Vegan Yule Log Cake with Chestnut Cream Filling

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I have always wanted to make a yule log cake.  I have been telling myself for years that I would make one that year, and now finally this year I decided to.  I had a less than successful experience trying to make a raw one a few years back and it broke all over the place and I have been scared ever since.  I guess I was feeling confident this week.  That and the fact that Eric was telling me I should make a roll cake with chocolate.  That was my little shove.

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I tried looking for other vegan recipes for inspiration, but there really aren't many so I just went with my usual chocolate cake recipe for this, crossing my fingers that it would work.  It smelled amazing and the scraps I trimmed off were so good I knew this was going to be delicious even if it just turned out to be a delicious mess.  For the filling, I decided to include chestnuts because I had some on hand, and they are in season. They are so good, and I like to just eat them but they are special so I thought they deserved some of the spotlight.

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The filling was heavenly.  I could have just ate it like mousse, but it was even better when paired with the chocolate cake.  I prayed before I rolled that cake...and it didn't break all over the place!  I was so happy, you have no idea.  I decided to frost the outside with chocolate frosting, and it was perfect!  Sometimes you just have to take a little leap of faith and take a chance to try making something new putting your fears behind you.

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Now, I have a really spectacular cake to serve for Christmas!  I hope you are all having a wonderful Holiday season!

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Vegan Yule Log Cake with Chestnut Cream Filling

Makes one jellyroll style cake

12 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch jellyroll pan

Cake:
1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1/3 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup light coconut milk or almond milk
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Filling:
1 15 oz can organic full fat coconut milk, chilled (the whole can)
3/4 cup roasted chestnuts*, soaked for 2 hours and drained
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/4  tsp sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut butter, warmed to liquid

Frosting:
1 15 oz can organic full fat coconut milk, chilled (the whole can)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/3 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4  tsp sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut butter, warmed to liquid

Shaved vegan dark chocolate for topping the cake

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with olive oil. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk oil, coconut milk, and vanilla extract together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in cider vinegar and stir quickly (pale swirls will be in the batter, which is the baking soda reacting with the vinegar, which allows the cake to rise since there are no eggs). Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes (do not overbake though, you don't want it to be too dry and crumbly). Cool cake completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Leave on the parchment paper.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine all ingredients but the coconut butter, in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  With the motor running slowly, add the coconut butter and process a minute more (if it starts to get lumpy at all during the process it is just the fat separating because it is 2 different temperatures.  Just continue to blend until it is smooth, and it will get warm so it will just have to chill longer). If you do not have a high speed blender and you want the filling extra smooth, strain through a fine meshed strainer to remove any chestnut chunks before chilling. Pour the frosting into a bowl and let sit in the freezer until the consistency of whipped cream, whisking every 15 minutes (this may take anywhere from 15 minutes to hour to an hour depending on how warm it has gotten).

Once the cream has chilled enough, spread over the top of the cake, then roll up jellyroll style starting with the short side and using the parchment to assist you in rolling.  Be careful because the cake is fragile, but if it cracks as you roll it no worries, keep rolling, you will be covering the outside in frosting anyhow.  Let chill in the freezer once rolled for a few hours.

Meanwhile, to make the frosting, combine all ingredients but the coconut butter, in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, add the coconut butter and process a minute more (if it starts to get lumpy at all during the process it is just the fat separating because it is 2 different temperatures. Just continue to blend until it is smooth, and it will get warm so it will just have to chill longer). Pour the frosting into a bowl and let sit in the freezer until the consistency of whipped cream, whisking every 15 minutes (this may take anywhere from 15 minutes to hour to an hour depending on how warm it has gotten).

Spread the frosting over the finished cake, then sprinkle with chocolate shavings.  Serve!

*To roast chestnuts, poke and X into the top of each one with a knife, and spread them out on a baking sheet.  Roast in a 400F degree oven for about 20-30 minutes until toasted and fragrant.  Allow to cool, and remove the shells.

***If you want to make a rectangular layer cake and not a roll cake (which is easier), cut the cake into 3 rectangles, and stack them, frosting 2 of them with the filling, then frosting the outside with the frosting. Or, if you want to make a round layer cake, bake the cakes in 2 6 inch pans for about 25 minutes, then once the cakes are cooled completely, slice the cake layers in half horizontally, and fill the cake layers with the filling.



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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

12 Comments
  1. Evie
    December 22, 2015 at 13:59
    Reply

    What gluten free all purpose flour did you use?

  2. December 23, 2015 at 17:52
    Reply

    What is a jellyroll pan and where can I get one?

    • December 23, 2015 at 23:38
      Reply

      It is a half sheet pan basically. You can buy them online: http://www.amazon.com/Winware-9-5-Inch-Aluminum-Sheet/dp/B001ACSHCU

  3. blair
    December 23, 2015 at 20:03
    Reply

    I really want to make this cake, but ill half the recipe since it wouldn't ever get finished. Would it be possible for you to make your recipes printable like other food blogs have? It's just really convenient to click button and have it go to pdf and print rather than copy &pasting into a word document and reformatting . Thank you !

    • December 23, 2015 at 23:37
      Reply

      If you are halving the recipe, I would not recommend doing a roll cake, because it will be too small to roll. I have instructions at the bottom of the recipe though for a layer cake with this recipe which is easier to make. I did not set up the blog, so I am not sure how to get printable pages, but you may subscribe to my e-mails, and the recipes will be sent to you daily. That is what most people do that want to print.

  4. Gen
    January 1, 2016 at 21:47
    Reply

    Thanks for this recipe! Everybody loved it, even if they wheren't vegan! (Some people told me that this yule log was their favorite ever!)

    • January 1, 2016 at 22:16
      Reply

      I am so happy you made it and enjoyed it :)! Thank you for letting me know!

  5. Michele
    September 28, 2017 at 11:49
    Reply

    Hi Amy, I've tried to warm the coconut butter into liquid many times in the past but it hasn't been successful. They were always in a 'creamy' state even after 30 minutes or longer. Not sure if it was because the coconut butter we get here in Australia was different? Does yours melt easily like coconut oil?

    • September 28, 2017 at 12:55
      Reply

      It doesn't get as liquidy as coconut butter usually, but still pourable. I would say creamy is ok as long as you can scoop it and it blends ok. Sometimes I have to scoop mine out, it just depends on the batch.

  6. March 28, 2018 at 02:47
    Reply

    Wow, great recipe, quick and easy to prepare. This is the recipe I needed. Thanks :)

    • March 28, 2018 at 07:33
      Reply

      Thank you :)! Happy to hear you enjoyed it!

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