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Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log (Vegan + GF)

You guys have to try this Christmas dessert! It’s rich and super creamy and has the perfect combination of flavors! Introducing Chocolate, Caramel & Vanilla Yule Log!

This naturally sweetened yule log, or ice cream cake if you prefer, consists of two layers: chocolate and vanilla, a surprising caramel center, and a no-bake chocolate chip brownie base. I almost forgot, there is also a dark chocolate glaze!

It makes the perfect Christmas dessert and can be made ahead of time. Let’s do this!

Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log

While this ice cream cake has 3 different layers and might look intimidating, it’s actually less time-consuming and easier than you would believe.

We start by making the caramel center, which is my go-to salted caramel recipe. It’s made with only 5 ingredients: almond butter makes the base, maple syrup gives it the caramel taste, coconut oil brings the richness and helps firm it up, and finally, vanilla extract and salt give it a deeper flavor.

You combine all the ingredients together, pour it into a square tart circle, and let it firm up in the refrigerator or freezer.

Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log

For the chocolate/vanilla layer, I went with a mix of raw cashews, full-fat coconut milk, maple syrup, and cocoa butter.

Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on high-speed until super creamy! Then, set aside 2/3 of the cashew cream and stir in the vanilla extract. The recipe calls for one full tablespoon of vanilla. That is correct! For the chocolate layer, blend the rest of the cashew cream (1/3) with unsweetened cocoa powder.

Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log

The rest is just a matter of assembling everything. The chocolate cream comes first because we want it on top. Then, place the caramel in the center, on top of the chocolate layer. And finally, you pour the vanilla cream on top of the chocolate and caramel. You will have to freeze the cake between each layer. Otherwise, you won’t get distinct layers as they would mix together.

Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log

The last layer is the base, which is a raw chocolate chip brownie! It’s your basic nut crust made with dates, almonds, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and chocolate chips for a nice chocolate crunch. Process everything in a food processor and pack the mixture tightly on top of the vanilla layer.

And finally comes the chocolate glaze. Once your yule log is ready, it’s time to flip it and glaze it with a creamy chocolate ganache.

Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log (Vegan + GF)

For the decoration, I went with aquafaba meringue (I couldn’t find my blowtorch, but if you have one, it would be nice to caramelize it), some shaved chocolate, and crushed hazelnuts. You obviously don’t have to decorate it the same way. Let your creativity flow! Fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries would be great on top!

We can store this yule log in the freezer and thaw it on the counter for about 1 hour before serving for the perfect texture!

Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log (Vegan + GF)
Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log (Vegan + GF)

If you are looking for a Christmas or New Year’s Eve dessert, look no further! This dessert combines chocolate, vanilla, and caramel into a rich and creamy ice cream cake.

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log (Vegan + GF)
Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log (Vegan + GF)
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Recipe
Chocolate, Caramel, and Vanilla Yule Log (Vegan + GF)

Chocolate, Caramel & Vanilla Yule Log

5 from 5 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Deliciously creamy ice cream cake with a layer of chocolate, vanilla, and a salted caramel center on a base of raw brownie.
Servings 12 Slices

Ingredients
 

Salted Caramel Center

Chocolate & Vanilla Cream

Brownie Base

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips

Chocolate Glaze

Instructions
 

  • Start by making the salted caramel center. Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Line a small plate with parchment paper and place a 4-inch square tart ring on top. Pour the caramel into the square ring, and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or in the freezer for 1 hour. If you don’t have a square ring tart, you can use a small baking dish or container.
  • In the meantime, prepare the filling. Drain the soaked cashews and add them to a blender. Add the full-fat coconut milk, maple syrup, melted cocoa butter, and salt. Blend on high speed for 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. Transfer 2/3 of the cashew cream to a mixing bowl and set aside, leaving 1/3 in the blender.
  • Add the cocoa powder to the blender and blend on high speed for 5-10 seconds, or until well combined. Line a 12-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, and pour the chocolate cream into the pan. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove the caramel from the fridge/freezer and cut it into 3 large sticks (about 4×1.3-inch). This will be our caramel center. Keep in the refrigerator until needed.
  • Once the chocolate cream layer is firmer, remove from the freezer. Place the caramel sticks centered on top of the chocolate layer (see photo).
  • Add the vanilla extract to the bowl with the 2/3 of the reserved cashew cream. Whisk well. Pour the vanilla cream on top of the chocolate and caramel. Place in the freezer for at least 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare the raw brownie base. Add the pitted dates, raw almonds, cocoa powder, and coconut oil to the bowl of a food processor. Process until you get a fine meal. Test the mixture by pressing a tablespoon of it between your hands, it should stick together. If it’s too crumbly, add more dates, and/or a teaspoon of water. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Remove the yule log from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Add the brownie mixture on top of the vanilla layer and press down firmly to flatten. I recommend placing a sheet of parchment paper and using the bottom of a glass to pack it tightly. Place in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  • Finally, make the chocolate glaze. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl, set aside. Heat the almond milk over medium heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit 1-2 minutes and whisk well until the chocolate is fully melted and well combined with the almond milk.
  • Place a grid on top of the loaf pan and flip it. Remove the loaf pan and the parchment paper. Your yule log should now be the right way up. For easier cleaning, place a silpat or serving tray under the yule log. Now, pour the chocolate glaze on top of the log and use a spatula to make sure all faces are coated. Be aware the chocolate glaze will firm up very quickly since the yule log is cold.
  • Keep the yule log in the freezer and thaw on the counter about 60 minutes before serving. Alternatively, you can transfer the yule log from the freezer to the refrigerator 3-4 hours before serving, this way it will slowly soften and your guests won’t see it before dessert time!

Notes

For the decoration (optional), make some aquafaba meringue: Add 1/2 cup of aquafaba, 1/4 tsp guar gum, and 1/3 cup icing sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat on high speed for about 1 minute, or until you get stiff peaks. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe dots of meringue on top of the yule log.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : French
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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30 Comments

  1. Thank you, Thomas. I was wondering what to make for my cousins on Christmas Day, as they are very greedy but don’t like Christmas Pudding. I’ll post on Insta and let you know how it goes down… very quickly I’m guessing.

      1. It was a massive, massive hit with everyone.

        I used tahini and almond essence instead of almond butter which we can’t get in Japan, and it worked really well. I also covered it in a thick ganache and white chocolate shavings.

        Amazeballs. Thanks so much.

  2. Hi Thomas!
    I love your dairy free recipes, is looks AMAZING. I will definitely be making this for Christmas, I needed a show stopping recipe
    I have a question, I guess I cannot freeze the meringue decoration, but I could for the nuts and chocolate shavings? I plan to make this ahead and freeze.
    Thank you again
    Susana from Canada

    1. Hi Susana,
      Thanks! Yes, you can freeze the yule log with the nuts and chocolate shavings, no problem at all. Regarding the meringue, I froze mine with it on top and it kept its shape very well, so you can freeze it too. If you have extra time you could bake the meringues and then place it on top of the cake, this way the meringues would be crispy and be more than just a decoration! Check this link for baked vegan meringues!

    1. Have you checked on Amazon? You could use refined coconut oil instead of cocoa butter, just be aware the yule log might be a bit softer.

      1. 5 stars
        I had decided to replace it with coconut oil before you replied and it came out brilliantly! What an amazing recipe. Trial run complete, now to make the Christmas Day version. Hopefully it’ll go down a treat!

  3. Salut Thomas,
    La barre est très très haute là franchement !
    C’est beau et ça à l’air super bon , je vais m’y mettre sérieusement !
    Respect et chapeau bas , j’ai testé beaucoup de tes recettes , elles n’ont jamais déçus bien au contraire.

    Un bonjour de France.

  4. Hi Thomas,

    it’s Susana again. Sorry about the delay in responding. I wanted to let you know how the log turned out…AMAZING.
    So easy to make, so creamy, tasty, and that caramel center was incredible!

    thank you for all your hard work, sorry for not responding sooner, just life got so busy.

    I am also going to post another comment in your 2017 recipe recap post (so that the comments are better organized)

    loving your recipes and creativity as always!
    Susana

    1. Hi Susana, it’s okay don’t worry! I’m super happy you liked the yule log 🙂 Ah, the caramel is my favorite part too!

  5. 5 stars
    Gorgeous recipe !
    It’s been on my list ever since Christmas , but I only got around to making that for my husbands birthday in April!
    It was a huge success ! Everybody was practically blown away by it.
    I also had some caramel left so I dipped it in chocolate glaze and made delicious caramel sweets ! My family couldn’t decide which one they preferred , the cake or the sweets . 😀
    As it’s been already said , You are a wizard !
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.
    I would have sent an image of the cake , but I don’t have an Instagram account .

    All the best Isa

  6. Pingback: Roasted Persimmon & Pomegranate Quinoa Salad - Full of Plants
  7. 5 stars
    Just made for New Years Eve, what a wonderful recipe 🙂 I made half the amount and used a smaller tin, its still loads and works perfectly. Also made a few changes. I put freeze dried strawberries into the cashew mix so it is strawberry and chocolate. Still goes fine with the caramel. I also didn’t use the freezer. I made the brownie layer first, then the other layers and its working out perfectly with a cold house and a fridge to set. I will certainly make this again and next time I will try to make it with a sponge bottom layer to lighten it a little… though of course there is no such things as calories on New Years Eve!!! Thanks for another amazing recipe. Please put them in a book for your loyal fans!