A few months ago, a friend of mine brought a dessert trifle to a church dinner. My dairy-eating children loved it and asked if I could figure out how to make it dairy free. I did, and now our entire family can enjoy this dairy-free trifle — and so can you!
How to Make Dairy-Free Trifle with What You Have on Hand
The original trifle recipe uses instant pudding, whipped topping, brownies, cookies, and/or candies. I wrote it up with several options so you can use what you have on hand.
If you don’t have instant pudding, make two batches of your favorite homemade pudding and use those once they are chilled. There are several dairy-free pudding recipes in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook.
If you do have instant pudding, use Alisa’s tips for how to make instant pudding dairy free. Do not simply follow the directions on the instant pudding package and substitute dairy-free milk beverage. It won’t set up.
Whipped Topping Tips
For the whipped topping, So Delicious CocoWhip Original Whipped Topping is a great choice. I didn’t have any last time we made the trifle, but I did have some Non-Dairy ReddiWip. I gently folded it into the pudding, and it worked fine. You can also make your own homemade whipped topping with canned coconut milk and use that instead.
In the trifle pictured here, I used a box of Enjoy Life Peppermint Bark Cookies left over from the holiday season. My friend recommends brownies, cookies, or chocolate candies between the layers. This dairy-free trifle recipe is a great way to use up odds and ends of homemade baked goods or whatever leftover treats you have on hand. Here are a few suggestions to inspire you.
- Oreos (yes, most are dairy free!)
- Dairy-Free Brownies or Vegan Brownies
- Allergy-Friendly Soft-Baked Cookies or Crunchy Cookies
- Chocolate Granola (homemade or store-bought)
- Vegan Peanut Butter Cups or Sunbutter Cups
- Fresh Fruit
- No Bake Crumble
- Mini Chocolate Chips
Kids Can Cook Tips
This is a recipe you assemble, with no strict measurement rules, making it perfect for Kids Can Cook. Almost any age child can fold the whipped topping into the pudding, crumble the cookies, and make the layers. Use a glass bowl if you have one so everyone can admire their art. While fun to make and serve at any time, this is a perfect dessert for kids to make for Mother’s Day or another special occasion.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Trifle
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-fee, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.
- 3 boxes instant pudding, prepared (see Instant Pudding Note)
- 2 (9-ounce) tubs CocoWhip OR 2 (6-ounce) canisters dairy-free spray whipped cream OR 2 cups homemade dairy-free whipped cream
- 2 to 3 cups dairy-free cookie or brownie crumbles and/or dairy-free chocolate candy pieces or dairy-free chocolate chips (see Crumble Tips in post above)
- Mix each prepared batch of pudding with ¼ of the total amount of whipped topping. For example, in the trifle photographed I mixed the two batches of instant chocolate pudding with an entire tub of whipped topping, and the vanilla pudding with ½ a tub of whipped topping.
- In a large bowl, preferably glass so you can see the layers, sprinkle approximately ¼ cup of cookie crumbles.
- Add a layer of whichever flavor of pudding you have more of. In the trifle pictured it was chocolate.
- Add more cookie crumbles, then a layer of the second pudding flavor.
- Continue alternating cookies (or chocolate candy) and pudding until you run out of pudding.
- Top the trifle with the remaining whipped topping.
- Sprinkle the top with additional cookie/candy crumbles if desired.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Refrigerate any leftovers.