A perfectly citrussy Orange Trifle with added strawberries and a cheeky tot of Cointreau. Perfect at any time of year.
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A Perfectly Orange Trifle
If you love orange and you love trifle, then my Orange Trifle is for you. It combines orange sponge and fresh orange jelly with a little citrus curd and Cointreau (orange liqueur). For colour contrast and added fruitiness, there’s some extra fresh strawberries. And to finish, it’s topped with a sumptuously paired white chocolate custard-cream.
This is a truly citrussy jar of sun-filled deliciousness which guarantees orange in every mouthful…
Trifles for every taste
We are huge trifle fans at GFHQ and will make them any which way. If there’s cake going spare or impromptu guests needing dessert, trifle is the ‘go to’ creation.
Over the years, we have made any number of trifles that bring together iconic flavours and perfect pairings. When it comes to trifle, there are hundreds of permutations, flavour combinations and layers to be explored… Trifle is nothing if not versatile and (if necessary) immediate.
Indeed, this orange trifle is the result of a broken freezer and a need to use orange cake. But themed trifles at Gluten Free Alchemist include everything from Black Forest and Banoffee… to Pear and Ginger and Lemon and Berry. We also have a divine Nutella Trifle, a perfectly white-sponged Angel Trifle with Strawberries and a pretty pink Raspberry-Lemon Drizzle version too. Oh… and did I mention Tiramisu?
The key ingredients in Orange Trifle…
Fundamentally, any trifle is made up of layers… Most usually, these include cake, custard, cream and some sort of fruit or jelly addition. The sponges tend to be soaked with either a carefully chosen boozy spirit or a compatible juice.
So, what are the key ingredients and variations for this Orange Trifle?
Being an Orange Trifle, the sponge used is from an orange cake. Specifically, the cake is from the recipe for ‘Posh Jaffa Cakes’. And it’s perfect. Because this sponge is made with whole oranges that are pulped into the cake batter… And that means that the sponge is very very orangey! Perfect for a truly orange trifle.
An alternative entirely flourless recipe (which also uses whole oranges and from which the Posh Jaffa Cakes were tweaked) is the Flourless Orange Cake which is from Claudia Roden. Or… We have a lighter, more traditionally-made Orange Cake sponge on the blog which would be equally suitable.
If you don’t have any orange cake to hand, then vanilla sponge will do… whether bought or home-made or as trifle sponges. Just add a little extra orange extract or zest into the booze, or soak the sponges with orange juice.
Booze or Juice
At GFHQ, we usually soak the cake sponges with a carefully paired spirit for the adults and juice for the children.
Again… being an Orange Trifle, an orange liqueur seemed appropriate. Thus, the boozy version contains a generous glug of Cointreau. Cointreau is one of my favourite liqueurs and works beautifully in trifles, giving a good boozy hit and a distinctively orange tang.
Other orange liqueurs are just fine… And for the kids? Simply use a good, no sugar added orange juice (with or without ‘bits’).
Interestingly, this orange trifle doesn’t use actual orange pieces in the layers. Whilst the flavours remain intensely citrus, I have always found the texture of orange in trifle to be a bit blahhhh. Somehow, it always jars against the custard and cream. But don’t let that stop you… Feel free to add some if your experience is different.
Nonetheless, a fruity-flavoured trifle should probably have some sort of fruit… So, to avoid this one being too one-dimensional on colour, some bright and contrasting fresh strawberries have been used. They seem to pair rather perfectly!
Jelly and Curd
Although I don’t always use jelly in trifle, this orange trifle seemed right for it… I went all-out and used a homemade, rather fancy Orange-Cointreau Jelly. However, packet orange jelly is fine for easy preparation.
For an additional citrus hit and a contrasting texture, there is also a little homemade Citrus Curd (or just use shop orange or lemon), which has been mingled alongside the sponges. Lush!
Custard and Cream
Traditional trifles seem to use separate layers of custard and cream… But for Orange Trifle, the two have been combined into a single-layer of considerable decadence… A white chocolate custard-cream. Which is literally what it says! And it’s divine.
It has the most delightful teeny-weeny bits of white chocolate running through it. These are formed when you add and fold slightly warm melted white chocolate to very cold whipped custard-cream and the chocolate starts to solidify. Sure, it looks a little ‘granular’, but the melty chocolate grains that you experience on eating are amazing.
In hindsight, some additional chopped roasted nuts would have added extra ‘crunch’ to the jar. But hey… there’s always next time.
The easy route to this Orange Trifle
The recipe offered is for an Orange Trifle using ingredients that have mostly been made from scratch. If you don’t feel confident however to make all (or any) of the elements, or you just want a trifle in a hurry, then feel free to make shortcuts and subs…
- Shop-bought orange cake (if you can find any) or vanilla cake + a little orange extract or zest added to the booze (or use orange juice).
- Packet jelly is fine… Just make sure it’s orange flavoured.
- Use curd from a jar… Orange curd is perfect, but lemon will do.
- Leave out the white chocolate if you’re in a hurry and just whip together double cream and shop-bought custard.
Made my Orange Trifle?
I hope you enjoy my Orange Trifle. If you made it, do let me know. Leave a comment and take a photo… Share and tag me on social media (links at the top) so I can see your beautiful creations.
Other Amazing Orange recipes at Gluten Free Alchemist
- sharp knife
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- serving dishes
Orange Cake – If making from scratch See NOTES for alternatives
- 1 orange
- 3 medium eggs
- 130 g golden caster sugar
- 125 g ground almonds almond meal
- 20 g almond flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder gluten free
OR… Alternatively USE READY MADE CAKE OF CHOICE
- 8 cupcakes (equivalent amount) orange or vanilla
Cointreau/Juice to soak the sponge
- 8 tbsp Cointreau Orange Liqueur or orange juice (approx amount – or to taste)
- 12 tbsp Citrus Curd Orange or Lemon (or homemade from this recipe) (approx amount)
Fruit & Jelly
- 10 large strawberries approx amount – sliced
- 250 ml orange jelly approx amount – Either packet or home-made Cointreau-Orange Jelly from this recipe
White Chocolate Custard-Cream
- 360 ml double (heavy) cream
- 170 ml vanilla custard good quality shop-bought
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 120 g white chocolate
- 8 strawberries
Orange Cake – if making
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil.
- Wash the orange and place whole into the boiling water. Boil for 2 hours until soft and then drain. Set aside to cool.
- Once the orange has cooled to room temperature, remove the ‘stalky’ bit from the end and cut into quarters.
- Remove any obvious pips and then liquidise the orange (including the skin) in a food processor to a smooth, even puree.
- Lightly oil and flour the inside of an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking tin and then base-line with baking parchment.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the caster sugar until well combined.
- Add and stir in the orange puree, ground almonds, almond flour and baking powder.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top.
- Bake for approx 40 to 45 minutes until the cake is set, the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely in the tin, before cutting into smallish squares.
White Chocolate Custard-Cream
- Whip the cream, custard and vanilla paste together until it forms soft peaks.
- Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof glass bowl in a microwave (medium setting, 30 second bursts, stirring well between each until melted and smooth) or in a heat-proof glass bowl over a saucepan of just-simmering water, stirring frequently.
- Fold the melted chocolate into the whipped cream mixture. Set aside.
Layering the Trifles
- In the chosen serving dishes, place a layer of cake pieces and then add a splash of liqueur (to taste) and allow to soak in (about 1 tablespoon liqueur per trifle).
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of citrus curd and smooth over the moistened cake.
- Top this with slices of fresh strawberry.
- Next add a layer of jelly (2 to 3 tablespoons).
- Finally, top with a layer of white chocolate custard-cream.
- Decorate with a whole fresh strawberry and a grate of chocolate (optional).
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist