Gluten Free Peppermint Mocha Trifle

Gluten Free Peppermint Mocha Trifle is the perfect make-ahead dessert for holiday company and family gatherings.

Gluten Free Peppermint Mocha Trifle by The Baking Beauties


We’re well on our way into 2014 already. Christmas is quickly fading into a distant memory. All the kid’s toys have found their new homes. We’re back into our normal, weekly routine. The only reminder of the holiday season may be the extra five pounds you may have picked up while indulging in all the great food. (I’m kidding – no one can tell, I promise!) 😉

During the month of merriment and indulgence, I shared this recipe for gluten free Peppermint Mocha Trifle in “The Great Cream Challenge” Holiday Trifle contest hosted by Anyday Magic. I had hoped that my decadent creation of layered mocha flavoured cake, chocolate peppermint pudding, and light as air whipped cream (not to mention the drool-worth picture) would earn me a few votes along the way. Alas, my recipe came in 3rd place. Out of 3. I think I will go eat some cake now.

Don’t let the 3rd place finish deter you from making this dazzling trifle though, it really is good! If you’re looking for a way to make things a little easier on you (or you’re hosting someone who is gluten-free and don’t want to buy all the flours yourself), use a store-bought cake mix (to make an 8×8 or 9×9-inch cake) and add 1 tablespoon of espresso powder before following the directions on the package. You can also use a package of cooked chocolate pudding mix, prepared according to directions, adding the butter & peppermint extract before cooling.

Want to make this trifle year round? Simply replace the peppermint extract with vanilla extract, and don’t top with crushed candy canes. You’re all set!


Gluten Free Peppermint Mocha Trifle
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Whipped Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (35% cream)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Gluten-free shaved chocolate and crushed peppermint candy canes to garnish.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, and bake for 30-35 minute, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before assembling the trifle.
  1. In a 2 quart microwave safe bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in the milk.
  2. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Whisk again.
  3. Continue microwaving in one minute intervals, whisking in between, until the pudding has boiled and thickened.
  4. Stir in the butter and peppermint extract. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the warm pudding to prevent a skin from forming on the pudding. Cool the pudding completely before assembling the trifle.
Whipped Cream:
  1. Place all the ingredients in a deep, narrow bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
Assemble the Trifle:
  1. Cut the cake into small cubes. Layer half of the cake in the bottom of your bowl.
  2. Top with half of the cooled pudding.
  3. Spread half of the whipped cream over the pudding.
  4. Repeat with another layer of cake, pudding, and topping it with the whipped cream.
  5. Garnish the top with shaved chocolate and crushed peppermint candy canes.
  6. Keep the trifle refrigerated until ready to serve. The cake and pudding can be made a day in advance, and the trifle can be assembled up to 12 hours before serving. Trifles are best if they are assembled at least 4 hours before serving.
This recipe is perfect to make one large trifle. If you are making individual serving size trifles, you will need to double the pudding to ensure enough for each cup. The pudding to cake ratio is higher in the individual serving sized trifles.



  1. Gwen says

    Thanks for making it all from “scratch” even the pudding so I can adapt it to lactose free. Thinking this will be Valentine’s day dessert.


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