Rich, decadent and 100% plant-based! This vegan gluten free black forest trifle is so delicious and good-for-you that you could eat it up for dessert with ZERO guilt. two glasses of vegan black forest trifleHi loves! Sorry I’ve been MIA over here. I came down with the flu last week and was totally out for the count all week. These next few weeks are busy for me with speaking engagements but I hope to be on the blog as often as I can! I’m excited to introduce you to one of my interns today – Lizzie! Lizzie is about to graduate with her nutrition degree from Simmon’s College in Boston and has been a huge help doing work behind the scenes for TFD the past six months. I’m sad to see her go but am happy we’re closing out with a bang, or a trifle! She developed a DELICIOUS recipe that I think you all are going to drool over. Enjoy! Hereeeeeeee’s Lizzie!

Hello, Foodie World!

Intern Lizzie here. It has been such a pleasure working for Kara over these past 6 months– I still can’t believe it’s already been half a year! Thank you, Kara, for introducing me to the blogging world and all that you do (which is a LOT). Kara is simply incredible and I commend her on everything she has accomplished; I can only hope I become half the dietitian that she is. I would also like to thank Kara for the opportunity to share a recipe that is near and dear to my heart: a vegan gluten free black forest trifle.

Story time (the best kinds of recipes come with a story, right?). About 6 years ago during my sophomore year of high school, I discovered my love for nutrition. Coincidentally, I also discovered chocolate “nice cream”, A.K.A. frozen bananas and cocoa powder blended up into creamy, magical goodness. I kid you not, I ate nice cream literally every day that summer. One day, as I was preparing to make my nice cream for breakfast, I caught a glimpse of a ripe avocado on the counter and began to wonder what would happen if I added avocado to my nice cream. Well, I can tell you, wonderful things happened, my friends. The avocado transformed the nice cream into the FLUFFIEST chocolate mousse I had ever tasted. It was so wonderful that I haven’t made nice cream since. And, as my saying goes, the recipe is history.

Vegan Black Forest Trifle

Avocados and bananas are huge nutritional powerhouses on their own (so put them together and it’s even better, right?). Avocados are packed full of essential nutrients, such as fiber, potassium, folate, B-vitamins, and vitamin E to name a few. Additionally, avocados provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats to keep you satisfied. Bananas are a great source of vitamin B6, manganese, fiber and of course, potassium. Those monkeys were onto something!

Now, back to the recipe. This trifle couldn’t be easier– no baking required, minimal prep. The hardest part is waiting for the avocados and bananas to ripen (Pro Tip: speed up the ripening process by placing both in a paper bag. You’re welcome). Because the bananas are frozen, you don’t have to wait HOURS for the dessert to chill in the fridge. The coconut whipped cream adds a lightness to the trifle, while the cherries cut the richness of the mousse juuust enough. Impress your guests (or treat yo’ self) by bringing your dessert game to a whole ‘nother level of decadence!

Vegan Gluten Free Black Forest Trifle

For more vegan desserts, check out my recipes below!

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Vegan Gluten Free Black Forest Trifle

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x



For the mousse:

  • 2 small (or 1 large) ripe avocados, pitted
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave

For the trifle:

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen dark cherries, chopped and drained
  • Optional garnishes: cocoa powder, cacao nibs, whole cherries


For the mousse:

  1. In a blender, add avocados, frozen bananas, cocoa powder, dates, and cinnamon and blend until smooth and creamy.

For the whipped cream:

  1. Open the can of coconut milk and separate out the top layer of thick cream from liquid.
  2. In a chilled small mixing bowl, blend coconut cream for approximately 4 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla and maple syrup/agave and whip for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

For the trifle:

  1. In a serving glass, layer mousse, cherries, and whipped cream and repeat once more. Garnish with cocoa powder, cacao nibs, and/or a whole cherry if desired. Serve immediately.


The mousse recipe provided makes extra. Store in the fridge for a tasty snack (or even breakfast tomorrow)!

Originally from Newton, Massachusetts, Lizzie Odvarka is currently a student at Simmons College graduating with her Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics in May and finishing her Master’s in Nutrition and Health Promotion. Her nutrition interests include community nutrition and food service. When she is not studying or working, she loves going to the gym, experimenting in the kitchen, and painting and drawing. You can follow her on Instagram



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  1. Mercy

    Love the recipe and can’t wait to try! Can we use anything else other than pitted dates? Maybe chia seeds?? Thanks so much ❤️

    • Hi Mercy – I haven’t tried any substitutes. I’m not sure chia seeds would provide the same texture, and you would then be missing some of their natural sweetness. You could try another dried fruit, though? Let me know if you experiment!

  2. Lisa

    I made this for our Boxing Day lunch. It looks amazing and tastes so awesome. Thank you xoxoxoxoxox Its a winner!

  3. Spela

    Do you think I can swipe frozen bananas with something else, are they supposed to be frozen? Thanks

    • I think any other fruit can work, but make sure to either buy it pre-frozen, or slice and freeze yourself before using it in this recipe!

  4. I love the recipe and have made it for twice. Thank for sharing such an amazing thing!

  5. Sandra

    Do you think I could add a vegan brownie layer and make it in a bigger trifle bowl?

  6. This is one of the most delicious and decadent desserts that I have ever made! Granted, it is a bit time consuming, but absolutely worth it!

  7. Oh, oh, oh! I can eat this one! I haven’t had black forest cake in forever, so this may have to feature as a dinner party dessert some time in the very near future

  8. So beautiful and healthy too. I love the edition of flowers. I ‘ve been seeing a lot of recipes lately that use edible flowers. Love the idea

  9. Tania

    Making this for Christmas this year, one question, is the layer with the frozen cherries, simply just the frozen cherries? Or does it require something else too?? Thanks X

  10. Krista

    This looks wonderful! One question- I have a member of our group who is allergic to avocado. What can I use to replace it in the mousse?


  11. Kelly

    This looks amazing! I’m wondering if it would hold up as well in a larger trifle instead of individual glasses. I’m thinking of doubling (or even tripling because I think it will be that good) the recipe and serving it at Christmas for the whole family. Thanks !

  12. Vanita

    Can you list calorie for this. It looks amazing. Thanks.

    • Hi Vanita, I hope you enjoy it! This is such a tasty recipe. Regarding the nutrition information, I’m not a big believer in calorie counts because it only tells one piece of the total nutrition package.

  13. What a pretty vegan dessert! I have glasses like the ones you used and I am going to make these. I want them to look as beautiful as yours.

  14. Eleanor

    Hi, I need a dessert for a vegan at a wedding I am catering for and was planning a chocolate trifle for the other guests so this would fit in, but I am wondering how long in advance I could make it? Ideally it would need to be prepared the day before.

  15. Bridget Swinney

    Kara, this looks absolutely Delish! Posting it on my FB page!

  16. Oh, my, this dessert looks amazing! I have a ripe avocado and frozen bananas on hand so if you will excuse me…

  17. Wowza – that is one gorgeous trifle!! Lizzie, thank you for this stellar recipe – congrats to you and good luck (I did my RD internship at Simmons back in the day)

  18. Sara @

    Well, now I have to go and make these! 😉 Yum!

  19. I love the idea of adding avocado to banana nice cream. Sounds delicious!

  20. This is such a gorgeous recipe! And quite innovative too. I wish I liked bananas so I could enjoy all the nice cream people have been eating! Kara, hope you’re all better and good luck with your speaking engagements!

  21. Oo I can not WAIT for cherry season!

  22. Beautiful photos, Kara! I hope you’re feeling better.

    Thanks for sharing such a great recipe, Lizzie and congrats!! 🙂

  23. I am in love with this trifle! Any black forest and you can count me in 🙂 but I especially love the ingredients in this recipe, it’s mainly fruit! Yay! Great work Lizzie 🙂 and I hope you feel better soon Kara, the flu is not fun!