Paleo Christmas Trifle (GF, DF, RSF, Paleo)

by Elora Harre

Another Christmas classic dessert turned gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! Christmas Trifle is one of those old school desserts that involves sponge cake, booze, fruit, custard and whipped cream - sounds delicious right?

It's a shame that often the gluten, dairy and sugar leads to a food hangover that lasts longer than your regular alcohol hangover. So we've given this dessert a makeover that makes it a little more digestible and still just as tasty.

Our recipe creates a decent sized trifle, but if you're making a big one for the masses then we would recommend doubling the recipe. We've opted to showcase our beautiful summer berries, but you can really add whatever fruit you enjoy!

The beauty comes in the layering of this and once the elements are made, it truly is a very simple dish.

We turned our Base Cake Mix into a sponge by slightly reducing the oil content (which in turn makes a lighter cake, and slightly dryer so it doesn't turn to complete mush when the booze is added!) and whipping the egg whites to make a lighter and fluffier cake.


Paleo Christmas Trifle

Sponge Cake:
1 packet of Nourish & Thrive Base Cake Mix
1/2 cup Water, room temperature
1/3 cup Coconut Oil, melted
2 tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey, room temperature
1 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs, seperated and room temperature

Dairy Free Custard:
1 can full fat Organic Coconut Cream
2 Egg Yolks
2-4 tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey
1 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract

Boozy Sherry Berry Sauce:
4 tbsp Sherry (or to taste)
3/4 cup frozen Raspberries
1/2 cup 100% Orange Juice 

1-2 punnets Strawberries, hulled and halved
1 punnet Raspberries
1 cup Vanilla Coconut Yoghurt (we used Raglan)


Begin by making your sponge cake. Preheat your oven to 180c and grease a cake tin as well as lining the bottom. Set aside.

Place your water, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. In another bowl, add your egg whites and using a hand beater to whip until stiff peaks form. 

Add your dry base cake mix into the wet ingredients and stir until completely combined. Now, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in your egg whites until well mixed. Pour cake mix into your prepared pan and bake for 20-24 minutes until springs back lightly to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, prepare your custard. Pour the contents of your coconut cream into a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat, stirring, until it's steaming. In a small bowl, whisk your egg yolks. Using a ladle, add some of the heated coconut cream to your egg yolks whilst whisking the whole time. This tempers the egg yolks so that they don't scramble when adding them to the coconut cream. Add your yolk mix into the saucepan and whisk to combine. Continue to whisk over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes until your custard has thickened. Once thickened, you should be able to coat the back of a spoon and run your finger through it without it running back across. Pour into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve to remove any potential lumps then stir in your maple and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cool.

Once both cake and custard are cool, prepare your sherry berry sauce. In a bowl (or food processor/blender) place the ingredients for your sherry berry sauce. We used an immersion (stick) blender to whizz until smooth. Add more orange juice if your sauce is too thick. Don't forget your sample to make sure the sherry is strong enough for your liking!

Finally, to assemble, begin by cutting your sponge cake into 2cm cubes. Place half of the cubes on the bottom layer of your trifle dish. Cover with half of the sherry berry sauce. If you'd like to put fruit against the side of your trifle bowl for presentation - now is the time. Otherwise, pour over half of your cooled custard then top with half of your fruit. Cover fruit with the other half of your sponge cake, followed by half of your sherry sauce, other half of your custard and some of the remaining fruit. Finally top with coconut yoghurt to cover all of the layers, then decorate with the last of your fruit.

Refrigerate until service and enjoy!

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