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Yule log on a wooden board, with cookie hedgehogs

Gluten-free Vegan Yule Log


Description

The BEST Vegan and Gluten-free Yule Log. It’s easy to make and no-one will be able to tell that it’s vegan, let alone gluten-free! A MUST MAKE for Christmas! 


Ingredients

Scale

Ingredients for the cake

  • 30g of cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons of hot water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum
  • 30g of almond flour
  • 200ml of room temperature water
  • 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 130g of caster sugar
  • 125g of gluten-free self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients for the vanilla buttercream

  • 100g of dairy-free butter
  • 170g of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients for the chocolate buttercream

  • 180g of dairy-free butter
  • 50g of cocoa powder
  • 200g of icing sugar
  • Dairy-free milk (see method)

Ingredients for the hedgehog cookies

  • 100g of gluten-free plain flour
  • 50g of coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 100g of dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 30g of hazelnuts (roughly chopped)

Instructions

Method (cake)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C fan and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tray with greaseproof paper. Set aside. 
  2. Add the cocoa and hot water into a small bowl, whisk to combine into a paste. 
  3. In a separate bowl, sift in the baking powder, xanthan gum and almond flour. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the water and oil and mix with electric hand-whisk until smooth. You can even do this in a stand mixer fitted with balloon a whisk attachment. Add in the sugar and beat to combine.
  5. Pour in the cocoa paste and mix until smooth.
  6. Sift in the flour and add in the vanilla, stir to combine.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the lined tin and spread out with the back of a spoon or an off-set spatula. Make sure to get it as level as possible. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-28 minutes. Just before the cake is ready to come out the oven, lay a clean tea towel on your worktop and dust with cocoa powder.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the cake onto the cocoa dusted towel leaving the greaseproof paper on the cake. This helps to prevent the cake from sticking. 
  9. Using the tea towel, roll the cake up the short end of the sponge to make a cylinder with the cloth and greaseproof paper inside.  
  10. Leave the cake in the towel to cool down completely before frosting. 

Method (vanilla buttercream)

  1. In a large mixing bowl add in the dairy-free butter, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and vanilla. Whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it. Add in the dairy-free milk and whip for a further 5 minutes on high speed to get it to a smooth consistency. You want it to be thick and creamy. If its too thick, add a few more chunks of butter to get it to a thick and creamy consistency. 
  3. Gently unroll the cold sponge, remove the greaseproof paper and spread the filling evenly over the inside. If it cracks, don’t worry too much, these will be covered up with chocolate frosting. 
  4. Once the vanilla buttercream is spread evenly, roll the sponge up (without the tea towel, but you can use the towel to help guide the roll into the shape you want) quite tightly from the short end, making sure the filling stays inside.
  5.  Place into the fridge to set for 30 minutes. 

Method (chocolate buttercream)

  1. Once the log is firm and chilled, cut a thick slice off one end of the cake and put to one side. This is for the log shape. Transfer the larger piece of cake to a serving board or plate.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add in the dairy-free butter, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
  3. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it. Add in a teaspoon of dairy-free milk  at a time and whip for a further 5 minutes on high speed to get it to a smooth consistency. You want it to be thick and creamy. If its too thick, add a few more chunks of butter to get it to a thick and creamy consistency. 
  4. Spread a little icing over cut side of the small piece of cake you have pout to one side and attach it to the large roll to make a stump (as seen in the photos).
  5. Spread the chocolate buttercream over the entire cake including the stump. Use a fork to create a tree trunk texture over the log. 
  6. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar to resemble snow, or go all out with mini hedgehog cookie decorations.

Method (hedgehog cookies) 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180℃ fan, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, melted coconut oil and maple syrup.
  3. Bring together with your hands until a dough forms. Add more flour if too wet or coconut oil if too dry. You want it to be a smooth dough.
  4. Roll a tablespoon amount of cookie dough into your hands and shape into a teardrop-shape. Flatten the pointed side of each cookie to form the ‘face’. Arrange cookies on baking sheets. These cookies will not spread.
  5. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  6. Pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor/blender until roughly chopped. Place into a bowl.
  7. Fill a saucepan ¾ full with water and place a heatproof bowl on top to create a bain-marie. Place on a medium heat. Add the chocolate to the bowl and melt.
  8. Dip the top of each cookie in the melted chocolate, spreading to fully coat the ‘body’ of each hedgehog. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle over the chopped nuts forming the ‘spikes’. Place the hedgehogs on greaseproof paper and allow to set for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  9. Transfer the remaining melted chocolate to a piping bag with a corner snipped off or use a really small round-tip nozzle. Pipe chocolate onto the pointed end of each cookie for eyes and a nose.
  10. Arrange the hedgehog cookies on top of the yule log and dust with icing sugar. 

Notes

To store: Store the cake in a sealed container in the fridge, and allow to come to room temperature before enjoying. Best enjoyed within 3 days of making.

What gluten-free to use? I used Doves Farm Gluten-free Self Raising Blend. I highly recommend it!

What dairy-free butter to use? My favourite vegan block butters to use are Naturli Vegan Block, Flora Plant Butter and Violife VioBlock. For the filling, I would definitely suggest a vegan block butter as opposed to a soft margarine.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-28 minutes
  • Category: Cakes and layer cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Yule log, christmas baking, gluten-free yule log, christmas cake, vegan yule log