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Cranberry Coconut Trifle (Rich Tropical Girls)

Glass with layers of cranberry sauce, whipped coconut cream and ginger nut cookies. Lights in the background.


A quick and easy cranberry coconut trifle served as individual servings and using leftover cranberry sauce, whipped sweetened coconut cream and ginger nut cookie crumbs. An elegant dessert that takes little effort.


This trifle has been part of my 7 Thanksgiving Leftovers for years now, and hasn't gotten its own post until now. It was about time, don't you think!


Resembling a Norwegian Classic


I realized there is a classic Norwegian dessert that kind of resembles this cranberry coconut trifle. It is whipped cream, chopped and cooked caramel apples and breadcrumbs. They've got the creamy element, the sweet, the tart and the crunchy. Perfect end to any meal!


This classic Norwegian dessert is called Tilslørte bondepiker in Norwegian, and it can be translated to Veiled country girls. There is another version of this dish that is called Bortskjemte byjenter (fra Ålesund) which translates to Spoiled city girls from Ålesund (which happens to be where I'm from lol)This has candied nuts instead of the bread crumbs and sweetened whipped sour cream as the cream.


My point is, they all have something creamy, something tartly sweet and something crunchy. Just like this coconut cranberry trifle. I'm thinking this dessert should also have its own fun name, but it wasn't easy to come up with something! My closest is Rich tropical girls (rike tropejenter) since coconut cream is both rich and tropical.


Trifle with cranberry sauce and ginger cookies seen from above.


How to whip coconut milk


Coconut milk is notorious for being a little hard to whip - but there are some little tricks! Trick #1: leave a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours. If you don't do this, the coconut milk will be too soft to whip, but it hardens in the fridge, and the water and the fat separates from each other. You need a can of coconut milk with at least 21% fat. I've tried it with 18% fat and it doesn't firm up enough. You can also just buy the coconut cream so you don't have to separate the water and fat (but it still needs to be cold for 24 hrs to firm it up!)


Cold being the key here, you should also leave the bowl you will be whipping the coconut cream in, in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to whipping.


A dessert glass with cranberry coconut trifle.


To sweeten the coconut cream, we use powdered sugar because liquid sweeteners may weigh the cream down. You don't have to sweeten it if you don't want to. You only need the fatty part of the coconut milk (the coconut cream) to whip. The coconut water left behind can be used in smoothies or sangrias.


In the cold bowl, whip the coconut cream for 30 seconds and then add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip for another minute. Easy peasy!


Orange Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving


Leftover Cranberry Sauce


For the tartly sweet (or sweetly tart?) element of this cranberry coconut trifle, we're using leftover cranberry sauce! You can use whatever you have on hand really, but this orange cranberry sauce is sooo good I highly recommend making it.


Yes, it is totally acceptable to make the cranberry sauce just for this trifle alone (although you should also use it in these cranberry sauce oat muffins). I've done it, and I'll do it again!


One cranberry sauce breakfast muffins open in half.


Ginger Nut Cookie Crumbs


For the crunchy element, we are using ginger nut cookie crumbs. I just love a good, spiced cookie for Christmas. In this dessert I used a gingernut biscuit (cookie), but you can use gingerbread cookies or any other spiced cookie.


Assemble the cranberry coconut trifle


In individual glasses, add two tablespoon whipped coconut cream, then one tablespoon cranberry sauce and one tablespoon crushed cookie. Repeat the same to make two complete layers. But honestly, use as much or as little as you want of these three elements.


Scroll down to find a printable recipe card of these Rich Tropical Girls - enjoy!


One glass with whipped coconut cream and cranberry sauce in the foreground and two blurred ones in the background.


Did you like this cranberry coconut trifle? Here's more easy desserts I think you'll love:



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📖 Recipe

Glass with layers of cranberry sauce, whipped coconut cream and ginger nut cookies. Lights in the background.

Cranberry Coconut Trifle (Rich Tropical Girls)

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Something creamy, something sweet and tart and something crunchy makes this cranberry coconut trifle the perfect Holiday dessert!



  • 8 tablespoon coconut whipped cream (see below)
  • 4 tablespoon cranberry sauce (preferably homemade, see below)
  • 4 tablespoon gingernut biscuits crumb (or any other spiced cookie crumb)


  • ½ can cold coconut milk (fatty part only, 200ml, 7 oz)
  • 5 tablespoon powdered sugar (35g)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional


    1. 24 hours before; place a can of coconut milk in the fridge. This firms up the fat, making it easier to cream. At least 21% fat, if you can't find that you can buy coconut cream. This doesn't have to be separated, but needs to be refrigerated for 24 hours as well.
    2. Place a bowl in the freezer (if you can), for at least 10 minutes. To keep the coconut milk as cold as possible while creaming. Add the fatty part of the coconut milk to the cold bowl, leave the coconut water for something else (like smoothies).
    3. Cream your coconut milk using a hand mixer for 30 seconds, then adding powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip 1 minute more.
    4. In a serving glass, add first 2 tablespoon coconut whipped cream, 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce and 1 tablespoon crushed cookie. Repeat these steps to make two complete layers. Then continue to do the same in the other glass.
    5. This recipe will probably make a little more coconut whipped cream than you need here. Just refrigerate the rest, and then use as whipped cream in a hot chocolate.


Absolutely best with homemade cranberry sauce, and I think this cranberry sauce recipe with orange is the best!

I don't have a gingernut cookie recipe unfortunately, but you can use my gingerbread cookies just the same!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 16.8gSaturated Fat: 13.2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 22.5gFiber: 1.8gSugar: 17.3gProtein: 1.9g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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Chef Dennis

Wednesday 25th of November 2020

your coconut trifle was a big hit at my house! Even my wife who swears she doesn't like coconut loved it!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Thursday 26th of November 2020

That's awesome, thank you so much!

Gail Montero

Monday 23rd of November 2020

Love the sweet-tart flavor the cranberry sauce adds to this tasty trifle. Holiday-perfect indeed!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Thank you so much, Gail!


Monday 23rd of November 2020

I made this recently for a special treat after a long week and everyone loved it. Thank you

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Thank you so much!


Sunday 22nd of November 2020

WOW, ok this recipe has me drooling over my keyboard! the colours of this recipe just look amazing and it looks soo delicate. I need to make this fo me and my family. Thank you for sharing.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 23rd of November 2020

Thank you so much for your kind words, Ramona!

Julie Wunder

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

This is a gorgeous trifle for the holidays! I was looking for something new to make this year and this is it! So good.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 23rd of November 2020

Thank you so much!

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