Dessert, Recipes

Rachel’s English Trifle

“It’s a trifle. It’s got all of these layers. First there’s a layer of ladyfingers, then a layer of jam, then custard, which I made from scratch, then raspberries, more ladyfingers, then beef sauteed with peas and onions, then a little more custard, and then bananas, and then I just put some whipped cream on top!” – Rachel Green

Rachel Green lays out her ingredient list for her infamous English Trifle. When deciding what recipes to make to honour the show we simply couldn’t pass by this interesting creation. If you haven’t seen the show, Rachel, who is known to not be a good cook, accidentally makes half an English Trifle and half a Shepard’s Pie. Obviously this sounds like it would taste like feet, at least that’s what Ross said. So instead we wanted to make a version of her recipe that stayed true to the original but made everyone say: “Custard, good … jam, good… meat, GOOD!”
Devin smiling holding her two English Trifles
Rachel's English Trifle from FRIENDS
Obviously we had to make some changes to the above recipe because some aspects of it aren’t vegan. So let’s break it down. Ladyfinger are not vegan, every variety we found had egg in them. Instead we bought a vegan apple cinnamon loaf by Sweets From The Earth and baked in an oven to dry it out a bit like a ladyfinger. For the custard, which we did not make from scratch (sorry Rachel), we used Wayfare vanilla pudding. For the beef sauteed with peas and onions we had to make some drastic changes. We used Yves veggie ground round and made it sweet with a little dark chocolate and cinnamon! Talk about an extreme makeover.
 We know not everyone will love this recipe, it’s an acquired taste that’s for sure. But we do think that if you’re a FRIENDS fan you should be giving Rachel’s English Trifle a try. Maybe for your next FRIENDS themed party? Check out the rough recipe and the full video below…

Rachel's English Trifle

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4


  • 339 g (1 cup) vegan vanilla pudding*
  • 165 g (1/2 cup) raspberry jam
  • 200 g (4 slices) apple cinnamon loaf**, , diced
  • 60 g (1/2) bananas, , sliced
  • 100 g (3/4 cup) raspberries
  • 96 g (1 cup) whipped cream

Chocolate 'Beef'

  • 150 g (2/3 cup) ground round
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) maple syrup
  • 20 g (1/8 small) sweet onion, , diced
  • 40 g (1/4 cup) frozen peas
  • 14 g (1 tbsp) vegan butter


To toast apple cinnamon loaf:

  • Preheat oven to 250F
  • Place diced loaf in a baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes. You want to slightly dry out the loaf so it absorbs more of the jam and custard. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make chocolate ground round:

  • To a pan on medium heat, melt butter. Once melted sautee diced onions until translucent. Add the ground round and cook for 1 minute. Add dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Finally add in the frozen peas and stir until distributed throughout. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.

To construct:

  • First there's a layer of ladyfingers (aka the loaf croutons), then a layer of jam, custard (aka pudding, which we did not make from scratch), raspberries, more ladyfingers, than *chocolate* beef sauteed with peas and onion, a little more custard, and then bananas, and then we just put some whipped cream on top.***


*we used Wayfare brand
**we used Sweets from the Earth brand

How to make Rachel’s English Trifle (vegan)

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