Vegan Black Forest Trifle | The Minimalist Vegan


If you love chocolate, custard, cherries and cream, you’ll love these vegan black forest trifle cups! 

Creamy, decadent, rich and melt in your mouth dessert that everyone will love. It’s easy to make and gets better with age. This plant-based trifle is perfect for the holidays when you want to impress your friends and family with something that looks complex, but is super easy to make and assemble.

This is my second trifle recipe. You can find the other trifle cups that have classic flavours with a beautiful touch of colour and sweet flavour from berries.

This recipe is a healthier alternative to the dairy and egg-laden traditional trifles. Like any good dessert, it’s more satisfying than anything store-bought.

I love it when others enjoy the food that I make. This is one of my favourites to put together as a treat when we have guests over, or we take something with us to share. 

Side angle of the trifle cup.

Kitchen tools needed to make this vegan trifle

The items that you’ll need to execute this dessert are: 

  • Scales
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Fine mesh strainer (for sifting dry ingredients)
  • Mixing spoon
  • Whisk
  • Baking dish
  • Unbleached parchment paper
  • Hand-held or electric whisk
  • Medium saucepan
  • Small knife
  • Peeler (for shaving chocolate)

Close up of the trifles from the top. Trifle cups scattered around the table.

Tips for making these easy vegan black forest trifles

Each recipe that is featured in this trifle has a great set of tips and tricks. For those, please check out the chocolate cake, whipped coconut cream and vegan custard posts for more. 

However, here are a few tips to help you with the trifle itself. 

  • These cups can be made the day before you want to serve them. The flavours will mature over time. 
  • If you don’t have glasses that are a similar shape to mine, you can always make one big trifle and serve it individually at the table. 
  • Want to make this more traditional? Add some of your favourite liquor for the chocolate cake to soak up. Fruit-based ones like a cherry or raspberry liqueur, light or dark sherry are the best ones to use. I personally find that it doesn’t need the extra something as it’s moist and flavourful without it. 
  • If fresh cherries aren’t in season, decorate with more morello cherries from the jar.

Close up from the front of the vegan black forest trifles.

Layers in these vegan black forest trifle cups

Chocolate cake it’s such an easy recipe to put together! With the added coffee, you’ll achieve the beautifully rich, deep chocolate goodness of your dreams.

Cherries – the cherries add a touch of freshness and moisture to the trifle, giving the overall dessert a balanced flavour. The morello cherry juice that we use to soak the chocolate cake takes the sponge to another level.

Coconut whipped cream – creamy and decadent; the coconut whipped cream provides balance to the rich and sweet chocolate layers. 

Chocolate custard – the custard turns out as a silky smooth, rich chocolate with a hint of caramel. 

Putting a cherry on the vegan trifle.

You can, of course, layer this vegan black forest trifle in any way you like! 

I have just put together some inspiration for you. I hope you can add your own spin to it. If you’d like some crunch in your trifle, you can add some small chunks of chocolate or nuts inside it too. 

Other vegan dessert recipes you’ll love:

  1. Vegan Trifle Cups with Berries
  2. Baked Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake
  3. Easy Vegan Tiramisu (Gluten-Free)
  4. Vegan Vanilla Cake with Coconut Cream and Berries
  5. No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest


Cake layer:

Cream layer:

Chocolate custard layer:


  • 670g (1.48oz) jar Morello cherries
  • Fresh cherries (optional)
  • Dark vegan chocolate for decoration (optional)


  1. First, make the classic chocolate cake – use only half the recipe as you’ll need half the amount of sponge that the cake makes.
  2. Instead of a cake tin, you’ll be baking it in any flatter baking tray that is approximately 24cmx24cm (9.45inx9.45in). Line it with parchment paper before baking for around 20-30 minutes. It’s done when a skewer comes out clean.
  3. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
  4. While the cake bakes, you can make the coconut whipped cream.
  5. Once made, set aside in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
  6. Now you can move onto the custard. Once the custard is done, turn off the heat and stir in the dark chocolate until it has completely melted and incorporated. Cool completely.
  7. Once all the ingredients for your trifle are cool and set, you’re ready to start assembling.
  8. Before you get started, cut the sponge into smaller squares, it will be easier to place inside the ramekins or glasses that you’re using. My glasses hold 420ml (14.2oz).
  9. Place a couple of pieces of cake on the bottom of the glass and press it down so that there are no holes/empty pockets. If you like, you can soak the sponge with some of the juice from the morello cherry jar.
  10. Next is the first layer of morello cherries, followed by the whipped coconut cream. From there, you add the chocolate custard. If you like, you can add another layer of cherries and whipped coconut cream.
  11. Finish it off with some fresh cherries, and shaved dark chocolate. Set in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This dish is best served cold. I like to leave mine for a minimum of two hours to let the flavours marinate a little more

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