We recently asked our Instagram community if they’d ever struggled with being 100% plant-based. It turned out the answer was yes. So much yes. And it inspired us to turn your fess ups into tasty recipes, but no judgement if the pans stay in the cupboard.
This vegan trifle was inspired by one of our community who told us about that time she ate her dad's trifle because she "couldn't hurt his feelings and say no". There's nothing worse than disappointing a parent, so we felt it was our job to create a vegan trifle recipe that's just as sweet, vibrant and nostalgic as the classic.
The real beauty of this dessert is that however much or little you choose to make from scratch is up to you. The recipe below includes a recipe for a vegan sponge, custard, fruit coulis and whipped cream but if you're pressed for time you can easily buy ready-made vegan custard (Alpro's works great here), use store-bought vegan sponge fingers in place of the sponge and (in a pinch) use raspberry jam diluted with 4-5 tbsp of water as the berry coulis. This recipe can also be adapted to the fruit you have on hand. If you're running low on berries, you can sub them for ripe peaches and nectarine in the summer, and oranges in the winter.
30 mins (+ cooling)
400g plain flour
120g caster sugar
120g light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
270ml plant based milk
125ml sunflower or olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ lemon, zested
1L plant based milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
400g strawberries, sliced
400g raspberries, sliced
50g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ lemon, zested
200g vegan whipping cream (we used Elmlea)
100g raspberries, sliced
Start by baking the sponge. Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan/200˚C conventional.
In a large bowl combine flour, caster sugar, light brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and lemon zest and whisk to combine. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until fully combined.
Grease and line a 33x23 cm rectangular baking tin with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake the sponge for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Let the sponge cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove it from the tin and let it cool completely. Use a knife to cube the sponge into roughly 2x2cm pieces.
In the meantime, make the custard. Add the milk, vanilla extract and sugar to a pot, and bring it up to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally as the sugar dissolves.
In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and 100ml of water until combined. Whilst whisking the milk, add the cornstarch mixture. Continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes, while the mixture thickens. Whisk in the salt and remove the custard from the heat.
Cover the surface of the custard with parchment paper (which prevents it from forming a skin) and let it come to room temperature.
Next, make the fruit filling. Combine 200g strawberries, 200g raspberries, sugar, water, vanilla and lemon zest in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Use the back of a spoon or fork to crush the fruit and simmer it for 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is saucy. Place a sieve over a bowl, and pass the fruit mixture through it. Let the berry coulis come to room temperature.
Last, make the whipped cream. Place the cream in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to whip it for 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Once everything is at room temperature, it’s time to assemble the trifle. If using one large trifle dish, cover the bottom of it with sponge cubes. If using individual trifle dishes, place 4-5 sponge cubes in each one. Next, spoon enough berry coulis to evenly coat the sponge and top it with the reserved sliced strawberries and raspberries.
Next, evenly pour in around one cup (250ml) of custard onto the fruit and use a spoon to gently spread it. If using individual trifle dishes, spoon in 2-3 tbsp of custard into each dish instead.
Repeat the sponge, coulis, fruit and custard layers until you reach the top of the trifle dish - this should create 4-5 layers in a large trifle dish, and around 3 in small trifle dishes.
Once you’ve reached the top, top it with whipped cream and extra sliced berries. Serve the trifle immediately or let store it in the fridge.
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.