Vegan Trifle

Vegan Trifle

Who doesn’t love a trifle? With Christmas coming and my partner’s eldest daughter being vegan, I was keen to try and create a vegan version that we could all enjoy after Christmas dinner. After a couple of attempts I think you will agree this is just as good, if not better than any dairy version. It does take a little time to pull together, but no different to creating any other special dessert for Christmas. I would make the sponge a day before so it is ready to go when you want to pull the trifle together and invest in a nice posh bowl to show it off!

NB: I have tried several different vegan sponge recipes with varied levels of success (many totally unsuccessful!) this sponge recipe is taken from The Veg Space and it is the best one I have tried.

Vegan Trifle.

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Serves: 8 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • For The Sponge Base:
  • 100 g dairy-free margarine (Stork block margarine is great)
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 100 g dairy-free yoghurt (I used Alpro soya yoghurt)
  • 100ml soya milk
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • To Top the Sponge:
  • 200g of frozen summer fruits (if you make this in the summer buy raspberries/blackberries/strawberries fresh)
  • If you are using alcohol (I did!) 3 Tablespoons of vegan friendly sweet Madeira or Marsala wine
  • 2 Tbsp icing sugar
  • For The custard:
  • 2 Tbsp Birds custard powder (following much research I have found that it does not contain egg or milk powder and is thickened with corn powder)
  • 2 Heaped Tbsp of raw sugar or caster sugar
  • 568ml (1 Pint) Almond milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • NB: I used unsweetened Almond Milk and found that using only one tablespoon of sugar wasn’t quite sweet enough, hence suggesting two. You can use sweetened milk if preferred and turn the sugar level up or down according to taste.
  • For The Jelly
  • 1 good teaspoon of Agar Agar powder - if you use flakes you will need more than this so check the label
  • 240ml Apple Juice
  • 240ml Water
  • 50g Sugar
  • A handful of summer berries, crushed to colour the jelly and create texture. If you would rather have a smooth red jelly you could use cherry juice or another sweet red juice instead.
  • For The Cream Topping
  • 500ml Coconut cream that has been refrigerated overnight - You can buy packs or tins of just the cream (the easiest way), or use the cream from the top of three cans that have been refrigerated
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • ½ Tsp Vanilla essence or the black seeds from one vanilla pod


To begin, make your sponge. As I have mentioned, I would make this up the day before so it is ready to go when you are pulling the dish together. I used one large square sponge tin, which I lined with greaseproof and greased with stork. Once it is cooked you can slice it into fingers or suitable shapes for the base of your dish.  It is also worth measuring out your fruits if you are using the frozen mix and allowing them to defrost.

Pre-heat the oven to a 180°C

For the sponge: First of all whip up the Stork and sugar for a good few minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. It’s important to whip for a few minutes to get as much air in as possible. Mix up the flour and Baking Powder and grab a sieve. Add the yoghurt, vanilla essence and milk to the butter mix and also add a couple of tablespoons of the flour to avoid curdling. Turn up the mixer and beat the ingredients together, if it starts to curdle add a little more flour. Finally add the flour by sifting into the bowl to get air into the mixture and fold very carefully into the cake mix until fully combined.

Place the mixture into the baking tin and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until you can place a skewer in the middle and it comes out clean.

Measure out your fruits for the sponge topping and add then icing sugar to make a thick coulis.

Once your sponge is cooled, cut it into fingers or shapes that can be placed in  the bottom of your chosen dish. If using a little alcohol, pour over your chosen wine and then put your summer fruit coulis on the top, pressing down into the sponge and into the gaps with a pallet knife.  To make the custard, follow the instructions on the side of the custard packet and add the vanilla essence and sugar to taste. Once it reaches boiling point and starts to thicken, allow it to cool a little, but not too much and pour over the sponge base. Set aside and allow to cool and a skin to form on the top as this forms a seal for the jelly to sit on top (I popped it in the fridge for 10 minutes).

Meanwhile prepare your jelly. Crush up the berries if using and place then into a saucepan with the fruit juice, water, sugar and Agar Agar powder. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.  Take off the heat and allow it to cool for about 10 or so minutes. Once it has cooled and your custard has a skin, pour the jelly mix on top of the custard and put it into the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.

To make your coconut cream topping. Take the chilled coconut cream out of the fridge and place in a mixer long with the icing sugar and vanilla. Whip for around 4-5 minutes to get the air into it until combined and the mixture has started to form peaks. If your jelly is not yet set you can take out out of the mixer and transfer to a bowl and place it in the fridge – this will keep it firm.

Once the jelly is set, you can blob on the coconut cream topping and use a fork to shape it to create nice peaks. I used some passion fruit seeds as a topping, but you could use toasted almond flakes, raw cacao nibs or fresh raspberries and some desiccated coconut.

Truly scrumptious!

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