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  • Writer's pictureMadelaine

Yule Log/ Bûche de Noël (dairy-free)

With Winter Solstice just around the corner (again), I cannot help but reflect on this year. So many things have happened and been going on this year that I feel 2021 wasn't any easier than 2020... I know I'm not alone if I say I'm finding it hard to get into the holiday spirit. The cold, dark, and damp days are not helping either. Like the song goes, I am also dreaming of a white Christmas. (I know it sounds cliche, but it's true!). There are just a few days until Christmas now. Therefore, I am trying to incorporate a little bit of cosiness into each day while getting things sorted and ready for Christmas Eve. And I thought that you might need a little inspiration too, so I am sharing my version of this season's favourite cake, the Yule Log or Bûche de Noël.

I don't know what it is about this cake, but whenever I search for festive cake ideas on Pinterest, Yule Logs always make me feel like I want to celebrate and enjoy the season regardless of the short and dark days! There are thousands of beautifully decorated Yule Logs on the internet, and I can easily spend an hour scrolling through those images!

This Yule Log or Bûche de Noël is dairy-free. It is lighter than the store-bought and contains less sugar. It is the perfect homemade dessert: fluffy sponge filled with chestnutty cream filling, with a hint of cinnamon, and all covered with delicious chocolate frosting. Not to mention that this cake deserves to be the centrepiece of every table! ❤️🕯🎄

If you celebrate Christmas or any other festivity this season, I hope you have a beautiful time! ❤

Top photo a dairy-free chestnut yule log on a slate sprinkled with icing sugar and decorated with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs

Yule Log/ Bûche de Noël (dairy-free)

PREP TIME: 40 min

TOTAL TIME: 2h 30 min (including cooling)



Cocoa sponge cake:

- 6 egg whites

- 6 tbsp caster sugar

- 6 egg yolks

- 2 tbsp vegetable oil

- 4 tbsp flour

- 2 tbsp cocoa powder

- 1 tsp baking powder

- pinch of salt

- orange zest (optional)

Chestnut cream filling:

- 270ml Elmlea vegan double cream (or other alternatives)

- 4-6 tbsp icing sugar

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- ½ tsp cinnamon

- 100g cooked chestnuts

Cocoa frosting:

- 200g soft butter (unsalted)

- 280g icing sugar

- 40g cocoa powder

- 2-3 tbsp plant-based milk

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Close photo of a yule log on a slate decorated with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs, cooked chestnuts and a star anise


Cocoa sponge cake

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas mark 6, and line a rectangular shallow baking tray (approx. 27x40cm) with parchment paper.

2. Add the egg whites to a large bowl and start whipping with an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Next, add the egg yolks one by one, followed by the oil and the baking powder. Swap to a spatula and gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and orange zest.

3. Pour the cake batter into the tray and level with a spatula. Bake for about 15-20 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

4. Lay a tea towel on the counter and sprinkle it with starch or icing sugar. Once removed from the oven, turn the sponge cake over the tea towel and peel off the parchment paper carefully as the cake is hot. Roll up the cake on the long side with the help of the tea towel and let it cool completely.

Chestnut cream filling

1. Add the cream, icing sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon to a medium-sized bowl and whip until firm peaks form.

2. Chop the cooked chestnuts and gently fold them into whipped cream. Carefully unfold the sponge and cover it with the chestnut cream. Slowly roll up the cake and pop it in the fridge until decorating.

Cocoa frosting

1. Beat the margarine and the icing sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and plant-based milk. Add more milk if necessary.

2. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with a star nozzle.

3. Remove the cake from the fridge and cut it into two at a 45-degree angle, making sure that one piece is bigger than the other. Chop off the angled end of the larger piece (this is when you can try your cake without anyone noticing!) and assemble the cake by putting the two logs next to each other at an angle.

4. To finish your yule log, pipe the frosting lengthwise to resemble the bark of a tree. You can also add a couple of swirls for a more natural look. Sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with fresh rosemary sprigs and cranberries.

Click on the below to download this recipe as a free, pdf recipe card:

Yule Log
Download PDF • 3.39MB

Have you tried this recipe or want to say hi?

I would love to hear from you 😊 Comment below and/or share a pic on Instagram with the tag: #madelaineskitchen

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