This cranberry sauce and cornbread trifle is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert or Christmas dessert to wow your guests. It’s beautifully layered with homemade cranberry sauce, a fluffy coconut cream and moist cornbread. Honestly it’s a great dessert for any holiday or even a Tuesday.
It’s that time of year…
Seriously how did it get here so fast?
Aside from tradition, large gatherings and potentially some overwhelm the best part of this time of year is the food!
Typically for Thanksgiving Tim and I make a trip up to Wegman’s, our favorite grocery store since college, and stock up on all the staples to keep our bellies full for a week.
We fill the cart with things like cranberries for homemade sauce (recipe below) , sirloin for a Jamaican roast beef recipe that’s been in my family for years, mac and cheese fix-ins and of course garlic mushrooms.
P.S. If you’ve never been to Wegman’s aka Weggies, run don’t walk. It’s like Whole Foods meets Trader Joe’s meets Stew Lenard’s meets Fairway market!
What is a trifle and how do you make it?
A trifle is a classic English dessert.
It’s basically layer upon layer of dessert goodness. Typically it includes a cake layer, a jam/fruit layer and a cream layer.
It is often made in large, deep glass dish so you can see all of the pretty layers. I made this cranberry cornbread version in little mason jars though so everyone can have their own!
So the layers of this super tasty trifle recipe are:
- Cornbread (box mix or pre-made)
- Homemade orange cranberry sauce (because this time of year you need all the cranberry recipes you can get right?)
- Whipped coconut cream (it has a sweet tropical flavor and it’s entirely dairy free)
Let’s make some cranberry sauce!
If you’re gonna make a cranberry cornbread trifle you’re obviously gonna need some cranberry sauce.
And I’m not talking about that wiggly, jiggly kind that slides out of a can in one gelatinous log. N-O!
We’re making it from scratch! If that intimidates you, I promise it’s one of the easiest things you’ll ever do. It also tastes better than canned cranberry sauce.
To make the cranberry sauce for this cranberry cornbread triffle, here’s what you need to do:
- Heat a saucepan to low-medium heat.
- Add fresh or frozen cranberries to the pot with water and orange juice and zest.
- Let it simmer for 10 minutes uncovered.
- Add maple syrup to the pot, stir and simmer another 5 minutes until the cranberries get soft.
- Mash the berries with a fork.
- Add in the cornstarch slurry (optional) to thicken the sauce. Stir, turn off the heat et voila!
What else should you add to your holiday menu?
Well now that we have your holiday dessert figured out, it’s time to fill the rest of your table.
Start with dessert first right?
A well balanced holiday meal has a mix of veggies, heavy 1x a year sides and a star thing like turkey or tofurky.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes for the holidays:
- Garlic mushrooms
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Tahini Drizzle
- Creamy (or chunky) Pumpkin Potato Soup
- Cheesy Mushroom & Sage Bread Pudding
- Quick and Easy Garlic Green Beans
Cranberry & Cornbread Triffle with Coconut CreamRate this Recipe:
- 1 8 oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup orange juice (about 2 fresh oranges) You can use boxed orange juice but since this recipe also uses zest, fresh oranges are the way to go
- 1/4 cup water
- zest of 1 whole orange
- 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbs water
- 1 box cornbread mix or pre-made cornbread I use the Trader Joe's box mix
Whipped Coconut Cream
- 1 can coconut milk, frozen freeze the can for 2 hours or overnight
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- Heat a saucepan to low-medium heat. Add fresh or frozen cranberries to the pot with water and orange juice and zest. Let it simmer for 10 minutes uncovered.
- Add 1 1/2 tbs maple syrup to the pot, stir and simmer another 5 minutes until the cranberries get soft. Mash the cranberries with a fork.
- Mix 1/4 tsp of cornstarch with 2 tbs of water until it dissolves. Add in the cornstarch slurry to the cranberries to thicken the sauce. Stir until fully incorporated (no visible white streaks) and turn off. Let the sauce cool fully to room temperature before assembling the trifle.
Whipped Coconut Cream
- Place a can of coconut milk in the freezer for at least 2 hours. When you open the can, the liquid will be separated from the cream. Scoop out the white cream into a bowl and leave the liquid behind. Add maple syrup and salt. Use a hand mixer or standing mixer to whip the cream into a fluffy consistency.
- Bake according to the instructions on the box. Let it cool fully before assembling the trifle.
Assembling the trifle
- Add a thin layer of cornbread to your glass jar. Then top with and even thickness layer of cranberry sauce, then an even layer of coconut cream. Repeat this layer process until you've filled the jar. Then repeat the process on all 6 jars.
- Refrigerate the trifles for 2 hours before serving so that they have time to soak in all the flavor.
- Be sure to let the cranberry sauce cool fully to room temperature before assembling the trifle. If not it will melt the coconut cream.
- If you don’t love the tartness of the cranberries, you can drizzle some maple syrup on each cornbread layer for added sweetness.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see how it turned out! Snap a picture and tag @brightrootskitchen or use #brightrootskitchen on Insta.