Did I make it? Just in time? Did this Christmas Trifle Recipe sneak in just before…Christmas?
Well yes! It did! Yay me!
My biggest hurdle in accomplishing a fabulous Christmas trifle recipe was learning how to make vegan jello!
Because jello (red and green usually) is most often part of a South African trifle. I’m not sure if it’s common to use jello anywhere else?
But we love the jello in the trifle! And I must say it’s very very good!
A trifle is really just layers of sponge cake soaked in a little sherry (or a lot – you decide!), with canned fruits, nuts, jello and custard, topped with whipped cream and cherries.
You can either use sponge cake for the cake layers or swiss roll. Since I haven’t yet made a vegan swiss roll, I stuck with sponge cake and used my vegan vanilla cake recipe.
You pour some sherry over the cake and then do a layer of canned fruit and pecan nuts – I used a can of fruit cocktail for the first fruit and nut layer and a can of sliced peaches for the second – and then you layer jello and then custard. So you need a large batch of vegan custard.
I made the custard using Foster Clark’s brand of custard powder, which happens to be vegan, and soy milk, though you can use any non-dairy milk you like.
You do need to make the custard from scratch. So if you can’t get Foster Clark’s brand, just look around for a brand of custard powder that doesn’t contain animal products and go from there.
The reason you can’t use ready made custard, is that it doesn’t set properly. And you need the custard to set when cold, so you have delicious set custard layers in your trifle.
And then of course, you just make some whipped coconut cream for the topping!
This trifle recipe is just fabulous for Christmas! Or indeed any special occasion. It’s:
- Soaked in sherry!
- Filled with fruits, nuts, custard and jello!
When dished up into a bowl, it does tend to look like multi-colored mush, but no one minds, as it tastes amazing!
So do you usually have a trifle at Christmas? Or another occasion? Let me know in the comments!
And if you make this trifle recipe, let me know how it works out!
If you take any photos don’t forget to tag me #lovingitvegan on instagram – I love to see what you’re making out there!
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Have a fabulous Christmas!
- Trifle Layers:
- Vegan Vanilla Cake
- Vegan Jello (1 Batch Green, 1 Batch Red)
- 2.5 fl oz (75ml) Sherry
- 1 15oz (425g) Can Mixed Fruit Cocktail (in syrup)
- 1 15oz (425g) Can Sliced Peaches (in syrup)
- 3 oz (85g) Roasted Pecan Nuts
- Vegan Custard (made exactly according to package instructions. I used 70g Foster Clark's Custard Powder, 34 fl oz (1000ml) Soy Milk and 4 Heaped Tbsp Sugar)
- Whipped Coconut Cream (Double Batch)
- Maraschino Cherries
- When you're just thinking about making a trifle the first thing you need to do is make some vegan jello. This step comes first because it takes a long time to set.
- Once you have your jello made and setting in the fridge, you can get started making your vegan vanilla cake. You definitely want to do this in two layers, exactly like the recipe because you want your trifle to have two layers of sponge. No frosting on the cake is required, just the basic sponge cake.
- When your jello has set and your cake has cooled, you can get started on making your vegan custard. You want to make roughly 4 cups of custard. A little less or more won't matter. I followed the package instructions that came along with my can of Foster Clark's custard powder. I measured out 70g of custard powder and 1000ml (1 liter / approximately 34 fl oz) of soy milk. I poured a little of the soy milk over the custard powder and mixed it into a thick paste. Then I heated the soy milk on the stove along with 4 heaped tablespoons of sugar. When the soy milk boiled, I poured it all at once over the custard powder paste, mixing all the while (don't do it the other way around - don't add the custard powder paste into the pot of boiling soy milk, your custard will be ruined, it has to be that the boiling milk gets poured into the bowl with the custard paste, stirring all the while). Return to the pot and gradually heat again, stirring gently. The custard will quickly reach the desired thickness. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. It will thicken more as it cools so don't let it cool too much. You just want it to no longer be hot. If it gets too thick and forms a skin, whisk it up with a hand whisk before using.
- Get a double batch of whipped coconut cream ready.
- When the jello is set, the cake is cooled and the custard is warm but no longer hot, and you have a batch of whipped coconut cream ready to go, you're ready to assemble your trifle.
- In a deep trifle dish or other deep dish of your choice - place the first layer of vanilla cake at the bottom. If your cake doesn't fit the bottom of the dish, cut it so that it does. If you need to cut your cake into pieces, this is totally fine.
- Prick holes into the cake with a toothpick and carefully pour over half the sherry, letting the sherry absorb into the holes you pricked into the cake, rather than pouring off the sides of the cake.
- Drain the can of mixed fruit cocktail, discard the liquid and add the fruit to the top of the vanilla cake. Add half the pecans.
- Then add the red jello.
- Then add half the custard.
- Add the second layer of the vanilla cake. Poke holes in the cake once again with a toothpick and pour over the remaining half of the sherry, letting it absorb into the cake rather than pour off the sides.
- Drain the can of sliced peaches, discard the liquid, and add the peaches to the top of the vanilla cake. Add the remaining half of the pecans.
- Add the green jello.
- Add the remaining half of the custard.
- Top with the whipped coconut cream and cherries.
- Place into the fridge to chill for a while and allow all the layers to set together.
- Keep leftovers covered in the fridge and consume within a couple of days.