Makes 1 (8-inch) trifle or 6 to 8 mini-trifles
Celebrate the holidays with sweet layers of espresso-soaked cake, ground dark chocolate, and spiced pumpkin creme!
- 1/3 cup cornstarch or arrowroot
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 1 ½ teaspoon xanthan gum)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups soy, almond, or rice milk
- 1 cup canola oil
- ¼ cup white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla or almond extract
- ½ cup amaretto
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free), ground in a food processor or finely
To make the Pumpkin Crème
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix cornstarch and water with a whisk or fork and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and heat over medium heat until it just begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Slowly drizzle cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, whisking continuously. Let cook until the mixture becomes very thick in texture, about 5 minutes, whisking frequently. Pour the crème into a bowl and let cool about 15 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap is touching the top of the crème. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
To make the Vanilla Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together nondairy milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill each prepared cake pan evenly with batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Rotate the cakes halfway through the baking time. Cool the cakes completely before assembly.
To make the Espresso Soak
In a small bowl, whisk amaretto, water, and espresso until espresso dissolves.
In a large bowl or trifle dish, place one layer of cake (trim to fit) at the bottom and drizzle it with the Espresso Soak. Spread a layer of Pumpkin Crème on top and generously sprinkle with ground chocolate. Repeat this process for 2 more layers until all components are used up. You could also cut the cake into mini rounds for individual servings in mini trifle dishes or ramekins.