This Easter trifle recipe uses boxed carrot cake mix while you make a homemade whipped cream cheese frosting with toasted coconut, and adorable strawberry "carrots."
Everything is NOT cancelled. Easter is NOT cancelled. Celebrating life is NOT cancelled. Having joy in your heart is NOT cancelled. And neither is keeping traditions alive.
Three days before all of this stuff went down, I went to Target and grabbed all of the kids' Easter stuff (miracle!). The kids will still have Easter baskets with random stuff (and random it is!) and minimal candy (trust me...it's for the best) from an Instacart hero, but none of that really matters. What matters is that we're all happy and healthy and able to be together for the holiday.
Instead of focusing on what we're losing out on this year (extended family gatherings! Auntie Anne's Easter egg hunts with their cousins! A traditional Easter feast!), I'm going to choose to focus on what we do have. -- our health and our family.
This Easter trifle recipe is about as easy as you can get but has a beautiful presentation -- layers of carrot cake with pillowy soft whips of cream cheese frosting, all topped with toasted coconut and adorable strawberry "carrots" on top. Skip the homemade carrot cake part -- unless you're into that, in which case there's a million delicious carrot cake recipes out there, with my favorite being this one (excuse the pictures)
Making Strawberry Carrots
These orange candy melts are so easy to use and you can also find them at Michaels. You'll place about 1 cup of the melts in a microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave at 50% powder for 30 seconds. Take the bowl out of the microwave and stir (even if it seems like they don't need to be stirred because they haven't even started melting). Repeat the process until the orange candy melts are completely melted.
Hold your strawberry by the green top and gently roll the strawberry into the orange melts. You can use a spoon to get the candy coating all the way up to the green so you don't see any red poking out. Place the coated strawberries on parchment paper to dry. They need about 20 minutes to fully dry.
Just be sure the strawberries are fully dry. It's hard for the candy coating to stick in the strawberries are even the slightest bit wet.
How to Make this Easy Easter Trifle
First, grease your 9x13 cake pan and line with parchment paper so you'll easily be able to take the cake out of the pan once it's cool. This'll make it easier to cut the cake later. Then follow the package directions on the back of the box of carrot cake mix to prepare the batter and bake your cake. I used Duncan Hines here.
For the cream cheese layer: Beat heavy cream on high in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Slowly add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat cream until stiff peaks form. Take cream out of the mixing bowl and into another bowl. Set aside.
To toast coconut: Place sweetened coconut flakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toast coconut flakes at 325˚ F for 6 minutes and stir them up halfway through.
Last but not least, once you've made your cake, toasted your coconut, and made your whipped cream cheese frosting, it's time to assemble your Easter trifle. Cut your cake into squares or small rectangles and make two layers of cake and whipped cream cheese frosting. Top with your toasted coconut, and put your adorable "carrots" on top.
Now all we need is the Easter bunny!
Other Easter Ideas
This year, it's definitely going to be like playing Russian roulette for coming up with an Easter meal, but I will tell you these are my ideal Easter recipes:
- Glazed Easter Ham (it uses Coke, y'all. Just trust me on this one.)
- Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto
- Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes because all things healthy are thrown out the window
- Asparagus with Ham in a Blanket with Honey Mustard
- Asparagus with Prosciutto, Jammy Eggs, and Dijon Vinaigrette
- Coconut Macaroons Three Ways (because you can have two things on your dessert menu for the holiday, right?)
Happy Easter to all who celebrate!
Semi-homemade Carrot Cake Easter Trifle
- 1 box carrot cake mix & all ingredients it requires
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 12 strawberries
- 1 package orange candy melts
- Preheat oven, line the bottom of a 9x13" pan with parchment paper and make the carrot cake according to package directions. Let sit for 10 minutes before gently placing on a wire rack until completely cool.
- Meanwhile, make your carrots by melting the orange candy melts in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave on 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring each time until melted. Hold strawberries by the green tops and gently dip into the mixture until completely covered. Let the remaining orange coating drip off the bottom before placing on a sheet of parchment paper to dry..*
- For the cream cheese layer: Beat heavy cream on high in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Slowly add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat cream until stiff peaks form. Take cream out of the mixing bowl and into another bowl. Set aside.
- Beat your cream cheese on high in the same bowl of the stand mixer that you just used for the whipping cream. When cream cheese is light and fluffy, gently fold into the whipping cream until combined.
- To toast coconut: Place coconut flakes on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 325˚ F for about 6 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool.
- To assemble: cut cake into squares or rectangles. Line bottom of a large, glass bowl with half of the carrot cake squares. Top with half of the whipped cream cheese frosting, then another layer of the cake and frosting. Add toasted coconut and carrots on top.