I held a little Christmas dinner at my flat this week for some of my friends. Since I’m basically veggie and one of my friends is vegan I just went full on plant-based for the meal. I made a super delicious hassleback squash with garlic-sage butter (which I’m hoping to re-make and write up for the blog next month!), 5kg of roasties, shredded Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and coconut ‘bacon’, marmite-y gravy, mushroom + leek + sage stuffing-muffins and vegan cauliflower cheese (another one I’m going to write up for here).
I was determined to challenge myself to make a vegan Yule log cake too – for some reason I like to come up with seemingly impossible things for myself to do? The first trial cracked and fell apart so my boyfriend and I just ate the cake scraps. The next time I slightly adapted a vegan pumpkin roll cake recipe and it worked great for the party! So I made it again today to photograph and for Andy to take into the hospital for the staff.
I decorated the yule logs with little mushrooms made from shop-bought fondant icing and baby faux succulents I bought from etsy last year! A little sprinkling of crushed candy canes and a dusting of icing sugar were the finishing touches – so so cute.
For the cake:
- 90 g (3/4 cup) plain white flour (all-purpose flour)
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) water
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 150 g (2/3 cup) pumpkin puree
For the filling:
- 125 g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) vegan butter/margarine
- 90 g (3 oz) vegan cream cheese
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 100 g (1 cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 4 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
- 1-2 tbsp cold, strong coffee
For the glaze:
- 150 g (5.2 oz) bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted
- 2 tbsp vegan butter/margarine
- 75 g (2/3 cup) icing sugar
- 3 tbsp cold, strong coffee
- Preheat the oven to 180oC/160oC fan/350oF.
- Grease and line a 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13-inch) rimmed baking tray with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the water, pumpkin puree and oil. Stir until smooth. Pour into the prepared baking tray and spread out in an even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Take a clean tea towel and dust with a generous layer of icing sugar. Tip the hot cake out onto it. Trim the chewy edges of the cake off to make rolling easier. Starting at the short side, roll the cake up (keeping the baking paper on it to stop it sticking to the towel) along with the towel, as though the towel is the 'filling' of the cake. Set in the fridge for at least 6 hours to cool completely.
Make the filling:
- Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Mix in the coffee, starting with 1 tbsp and adding more if needed to make it spreadable. Chill until needed.
Make the coating:
- Mix the melted chocolate with the butter in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the icing sugar then mix in the coffee. Take 3 tbsp of the filling you made earlier and mix it into the melted chocolate mixture. Set aside until later.
- Gently unroll the cooled cake. Spread the filling over the cake in an even layer. Gently roll up. Cut 1/4 of the cake off at an angle then stick to the main roll of cake so it looks like a branch. Cover with the coating (you may need to re-warm it if it's too solid) and use a fork to make 'bark' texture in the coating.
- It's best if you chill the cake for a couple of hours before serving so it has time to firm up before you cut it. Dust with icing sugar just before cutting to make it look snowy!
- Recipe adapted from here
- Most bittersweet chocolates are dairy-free already but just double check the ingredients!
- If you don't need to make it dairy-free, you can use cow's butter and cream cheese in the filling and coating.