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No offence to the humble mince pie, and fruity Christmas cake, but I believe this festive dessert comes out on top. The sight of its rich truffle mouse swirling between layers of chocolate sponge, all wrapped in a decadent, creamy icing is more than enough to get the taste buds going. I can almost smell it’s mouth-watering icing as I type.

We’re told that this recipe serves 8-10, but a chocoholic may struggle to let it last half that long. Below is our dairy-free, gluten-free, and, if you choose your ingredients right, nut-free yule log recipe, just in time for Christmas.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, plus more for oiling the pan
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 125ml + 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 130g granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp quinoa flour
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 30g arrowroot flour
  • 30g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 50g icing sugar, for dusting the towel and for decoration
  • 60g sorghum flour
  • Filling
  • 125ml full-fat canned coconut milk*230g allergy-safe, semi-sweet chocolate chips

Frosting

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 to 5 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 60g non-dairy buttery spread
  • 90g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (190 degrees). Then lightly oil a 40 x 25 x 2.5cm baking sheet with sides. Line the bottom with baking paper. Grease the baking paper with coconut oil. Then dust a clean dishtowel with icing sugar, laying it out flat (you’ll tip the hot cake onto the dishtowel later after baking).

Make the cake

2. Place all three flours, the cocoa powder, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine.

3. Put the ground flaxseed, non-dairy milk, and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk them well to combine, but only once the mixture starts to steam, and the oil has melted. Then pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor.

4. Add both the sugar and vanilla to the non-dairy milk mixture. Beat together on high for about 2 minutes, until well combined.

5. Now turn the speed of the mixer to low and add the flour mixture, beating it together until just mixed. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Then turn off the mixer and stir in the vinegar.

6. Spread the thick batter onto the baking pan from earlier, leaving a border of about 1-inch from the sides. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, until the cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted, comes out clean.

7. Carefully invert the hot cake onto the icing-dusted teatowel. Then peel the parchment sheet off the cake. Start at one of the long ends, and with the towel still inside as an aid, roll the cake as snugly as possible. Be careful not to crush it. Leave it to cool completely.

Make the filling

8.  Begin to make the filling while the cake cools. Put the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Then place the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl. Once the coconut milk is steaming (before it reaches boiling point), pour it immediately over the chocolate chips in the bowl. Let stand them 10 minutes, then stir together until the chocolate chips are completely melted into the milk. 

9. Refrigerate the filling for about 1 hour until it’s cool (it should have the consistency of pudding). Transfer the mixture over to your food processor and whip on high for about 1 minute until it has the texture of mousse. (You could also use a hand mixer on high.) Refrigerate it again.

10. Once the cake has cooled, remove the filling from the fridge, unroll your cake, and remove the towel. Spread the filling evenly over the cake up to roughly an inch from the edge. Next, reroll the cake (again from the long side) as snugly as you can to form a log – be careful not to crush it. Place the cake, on a serving platter (seam side down) and refrigerate it while you make the frosting.

Make the frosting

11. Put the non-dairy buttery spread in the stand mixer and beat it on medium-high for around 3 minutes, or until it’s fluffy and smooth. 

12. Now turn the mixer to a low speed. Add the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of the non-dairy milk. Beat until well combined. 

13. Add 200g of the confectioners’ sugar and beat together until the mix is smooth. Alternately between adding the remaining confectioners’ sugar and non-dairy milk until the mixture is smooth. Turn your stand mixer to a high speed and beat for 4 to 5 minutes, until creamy and fluffy.

12. Remove the log from the fridge and spread the frosting over the whole cake. Use the end of a fork to create a rustic tree bark effect in the frosting. Dust the log with icing sugar for a snowy effect. Serve the yule log at room temperature.