The very happiest of holidays to all of you. The past two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind due to an insanely busy work schedule and all of the holiday planning and preparations, so I haven't been able to post much. It wasn't until yesterday that I finally had a chance to start some holiday baking. And by holiday baking, I mean my annual attempt at creating a beautiful Bûche de Noël cake. My past attempts have been less than successful - the cake was too dry, it cracked/fell apart, the frosting looked ugly, etc. But finally, finally, this year I managed to make one that I am proud to share with you.
The Bûche de Noël, or Yule Log, is a big tradition in France and when living in Paris I always loved gazing upon the gorgeously-decorated creations in all the bakeries at Christmastime. I've adopted this tradition as my own, and once you taste this cake, you might too.
I simply veganized this recipe for the cake and the filling and will tell you that one of the reasons I chose it was because it was one of the only recipes I found that didn't call for a bunch of egg whites and other hard-to-veganize ingredients. I substituted flax "eggs" and the cake came out very tasty and with a heavenly aroma courtesy of the orange zest and spices. Just make sure you don't leave it out on the counter too long after it cools, or it will dry out. Wrap it up and refrigerate it until you are ready to move forward with the filling and frosting. Please note that this recipe below will give you enough of the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting to frost the entire cake. This would give you a beautiful white cake, which I might do another year, but for this one I wanted to use a chocolate ganache to frost it to give it the more traditional wooden "log" appearance. Besides, who doesn't love a chocolate/orange combo? The chocolate ganache is incredibly easy and I simply made a half portion of the recipe from Fran Costigan's More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts. At any rate, you can either make a half-batch of the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, or you can have leftover frosting to use on cupcakes, to stuff into some vegan French Toast, or whatever else suits your fancy. It's the holidays, so go crazy.
Vegan Orange-Spice Bûche de Noël with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
makes 10 - 12 servings