Baking & Desserts

Quick Vegan Trifle With Agar Jelly

Quick Vegan Trifle With Agar Jelly

This "light, refreshing and not too sweet" vegan friendly trifle recipe is perfect for the festive season!  Made with Pacific Harvest agar agar powder, and you can make your own vegan custard (using a different seaweed - Sea Chicory) or buy vegan custard if you are in a rush.

The sponge, jelly (and custard if you are making it from seaweed and not buying ready made vegan custard), layers in this recipe must be prepared the day before and refrigerated. The remaining ingredients can be assembled just before serving.

Serves 8.

Preparation time: 12 hours. Assembly time 3 minutes


For the sponge

  • 50ml vegetable oil plus extra for the tin
  • 1t vanilla bean paste
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 200ml plant milk of your choice
  • 1/4t baking powder
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour

For the agar jelly

  • 3 cups of concentrated juice or 30g concentrated fruit powder - raspberry/blueberry or strawberry works really well
  • 3t Agar powder
  • 3 T maple syrup or 1 tsp honey – or to taste (optional) 

For the Sea Chicory custard - if you are making from scratch or alternatively, purchase ready made vegan custard.

  • 16g dried Sea Chicory, rinsed
  • 800ml milk (for dairy free alternative use almond or soya milk)
  • Lemon rind curl
  • 8 tsp coconut sugar, maple syrup or 4 tsp honey
  • Natural vanilla essence
  • OR you can buy a vegan custard 

For the cream

  •  245ml cashew cream (or other plant-based cream)


  • 300g raspberries rinsed
  • 2 punnets of strawberries rinsed, topped, and chopped in half if you like



  1. Make the sponge. Heat the oven to 180 degrees c and oil and line a 20cm square or round cake tin.  Mix the vegetable oil, vanilla paste, lemon juice and plant milk in a jug. Sieve the baking powder, caster sugar and flour into a large bowl. Make a well and slowly whisk in the vegetable oil mixture until smooth. Spoon into a prepared tin and bake for 30-40 mins until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.  Cut into sqares and place in a clear glass bowl. You can add some of the chopped fruit around the sponge squares.
  2. Make the agar jelly.  Pour the liquids into a cooking pot and sprinkle the powders in with a sweetener of your choice (if using). Use a whisk, mix to combine and let stand for 10 minutes for the Agar to swell. Place the pot on medium heat. Warm to dissolve the powders and sweetener, while stirring.  When the mixture reaches a boil, simmer for 2 minutes while stirring to make sure all is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool for 5-10 mins. Pour over the chopped up sponge and cover with a wax wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours - overnight works well.
  3. Make the vegan custard using Sea Chicory (optional - not needed if you are using ready made vegan custard).   Soak the Sea Chicory in cold water for 3-5 minutes.  Drain and add the seaweed to the milk and add the lemon rind curl.  Simmer gently for 20 minutes until milk thickens slightly.  Strain the milk to remove seaweed and lemon rind and add sugar and vanilla to sweeten to taste.  Refrigerate to set.
  4. Assemble your trifle!  Remove the bowl with the sponge, jelly and fruit from the fridge.  Pour your seaweed custard or ready made custard over the top. Then whip your plant based cream and pour over the custard base. Decorate with remaining fruit. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.


Consistency of the seaweed custard may vary slightly depending on the natural levels of carrageenan in the Sea Chicory at the time of harvesting. Using seaweed in this way imparts many vitamins and minerals to the dessert, and the jellifying ingredient in the seaweed is soothing for the digestive tract.




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