These mini chocolate almond cake trifles are the perfectly understated but delicious dessert – and so visually captivating. Elegant and simple to put together but impressive enough to serve at your next dinner party gathering!
Playing with Milk Alternatives
Chocolate Almond Cake Trifles. In a mini, individualized form. That’s where my brainstorming went when Almond Breeze (through Food Bloggers of Canada) asked me to create an original recipe using their new refrigerated almond beverage. The gears in my head went churning because I had SO many ideas that I wanted to do but this one was the one that excited me most (and the one that I hope you guys would like most too!).
With the emergence of milk alternatives on the food market, dessert options have become liberalized for those who have dairy allergies and alternative dietary choices. And as a dietitian, I figured I should have a couple more recipes under my belt for those who like dessert but can’t or don’t want to have dairy.
While these aren’t completely vegan because the pastry cream uses eggs, the cake is completely vegan and the crumb can be adjusted to be! I’ve provided vegan alternatives in the recipe in parenthesis.
Getting creative with milk alternatives in dessert:
Knowing that almond based beverages are commonly used to make smoothies or chia puddings, I wanted to take a different route. Fancier, you might say, and I decided to make these mini chocolate almond cake trifles! The goal of this recipe was to make a simple but fancy dessert with minimal extra steps required for using a milk alternative.
To highlight the Almond Breeze beverage flavours, I didn’t use vanilla extract/paste in any of the components and it turned out amazing! I find that some people don’t like the taste of any milk alternatives but in this recipe, the almond beverage was subtle and added just a nice hint of vanilla and almond! It tasted as good as a regular vanilla cake would. My faithful taste testers, ie. my brother’s friends, gave these a thumbs up.
Putting these chocolate almond cake trifles together:
So, what are we working with here? Let’s break down these mini chocolate almond cake trifles from top to bottom:
- You have a bottom layer of almond cake
- Then you sprinkle on a healthy layer of chocolate almond crumb (inspired by none other than Christina Tosi of Milk Bar)
- Top that off with almond pastry cream
- Repeat 1-3
- Top with more chocolate almond crumb as the final layer
- And if you wish, you can drizzle some chocolate ganache over the crumb to make these extra pretty
It may sound like a lot of components and but there’s really only 3! To make a cake trifle visually appealing, it requires multi-textures and colour contrast.
If you choose to make it simpler, you can nix the chocolate crumb.
More cake ideas and recipes:
Mini Chocolate Almond Cake Trifles Recipe:
Mini Chocolate Almond Cake Trifles
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted (vegan alternative coconut oil or 100% veg margarine)
- 50 g sliced almonds
- 4 oz dark chocolate melted
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup Almond Breeze Beverage
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Almond Pastry Cream
- 2 cups Almond Breeze Beverage
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa and salt in a bowl
- Pour melted butter (or coconut oil/margarine) into same bowl and mix until medium sized clumps start to form
- Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, the clumps will still be soft but will harden as they cool
- Once cooled, sprinkle almonds and drizzle chocolate on top, let set
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl
- Combine Almond Breeze beverage, vegetable oil and lemon juice in a separate bowl
- Pour liquids into dry and mix until combined
- Transfer batter to a 13 x 9 inch pan and bake for 20-25 mins or until done
Almond Pastry Cream
- In a bowl, combine eggs, cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.
- In a small pot, combine Almond Breeze beverage and salt and cook over medium heat until milk is simmering
- Slowly drizzle in the heated milk while whisking the egg mixture constantly
- Pour entire mixture back into pot
- Over low heat, whisk until mixture is thick and creamy
- Stir in butter until combined
- Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover with saran wrap, adhere saran wrap directly to the surface to prevent skin from forming
- Cut out circles of cake with a cookie cutter fitted to the size of your trifle glasses
- Layer the glasses with cake, pastry cream, and chocolate crumb
- Repeat this pattern until all trifle glasses are filled
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a comment below and tag @chocolateandconnie on Instagram.
Cake recipe adapted from Back to Baking by Anna Olsen
Crumb Recipe adapted from Milkbar by Christina Tosi
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze and I have been compensated for developing this recipe.