Gluten-Free Sweet Biscotti Trifle

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must...undergo the fatigue of supporting it."    - Thomas Paine

The kids and I ventured out to the library the other day. Partly out of sheer boredom with the stifling heat that's been baking the desert for the last week and partly because when given the opportunity my children devour books like a dessert. I relish each night as we sit together with an open book while little heads try to find a place on my shoulder or lap to lie down and listen.

My 9-year-old son was stumped on what book to pick since we've already finished the entire series of The Chronicles of Narnia and he's read nearly all of the Magic Treehouse books. Then I found a book that looked perfect, not only for his interests, but for the season as well. George Washington's Socks by Elvia Woodruff. It reminded me of The Goonies combined with a mesmerizing history lesson via time travel. I highly recommend it. 
It was a fun yet wonderful reminder of the blessings I enjoy thanks to the founders of the United States. With the celebration of America's independence and the great sacrifice those first patriots gave and the continued sacrifices of present patriots, I realize that another red, white, and blue dessert may seem trifle in this context (pun intended). Despite that, though, I made a trifle anyway ;) 

But not just any old trifle mind you! This one is made with crunchy, crumbly sweet gluten free biscotti and layers of sweetened coconut cream, bananas, blueberries, and cherries!

(F.Y.I. Did you know that whole story of young George Washington chopping down his father's cherry tree and the - "I cannot tell a lie. It was I who chopped down your cherry tree...then run to my arms dear boy for you've paid for it in full with your honesty" - bit was made up to teach kids honesty. As in, the story is not true. Seriously?! However, I have no doubt that George Washington was an honest man. Okay, sorry. Back to something a bit more trifle. Oh man, I'm on a roll today!)

I found that cutting the biscotti dough into slices before baking worked best to create that crusty texture without it crumbling to pieces. Here's how I made it:

Gluten Free Sweet Biscotti
2 cups gluten free oat flour. Oatmeal pulsed in food processor until flour consistency

3/4 tsp. baking powder, aluminum and gluten free

1/8 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. coconut oil

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

3-5 drops wild orange essential oils or 1/4 tsp. orange extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. In separate bowl warm the syrup, oil, and extracts together. I just stuck it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. This will ensure that you don't have chunks of solid coconut oil. Blend the wet and dry ingredients together. As you stir it should begin to form a ball. Set it on a cutting board and shape into a loaf. Using a sharp knife (you may need to rub a little extra coconut oil on the knife so that it slides through easily) cut 1 inch thick slices and lay them on a lightly greased baking sheet. 
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until they begin to brown slightly and form a crisp outer shell. Turn down the oven to 200 and continue baking for another 15 minutes. This will essentially dry out the biscotti so they are crisp through out. Cool on a rack while you prepare the ingredients for the trifle.

Gluten Free Sweet Biscotti Trifle
1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk, set in refrigerator for 15 minutes, white cream skimmed.

1/8-1/4 cup coconut sugar

Whip skimmed coconut cream and sugar with an mixer until it's...well, whipped cream. Nice and light and fluffy. Set in the fridge to set while you prepare fruit.

1 large banana, sliced

1/2 pint blueberries, rinsed

handful cherries, halved. Stems and pits removed. 
Layer the biscotti, coconut cream, banana, cherries, and blueberries in a glass dish. I took the crumbs from my first loaf of biscotti and used it as a layer as well. So yummy! (I baked this loaf whole first then sliced it. Saying it was crumbly would be an understatement. Always slice before you bake, but it did make the best crumbs!) You can eat the trifles right away or cover and let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so to let the biscotti soak up the coconut cream. Put a cherry on top and serve cold.



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Sunday, 17 February 2019

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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