Bûche de Noël is a classic French dessert that is similar in taste to a Swiss roll. What sets the cake apart is that it is constructed and decorated to resemble a yule log so it can be a festive way to celebrate Christmas. This vegan take on the dessert is creamy, chocolaty, and delicious with a lovely final texture in the ganache to really tie it all together.
Bûche de Noël: Christmas Log Cake [Vegan]
For the Cake:
- 2 cups soy milk
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup canola oil (scant)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cup pastry flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder (scant)
- 3 teaspoons arrowroot powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the Mocha Coconut Cream Filling:
- 2 15-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coffee extract
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons almond milk
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and let it curdle for a few minutes. Then add oil, sugar, and extracts. Stir to combine. Then sift in flour, powder, leaveners, and salt.
- Bake 2 cakes on cookie sheets lined with parchment. Use one large size (11x17-inch) and one medium (9x12-inch), pouring the cake approximately 1/2-inch thick when raw.
- Cook at 350°F for about 15 minutes and cooled completely on the rack before frosting.
To Make the Mocha Coconut Cream Filling:
- Whip the coconut fat (don't use the water in the can; save it for a smoothie or curry), sugar, and extract on high speed until you have the desired consistency (approximately 5 minutes).
- Lay out a layer about 1/2-inch thick over both layers to the cake. Then (this is the crux) roll each cake up onto its self, using the parchment to assist you. Once it's rolled and tight-ish (think tightening a nori roll with a mat), lay both seam sides down. Refrigerate to help firm things up.
To Make the Chocolate Ganache:
- Microwave the chips and milk in a glass bowl on 75% power for about 4 minutes or until the chocolate is fully melted. Stir well before frosting. Take the smaller of the two cakes and cut it in half at a 45 degree angle, beveled a bit in at the bottom.
- Attach one of these sections to the side as a separate branch of the cake. The remaining half of the smaller cake you may use to taste test or fashion another branch like in the picture. Then spread the ganache over the entire log, paying special attention to the joint(s). Garnish with fresh flowers or whatever you have on hand.