Red, White and Blue Berry "Trifle" Parfaits (gluten free, dairy free, honey-sweetened)


To celebrate American Independence Day with a healthified riff on a traditional English dessert feels a little cheeky, as does just using the word "cheeky" in this context, in fact. But the stressed dramatic political state of both countries recently makes me feel even more than the usual kinship with my husband's home country (or neighbor...since he'd claim Scotland first with more fervor than ever now). Besides, there is next to no chance I am ever going to get Dave or any Brit to concede trifle-like qualities to this fresh, light and easy treat, and that also feels appropriate. Maybe if the cake was soaked in sherry...which is really not a bad idea. parfait2

In all honesty, these parfaits are far from star-spangled celebratory decadence. They are simple and summery, pretty, and pretty healthy. Which, if you find anything useful about this blog, is probably the point. Easy to make ahead--in fact, this benefits from some time to chill once assembled. The cake is honey-sweetened and uses cornflour, almond flour, and coconut flour, but you could very easily swap in something else. I do like the sponginess the coconut-cornflour combination yields; it really could handle being soaked in wine. As is here, it's fair game for a weekday, I'd say, but lovely enough assembled in their red, white and blue layers to feel special.

parfait4 My Little Chef and I made these start to finish together, just before and just after dinner. At 2 and almost 3, he loves cracking eggs, and is so proud of his delicate touch. This fact, sure to evolve, could well be a key inhibitor to us taking the plunge into going "full-time" vegan. Beating the eggs with the electric mixer is not as fun for him due to a recent heightened sensitivity to loud noises, but today patience and calm were fortified.  Because, F-16 jets.

Airshow-6This past Saturday, our local airport held an exhibition day, which was charming and bustling and so much fun. Only we arrived just in time to be awed and terrified by numerous F-16 fly-bys, and WOW, were they LOUD. One of the most striking aspects was the intensity of the reverberations as they passed. Brave little boy hated that, but we got into a routine of hunkering down together, holding his ears and squeezing him tight and somehow not only avoided tears but managed to stay awhile and enjoy the cheerful, much quieter, small planes showcasing all kinds of entertaining wobbles, spins, twists, loops, mid-air suspensions, shark dives and whatever the technical terms are for all these and more. The jets made a BIG impact, though, and it is both funny and telling how that comes through in everyday activities since.  Prior to any mini expedition/outing, for instance, the question is asked: We need headphones? And we can mix, blend, or process crunchy, noisy things a little longer, because "not as loud as jets".


But back to these parfaits. These are not fireworks but they are sparklers, and I do love sparklers. What's more, with easy tweaks you can make them fireworks for sure, if you want to. Either way, happy summer, happy 4th!

Red, White and Blue Berry "Trifle" Parfait Serves 6

  • 2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2  cup honey (I used Madhava’s cinnamon brown butter flavored honey, but any)
  • 3/4 cup cornflour 
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced, or raspberries/strawberry-raspberry mix
  • 3 cups blueberries
  1. The night before preparing dessert, place coconut milk in the fridge to separate and set.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Beat eggs with 1 tsp vanilla extract at medium high speed until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Gradually add ½ cup honey, cornflour, coconut flour, almond meal, and teaspoon baking soda to beaten eggs at medium speed.
  5. Pour mixture into an 8-inch  springform pan lined with parchment paper and spread evenly; bake for about 20 minutes or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  6. Let cool before cutting into slices.
  7. Prepare coconut whip cream: scoop the top layer of hardened coconut cream into a slightly chilled mixer bowl and add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Use an electric mixer to beat until fluffy.
  8.  Break or cut cake slices into bite-sized pieces. In individual glasses, layer cake pieces, coconut cream, and berries. Chill until ready to serve.