For the most part, Kyle and I agree on pretty much everything that comes out of our kitchen. It makes for pretty easy living in this house and loads of fun when I menu plan and decide on what kind of sweets to bake. The only recent exception to this lovely mutually agreeable relationship is cream cheese frosting. While I can eat the tangy frosting with a spoon, Kyle can take it or leave it. And yet I keep making it not because I forget how he feels about it, but because I think I can change his mind with different recipes. It never works.
So when I made red velvet cupcakes last weekend, I ended up with a few extra frosted cupcakes and a moment of panic about what to do with them since I knew Kyle wasn’t about to bring Valentine’s cupcakes to his construction site at work. It took me all of about .2 seconds to decide what needed to be done: repurpose them! I scraped off the frosting (did you really just question what happened to it?), cubed up the cupcakes, sliced some fresh strawberries, and pulled together a no-bake cheesecake filling for some Valentine’s Day trifles. And when I tell you that we both swooned with the first bite, I’m not kidding. The silky filling has a touch of lemon that blends perfectly with the strawberries and soaks into the cake layers after a day-long refrigeration, resulting in a decadent and brightly-flavored dessert that would make the perfect ending to any sort of Valentine’s Day celebration. We were hoping to celebrate this year in our new home but after another delay (?!*$), these trifles will be the perfect way to be celebrate how happy we are together, regardless of the situation.
Red Velvet and Strawberry Trifles with Cheesecake Filling
source: inspired by Taste and Tell; cheesecake filling is a Smells Like Home original recipe
The recipe below will yield 4-6 individual size trifles, depending on the size of the serving glass you use. If you’d like to make a full-size trifle, simply halve the cake recipe linked below and increase the filling ingredients by 50%. For two “adult”-size servings, halve this recipe (you’ll need 2 or 3 cupcakes). If worse comes to worse and you don’t have time to make the cupcakes, you can use store-bought red velvet cupcakes which are readily available around Valentine’s Day in virtually every grocery store in the U.S.
- 8 oz cream cheese, cold
- 2/3 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp heavy cream
To assemble the trifles:
- 4 – 6 red velvet cupcakes, wrappers removed and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, yogurt, honey, lemon zest, and vanilla on medium-high speed until no lumps remain and the mixture is well-blended, about 3 to 4 minutes. On low speed, gradually stir in the confectioner’s sugar and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Add in the heavy cream, increase the speed to medium and beat the filling for 10 seconds. The mixture should be soft, but not liquidy, and easily spreadable with a knife or spatula.
- To assemble the trifles, layer a small spoonful of the filling on the bottom of each glass, top with a single layer of cake. Spoon on a couple tablespoons of filling and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Add a layer of strawberries and repeat the layers until you reach the top of the glass, ending with a layer of the filling. Wrap the trifles with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Garnish with a few diced or sliced strawberries right before serving. Serve chilled.