Recently a friend brought a trifle over to my house and I was shocked. How did I make it this far in life and not know how much I adore these wonderful layers of cake, custard, and fruit? If you too have been denied the joys of trifle, you're in for a wonderful surprise. ~Emily
This paleo trifle recipe is for a grain-free delight that can easily be made dairy free. Any summer fruit can be used, but berries make for a lovely presentation, especially perfect for the fourth of July.
Trifle is an English dessert, perfect for summer parties. Served nice and cold, you make it in advance so you can enjoy your guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen.
Traditionally, trifle used sponge cake for the cake layer but I chose to make an “angel” food cake in order to balance out the eggs – whites for the cake and yolks for the custard. “Angel” is in parentheses because this paleo trifle recipe calls for coconut flour, making it a bit more dense than an angel food cake with normal flour. But because it's cut up and layered in the trifle, it doesn't matter how ugly the original cake is – bonus if you're not a master baker!
I made these trifles in individual cups, but it is much easier to make a classic trifle bowl like this one. You While special trifle bowls are fun you can also just layer it up in any glass dish so you can see the beautiful layers.
Paleo trifle recipe ingredients
Angel food cake
- 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 eggs)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup raw honey (or 1 1/2 cups dry sweetener)
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup full fat milk (OR replace both cream and milk with 3 cups coconut milk or 3 cups almond milk)
- 12 egg yolks
- 6-8 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- (1 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot if using almond milk)
- sherry (optional)
- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or other fruit, 8 cups in total
- whipping cream or coconut cream
Paleo trifle recipe method
Angel food cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Separate eggs. Use one small bowl to separate one egg white into, then dump it into a large bowl. Set aside yolks.
- Add cream of tartar and salt to egg whites and whip with a mixer until soft almost stiff peaks form.
- Drizzle in honey (or dry sweetener) slowly and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Sift the coconut flour over the egg whites one 1/4 cup at a time and fold in gently. There will be quite a bit of deflation.
- Pour into a dry (non-greased) angel food cake pan. The kind that has a removable bottom is best.
- Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.
- Take out of oven and let cool upside down.
*a note on coconut flour: coconut flour has varying degrees of fat and more fat means more deflation. Try to find one that has a low level of fat, like this one.
- Heat milk and cream in a pot over low heat until steaming and almost simmering.
- While cream is heating, beat egg yolks and honey (or other sweetener) with a hand mixer in a heat proof bowl until creamy and pale in color. If you are using almond milk or other ‘thin' milk, add arrowroot powder before beating.
- Slowly pour the heated cream into the beaten yolks while still mixing.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot, add vanilla.
- Over low heat (or even a double boiler), continually stir with a wooden spoon until thick. You can tell how thick it is by how thickly the custard coats the back of the wooden spoon. The longer you stir, the thicker the mixture will be (unless you've used arrowroot) but do not let it boil, otherwise the custard will curdle. If it does boil, no biggie, you can't really tell when it's in the trifle anyway.
- Pour the custard through a sieve into a heat proof bowl.
- When it cools somewhat, chill the custard in the fridge.
Putting the trifle together
- When the cake is cool, cut into cubes. If the trifle will be in one large bowl, the cubes can be bigger; if making individual trifles cut smaller chunks.
- Make the layers in a glass bowl or cups. First cake, and you can optionally sprinkle with sherry or other alcohol for an adult dessert. Next a layer of berries – for strawberries I preferred them quartered as opposed to sliced. Above the fruit, put chilled custard. Then cake, fruit, and custard again.
- Top with slightly sweetened whipped cream or coconut cream and garnish.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours or more before serving.
Share with a friend you'd love to eat paleo trifle with at a party!
The closest Naomi has gotten to her dream farm is growing live bacteria in jars and wrangling her four children, including twins. A Canadian who now lives in Slovakia, Naomi writes about traditions, food, and life in Slovakia (as well as some pretty strange food) at Almost Bananas.