[Photographs: Elizabeth Barbone]

Let's get something out of the way: this isn't a traditional trifle recipe. Trifles, a classic English dessert, usually include layers of fruit, pastry cream, and sponge cake. While traditional trifles aren't hard to make, they do take some time to put together, especially when you make gluten-free sponge cake from scratch.

This simple trifle recipe mimics the layered dessert but takes only a few minutes to make. You simply layer soft-baked chocolate chip cookies and a fluffy blend of cranberry sauce and cream cheese. That's it! The cranberry-cream cheese mixture whips up light and, like pastry cream, it isn't too sweet.

Since the recipe is so simple, it's easy to add other ingredients to suit your tastes. Sliced fruit, chopped nuts, or a splash of your favorite liquor, work well sandwiched between the layers of cookies and cranberry cream. As for those chocolate chip cookies, they pair really well with the cranberry filling. However, if you're allergic to chocolate, replace the cookies with soft-baked gluten-free snickerdoodles.

No matter how you make it, this is one holiday gluten-free dessert you can enjoy in minutes. And there's something wonderfully sweet about that.

About the author: Elizabeth Barbone of GlutenFreeBaking.com joins us every Tuesday with a new gluten-free recipe. Elizabeth is an alumna of the Culinary Institute of America and Mount Mary College. With her solid professional baking background, Elizabeth is known for creating gluten-free recipes that taste just like their wheat counterparts. She is the author of Easy Gluten-Free Baking.


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