From the vegan gingerbread sponge to the generous drizzle of butterscotch sauce and the adorable gingerbread cookies decoration, this vegan gingerbread trifle is the perfect vegan Christmas dessert. Easy to make, with a possibility to be prepared in advance, it’s here to make your holiday life easier – and infinitely more delicious.
This post has been created in collaboration with Nature’s Charm. All opinions expressed in the post are my own… plus, there’s a whole lotta chocolate deliciousness – so read on. (For more information you can check out my Disclosure Policy.)
It’s about a week ’til Christmas and the world is getting steadily more holiday-crazy, and (among all the last minute shopping and gift wrapping and other planning) I’m here to make your life a bit easier… with a super festive, super easy to make, vegan Christmas dessert. *drumroll* Vegan gingerbread trifle.
For the longest time, I was a bit dismissive when it came to trifles – they seemed somewhat old-fashioned and not all that exciting. I’m here to tell you: I was wrong. And if you’re at all sceptical about trifles, this gingerbread trifle will change your mind, one decadent, luxurious bite at a time.
Part of the reason this recipe is so easy is a new product from one of my favourite vegan brands, Nature’s Charm. You might remember their products from the vegan hot chocolate cupcakes, vegan chocolate babka or vegan chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
This time, it’s their coconut custard that makes this gingerbread trifle both easier and quicker to prepare, and more delicious. It’s launching in the UK next week, from the 23rd of December – the custard is now available, you can find it here.
Let’s have a look at the components of this Christmas trifle:
- vegan gingerbread sponge cake – filled with spice and molasses, the sponge is moist and incredibly flavourful
- cinnamon & maple coconut custard – while I love Nature’s Charm coconut custard as-is, it’s a wonderful base on which to build on… in this case by adding a generous splash of maple syrup and a teaspoon or two of ground cinnamon
- butterscotch sauce – this one really needs no explaining (because, truth be told, if I could I’d add butterscotch or caramel sauce to just about everything); I used Nature’s Charm butterscotch sauce, but in a pinch you can also use my homemade vegan caramel sauce
- whipped coconut cream – because more cream is always a good idea
- all. the. decorations. – there are no rules here: vegan gingerbread cookies, as many sprinkles as you can get your hands on, chocolate shavings, more sprinkles… decorate your Christmas-loving heart out
If each individual component sounds delicious… multiply that by about 1,000 and you’ll get close to just how amazing this vegan trifle is.
To assemble the vegan gingerbread trifle, it’s best (that is, easiest and least stressful) to have all the components prepared and ready to go before you start.
It’s best to prepare the gingerbread sponge first, as it needs to cool completely before you can use it in the trifle. Making the sponge is as easy as mixing the dry ingredients with the wet, followed by a brief stint in the oven.
To make the cinnamon & maple syrup coconut custard:
- Start with Nature’s Charm coconut custard,
- add a few tablespoons of maple syrup and
- a teaspoon or two of cinnamon.
- Mix together until combined and smooth, taste test (repeatedly and enthusiastically) and add more maple syrup or spice if needed.
When it comes to layering all the components together, there’s really no right or wrong way to go about it. I chose to make 3 smaller trifles (still large enough for each to be shared between two people… although nobody’s saying they can’t be single serving…) but you could just as easily make one large trifle.
I layered the components in the order: butterscotch sauce, gingerbread sponge, coconut custard, gingerbread sponge, butterscotch sauce, coconut custard and a finishing (generous) swirl of coconut cream.
And… that’s really it. The vegan gingerbread trifle can easily be prepared a day in advance and kept in the fridge until it needs to be served. In fact, it’s even better the next day, after the flavours have had time to meld together into something infinitely more delicious.
I hope you love this festive vegan treat as much as I do – and that it’ll make your holiday preparations both a bit easier and a whole lotta more fun.
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Vegan Gingerbread Christmas Trifle
For vegan gingerbread cake:
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp (100 g) plain all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (90 mL) non-dairy milk (such as almond, soy, oat or rice milk)
- 1/8 cup + 1 tbsp (80 g) molasses
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For cinnamon & maple coconut custard:
- 2 cups (500 g) Nature's Charm coconut custard (you can find it here)
- 5 - 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 - 2 tsp ground cinnamon
For vegan gingerbread cake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line an 8 inch square baking tin with greaseproof/baking paper.
- In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients – flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
- Add the non-dairy milk, molasses and lemon juice, and mix until you get a smooth batter with no flour clumps.
- Transfer into the lined baking tin, smooth out the top and bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely, then cut into approximately 1/2 inch (1 cm) squares.
For cinnamon & maple syrup coconut custard:
- Mix the coconut custard, maple syrup and cinnamon together until evenly distributed and smooth.
Assembling the gingerbread trifle:
- Whip the coconut cream with powdered/icing sugar until soft peaks form.
- Using either smaller glasses (as seen in photos above) or one larger glass bowl, layer together the gingerbread cake sponge, cinnamon & maple syrup custard and butterscotch sauce. (I used the order: butterscotch sauce, gingerbread sponge, coconut custard, gingerbread sponge, butterscotch sauce, coconut custard, but there's no strict rules here.)
- Spoon some of the whipped coconut cream on top, gently swirling it around, and finish with decorations of choice.
- The vegan gingerbread trifle can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.