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Tropical Summer Trifle Cups [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Just like parfait, trifles are something that most people enjoy. Who can say "no" to layers of delicious sponge cake layered with custard and fresh fruit? In this tropical trifle, gluten-free sponge cake is served with a coconut custard and passion fruit, sliced mango, and fresh berries. Dig in!

Tropical Summer Trifle Cups [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


4-6 depending on the size of the cups

Cook Time



For the Sponge:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt

For the Custard:

  • 1/3 cup cornflour
  • 2 cups nut or coconut milk (the coconut milk make it a slightly richer custard)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional if you want a more yellow custard, no taste of turmeric comes through)

For the Fruit:

  • 1 mango
  • 1 passionfruit
  • 1 small carton blueberries
  • 1 small carton raspberries


To Make the Sponge:

  1. Preheat oven to 355°F and line a 6×10-inch (approximately) baking dish with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix well the apple sauce, coconut sugar, oil, and vanilla extract making sure that the oil is well incorporated. Add in the vinegar or lemon and mix again.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and fold in gently through the wet mixture. Don’t stir too much as it won’t rise.
  4. Transfer to lined dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Set aside to cool.

To Make the Custard:

  1. Mix the cornflour, 1/2 cup of the nut milk, sugar, and turmeric in a mug and stir well.
  2. In a saucepan on medium heat, bring the rest of the milk (1 1/2 cups) to a boil and then reduce to low. Slowly pour in the cornflour mixture and whisk consistently for 1-2 minutes. It should thicken to a nice custard.
  3. Set aside to cool.
  4. Once those two components have completely cooled, cut the sponge to the right size and shape to fit whatever cups/dishes you are using for layering.
  5. Layer the sponge, custard, and fruit however you like.


If you want to soak the sponge in a syrup to make it a little more moist, just bring to the boil some water, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Pour over the sponge and let it cool.





Minimal plant-based recipes that bring a balance between eating well and living mindfully. Michael and Masa are the founders of The Minimalist Vegan, where they write about finding the balance between eating well and living mindfully. To help you get started on your journey, download a free copy of their cookbook called One Week of Meals from The Minimalist Vegan website.



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