Black Forest Trifle blends German Flavours in a traditional English dessert is vegan and free from eggs, dairy, gluten and Top 8 Allergens.
Our family is a blend of German and English heritage we blended the two in our "free from" Black Forest Trifle. It is top 8 allergens free (except coconut), Gluten Free and Vegan. There are two variations of the pudding one is an adult boozy version and the other replaces the alcohol with flavoured simple syrup. If choosing the version with alcohol please mind that it is consumed responsibly by adults only, not when pregnant, and never before driving or operating any other machinery.
The dessert is easy to assemble but is best made over two days to not rush the sponge cake base and allow it to properly cool.
- a Trifle dish or deep glass bowl (they are often available at thrift shops in our area but Stokes in Canada carries a nice one or you can use fancy glasses or sunday cups for individual trifles. This is what we use to make some kid safe and some adult style)
- a cherry pitter (invest in a good one like this)
Recipe Notes for Black Forest Trifle:
This is a layered dessert with many steps. Please read through it before starting it and check that all the ingredients are safe for you.
Custard- Bird's Custard Powder is safe for us, but the instant powder isn't. We pick it up in the international foods aisle (British). Interestingly it was supposedly developed as Mr. Bird's wife was allergic to eggs, not sure how true that is but I sure hope it is. It shows the market for allergen food has been around for ages. Check that it meets the needs for your restrictions as the Instant Custard contains milk and always verify the current gluten free certification. We have found that batches made in different plants aren't all gluten free.
Custard alternative- If you cannot use custard powder check for vanilla vegan pudding mixes like the one from Simply Delicious. It is available in most grocers baking or natural foods aisles. The Simply Delicious products are plant based and are gluten free as well as top 8 allegens free.
Dairy free Whipped Cream- You can use ready made coconut whipped cream in a can or whip your own. I used the Gaylea coconut whip canister to save time and energy. We pick it up in the refridgerated food section near the milk alternatives.
Cake hack- A Gluten Free Box Cake Mix is a good way to shave off time when making black forest trifle but I used our Chocolate Cake recipe.
Alcohol- Check that the alcohol you use is safe for you and doesn't contain your allergens. We use potato based vodka, like Beatties Vodka, in many of our extracts, rather than wheat based spirits as they are "safe for us".
If the custard powder in your area isn't suitably gluten free or allergen friendly, feel free to use a curd. A vegan pudding made from fruit juice and starch, like corn or arrowroot and heated then cooled is a fabulous addition to a trifle.
The other custard substitution is to use a vegan pudding. It can be made with ground chia and coconut milk and allowed to thicken. Another way is to use an allergen free pudding mix like the Simply Delish Vanilla pudding. It is both vegan and gluten free in addition to being top 8 allergen free.
Adaptations and Flavour Changes
Trifles cant be pretty much any flavour combo. If a German/English mix doesn't strike your fancy why not try another? A Tiramisu flavoured trifle would be a fantastic Christmas dessert. With coffee flavoured custard, pudding or curd, vanilla cake, whipped coconut cream, and loads of shaved chocolate on top.
What to Serve with Black Forest Trifle
A great cuppa with plenty of milk or coffee is the best accompaniment with this pudding. Black Forest Trifle is a dessert course perfect for gatherings and holidays, be mindful with the alcohol in the dessert and do not drive when consuming it with alcohol.
Storage of The Trifle
Once assembled it is best eaten within 2-3 days if stored properly. To store uneaten trifle cover it well with plastic wrap in the fridge for 48-72 hours. Any longer is not recommended, neither is freezing. When storing in the fridge covered tightly leave off the coconut whipped cream until right before serving.
Other recipes you may enjoy
- 1 Gluten Free chocolate sponge or chocolate cake. We use our Allergen Free Chocolate Cake. The whole recipe made 1 medium-large trifle plus 4 goblet sized ones. If you are only making a medium trifle only use half the cake and put the rest in individual serving cups like crystal goblets.
- ¼ C sour cherry jam or safe cherry pie filling
- 16 fresh cherries pitted and quartered
- ½ C cherry infused potato vodka 1 week before I planned to bake I put 12 pitted cherries in a jar and covered with ½c of vodka, shaken every other day and stored in a dark cupboard for a non-alcoholic version see this recipe.
- 1 serving of safe custard powder prepared as per the directions on the container. Birds custard powder is safe for us. Make sure to get the proper custard powder and not the instant custard or ready made.
- Coconut whipped cream - you can make your own with 1 can of chilled coconut cream ¼ teaspoon creme of tartar, and 2 Tbsps powdered icing sugar mixed in a stand mixer for 5-10 mins, until soft peaks form. Or you can use ready made coconut whipped cream from the dairy replacement case in your grocer, if they have it.
- Top with fresh pitted cherries to garnish and/or shaved vegan dark chocolate
- Cut the sponge in half. By this I mean slice it as if you were turning the one layer into two for a cake. The Allergen Free Chocolate Cake is perfect here.
- Slather on the sour cherry jam to the bottom of the two layers and lay the top one on top of the jam side of the bottom layer.
- Bisect the cake layer. Cutting the cake in half so you end up with two half 2 layer cakes with jam in the middle.
- Place one cake in the bottom of the trifle dish and press it in.
- Pour half the alcohol over the cake layer.
- Sprinkle ½ of the quartered cherries in the dish, evenly.
- Place the second ½ of the cake in the dish on the cherries to make a second cake layer.
- Pour the remaining alcohol on the top layer of cake.
- Sprinkle the remaining quartered cherries In the dish.
- Add the custard by spoonfuls to fill any cracks until an even medium thin layer of custard fills the dish.
- Pipe or squirt on the whipped coconut cream, depending on if you are using ready made or homemade topping.
- Add garnishes.