Valentine’s Day is coming up next week and it tends to be very chocolate heavy in terms of desserts/gifts. So I wanted to do a nice, simple dessert that wasn’t chocolate but still had Valentine’s vibes. I had some leftover strawberry cheesecake filling from the Cheesecake Brownies (see newsletter for recipe) so after randomly browsing Pinterest for some inspiration, I decided to go the easy route and make trifles. I've made it before with raspberry cocoa so I felt pretty confident. Trifles are so easy to make, you just have to know how to layer.
You can go the easy route with a boxed cake, but that would've yielded too much for me. I only wanted to make 3 trifles and the goblets were only so big, so I made my cake portion from scratch. In hindsight, I should've realised that I was making too much batter, but hey, better to have more than not enough, right? I'll still share the recipe using the boxed cake if you want to make this for a large crowd.
If you're only trying to make a little, all you'll need is about 1.5 cups of flour, 3/4 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and soda, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Grease a 9 x 9 pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean. That's what I did. For everyone else, your recipe is as follows.
Strawberry Cheesecake Trifles
Makes 6-8, depending on dish size
1 box white cake mix with all the ingredients to make it
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1.2 oz bag freeze-dried strawberries, diced finely
2 cups heavy cream
Make the cake batter according to the instructions on the box then bake on a parchment lined half sheet pan (18×13″). Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the top and bake for 15-18 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cake sit in the pan for 20 minutes then use the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan and set aside to cool completely.
Once the cake is cooled and you’re ready to assemble, make the ‘cheesecake’ by beating together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and ground up freeze-dried strawberries in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Scrape up the bottom and sides of the bowl then add 1/2 cup cream to whisk it all together so you lighten up the cream cheese for about 30 seconds. Once that’s happened, add the rest of the cream and beat on medium high speed until the mixture has thickened and is light and fluffy. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag.
To assemble, figure out how big the cake needs to be to fit snugly in the serving dish and cut out rounds from the cooled cake. Place a cake layer in the dish, pipe out an almost even layer of the ‘cheesecake’ then repeat with another layer of cake and ‘cheesecake’. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours if not serving right away.
I didn't personally eat any of these because of my new diet, but my mum loved them! I intentionally dialed back on the sugar because while she enjoys dessert, she doesn't like anything that's overly sweet. And having a diabetic step-dad means that I have to watch the sugar content on everything I make. If you want the recipe for the Cheesecake Brownies I mentioned earlier, just hit that subscribe button below!