Dairy-Free Trifle made with What You Have on Hand


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!

Easy Dairy-Free Trifle Recipe with What You Have on Hand (lots of options, vegan, gluten-free, allergy-friendly)

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.

Pudding Tips

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.

Crumble Tips

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.

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.

Easy Dairy-Free Trifle Recipe with What You Have on Hand (lots of options, vegan, gluten-free, allergy-friendly)


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.

Dairy-Free Trifle
Prep time
Total time
This is a fun recipe to make with kids, and an easy dessert when you need something quickly, or when you have ingredients to use up!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Serves: 8 to 12 servings
  1. 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.
  2. In a large bowl, preferably glass so you can see the layers, sprinkle approximately ¼ cup of cookie crumbles.
  3. Add a layer of whichever flavor of pudding you have more of. In the trifle pictured it was chocolate.
  4. Add more cookie crumbles, then a layer of the second pudding flavor.
  5. Continue alternating cookies (or chocolate candy) and pudding until you run out of pudding.
  6. Top the trifle with the remaining whipped topping.
  7. Sprinkle the top with additional cookie/candy crumbles if desired.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  9. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Instant Pudding Note: I recommend using two boxes of vanilla and one of chocolate, or vice versa. In the photo I used two packages of Aldi brand chocolate and one of vanilla. To prepare the pudding, use a dairy-free instant pudding recipe. Do not use the box directions. OR use two batches of homemade pudding in two different flavors, such as dairy-free chocolate, vanilla, or butterscotch (recipes for all three are in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook).

More Dairy-Free Kids Can Cook Desserts

Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Vegan Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls Recipe - Dairy-Free and Egg-Free Kids Can Cook Treat for Mother's Day or any special day.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip Recipe - dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy snack or treat

Blueberry Pancake Bread

Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancake Bread Recipe that will Inspire Little Chefs + a Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Baking Club for Kids

About Author

Sarah is the Associate Editor for Go Dairy Free. Her previous experience includes work as a copy editor at Thoroughbred Times magazine, a content writer at Travelago.com, and an intern at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Sarah was a 'mom blogger' for many years but now mostly hangs out on Go Dairy Free and Instagram.

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