The classic yule log cake has been keto-fied! A delicious keto cake roll with sugar-free chocolate frosting. This amazing low carb cake will be the star of your holidays. And it’s totally nut-free!
This recipe goes out to my husband, whose wonderful mother made a Bûche de Noël every Christmas. She’s no longer with us so I promised him I would make a keto-friendly version for him to revel in the nostalgia.
But truth be told, I actually made this delicious cake LAST Christmas and am only getting to posting the recipe just now. Because I made it on Christmas Day and it was so beautiful, I just had to get photos. And then I sat on them for a full year, so that I could share it with you well in advance of the holiday.
There’s a good chance I might be making this keto yule log cake again this year!
Perfecting keto cake rolls
Cake roll is tricky to get right even when it’s full of sugar and gluten, so you can imagine how much harder it is with keto ingredients. If you understand the role of gluten in baking, you will understand why.
I once heard gluten described as a magical elastic band. It provides structure and strength, as well as elasticity, so the cake roll is more flexible and doesn’t crack as easily when you roll it.
But I’ve managed to make some really great keto cake rolls in my day, even without gluten. My keto pumpkin roll was the first one I ever tried and while it can crack a little, it worked out really well. And my Keto Gingerbread Cake Rollis a fan favorite every holiday season.
One of the best cake rolls I ever made is the Flourless Swiss Roll I featured in my new cookbook, The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking. I learned some great tricks with this one, especially as I had to make it multiple times. The first time, it turned out perfectly but I managed to delete the photos from my camera without downloading them.
The second time, I thought I’d attempt some shortcuts to make it easier. Simply put: It. Did. Not. Work. So I learned not to take any shortcuts or skip any important steps. The third time, it worked perfectly again and I knew I had the best keto cake roll recipe on my hands.
I used this same cake roll for the keto yule log. Why mess with perfection? I used a different filling and frosting, however. My ever popular Keto Chocolate Frosting was ideal for roughing up so that it looked more like a log.
How to make Keto Bûche de Noël
With this recipe, I managed to make a truly flexible chocolate cake roll that is far less prone to cracking. It is entirely flourless, with no almond flour and no coconut flour. It’s a perfect cake for anyone with nut allergies!
While it may seem laborious to separate the eggs and beat the whites, I urge you not to skip this step. I tried that as one of my shortcuts and it resulted in a cake that just wouldn’t roll without cracking all over the place.
The gelatin is really helpful for a more flexible cake as well. I have made cake rolls without it but it does make a difference. If you simply can’t use it, fine, but do expect a bit more cracking.
I say this all the time but it bears repeating: the combination of sweeteners is important! Swerve gives better structure to cakes but it hardens more. A bit of BochaSweet, allulose, or xylitol will help make the cake more flexible. Again, you can make it without, but do expect a bit more cracking as you roll it up.
Finally, I find that rolling the cake before filling creates more cracks. This is a departure from previous keto cake roll recipes. In past recipes, I’ve noticed that the unrolling process created it’s own set of cracks so I decided to forego that step and simply keep it somewhat warm as I prepared the filling.
I honestly believe that this is a keto Bûche de Noël worthy of my late mother-in-law’s approval. My husband was thrilled and I know you will be too.
Happy Keto Holidays!
Keto Bûche de Noël
- 1 recipe Keto Chocolate Buttercream
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line an 11×17 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease the paper and pan sides very well. Dust thoroughly with 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together ¼ cup of the cocoa powder, the powdered sweetener, and the gelatin.
- In another medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with the BochaSweet until lighter yellow and thickened, about 2 minutes. Beat in the coffee and the vanilla.
- Using clean beaters and a large clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until they hold stiff peaks.
- Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Then fold in the cocoa powder mixture until no streaks remain. Spread the batter even in the prepared pan and bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the top springs back when touched.
- Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Cover with another large piece of parchment paper, and then a kitchen towel. Place another large baking sheet overtop and flip the whole thing over. Keep covered and warm as you prepare the filling.
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese with ¼ cup whipping cream until smooth.
- In a large bowl, beat the remaining whipping cream with the sweetener and vanilla extract until it holds soft peaks. Then add the cream cheese mixture and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat.
- When ready to fill, uncover the cake and gently peel off the parchment from what is now the top of the cake. Spread the frosting evenly overtop, leaving a ½ inch border around all the edges.
- Starting at one of the short ends, gently and carefully roll up the cake. The inner, tighter rolls may crack a little but this will be hidden in the inside of the cake. Place seam-side down on a cake platter.
- Cut off about 3 or 4 inches of the end of the cake roll on the diagonal and place this piece up against the side of the main roll with the cut end exposed, to resemble a branching log.
- Prepare the chocolate buttercream as directed. Spread the frosting over the tops and sides of the cake roll, leaving the cut ends exposed for visual interest. (feel free to cover the uncut end of the roll entirely with frosting).
- Drag a fork in long lines all over the cake to rough up the frosting. Garnish with fresh rosemary twigs and a few fresh cranberries, if desired.