Recipe and photograph – Dr Joan Ransley

Trifle is a firm favourite on the Christmas menu. This winter themed trifle is made with blackberries and, as an optional extra, can be flavoured with sloe gin or a favourite liqueur.

The wonderful thing about trifle is it can be adapted to meet all dietary preferences including vegetarians or vegans.

This recipe contains ground almonds and blackberries which are both packed with dietary fibre and good for gut health. Blackberries are a rich source of anthocyanins which give them their deep purple colour. Anthocyanins in blackberries have been shown to modulate gut bacteria and may have an important anti-inflammatory effect in the body.

The sponge in this trifle is vegan and made using aquafaba (the liquid in canned chickpeas) rather than eggs.


Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas mark 3. Line an 18cm rectangular cake tin with baking parchment.

For the sponge: whisk the aquafaba in a bowl with an electric whisk until stiff.  Gradually add the caster sugar and continue whisking until stiff and glossy. Place the flour, baking powder and ground almonds into a bowl and mix well before adding the whisked aquafaba and sugar. Stir through the melted non-dairy butter and lemon zest. Pour the sponge mix into the cake tin and bake for between 15 and 20 minutes or until the surface of the cake is firm to touch. Remove from the oven and place the cake on cooling rack until cool.

For the jelly: place the bramble jelly into a saucepan with 250mls of water and agar agar. Bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Boiling activates the agar agar so it will set firm.

Pour the liquid bramble jelly into a small dish so it can set as a slab. Allow the jelly to cool and set. This will take about half an hour.

Make up the custard according to the instructions on the pack. Whisk the cream until stiff.

To assemble the trifle: cut the sponge and the jelly into small cubes about one cm across and place in the bottom of either one large trifle bowl or, individual glass serving dishes. Sprinkle the sloe gin, liqueur or orange juice over the sponge and jelly. Pour over the custard and allow to cool before dotting with whipped cream just before serving.

Cooks Tip

Trifles are made of four components, Fruit, jelly, custard and cream. These components are very adaptable to meet a range of dietary preferences. Ready made custard and sponge can be used if time is short. The jelly can be made with gelatine if the dessert is not for vegetarians. The trick is getting the layers to look attractive. Trifle never fails to impress.


Blueberries, strawberries or raspberries can be used instead of blackberries.

Back to Recipes

 Per Serving (141g)Per 100g
Calories (kCal/KJ)258 / 1080183 / 766
Protein (g)4.23
Fat (g)118
Saturated Fat (g)5.13.6
Carbohydrate (g)3122
Sugar (g)1914
Fibre (g)2.61.8
Sodium (mg)10776
Salt equivalent (g)0.270.19
FODMAPSBlackberries contain sorbitol. 160g blackberries is high in sorbitol.
Back to Recipes