In the lead up to Christmas a few readers have asked me for a paleo friendly trifle recipe. For those unfamiliar with a trifle, it’s a dessert made with different ingredients such as thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or jelly and whipped cream, all arranged in layers in a glass dish. It’s a very festive, pretty looking dessert and it’s really quite simple to make.
There are many ways you to make a paleo friendly version of a trifle. The easiest is to use sliced fruit, berries and nuts and layer them with some whipped coconut cream in between (double cream or thick, full fat unsweetened yogurt is great too if dairy is ok for you). Sponge cake and jelly layers are very common so that’s what I went with in this recipe. It requires a a little effort and the cake has to be made in advance, however, feel free to simply use this as an inspiration to make your own version. Here are some other layer ideas:
Black Forrest trifle – layers of fresh, pitted cherries, melted dark chocolate, whipped coconut cream and nuts. Sponge cake could be added and you could make a cherry juice jelly.
Banana Caramel trifle– layers of sliced banana, whipped coconut, ground hazelnuts or almonds, ‘caramel’ sauce made with cooked dates, coconut oil, almond milk or coconut milk, vanilla and a little salt.
Chocolate Berry Nut trifle – whipped coconut cream with some cacao powder and vanilla, mixed ground nuts, lots of mixed berries and shaved coconut and dark chocolate.
Cook’s notes for this mango trifle:
- For the cake layer, I used my Orange Cake, which is made with almond meal and eggs but you can look for a different recipe that is coconut flour based. Some decent paleo muffins can also be broken into chunks. Instead of making a sponge cake, you can also process almonds, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts with desiccated coconut and dates into a crumbly mixture and add a few scoops of that as a layer instead of the sponge cake. It’s all about creating different textures.
- Coconut cream can be replaced with yoghurt or double cream, or a cashew nut cream (1 cup of raw cashews soaked overnight and then processed with say a banana or some mango or strawberries and a little water, and maybe vanilla and honey until smooth and creamy).
- Jello and cake have to be made the day before and the trifle should be layered as close to service as possible to keep all ingredients nice and fresh.
You can use my Orange Cake as one of the layers or get some pre-made gluten free sponge cake from a health food store. If you have a good paleo muffin recipe, that will also do.
- 1–2 cups of diced paleo sponge cake such as my Orange Cake or nut and coconut crumble
For the jello layer
- 500 ml/17oz of orange & passionfruit juice (you can use any 100% juice you like)
- 4 1/2 teaspoons of gelatine powder (I use Great Lakes gelatine)
For other layers
- 250 grams of coconut cream (1x400ml can refrigerated overnight)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2–3 mangos or other fruit
- 1 banana
- large handful of Macadamia nuts of flaked almonds
- fresh berries or pomegranate for garnish
- Make the sponge cake or get gluten free orange cake from a cafe or a health food store.
- To make the jelly, bring 200ml of juice to the boil. Stir in the gelatine, whisking with a fork until dissolved. Add the remaining juice, and stir until well combined. Pour the jelly liwuif in a serving glass dish or individual glasses and set in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. Wrap with some cling wrap.
- Scoop out the coconut cream (minus the watery liquid) into a large bowl. Whip it together with vanilla and lemon juice for 1-2 minutes using an electric whisk or by hand (if you’re strong).
- Arrange the layers: mango sliced on top of jelly, followed by diced cake, then sliced banana, some nuts, some coconut cream or double cream, berries, nuts and more mango on top. Sprinkle some pomegranate or other berries for extra colour. That’s it! Keep in the fridge until service if making ahead of time, but ideally prepare all ingredients and keep them in the fridge and layer the dish just before service.
Want more Christmas paleo treats?