This Banoffee Trifle could well be the ultimate trifle! Moist banana cake doused in toffee vodka, luxuriously layered with caramel sauce and fresh banana, generously topped with smooth vanilla custard and lightly whipped cream, all finished with a sprinkling of crushed dark chocolate curls and crunchy baked biscuit crumbs. Tempted?
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Banoffee Trifle… Delicious moist banana cake, drizzled with toffee vodka, luxuriously layered with dulce de leche caramel sauce and fresh banana, generously topped with sumptuously smooth vanilla custard and lightly whipped cream and finished with a sprinkling of crushed dark chocolate curls and crunchy baked biscuit crumbs. Tempted? You’ll find the recipe at the bottom of the page…
Banoffee Trifle makes the best party trifle
With Christmas fast approaching, desserts are on! This could be the only party trifle you need to wow your guests… because everyone loves banoffee right? Well, maybe not everyone, but I’ve met very few who would turn down the glorious banana-toffee combo. This means that it’s a pretty safe pudding bet, whether you are hosting a dinner party, looking for something spectacular to finish a family meal or looking for a sharable centrepiece at a party. Don’t just think Christmas… This banoffee trifle recipe would go down a storm at Thanksgiving and Easter, birthdays and graduations… or just because…
It’s quick and easy to make too, as long as you have some banana cake to hand. If you choose to make it yourself, the cake is pretty much the only thing you actually need to spend time on, although you may choose to buy one instead. Either way, make (or buy) the cake ahead of time, and the rest will take half-an-hour… tops. Party trifle in 30 minutes? That’s not bad for a show-stopper!
Make your Banoffee Trifle a Gluten Free Trifle
Being a gluten free blog, the featured trifle is (of course) a gluten free trifle. Fret not! You can be sure that at Gluten Free Alchemist, we have an amazing gluten free recipe for the Best Banana Bread (cake), which not only uses up your ‘over-ripe’ bananas, but is perfectly moist and fruity for banoffee trifle. Which is a good thing, because it remains a bit of a struggle finding a grab and buy gluten free banana cake in the supermarkets. Of course, you may be lucky!
For those of you who don’t have to worry about avoiding gluten though… make or buy… the choice is yours. Whether home-baked or not, it will still make incredible banana trifle… and you won’t have to miss out just because you can eat gluten.
The Origins of the famous banana-toffee marriage did not start with banoffee Trifle…
If you are anything like me, you like to know who was responsible for bringing your favourite foodie pairings into the world…. think gin and tonic; toffee-apple; peanut butter-jelly; rum and coke; mint-choc chip; ham and pineapple; chilli and chocolate; Bakewell almond and cherry…. the list goes on. So who invented the famous ban-offee combo?
Well… like so many of our favourite twinnings, Banoffee (originally spelled Banoffi) was apparently the result of a happy accident back in 1971, conjured by a couple of British guys – Nigel MacKenzie (who owned The Hungry Monk Restaurant in Easy Sussex) and his chef Ian Dowding. It appears they were trying to tweak an unreliable American recipe for something called ‘Blums Coffee-Toffee Pie‘ (which seems to bear no resemblance to banoffee) and stumbled across the heaven-matched duo. Although the Hungry Monk is sadly now closed, you can check out the story on Ian Dowding’s website.
Before long, banoffee was triumphing as the key flavour in a decadent cream-topped tart (you can find the original Banoffee Pie recipe here), which soon became world-famous and was even being served at Buckingham Palace and Number 10!
The Banoffee Revolution – from pie to Party Trifle
These days, banoffee is a favourite flavour choice for a whole variety of desserts and bakes. It stole the nation’s heart, emigrated round the world and is much-loved by young and old alike. From pies to cakes, muffins, cookies, pavlovas, ice cream sundaes and (of course) this luscious Banoffee Trifle recipe, banana and toffee has a place in our hearts and on our lips.
On Gluten Free Alchemist alone, there are a whole bunch of unique Banoffee recipes. If you too love the pairing, why not make these too? We have Banoffee Cheesecake; Banoffee Layer Cake; Banoffee Cupcakes; mini Banoffee loaf cakes and Banoffee Coconut Crunch Trifle to choose from.
If it’s gluten free trifle you’re after, we can help you there too… because trifle is a bit of a Gluten Free Alchemist speciality. Check out our photo Desserts & Trifles Index, or pick from the list below… we don’t just do banana trifle, but have all sorts of party trifles on offer :
- Ginger & Pear Trifle
- Black Forest Trifle
- Boozy Orange & Strawberry Trifle
- Raspberry-Lemon Drizzle Trifle
- Nutella Trifle
- Lemon & Berry Trifle
- Strawberry & Cointreau Trifle and even…
- Cupcake Trifles
Or if you are looking for anything else, head over to our Recipe Index, for lots more gluten free foodie inspiration.
- Kitchen scales
- Mixing bowls
- Round baking tin (20 cm) or loaf tin
- Electric hand whisk
- Large mixing spoon or spatula
- Small saucepan
- Baking tray
- Large serving dish (or individual dishes)
- 105 g plain gluten free flour blend without Xanthan gum (eg Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A – see NOTES)
- 50 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ¾ tsp GF baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 50 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 75 g caster sugar (I use golden caster sugar)
- 60 g light soft brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ bananas medium-sized
- 85 ml buttermilk
Crunchy Baked Biscuit Crumbs
- 100 g gluten free digestive biscuits
- 40 g unsalted butter cubed
All Other Ingredients
- 3 to 6 tbsp toffee vodka/liqueur (to taste) – optional
- 2 bananas medium to large size – sliced
- 250 g Dulce de Leche / Salted Caramel Sauce
- 500 g fresh custard (I used a basic supermarket chilled pot)
- 500 ml double cream lightly whipped to soft peaks
- 100 g dark chocolate curls/cigarillos/flakes broken or crushed into shards/flakes
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 and base-line 1x 1 pound loaf tin or 1x 8 inch (20 cm) round baking tin with baking paper.
- Weigh and mix together the flour, almonds, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside (I weigh mine into a large airtight container and shake vigorously).
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together, using an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs together with a fork and then add, a little at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Add and beat in the vanilla extract.
- Mash the bananas in a separate bowl with a fork, before gently folding into the wet mixture.
- Using a large spoon or spatula, gently fold in the buttermilk alternately with the flour mix, about a third at a time, until all the ingredients are JUST combined. Do not over-mix.
- Spoon the cake batter into the baking tin and smooth the top before baking for approximately 30 minutes (until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the top is firm to the touch but springs back).
- Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Crunchy Baked Biscuit Crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 and line a small baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Place the biscuits in a strong plastic food bag, gently squeeze out the air and hold the top shut. Using a rolling pin, either bash or roll the biscuits to break them down into coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- Melt the butter, stirring in a small saucepan over a very gentle heat (or in a glass bowl in the microwave set at medium, on 30 second bursts, stirring well between each) until just melted.
- Mix the melted butter with the biscuit crumbs until evenly blended and then spread the mixture onto the lined baking tray.
- Place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, frequently turning the crumbs to enable them to crisp and ‘bake’ evenly.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Putting it all Together : Assembling the Trifle
- Cut the banana cake into slices or chunky cubes and place a layer in the base of your large chosen serving dish (or individual dishes)
- Drizzle a little of the toffee vodka/liqueur over the sponge (if using).
- Top this with banana slices, a layer of caramel sauce and a sprinkling of dark chocolate shards.
- Repeat with further layer(s) of cake, toffee liqueur, banana slices, caramel and chocolate until either the ingredients have been used (keep a little chocolate for decoration) or you have filled your serving dish (leaving room for layers of custard and cream).
- Pour the fresh custard over the finished sponge-caramel layers and set aside to settle.
- In a large bowl, whisk the double cream to very soft peaks and then spoon carefully on top of the custard.
- Sprinkle the trifle top with the crunchy biscuit crumbs and the remaining chocolate shards and chill until ready to serve.