Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Trifle

Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Trifle

This Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Trifle is easy to make, perfectly sweet, and every bit as rich and indulgent as the traditonal version.

Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Trifle

I absolutely love the combination of the sweet and slightly boozy strawberry jelly, gorgeously runny custard and rich, creamy coconut whipped cream – you definitely won’t notice the difference!

The bottom layer starts with a naturally sweetened strawberry compote – all you need to do is chop up some fresh strawberries, then add them to a saucepan with a splash of water, lemon juice and maple syrup.

If you’re pressed for time, you can skip this step by using tinned strawberries. If you’d rather not use strawberries, you can use any other berries such as raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, or most other fruit really. Just make sure to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit you add. 

Then all you need to do is add some agar to turn it into a jelly. Not only is agar vegan-friendly, but it’s also happens to make them much healthier, too!

Agar is a natural jelly-like substance that comes from algae that grows in the sea. It was first discovered in Japan in the 17th century, where it is known as kanten. It’s very healthy as it’s around 80% fibre.

You will be able to find agar flakes in most local health stores or Asian supermarkets, if not your local supermarket. 

For the custard layer, I used a shop-bought custard that was naturally vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free, so I hope you manage to get hold of one too!

My secret for making it taste delicious without the richness of cow’s milk is unsweetened cashew milk, because it becomes deliciously rich and creamy when it’s heated up. So, I decided to use it for this custard, and it didn’t let me down!

I then used coconut whipped cream for the topping. If you’re pressed for time, you could use a thick coconut yogurt instead, but I’d really recommend making your own coconut whipped cream because there’s no sour, yogurt-y flavour, and it’s much lighter and fluffier.

I like to add some vanilla bean powder for extra flavour and add some maple syrup to sweeten (you don’t need very much though, as the coconut is already very naturally sweet).

Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Trifle

This trifle is perfect for feeding a crowd at special occasions like birthdays, Christmas or Thanksgiving, but also healthy enough to enjoy whenever you fancy it, even for breakfast

For more delicious make-ahead desserts, check out my:

If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.

Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Trifle
Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Trifle
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

This Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Trifle is easy to make, perfectly sweet, and every bit as rich and indulgent as the traditonal version.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 8
Calories: 33 kcal
For the jelly:
  • 200 g (14oz) strawberries, hulled and cut into small pieces (or sub any other fruit)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste (or sub any other sweetener)
  • Splash of sherry, to taste (or sub any other liqueur)
  • 1 teaspoon agar powder (check instructions on packet as quantities needed can vary between brands)
For the custard:
  • 500 ml (2 cups) unsweetened cashew milk (or sub any other milk)
  • 4 tablespoons custard powder (ensure vegan/gluten-free if necessary)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste (or sub any other sweetener)
For the coconut whipped cream**:
  • 400 g (14oz) tin full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste (or sub any other sweetener)
To decorate (optional):
  • 1 tablespoons cacao nibs
For the jelly:
  1. Place the strawberries in a saucepan with the lemon juice, maple syrup and sherry and cook on a low heat for around 10 minutes, until they have softened and released their juices. Add a splash of water or fruit juice if it's looking a little dry*
  2. Once the strawberry compote is simmering, add the agar powder and mix well
  3. Pour the jelly mixture into either one large serving bowl or 8 smaller individual ramekins and leave the jelly to cool and set
For the custard:
  1. Heat up the milk in a saucepan with the maple syrup
  2. Dissolve the custard powder in a separate bowl in a little extra milk
  3. Once the milk in the saucepan is steaming, add a little of the hot milk to the bowl with the dissolved custard powder, mix well and transfer the custard powder mixture to the saucepan
  4. Mix well and keep heating on a low heat for a few minutes until thickened. If it's looking too thick, add a little extra milk, and if it's looking too thin then add some more custard powder as required - in general, it's better for the custard to be too thick than too thin
  5. Making sure that the jelly has set completely, pour the custard mixture on top of the jelly mixture and once again, leave to cool and set
For the coconut whipped cream:
  1. You'll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won't happen and you won't be able to make this cream!
  2. Open the tin upside down - the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to smoothies)
  3. Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl with around 3 tablespoons of the water
  4. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract
  5. Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
  6. Ensuring that the custard has cooled down and set completely, pour the coconut whipped cream on top of the trifle
To decorate:
  1. Sprinkle with cacao nibs 

  2. Best served after having been kept in the fridge for a few hours
  3. Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
Recipe Notes

*You can use tinned fruit instead if you're pressed for time
**Use a thick coconut yogurt instead if you're pressed for time

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