This Buche de Noel also known as a Christmas Yule log was one of my more challenging recipes to develop. Getting the keto yule log to taste good was absolutely no problem, but getting the consistency of the flourless cake just right so that it would roll easily was a bit more of a challenge. Finding a great keto dessert recipe during the holidays that also looks so festive is such a treat! I hope you’ll enjoy making this lovely keto Buche de Noel and sharing with your family and friends.
Buche de Noel is the French name for a special Christmas cake. The translation to English is “Christmas Log.” It’s traditionally shaped like a log and filled with whipped cream. It’s also traditionally full of sugar but this keto yule log is sugar-free, gluten-free and flourless!
This keto dessert is fun to decorate. Basically, you want your keto Buche de Noel to look like a gentle snow has rested on a log in the woods where pine needles have fallen to the ground. I also like adding some holly/mistletoe looking decorations to mine to simulate pine needles or holly.
Is Making a Buche de Noel Difficult?
The rolling of the cake is a bit fussy, but well worth the look you get in the end. The extra steps ensure that your cake stays moist and flexible enough to roll. You still may end up with a few small cracks, but these are easily hidden by the cream filling and the frosting.
A Christmas yule log that is so much healthier yet still absolutely delicious may become your new Christmas tradition!
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Low Carb Yule Log Ingredients
For this Christmas keto yule log dessert recipe, you’ll need a few special items that you might not already have in your kitchen. The first is a small 9-inch by 13-inch jelly roll pan. This pan is more shallow and smaller than a traditional cookie sheet. It’s also the same size as a quarter sheet pan which would also work fine.
You absolutely need parchment paper. This will allow you to roll the cake and remove it easily without sticking to the pan.
The other slightly unusual ingredient in this keto dessert recipe is espresso powder. You can order it or some grocery stores carry it in the baking section. Williams Sonoma also has it. If you can’t find espresso powder you can also use instant espresso which is nice anyway as a brewed coffee alternative.
Just make sure you grind it into a powder using a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle yet you should consider it. It’s a great kitchen tool! I use mine all the time for freshly grinding whole spices. You can also use it to get a nice chunky texture for guacamole.
As for the chocolate chips, I used ChocZero in this recipe although others may work. Since I had to make it a couple of times to get the cake just right I used both dark and milk chocolate chips. The dark chips make an absolutely decadent, rich flavored keto yule log. The milk chocolate chips made for a lighter but still rich cake experience.
If you choose to use ChocZero chips in this recipe, you can use code HEALNOURISHGROW at checkout for 10 percent off. Although I haven’t tested them in this recipe, the Explorado Market chips are also excellent. You can use code HEALNOURISHGROW20 there for 20 percent off.
Keto Buche de Noel Process
To make a Christmas yule log, one of the most important things is the roll. As I said before, it’s a bit fussy. The easiest way to make sure you get the process is to watch the video. The main thing is to keep the cake moist with a damp paper towel as it cools. It’s also really useful to have TWO sturdy long spatulas on hand. Or if you happen to have an extra-long spatula like this one, that would be perfect.
Decorating the Keto Yule Log
There are a number of ways you could choose to decorate your Christmas yule log. Think of what a log out in the woods might look like in the winter around Christmas time. It might be snow-covered. It could have mushrooms growing on it. There could be pine cones littering the ground. Maybe some pine needles or holly have fallen on top of the log.
I chose to use rosemary sprigs and cranberries to decorate my buche de noel. However, pinecones would be great decoration around it and I’ve seen others decorated with mushrooms that look very festive. I’d definitely remove those before serving though!
- rosemary sprigs at least 6
- rosemary leaves
- confectioners swerve
Preheat oven to 350 convection or 365 conventional.
Separate egg yolks from egg whites.
Whip egg whites until stiff peak stage then 30 seconds longer.
Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and butter until combined.
Remove chocolate and butter from heat and add egg yolks, vanilla, salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder and confectioners swerve.
Add about a third of the chocolate mixture to the egg whites. Gently fold. Repeat until all of the chocolate mixture is incorporated into the egg whites and no white remains.
Line 13x9 jelly roll sheet with parchment paper.
Spray parchment paper with coconut oil or coat with butter. Dust the oiled parchment paper with cocoa powder to prevent the cake from sticking.
Spread cake mixture evenly into the pan making sure to get into the corners.
Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Use an electric mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.
Add the rest of the filling ingredients to the cream and beat until fully combined and stiff peaks form.
Remove the parchment paper and cake from the baking sheet and allow to cool for 5 minutes with the top of the cake covered with damp paper towels.
Remove paper towels from the top of cake and place another piece of parchment paper on the top.
Carefully flip the cake over so that the top of the cake now faces the bottom. Gently peel the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake.
Place a clean sheet of parchment back on the bottom and carefully flip the cake once again so that the original top of the cake is back on top.
Remove the top piece of parchment and use the bottom sheet of parchment to gently roll the cake from the short end. Allow cake to rest for one minute.
Gently unroll the cake so that it's flat again.
Add the parchment paper back to the top of the cake.
Gently press the cake with your hands to flatten and press together any cracks.
Remove parchment from top of cake.
Spread the cake filling on top of the cake out to the edges leaving about an inch and half of space at one short end.
Starting at the short end of the cake that has the filling all the way to the edge, use the parchment paper to gently roll the cake removing the parchment as you go.
Continue rolling until you get to the end. The filling will push out to the end and fill out the rest of the cake. The seam at the end of the cake should end up facing down as you finish rolling.
Be sure to move the cake onto the plate you'll use for serving since it's difficult to move.
Use two long spatulas, one under each end of the cake to move it onto the serving plate making sure the seam side of the cake faces down.
Add all ingredients to a bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine mixture until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Use a rubber spatula to remove all frosting from the bowl and place on top of the cake.
Using a spatula then a butter knife, cover the entire cake evenly with frosting so that no cake or filling is showing.
Make sure to leave a lot of texture on the icing so that it simulates tree bark.
Add a tablespoon of confectioners swerve to a bowl and add cranberries that are damp with water. Stir to coat cranberries in the swerve, they look better if not fully covered.
Strip leaves from the bottoms of the rosemary sprigs and place ends in the cake. I like to do this in sets of 3 to emulate holly.
Place covered cranberries near the center of the rosemary sprigs.
Sprinkle the top of the cake gently with confectioner's swerve to simulate snow.
Be sure to check out the video to see the rolling and decorating process!