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?

Reprinted with permission from Vegan Holiday Cooking by Kirsten Kaminski, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Kirsten Kaminski

Chocolate Yule Log [Vegan]

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Ingredients

For the 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 tablespoons (14 g) cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270 ml) almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsweetened applesauce

For the Cream Filling: 

  • 1 (14-oz [420-ml]) can full-fat coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache: 

  • 1/3 cup (75 g) vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup (56 g) cacao powder
  • 1 cup (130 g) powdered sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) almond or soy milk
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Preparation

To Make the Cream Filling:

  1. Scoop only the solid portion of the chilled coconut cream into a medium bowl, then add the maple syrup and vanilla.
  2. 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.

To Make the Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Combine the butter, cacao powder, powdered sugar and milk in a medium bowl. Whip the ganache using a hand mixer until it is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Place the ganache in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the Chocolate Sponge Cake:

  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, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, 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 12 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. 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. 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.
  6. Spread the chocolate ganache on top of the cake and use a frosting knife to shape the cake like a wooden log.
  7. Leave the 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.
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