Archive for November, 2014

Cranberry, Pumpkin and Gingerbread Trifle – Vegan!

November 29, 2014


Made for Thanksgiving 2014


Best made the day before serving to allow flavors to blend.


For pumpkin sauce

1 can pureed pumpkin
1 2/3 cups almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
Pinch of salt

For cranberry sauce

¼ cup each brandy or rum and orange juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 12-oz bags fresh cranberries
Grated rind of one large orange, and juice from same
½ cup sugar (white or brown)

For gingerbread

1 box gingerbread mix (I used Hodson Mills whole wheat gingerbread)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup + 2tbsp water
1 cup raisins

For assembling the trifle and whipped coconut cream

½ cup brandy or rum
2 cans coconut milk (get one with few emulsifiers and additives, I like Thai brands)
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Grated rind of 2 limes and one lemon
2 tbs dried cranberries


Make the pumpkin sauce

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend/process until smooth. Pour into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent mixture from scorching. When it comes to a boil, allow it to cook three minutes, then remove from heat. Pour/scrape mixture into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. When cooled, cover the mixture with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down to touch the surface and then secure the edges of the plastic wrap to the sides of the bowl (this will prevent a “skin” from forming on top when the sauce cools). Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the mixture thicken up.

Make the cranberry sauce

Combine the rum or brandy and juice (both from the orange and additional orange juice) and dissolve the cornstarch in it. Mix all ingredients together (reserving 1 cup cranberries) in a large pan and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until cranberries begin to pop open and mixture thickens. Stir in remaining cranberries and cook about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool.

Make the gingerbread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine gingerbread, oil and water (or follow directions on your mix if not using Hodson Mills) stirring with a spoon or silicone spatula until all dry ingredients are mixed into wet (but do not over mix). Fold in raisins. Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray and spread the mix into the pan so that it is one even layer. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted into the cake comes out clean but cake is still soft. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Make the whipped coconut cream

Open the cans of coconut milk and spoon off the thick coconut cream that rises to the top into a deep glass bowl. Reserve the clear remaining coconut “water” for other uses. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixture (starting at slow speed and gradually increasing it to “whip”) and whip the coconut cream, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently, until the cream holds soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Assembling the trifle

When the gingerbread is cool cut it into approximately 1 ½ inch squares. Spray the bottom of a deep clear glass straight sided bowl (about 12” diameter) with non-stick spray. Distribute half the squares on the bottom of the bowl in a single layer, fitting the squares closely to fully cover the bottom. Sprinkle with half of the ½ cup rum or brandy over this layer of gingerbread. Spoon and spread evenly over this layer half of the pumpkin sauce. Spoon half the cranberry sauce on top of the pumpkin sauce spreading it evenly. Repeat gingerbread (don’t forget to sprinkle with brandy or rum), pumpkin sauce and cranberry sauce layers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Final touches

The day you plan to serve the trifle, and up to four hours before serving it, spread the whipped coconut cream on top of the trifle, swirling the spatula on top to create some soft peaks. Combine grated lemon and lime rind and sprinkle on top. Scatter dried cranberries on top and serve with a large spoon.

© Lisa Pan, all rights reserved