Friday, April 16, 2010

Sugar-Free Spring Trifle

For dessert on Easter, I had to make a dessert that was two things: easy and sugar free. I made a traditional German dinner, which requires many appliances, pots, pans, and dirty mixing bowls. In an effort to save myself even more mess, I decided to make a dessert I could prep ahead of time, and just arrange on Easter morning. Since my Popie and Father-in-Law are diabetic, I chose to make something low in sugar so they could enjoy dessert as well.
I browsed through some traditional German desserts, but thought a trifle seemed so springy! I used to use many sugar-free and chemically produced products in my food to cut calories, fat, and sugar, but have found that those products don't fit in my diet anymore, and I try to eat as cleanly as possible. Because of this, I had a difficult time creating a dessert. I finally decided that I would have to use some artificial sweeteners, but would also try to use naturally sweet ingredients as well. This dessert is really lovely, easy to make (with store bought angel food cake), and can be prepped ahead of time. 
If I had more time, I would have baked the angel food cake myself, and made a sugar free lemon curd mixed with whipped cream in place of the pudding. I like adding the zest to the pudding just to give it an extra fresh lemon flavor. Perhaps next Easter I'll make it from scratch!
Note: I put the trifle together about 8 hours before eating it, and there were no sogginess issues.

Sugar Free Spring Trifle

1 sugar-free angel food cake
1 box of sugar free lemon pudding mix
2 cups skim milk
2 pints strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1 pint raspberries
2 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold (you can substitute sugar-free cool whip, if desired)
1 tbsp. splenda or other sugar substitute
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested and for garnish

Whisk together pudding mix and milk, add lemon zest, stir, refrigerate until set.
Slice strawberries, set aside.
Cube angel food cake, set aside.
Place the bowl of a stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer, freeze for 10 minutes.
Pour whipping cream in to bowl, add vanilla extract.
Turn mixer with whisk attachement on low, then gradually increase speed.
When soft peaks form, add splenda.
When peaks get somewhat stiff, turn mixer off.
Arrange trifle levels as follows:
1/3 of the angel food cake
1/3 of the strawberries
1/2 the raspberries
1/2 of the pudding
1/3 of the whipped cream
1/3 of the angel food cake
1/3 of the strawberries
1/2 of the raspberries
1/2 of the pudding
1/3 of the whipped cream
1/3 of the angel food cake
1/3 of the whipped cream
Remaining sliced strawberries and sliced lemon, for garnish


Lisa said...

Just to throw something out there from the diabetic community: sugar-free isn't really any better than the alternative. We are taught to ignore the sugar content and look at the carbs since they are turned into glucose in the body. When something is sugar-free the sugar in it is replaced by sugar alcohols which is still considered just plain old sugar as far as the body is concerned. So, diabetically speaking sugar-free doesn't aid in the way it affects the blood sugar numbers. Just thought I might lend some of my expertise in the one thing I actually know about!

Ashlee said...

Thanks for letting me know, Lis! I will definitely change the title. I wonder why they bother making SF products and advertising it that way?! When I told my FIL and Popie it was SF, they would both so excited because it meant they could have dessert. Do you have any desserts you make that ARE diabetic friendly?

Debbi Smith said...

I love making summer trifles! I have one that I make with jello that I love! This looks really good, it's making me excited for summer parties.

Dawn said...

Very pretty dessert! I've used the angel food cake with cool whip and strawberries and also that "Angel Lush" I think it's called with pineapple.

Lisa said...

I sure do! I have two diabetic cook books and they have tons of great ideas. Anything in particular you're interested in??

Anonymous said...

Looks great! I can't wait to make it.

Joanne said...

You are so sweet to make this for your family! It looks quite delicious, even from a non-diabetic point of view!

Sophie @ yumventures said...

I love trifle, though my mom's version is much worse for you (with custard and some sort of alcohol soaking the berries) what a great spring treat!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This dessert is really beautiful! I love it. :)