Red velvet cheesecake trifle is made with layers of red velvet cake, homemade whipped strawberry cream cheese, and whipped cream. An easy dessert for any occasion!
I love a really good trifle. It's an easy-to-put-together dessert, yet looks impressive. It also looks great as a centerpiece on a table and can feed a crowd. This red velvet cheesecake trifle is such a light dessert so it's super guilt free! Except if you eat it most of it all by yourself, which is what I did over several days. It is that good!
What ingredients are needed?
- cake flour - this type of flour helps make a soft crumb. You can use all purpose flour, but the cake won't be as light.
- cocoa powder - make sure it is unsweetened.
- baking soda
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- large egg
- vegetable oil
- vanilla extract
- buttermilk - there are many substitutions for buttermilk, but I don't feel they work nearly as well as buttermilk. Use buttermilk in this recipe if you can.
- red food colouring - I used a liquid food colouring, but gel food colouring can be used as well.
- cream cheese - use full fat cream cheese for best taste.
- powdered sugar
- strawberries - you can use frozen or fresh strawberries. I used fresh as I wanted a few extra for decoration.
- strawberry extract - if you can't find this extract you can leave it out. The strawberry flavour won't be as intense though.
- heavy cream - or whipping cream if you are in Canada.
How do I make the trifle?
First you make the red velvet cake, which is made in an 8-inch pan. You can also use a 9-inch pan if you need to. The cake will not be as tall, but that is fine for cutting it into 1-inch pieces. Just check on the cake 5 minutes before the recipe card states it should be done, as it will be done faster in a 9-inch pan than an 8-inch pan.
Make the whipped strawberry cream cheese while the cake is cooling. You will make the strawberry puree by cooking the strawberries on the stove top. After about 15 minutes they will be very soft and can be mashed with a potato masher. Add the puree to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool slightly. Once the puree has cooled add the cream cheese, powdered sugar and strawberry extract. Mix that very well together with an electric mixer and then add in the heavy cream, mixing for about 2 minutes.
To make the whipped cream layer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks. I did not sweeten this layer and the trifle was plenty sweet for me. If you would like to sweeten the whipped cream layer, add ¼ cup of powdered sugar while whipping the heavy cream.
Assemble the trifle by placing a layer of cake cubes at the bottom of a trifle bowl. Top that with the whipped strawberry cream cheese, and then top that with the whipped cream. Repeat the layers one more time. Sprinkle some cake crumbs on top of the trifle and decorate with strawberries.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Trifle
Red Velvet Cake
- 1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 ¼ tablespoons red liquid food colouring
Whipped Strawberry Cream Cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 6 medium strawberries + extra for decoration
- 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line and grease an 8 inch cake pan; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, or in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar until smooth and well combined.
- Add egg and beat to combine thoroughly. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla buttermilk and food colouring. Beat until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. You will see small lumps and that is okay.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake rest for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cook completely.
- To make the whipped strawberry cream cheese, rinse and hull the strawberries. Place them into a small saucepan and over medium heat. Stir occasionally until strawberries become very soft. This will take about 15 minutes. Take the saucepan off the heat and mash strawberries with a potato masher.
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, strawberry puree, and strawberry extract. Mix until well combined and smooth. Add the heavy cream and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- To make the whipped cream, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks. I did not sweeten my whip cream as the other layers have enough sugar in them.
- To assemble, cut the cake into 1 inch square pieces. Add a little less then half the cake pieces into the bottom of an 8 inch trifle dish. Top with half the amount of whipped strawberry cream cheese, and then half the amount of whipped cream. Repeat the layers and decorate the top with cake crumbs and extra strawberries.
- Don't have an 8-inch cake pan? You can use a 9-inch pan. Bake the cake for 15-20 minutes as it will be thinner and take less time to bake.
- Cake flour makes the cake have a very soft crumble. You can substitute with all purpose flour, although it won't be as tender.
- There are a lot of recipes for substituting buttermilk. I find they never quite work the same as buttermilk though. I recommend using buttermilk for this recipe.
- You can use red food gel instead of the liquid food colouring.
- Use full fat cream cheese for best taste.
- You can use frozen strawberries to make the puree instead of fresh. I wanted to use some fresh strawberries for decoration, so that's why I used fresh for the puree.
- You can leave out the strawberry extract if you don't have it, however the strawberry flavour won't be as intense. It will still be really good though. ?
- If you want your whipping cream layer to be sweet, add in ¼ cup of powdered sugar while whisking the heavy cream. I preferred it not sweetened as there was enough sugar to the dish as a whole.