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Murielle Banackissa

Spicy Ginger and Berry Trifles

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4 hours 40 mins Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hour 10 mins Chilling Time: 3 hours
Serves 8

Refreshing, wonderfully creamy, and packed with flavor, these trifles feature a strawberry and raspberry compote flavored with freshly cracked black pepper and spicy ginger. This compote is layered with a crumbled vanilla sponge and a lightly sweetened coconut whipped cream, making it the ultimate summer treat!


  • Cheesecloth
  • Cooking twine


Spicy Compote

  • 1 16oz container of strawberries , rinsed, tops removed, and quartered
  • 1 6oz container of raspberries , rinsed
  • 1 tsp coarse and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 thumb ginger , peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

Vanilla Cake

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened plant based milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Cooking spray or neutral cooking oil

Whipping Cream and Garnishes

  • 1 15oz coconut whipping cream (see note)
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • Strawberries , for garnish, optional
  • Raspberries , for garnish, optional

Prepare the Spicy Compote

  1. Step 1

    Add to a medium-sized saucepan the quartered strawberries, raspberries, and black pepper.

  2. Step 2

    Cut a piece of cheesecloth into a 6x6 inch square.

  3. Step 3

    Place the ginger slices in the middle. Gather the 4 corners of the cheesecloth and tie together with cooking twine. Place this little bundle in the middle of the saucepan and cover slightly with the berries.

  4. Step 4

    Cover the saucepan and heat on medium heat for 15 minutes or until the mixture starts to bubble up. Stir from time to time.

  5. Step 5

    Uncover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Whisk together the maple syrup and cornstarch in a small bowl.

  7. Step 7

    Remove the ginger bundle from the saucepan.

  8. Step 8

    Increase the heat and bring the berry compote to a boil. Pour in the maple-cornstarch mixture and stir to incorporate. Cook for two minutes then remove from the heat and let cool for 30 minutes, uncovered.

  9. Step 9

    Pour the compote into a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 3 hours.

Prepare the Vanilla Cake

  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 7-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Alternatively, you can brush your cake pan with a neutral cooking oil.

  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.

  3. Step 3

    Pour in melted vegan butter, plant based milk, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk until incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.

  4. Step 4

    Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth the top and bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

  5. Step 5

    Remove from the oven. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.


  1. Step 1

    Gather 8 glasses of approximately the same size (I recommend using glasses of 3 to 4 inches tall). Alternatively, you can make this recipe in a large trifle bowl.

  2. Step 2

    Whip the coconut whipping cream along with the icing sugar.

  3. Step 3

    Crumble up the cake into small pieces and place in a bowl or on a plate.

  4. Step 4

    Create layers alternating between the spicy berry compote, coconut whipped cream, and crumbled up cake.

  5. Step 5

    Garnish with fresh strawberries and raspberries, if desired.

  6. Step 6

    Keep in the refrigerator, covered with foil or plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Common Questions & Swaps

  • Can I use another mix of berries other than the ones suggested? Yes, you can swap up the raspberries with blueberries.
  • I am very sensitive to heat, how spicy is this recipe? It is spicy but not hot. If you are worried that it might be too spicy for your taste, half the pepper or skip it. 
  • Can I use another flour instead of all-purpose flour? I have only tested this recipe with all-purpose flour, but I think that a gluten-free blend like Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 mix should work well here.
  • Can I replace the cane sugar with another kind? I think coconut sugar would work just fine here.
  • My favorite whipping cream is Cha’s Organics’ Coconut Whipping Cream. You can also replace it Silk's Whipping Cream in a carton.
  • Replace the melted butter with equal parts avocado, canola, or melted coconut oil.
  • I like to use soy milk in my baking, but you can use any plant based milk of choice from a carton. Avoid coconut milk from a can here.
Spicy Berry Trifle topped with fresh strawberry
Spicy Berry Trifle in a glass
Spicy Berry Trifle with bite taken out

Recipe created in the context of an Instagram partnership with Giant Tiger.


When summer is in full swing in Quebec, where I live, my mom and I always make it a point to visit a local berry farm to do our own berry picking.

On these days, we come back home with containers filled with the juiciest strawberries, sweetest blueberries, and brightest raspberries. I tend to freeze about half of my harvest for later consumption and enjoy the rest as is or in various fruity desserts. They do not have to be all that fancy… One of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh strawberries is with a little bit of coconut whipped cream and chocolate shavings! Easy, quick to make, and absolutely divine!

These trifles are inspired by the berry season in Canada that is simply glorious.

They feature a homemade compote, made with fresh strawberries and raspberries. These fresh berries are stewed together with spicy ginger and fresh coarse black pepper, which infuse the compote with a wonderful kick. It is then naturally sweetened with with Canada’s iconic sweetener: maple syrup.

Spicy Berry Trifle in a glass

To make these trifles even more exquisite, the compote is layered with a crumbled up simple, homemade vanilla sponge and lightly sweetened coconut whipped cream. When I was testing this recipe, I made this recipe 3 times and let me tell you that every single time it was eaten by myself, Sam, friends, and family within 48 hours… It is that good!

When it comes to the ingredients used in this recipe, below are the ones I used. For any modifications, refer to the Swaps & Comments section.

Strawberries and raspberries: The real stars of this dessert. They bring sweetness, stunning color, a touch of tanginess, and freshness to this summer treat. If you can, opt for in season fruit for maximum flavor.

Coarse pepper: Pepper pairs surprisingly well with berries actually! In this recipe, pepper brings forth a wonderful kick to this parfait. Opting for freshly ground coarse pepper (as opposed to powdered pepper) is key to infuse your compote with maximum flavor.

Ginger: Aromatic, spicy, and bright in flavor, ginger brings a lot of depth to this dessert.

Maple syrup: This would not be a Canadian-inspired dessert without a little maple syrup. This liquid from heaven brings forth sweetness and infuses the compote with a caramel-like aroma.

Cornstarch: It is used in this recipe as a thickening agent of the compote.

All-purpose flour: This flour is used so that this cake is moist, light and fluffy.

Organic cane sugar: This is the main sweetener of the cake batter itself.

Baking powder and baking soda: The two leavening agents that help the sponge rise.

Unsalted vegan butter: It adds some moisture and richness to the batter of this cake.

Unsweetened plant-based milk: Soy milk is my milk of choice; it is rather neutral, not too fatty and works in most baked goods including in the batter of the sponge here.

Vanilla extract: It is used to add a subtle vanilla flavor to the sponge.

Apple cider vinegar: I used it in this recipe to help activate the baking soda to make the cake rise.

Coconut whipping cream: Made only with coconuts and water, when whipped together, it becomes light, airy, and rich, elevating this dessert to new heights.

Icing sugar: Used to lightly sweeten the whipping cream.

This dessert is seriously one of my favorite ones to enjoy on a warm sunny day–although it also makes a unique date night treat!

As you make these Spicy Ginger and Berry Trifles, I encourage you to taste your compote as it cooks down on the stovetop. Notice how the berries change in flavor as they soak up the spiciness of the ginger and pepper. When it is time for your first spoonful, close your eyes and try identifying all the flavors you built into this luscious dessert.

If you’d like, you can also share about this recipe on social media and tag me (@muriellebanackissa).

Happy cooking ✦