Who doesn’t love a delicious cake at Christmas? I wanted to make a festive cake this year, however I’ve never been one to eat Christmas cake! so of course I went to the my festive favourite and created a delicious yule log! Chocolate cake is my favourite kind of cake all year round, and Christmas is no exception!
This yule log has subtle cinnamon and nutmeg flavours running throughout which adds a little twist to the usual yule cake, I used a simple yet indulgent ganache using my favourite vegan chocolate and decorated using fondant and icing.
As you’re probably aware if you have looked at my recipes before, I don’t eat refined sugar! I made several versions of these over the festive period, some for gifts, some were commissions and some for myself! All of them were vegan and gluten free but some contained normal sugar and some were created for my dietary requirements. Below when listing the ingredients i’ll give you options for both, so you can decide which version to create! 🙂 of course if you don’t need gluten free you can use normal gluten flour! 🙂
Before we get started:
Hints and Tips to help your cake roll :
- you want to bake your cake so that it’s just about baked! if it’s well baked/over baked you won’t be able to roll it properly.
- before rolling using a knife slightly score a line all the way across one end, making sure to only score the sponge to quarter/halfway down.
Vegan egg replacer:
For my vegan cake I use a bi-product called “aquafabab” if you haven’t heard of this in simple terms it’s the liquid you get in a can of chickpeas! this is a great binding ingredient, it’s cheap and you can use the chickpeas after to make something else delicious like hummus!
to make my cakes refined sugar free I use coconut sugar which you can find in supermarkets or health food stores,I usually buy mine in Sainsbury’s.
For my icing “sugar” I use a brand called Sukrin, who use Stevia to replicate specific sugars. They have created a replica of powdered icing sugar, it has zero calories and is a wonderful substitute! you can buy is here: sukrin
alternatively you can use regular icing sugar and regular caster sugar!
INGREDIENTS: FOR THE CAKE:
- 240 grams of plain Gluten free flour (you can substitute for normal plain flour- do NOT use self raising)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of raw cacao (you can substitute for 3 table spoons of normal baking cocoa)
- half a teaspoon of cinnamon,
- half a teaspoon of nutmeg,
- a pinch of salt,
- 1.5 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda,
- 120 grams of coconut sugar, (you may use normal sugar if you aren’t bothered about your cake being made with unrefined sugars)
- 1.5 tablespoons of oil, (I use a liquid coconut oil mixed with rapeseed oil- however olive oil works well too! do NOT melt coconut oil as the oil needs to be cool to add to the mix!)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract,
- 6 tablespoons of Aquafaba, (see above if unsure)
- 240 ml of luke warm water,
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
INGREDIENTS: FOR BUTTERCREAM:
- 100 grams of vegan margarine,
- 150 grams of sukrin Icing stevia (or normal icing sugar depending on how you are making your cake.)
- 2 tablespoons of raw cacao (or normal cocoa)
INGREDIENTS FOR GANACHE TOPPING:
- 100g vegan margarine,
- 100 grams icing stevia or regular icing,
- 100 grams of your favourite dark vegan chocolate. If you want to make it refined sugar free I used the new large vegan bars of Ombar which i bought in my local health food store. I recommend using 70% darker!
- Get a swiss roll/yule log baking tray- which is normally 30x20cm (the size of a standard baking tray-you can use a baking tray however make sure it’s got the depth to hold your sponge) and line it with baking paper and put to the side. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees, or gas mark 4.
- In a large bowl mix in your flour, cacao, sugar salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then create a “well” in the middle. If you’re unsure what this means, make a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients ready to add your liquids.
- In the well in the middle pour in your vanilla, warm water, aquafaba and oil, then mix until your cake mixture is totally combined.
- In a separate bowl place in your bicarbonate of soda and then add in your apple cider vinegar. This is going to make it fizz and froth up, whilst it’s fizzing add this to your cake batter, mix in gently but do not over mix. You want to stir the mix going round the outside and then through the middle. You do not want to mix too much other wise you’ll loose the bubbles which makes helps make the sponge light and fluffy!
- Pour the batter into your pan making sure that it’s getting into all the corners and hitting all the sides. Some times it’s useful to pick the baking pan up and move it around so the cake batter moves out everywhere! Then pop into the oven for 12-15 minutes. Your cake needs to be just baked. Over baking will mean that it’s too dry to roll.
- Whilst the cake is baking, slightly dampen a clean tea towel, and lye it on a surface, then using a sieve sprinkle over some cacao or cocoa. as soon as the cake is baked take the sponge over to your tea towel and very quickly flip your sponge over so that the baking paper is on the top and your sponge is face down on the tea towel. Slowly peel off the baking paper being very careful to not pull away at the cake and break it, then leave to fully cool. The trick to this is to flip it very quickly so that the cake doesn’t break!
- When your cake is cooling it’s time to create your butter cream! in a bowl cream together your margarine, icing and cacao/cocoa until light and fluffy!
- Once fully cooled, on one end slightly score a line across the end, be careful not to go too deep. Take your butter cream and spread over your sponge so that it’s even and covers all of the sponge later.
- Using the tea towel underneath the sponge, starting on the side that you have scored start rolling the sponge up, so that the but you have scored is on the inside. Do not be surprised if the sponge cracks a little, this is perfectly normal, just be sure to keep rolling. Once it’s fully rolled use your hands to plump it up and push it together if you need to. Using a sharp knife carefully slice a bit off each side so that the sides are nice and neat.
- Now it’s time to make the ganache! cream together your Margarine and icing, then Melt your chocolate. Instantly pour your chocolate into your margarine and icing, mix them together. The ganache will set pretty quickly once the chocolate starts cooling, so whilst it’s warm take the time to spread the mixture all over your chocolate sponge log, covering all sides. It’s quite messy, but that’s okay you can clean it up after! Once you’ve spread the ganache over to create a “log” effect use a fork and gently pull it through and over the ganache, then leave your cake and ganache to set and enjoy!
Of course you can always decorate your yule log however you want! on some of mine I dusted my cake in a very light sprinkling of icing, and used vegan fondant icing to create some holly, ivy and a snowman!