Growing up, trifle was the go-to dessert for birthdays, and it remains my personal all-time favorite. I made it quite frequently growing up, but until this year I hadn’t made it without my mom on hand to answer questions (the angel food cake is straightforward; the pudding is slightly tricky). I decided to change that for my 35th birthday last month, and the result was such a hit that I have made it two more time since! Today I am sharing a recipe tutorial for this delicious dessert, which we now make gluten free for our family.
From Scratch Trifle Recipe With Gluten-Free Adaptations
Our version of trifle consists of fresh fruit (frozen works too, but won’t look quite as pretty), from scratch angel food cake, and from scratch pudding. Here are the angel food cake and pudding recipes – together they use up both the yolks and whites of a dozen eggs.
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Gluten Free Angel Food Cake
This recipe works with regular flour as well.
- 1 cup sifted gluten-free flour (I used Cup 4 Cup flour, which is pricey but works beautifully. Thankfully this recipe doesn’t ask for much flour!)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1.5 cups egg whites (12 egg whites)
- 1.5 tsp. lemon juice. Cream of tartar also works, but I like lemon juice better.
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1.5 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven 375F (190C)
- Sift flour with 3/4 cup sugar 2 times and set aside.
- Beat egg whites with lemon juice (or cream of tartar), salt, and vanilla till stiff enough to form soft peaks but still moist and glossy.
- Sift about 1/4 of the flour and sugar mixture over the egg whites; fold in. Repeat, folding in remaining flour by fourths. You want to barely mix in the flour mixture.
- Bake in an ungreased 10 inch tube pan at 375 for 35-40 minutes or till done. Cool with the pan upside down (I usually place it on top of a bottle allow plenty of air circulation).
Gluten Free Vanilla Pudding Recipe
Serving for One
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1Tbsp. corn starch
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
- 1.5 tsp butter (I left the butter out when I used the pudding for trifle)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Make enough for trifle
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups cornstarch
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 3 quarts milk
- 12 egg yolks slightly beaten in a large bowl
- 6 Tbsp. butter (optional)
- 2 Tbsp vanilla
Note: If you are going to make a large quantity like this it takes forever for 3 quarts of milk to reach a boil. I put 1 quart in each of 3 pans, mixing the sugar and cornstarch and salt into one quart in a large pan. While I stirred that pan, I put lids on the other two pans and put them over med-high heat and set the timer for 7-8 minutes. It depends on how hot your stove is how long it takes for the milk to almost boil. You don’t have to stir it if it is only milk and you have the lid on the pan, but don’t leave the lid on long enough to boil over. When the milk in these two pans almost boils, mix it into the pan with the sugar and cornstarch, stirring constantly. This way you can make a large batch of pudding without burning it.
- Stir together the dry ingredients in a saucepan.
- Add milk slowly, stirring until thoroughly mixed.
- Heat on medium heat until it nearly boils
- Pour over the egg yolks (in a large bowl) – either using a mixer running on medium speed to stir or stirring constantly by hand. You want to add only a little bit of the milk mixture at a time or the heat will cook the eggs and create lumps. Once you have stirred in about half the mixture, you can pour the egg plus milk mixture into the original milk mixture pan – stirring carefully.
- Bring to a boil and boil for one minute, then remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla and butter and wait for pudding to cool. You will want to stir the cooling pudding occasionally or keep a lid on the pan since otherwise it develops a thick surface. You can set it in the fridge to cool, but be sure to use a hot pad or other barrier if you place it on a glass shelf as otherwise you will end up with a cracked shelf.
Once the pudding has cooled, it is time to put together the trifle!
Making Trifle From Scratch
To make trifle, you need angel food cake, putting, and whatever fruit and berries you like. Peaches, strawberries, and blueberries are always popular in our house. We have also used bananas, blackberries, and raspberries with excellent results.
Start by slicing your angel food cake into thin slices.
Place a thin layer of cake in the bottom of your bowl or dish.
Then add berries.
Repeat until the container is full. If you use a large bowl as shown above, you will need several layers; for the cake pan version featured below I only used one layer of each ingredient.
If you want to be extra special, make several individual trifles so that each guest gets their own! I did that for my birthday, using these mini canning jars for the children’s servings and these larger canning jars for adults. I put lids on them and brought them to the beach with us, and they were still beautiful – and a hit – when I opened them for our picnic lunch.
Serve chilled. This dessert tastes great as leftovers!