfectly decadent, spongy vegan Yule log filled with a silky smooth cream and coated in a scrumptious chocolate ganache. Are you drooling yet? (Please note that the Prep time is estimated hands-on time. Allow about 1 hour for refrigeration times.)
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
Chocolate Sponge Cake
  • 1 1⁄2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch
  • 1⁄4 cup (48 g) coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoon (14 g) cocoa powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270 ml) almond or soy milk beverage
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsweetened applesauce
Cream Filling
  • 1 (14-oz [420-ml]) can full-fat coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache
  • ⅓ cup (75 g) dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
  • 1⁄2 cup (56 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (130 g) powdered sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) almond or soy milk beverage
Instructions
  1. To make the chocolate sponge cake, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a rimmed 9 1⁄2 x 12 1⁄2–inch (24 x 31.75–cm) baking sheet with parchment paper, making sure the edges are completely covered. (Note that it’s important to use a baking sheet that’s close to these dimensions, or the cake will be too thick or thin to roll.)
  2. In large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the milk beverage, vinegar, oil and applesauce. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. The batter should be thick and pourable.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking sheet and spread it into an even layer about a 1⁄2 inch (13 mm) thick. Bake the cake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 2 minutes.
  4. Gently roll the cake from short end to short end, rolling the parchment paper up inside the cake and using it as a guide. Be very careful during this step so as not to break the cake—try to handle it as little as possible. Let the rolled cake cool to room temperature (otherwise the filling will melt).
  5. While the cake is cooling, make the cream filling. Scoop only the solid portion of the chilled coconut cream into a medium bowl, then add the maple syrup and vanilla. Whip the cream filling using a hand mixer until it is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Place the cream filling in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. To make the chocolate ganache, combine the butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and milk beverage in a medium bowl. Whip the ganache using a hand mixer until it is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Place the ganache in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, carefully unroll it and top it with all of the cream filling. Spread the filling evenly over the cake, leaving a 1⁄2-inch (13-mm) border along the edges. Begin rolling the cake back up the same way it was unrolled, from short end to short end, removing the parchment paper as you go. Continue rolling, using the parchment paper as a guide, until the cake is seam-side down. Wipe away any excess filling that may have spilled over.
  8. Gently wrap the cake in parchment paper and carefully transfer it to a cutting board. Place the cutting board in the refrigerator until the cake is completely chilled and firm enough to handle easily, 30 to 60 minutes. Carefully unroll it from the parchment wrap and place it on a serving platter.
  9. Spread the chocolate ganache on top of the cake and use a frosting knife to shape the cake like a wooden log. Leave the vegan Yule log as is or dust it with a bit of powdered sugar. Use a clean knife to carefully slice the log into pieces. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Notes
This recipe is reprinted with permission from Vegan Holiday Cooking by Kirsten Kaminski, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Kirsten Kaminski.
 

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

11 Comments

  1. Hi,
    The sponge came out rather tasteless and dense. Not too impressive. The coconut cream could not become smooth no matter how long I mixed it. It had chunks of coconut cream and then separated. I must have destroyed the chemistry because it never did set up right! The ganache was the best part of this , absolutely the best ganache I had ever made.

    • I can’t speak to the cake, since it isn’t an in-house recipe, but I can say it sounds like a bad coconut milk / cream batch. The chemistry is too many additives, like gums, instead of just coconut. A couple of years ago, I had that happen, where all the cans I bought did exactly what you are saying. It’s frustrating, but not your fault, or the recipe’s fault. It’s just a bad coconut milk batch where too much thickener got into the batch and causes clumps.

      • I had the same problem. Wasn’t a bad batch, I tasted it prior to using. And had a second can with same lot number. I followed instructions to a T. The coconut cream would not blend, in formed chunks. The cake had no taste and the texture was not like cake. I was very disappointed. I was going to serve it for Christmas Eve dinner. I had to run out at the last minute to buy a vegan cake. Not sure why this happened, but another person commented the same 🙁 Exactly the same problem.

        • I did ask the author about the cake portion previously, she retested it, and said it works great. So again, I can’t speak to the cake. I’ll have to work on a recipe for it myself to replace!

          As for the coconut cream, it isn’t the taste that’s affected. It isn’t the recipe – it is the coconut cream. Again, it is when a bad batch happens and these batches are BIG. Last time it happened, it was all of the cans I had bought, and some at the store, and I read reviews online of many people who were having this happen. Keep in mind, the recipe is only sugar and the coconut cream. Pure coconut cream is just coconut and water blended. These ingredients do not have a chemical reaction – the cream stays a cream. But when there are other ingredients added that can alter the properties, like gum, and the batch gets too much in it, that clumping happens when you blend it. As mentioned, I had the same thing happen and I’ve been making coconut whipped cream for 15 years. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes these things happen in production.

          I am so sorry that the cake didn’t work out for you though. I will try to test it myself and see if I can’t fix her recipe so it works well for all. Some people have had good luck!

  2. I was nervous to try this because it didn’t have any reviews but it is PERFECT! I made it with my family and each part came out amazing. I topped my yule log with rosemary, cranberry and powdered sugar and it looks so incredible I wish I could add a picture. I used white sugar instead of coconut sugar and worked perfectly. We even added some amaretto to our chocolate Gamache, so so yummy!!! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  3. The cake part came out gummy and strange not at like a sponge cake even though we followed the recipe to the t… We tried eating it but couldn’t do it, unfortunately we had to scrap it 🙁

    • I’m so sorry Kirsten’s recipe wasn’t a hit for you Hollis! I’ll add notes to help others. The two main causes of a gummy cake are overmixing and a formula that is too low in fat and/or sugar. This cake is much lower in fat than most cake recipes. If it were me, I would increase the oil to 1/4 cup and reduce the milk beverage to 1 cup. I might even add a higher ratio of oil, or increase the sugar. Fat and sugar are what make a cake tender, and this recipe is quite low in both. This makes for a more delicate and finicky balance than your average cake recipe.

  4. Anna Korovina on

    Alisa! I hope you are well. I made the log and I followed the recipe exactly. I had to bake the sponge for almost an hour as it was just so runny! and the filling was also too thin 🙁 I don’t see what I did wrong! Help!

    • Hi Anna, this isn’t one of my recipes – it’s a sample from Kirsten Kaminski’s holiday book – but I’ll do my best to help! As for the sponge, that does seem like a very high liquid to flour ratio. Not one that would be spreadable. Did it bake up well for you, despite the added time? I’ll have to check to see if there are any errors with that.
      I can help more with the filling. Did you use thick, spoonable coconut cream? What you see is what you get with coconut cream. It doesn’t whip up like dairy cream. So it needs to be very, very thick right from the start. Refrigerate it, and if it doesn’t set up, it’s not a good can of coconut milk / coconut cream. If it does, only use that thick, scoopable portion.
      That said, I never use liquid sweetener with coconut cream – it makes it too soft in my opinion. I use powdered sugar, or another granulated sugar might work. That’s a lot of vanilla and maple to add, particularly if you didn’t get a lot of coconut cream from your can. Here’s my guide to coconut whipped cream, which should help -> https://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/easy-dairy-free-whipped-cream

    • Hi Anna, the recipe creator, Kirsten, said everything looked right, but she tested it again just to be sure. She followed everything as she had written and, aside from the cake needing to bake for 14 minutes rather than the 10-12 as noted in the book (she was using a different oven), everything else went as written in the recipe. She isn’t sure what could have gone wrong for you – perhaps a different size tin than suggested, a weaker oven, or an ingredient oversight were the only things should could think of. But see my notes below on the filling.

Leave A Reply

Rate this recipe: