This vegan yule log is moist and filled with the creamiest chocolate praline ganache! It is chocolatey with notes of caramelized nuts and vanilla, a deliciousness in every bite!
Christmas is right around the corner, and if you haven’t planned your dessert yet, now is the perfect time!
🍰 What is a Yule Log?
A Yule log, or “Bûche de Noël,” is a very popular French dessert served for Christmas. It consists of a sponge cake filled with a chocolate ganache and rolled into a log. It is then coated with a chocolate frosting and decorated to resemble a wood log.
🥣 How to Make This Vegan Yule Log
This plant-based dessert consists of 3 different preparations:
Chocolate Praline Filling
First, we start by preparing the filling, which needs to be refrigerated 30-40 minutes before use.
To make the filling, bring almond milk to a boil and pour it over chopped dark chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted and is combined with the almond milk, stir in the praline paste. You can find our recipe for Praline Paste here.
Once combined, refrigerate the ganache until it has thickened.
A quick tip: As soon as the ganache has a thick Nutella texture, remove it from the refrigerator. You do not want the ganache to harden too much. Otherwise, it will be hard to spread over the sponge cake.
If you want a less sweet and an even nuttier, Nutella-like filling, replace half of the praline with roasted hazelnut butter.
Next, the sponge cake!
The batter consists of all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix everything together until it forms a very thick batter.
Then, for a lighter texture, whip aquafaba into stiff peaks and fold it into the cake batter. Spread the batter into an even rectangle on a baking sheet lined with slightly greased parchment paper. Bake for 9 minutes or until just light golden brown.
To keep moisture and prevent the sponge cake from drying, let it cool between two wet kitchen towels for 20-30 minutes.
While most recipes call for rolling the cake in a towel before adding the filling, we found out there is less cracking when you simply let it cool between two wet towels and then use the bottom layer of parchment paper to help rolling it into a log once filled.
After about 30 minutes, the sponge cake should be at room temperature. It’s time to fill it!
Before spreading the chocolate praline filling over the cake, we highly recommend brushing the cake with a thin layer of syrup.
Note: Brushing the cake with syrup will give it that moist and melty texture. Be careful; you don’t want to soak it completely either, or it might break.
Finally, the chocolate frosting will give our log its final look!
Simply bring almond milk to a boil and pour it over chopped dark chocolate. Stir to combine and refrigerate until it has thickened. Keep an eye on it, as again, you don’t want it to harden too much.
To decorate, you can simply frost the yule log using a knife and leave it like that, or use a fork to create a rougher texture.
Before serving, top with your favorite sprinkles or vegan meringues!
Praline paste adds a delicious nutty and caramelized flavor, so I would not recommend using a substitute.
This yule log will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
While I haven’t tried it yet, I believe using an all-purpose gluten-free baking flour might work. Let us know if you try!
If you over-baked the cake, it will be too dry and might break while rolling it. It can also happen if your cake is too thick. Do not worry. You can hide those cracks with the chocolate frosting!
Note: If you are unsure about the cup measurements, feel free to check out the metric measurements, which are a bit more precise. We would also recommend trying this Yule Log at least once to get you familiar with the process before preparing it for your Christmas lunch/dinner.
This vegan Yule Log makes the perfect Christmas dessert! It is incredibly moist and chocolatey, and the praline takes it to another level by adding delicious notes of caramelized nuts!
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- 1/3 cup water
- 4 tbsp sugar
Chocolate Praline Filling
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2/3 cup dark chocolate chunks finely chopped
- 1/2 cup praline paste
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks finely chopped
- 2/3 cup almond milk or other plant-based milk
- Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes or until it has slightly thickened. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, the syrup will thicken a bit as it cools down. Set aside.
Chocolate Praline Filling
- Place the chopped dark chocolate in a medium mixing bowl.
- Heat the almond milk over medium heat and bring it to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from heat and pour it over the chopped dark chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate.
- Once the chocolate has fully melted, add the praline paste and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until it has thickened. It should have the consistency of a thick ganache (a bit thicker than Nutella). Remove from the refrigerator once it has thickened, as you don't want it to harden too much.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slightly grease the parchment paper.
- Add the aquafaba to a stand-mixer and whip until it reaches stiff peaks, about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour in the almond milk, applesauce, oil, and vanilla, and stir using a wooden spoon until you get a smooth dough. The batter will be very thick, that is normal.
- Add 1/4 of the whipped aquafaba to the batter and stir using a spatula. Once combined, fold in another 1/4 of the aquafaba into the batter. Fold in the remaining aquafaba and stop as soon as it is fully combined and no white aquafaba part remains.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking sheet and carefully spread it into a rectangle of about 13×9-inch (33x23cm). Try to make the thickness as even as possible.
- Bake the cake for about 9 minutes. You do not want to over-bake it otherwise it will break while rolling and will not be moist. Remove from the oven and transfer the cake (still on the parchment paper, do not flip it) on a clean wet kitchen towel. Dust with powdered sugar and cover with another slightly wet towel. This must be done while the cake is still warm, it will allow the cake to stay moist and rollable. Let the cake cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Cut off the edges of the cake to get a nice rectangle. Brush the cake with the syrup using a pastry brush. Wait for 1 minute to let the cake absorb it.
- Filling: Spread the praline chocolate filling all over the cake. Carefully roll the filled cake, using the bottom sheet of parchment paper to help rolling it up. Keep it wrapped in the parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, in the meantime prepare the chocolate frosting.
- Once the chocolate frosting is ready, cut about 2.5 inches of the cake roll from one end and place it on the side to create a branch. At this point, you can brush the cake with more syrup, this is optional.
- Frosting: Using a knife or spatula, cover the whole roll with a thin layer of chocolate frosting. Use a knife or fork to create a bark texture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Top with shaved chocolate or sprinkles before serving!
- Add the chopped dark chocolate to a mixing bowl. Bring the almond milk to a boil and immediately pour it over the dark chocolate. Whisk until the dark chocolate has fully melted. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes, or until it has thickened.
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.