Buche de Noel or Just the Lightest Vegan Chocolate Cake

Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel

I can’t wait until next Christmas. With New Year’s around the bend, the holidays are about over, and the most glorious dessert I had all season is all gone. Lucky I took a few photos of it before it disappeared. I have been baking yule logs for years, but this year, I tried a new approach that yielded spectacular results. It’s a challenge to create a vegan spongecake that rolls up beautifully, as it is usually eggs that provide the architectural structure that allows for the rolling while maintaining a lightness and airiness. I’ve been baking vegan meringues all year, and decided to apply that principle to a sponge roll. Likewise, I wanted a filling and frosting that would be light yet rich, and easy to make, as there are enough components already to making a yule log. I managed to whip this up in an hour on Christmas morning, unsure of how it would all come together and taste. When we dug in after dinner, there was silence. The beautiful silence of pure savoring. The cake had all of the qualities that I enjoy – tenderness, richness, lightness, creaminess, fluffiness, and an uncloying sweetness, due to the minimal use of sweeteners. We all had seconds, and it was gone.

Now that I think about it, why wait until next Christmas? I plan to bake this as a multi-layer sheet cake for my husband’s birthday in March!

The rolled up sponge cake with whipped coconut cream filling before frosting.

The rolled up sponge cake with whipped coconut cream filling before frosting.

Buche de Noel

Recipe Type: cake
Author: Miyoko Schinner
  • Sponge cake:
  • 1/2 cup Energ Egg Replacer
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Fluffy Coconut Crème for middle:
  • 1 can coconut milk, chilled in refrigerator for 24 hours or more
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar or 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream:
  • 1 can coconut milk (unchilled)
  • 10 dates, soaked in water for 8 hours or more, pitted
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  1. To make the chocolate sponge cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and water. Using an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, whip together on high for 8 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to whip for another 7 to 8 minutes until it doubles in volume. Altogether, it will increase about ten-fold.
  3. Prepare a half-sheet pan by lining with parchment and oiling or spraying the sides with non-stick spray. Sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Add to the bowl of the whipped egg replacer, and using the electric mixer on a low setting, combine well. It will deflate some; do not overmix and deflate it completely. Stop when the flour looks incorporated, but do not keep mixing. Spread the mixture in the prepared sheet pan, and bake for about 25 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the edges of the cake have pulled away slightly from the sides. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
  4. To make the Fluffy Whipped Coconut Crème:
  5. Open the bottom of the chilled can of coconut milk, and pour out any liquid (you can reserve this to use for soups, curries, salad dressings, cooking rice, etc.). Scrape out the solids into a bowl, and whip on high using an electric mixer. When stiff peaks form, add the sweetener and vanilla, and beat for another few seconds to combine. Remove from the bowl and chill until ready to use (this can be done a day ahead).
  6. To make the Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream:
  7. In a blender, combine the coconut milk (the entire content of the can, not just the solids), the pitted, soaked dates, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and vanilla. Process until creamy and smooth, then transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate for several hours until mostly firm (the middle can still be soft). Transfer to a large bowl, and using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip on high until light, fluffy, and doubled in quantity. It is best to decorate with this right away, but it can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days if necessary (it will become a little harder).
  8. To assemble the Buche de Noel:
  9. Remove the cake from the pan by flipping it out onto a clean sheet of parchment. The parchment used for baking will now be on the top; peel it off and discard. Spread the cake with the Fluffy Coconut Crème. Roll tightly from one end to the other, using the parchment as a guide to help lift and roll if necessary. Put the roll on your chosen platter – a rectangular one is great if you have one. Slice off a diagonal slice off of one end, and attach the slice to the log to look like a stump or branch. Frost the cake with the Fluffy Chocolate Buttercream, and decorate with meringue or marzipan mushrooms. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to look like snow (or use crumbled meringues).



  1. That looks amazing! I wish we lived around the corner (though you’d probably get a little tired of us inviting ourselves over to dinner EVERY night :P). I’ve been testing for Fran’s new book, so I’m going to have to take a bit of baking break once that’s over, but I’ll definitely need to make this.

    Thank you for your amazing recipes and continuing to push the boundaries of vegan cuisine. Always excited to see what you’re up to 🙂

    • Thanks! So you’re testing for Fran? Must be fun! Can’t wait to see what she’s come up with. Thanks for the comments!

      • Yup, nearing the completion stage: it’s been an incredible experience (and death by chocolate at times!); I think the book’s going to be great (and it will be good to see the recipes I didn’t test!). And then Julie’s got another book soon, and Dynise… gosh, it’s going to be quite a year!

  2. Cant wait to try this with some wheat free flour!! Can you tell us how you make vegan meringues 🙂
    Looks gorgeous! We made the Truffled Seitan – it was amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Kathleen, I was going to ask the same thing, but I found the post here: https://www.artisanveganlife.com/intensely-baking/ 🙂

    • What type of wheat free flours are you going to try? Celiac diagnosis, still new to substituting gluten free ingredients.

      • I have only begun to experiment with gluten-free options across the board, to be honest, although there are some desserts and cakes I have been making for years that are gluten free (such as the Chocolate Almond Raspberry Torte in the Now and Zen Epicure). I have been finding that oat flour works quite well in many cake and muffin applications without the need for all the starches, etc.

  3. Hi,
    I’d like to make your triple chocolate ganache cake but don’t have soy creamer or tofu.
    Can almond milk or coconut milk be used instead of soy milk creamer for the ganache ?
    What can be used instead of tofu for making the chocolate butter cream ?
    Thank you

    • Almond, is that the recipe from the YouTube video I made for Supreme Master? I have so many chocolate cake recipes I sometimes forget…

      You can use coconut milk for the soy creamer and tofu.

      • Yes it is, thanks for answering.
        Will the measurements be the same ? 1:1 ? 12 oz coconut milk instead 12 oz tofu, and 1/2 cup coconut milk instead of 1/2 cup soy milk creamer ?

  4. Does soy milk have any special qualities that other other plant based milks don’t ?


    • There are differences in terms of culinary applications for some recipes. Soy milk was used in this recipe for Supreme Master Television because it was the most widely available non-dairy milk worldwide. Asian countries use soy milk, but not almond milk, for example. Also, at the time we shot the video, soy milk creamer was available but not coconut milk creamer. For certain applications, such as making yogurt, soymilk works better than almond or coconut milk due to the higher protein content which leads to solid formation. But for other recipes, it doesn’t matter at all.

  5. Hey, this looks great but I don’t have any egg replacer! Could I sub applesauce instead?

  6. I do not see flour listed in the ingredients, how much did you use? I make wedding cakes and was thinking this would be a great addition to my vegan cakes selection!!

  7. hi miyoko, this looks incredible! just a couple of questions 🙂

    would oat flour work in this cake instead of wheat? also, if you wanted to make a plain vanilla cake instead of chocolate, could you just replace the cocoa with additional flour?


    • I believe oat flour would indeed work. I use oat flour now in place of whole wheat pastry flour for many things without any issues. They seem pretty interchangeable. And yes, you can just use more flour instead of cocoa for a vanilla cake. The trick is all in how you mix it so it doesn’t turn lumpy and hard.

  8. for the cocoa powder, can you sub raw cacao powder?

  9. Marie-Line says:

    Is the Bob Red Mill Egg Replacer right for this repice ?

  10. I’ve made 3 of these now and love this recipe! It’s delicious! Just a couple things in my experience –

    1) the chocolate frosting makes enough for at least 3, maybe 4 of these! Since I had so much left over the first time, I thought I’d try freezing it. I put it in a plastic container with plastic wrap pressed down onto the surface. Then I thawed it in the fridge – worked great!

    2) the cake batter didn’t quite fill my cookie sheet, which I think is technically a couple inches shy of a half sheet pan. Still worked fine though.

    Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s a keeper!


  1. […] Source: Artisan Vegan LifeIngredients:Egg Replacer-1/2 cupWater-1 cupSugar-2/3 cupVanilla-1 tspFlour/ Maida-1 cupCocoa […]