Pumpkin Custard Chocolate Brownie Trifle

I love layers of food. Like 7 layer dip. I need to create some kind of 7 layer dip ASAP. Sounds exhausting, but I need to do it.

These trifles are delicious. How could they not be? I made them with Goodbody Baked Goods Chocolate Brownie Bites. And even though my magic brownie bars would be great in this recipe,  I was way too lazy to bake. And these things are too easy to get a hold of. I just drive to any of the 4 Whole Foods that are near me, then stuff my face. But if you don’t have a Whole Foods near you, be sure to pick up at Abe’s Market online!

There is something else I need to do. I need to address a situation I’ve run into recently. As you may know, I published a cookbook this year. I used a publisher that I felt I could trust and I hoped she could do a great job finding a designer for the book that would put something together that I was proud of. I wanted to create a book that had my favorite blog recipes within it as well as some new recipes for people to try.

Well, once the book came out, it was something that I was not completely satisfied with. Even though I love the feel of the book and it really is me with the writing style and even how the book is laid out, I wasn’t happy with the paper quality or how some of the photography looked on the paper. I did the photography myself, which is definitely not the best photography out there, but I know it looks better than how some of it looks within the book. Some pictures are stretched or even slightly cut off. It’s been upsetting hearing some people talk about not loving the book, not because of the content inside, but because of the quality. It’s embarrassing, honestly. Especially because it is something I was not able to control, but it still has my name written all over the entire book.

Here’s the thing. I am 25 years old and still learning A LOT. Learning who to trust, learning to read between the lines, and learning what real world business is really like. I really have no clue what I’m doing half of the time, but with the guidance of some amazing friends and bloggers, I have begun to understand business a bit more. It’s a process though. A sometimes upsetting process.

These comments above are not me throwing anyone under the bus or pointing fingers at others. It’s me stating my feelings about the book and acknowledging some of the upsets about it, because I honestly agree with most of them. And from the bottom of my heart, I am incredibly sorry if you have not been satisfied with your book. I really am. I’m hoping some of these issues will change in the future. But I can promise you one thing, learning from the upsets in our lives leads to bigger and better things. And bigger things are on the horizon.

Thank you for all the support through my living and learning. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. I hope to make everyone happy one day. That’s not possible, but it’s worth a try.

This dessert made me excessively full tonight. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Pumpkin Custard Chocolate Brownie Trifle

  • Yield: 2-3 1x




  1. Place the coconut milk, egg yolks, pumpkin, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, ginger, and just a tiny pinch of salt in the food processor or blendtec (like I used) and puree until completely smooth.
  2. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn until you have smooth and creamy custard.
  3. Now pull out a pretty glass or be lazy and put it in a bowl. Add some brownies, then custard, then brownies, then more custard. Top with chopped pecans and chocolate chips.

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PaleOMG Pumpkin Custard Chocolate Brownie Trifle



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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


71 thoughts on “Pumpkin Custard Chocolate Brownie Trifle”

  1. I’ll admit I was sad the pages werent the typical glossy cookbook pages (mainly bc I spill a lot and glossy is easier to clean) but I got over it quickly bc your cookbook is still amazing regardless of what it’s printed on! I’ve made several recipes already each being truly delish! Can’t wait to see more cookbooks from you in the future!

  2. You know what? When you’re EVEN MOAR famous this first printing of your first cookbook will become a collector’s item. Seriously.

  3. People are going to find fault witih whatever someone does because they themselves haven’t yet accomplished anything they can be proud of. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for your passion.

  4. Got my copy of the cookbook today and spent tonight looking through it. Glad to hear you say you’re disappointed with the quality of the book- same feedback I left on my amazon review (still gave it 5 stars though- the content is awesome!) I genuinely hope you get a new publisher for the next one- my first thought when I saw it was that I felt sad for you because you deserve a better publisher. That said, I can’t praise the content enough! There are so many great recipes- I’m excited to try them. Definitely look forward to more books from you!

  5. Honestly Juli I was so excited to plow through the recipes in the book that I overlooked the picture quality. It’s your cookbook. A PUBLISHED cookbook! That is something to be amazingly proud of. Especially because of all the hard work you put in to it. Everything I’ve made from it (and I’ve made several things) has been above and beyond amazing.

  6. Hey am loving your recipes and i feel like i know you (sorry creepy stalker moment) however we very similar lives we are both 25 (my birthday is in april) have skin problems and i cry when i try on jeans too – so i just wear dresses. Just wanted to say thank you sooooo much for making me feel like i am not alone in the world as sometimes i feel like i am crazy and then i read your blog and i realise other people are dealing with it too.

    Just wanted to say can’t wait to get your cookbook its whats inside that counts not what its made of, i did notice mark sission is opening a publishing label might be worth looking into.

  7. Juli, you are 25 with a published cookbook! You should be BEYOND proud of that! We all have to start somewhere! I love the cookbook (I actually like the softer feel of the cover…its so different from other books I own). So who cares if the quality isn’t what some people deem as unacceptable…they need to appreciate they can now recreate your recipes without printing or lugging around a computer or smartphone to get greasy (I know for one I am thrilled!) But, I live like 30 min from the publisher here in Michigan…I can go take her down if you want me to 😛

    (P.S. Did you notice that amazon is selling new copies for like $13! I was shocked at this…it doesn’t seem right. I hope your not getting ripped off!)

  8. The quality of your recipes still rock even if you think the quality of the book isn’t up to what you wanted it to be… the recipes are what people bought your book for and that is good enough for me!

  9. Most folks I know (including myself) who have published a book have the same experience of not being entirely happy and sometimes downright unhappy with the results. Generally it’s due to something the publisher does that is out of the author’s control. Yes, it is distressing when you see the final product and it doesn’t meet your expectations, but I’m finding that is the norm! When my own book (not on food) came out, I discovered to my horror that it was poorly edited. I was not given the chance to see the final edit before it went to print…and now, yes, my name is on THAT. All I can do is let it go…I will write another book. I will not let this happen again…although something else will probably go awry. The moral of the story: big projects like books rarely result in a perfect final product. I love your book. I pre-ordered and was thrilled with it. Be proud and let go what didn’t work out exactly right. Publishing a book is a huge deal. P.S. I hadn’t even noticed the stuff you don’t like!

  10. Omg! You’re only 25 and you published your first cookbook! You are a rock star, Juli! I am loving the cookbook. It is like you are in the kitchen with us and having a conversation as we cook a meal together.

  11. I kinda thought the paper was recycled or something and you were just trying to keep it real! It really doesn’t bother me at all. I am just so excited to have your book.

  12. I am STILL waiting for my book from Amazon…for whatever reason, it is taking far longer than I’ve ever waited before. I feel your pain, Juli, especially since I’m into photography. That said, your attitude about this, as in so many other things is clear, honest, and quite balanced, which makes the fact that you are only 25 that much more astonishing! There is NO doubt in my mind that your reaction to your disappointment will gift you and your followers a continued explosion of Juli quality in years to come.

  13. I just got my copy of your cook book yesterday and I love it. End of story! It’s awesome. Nothing but satisfied over here. You should be very proud of yourself.

  14. I just started the 21DSD and I see this! UGH. Well now I have something to look forward to in 3 weeks. Looks awesome Juli!

  15. It personally made my day to get your cookbook in the mail yesterday. My husband, who is not a cookbook reading guy, heck, he’s not even a Paleo guy spent 1/2 hr reading it upstairs making occasional comments like “wow” and “yum.” Life is live and learn and I think the book is great. I personally don’t even notice things like paper quality and your book is funny with great recipes. Now if you’d written a book with boring recipes, I might have an issue with you, but personally I’m looking forward to getting into my kitchen with this book.

  16. Sure, the paper quality is not totally awesome. And the pictures aren’t the absolutely #1 best I’ve ever seen. But I did not buy your cookbook for the super groovy paper and the sexy food pronz. I bought it because your food is stellar and your writing is hilarious. And frankly, that’s what matters in a cookbook. You can have the most expensive materials in the world and pay out your ass for a professional photographer, but if the food sucks, then the cookbook sucks. I wouldn’t worry too much about the bad reviews because as of a few days ago, my review was the “most helpful” on Amazon, which is a crowning achievement for both of us *insert creepy wink*

  17. Like most, I bought the book to support you (and eat taste good food)! Not necessarily for the aesthetics. I’m sure YOUR NEXT BOOK (you are doing one? right, right?) will be even better than this one already is! Live and learn. 🙂

    Sounds like I need to get an ice cream maker with some of these recipes you have been posting recently…

  18. I discovered this blog after your cookbook had already come out. I haven’t purchased it yet, but want you to know that these complaints and so-called shortcomings you speak of with the book will not stop me from purchasing it.

    If this blog (and the book) were in black type with n pictures, I’d still buy the damn thing. The recipes here are great and your ramblings make me laugh my ass off.

    Keep your head up, we learn lessons in a real s#itty way sometimes.

  19. I ordered the book and am so excited to flip through it.. Who cares about the quality of the pages, the recipes speak for themselves and they’re amazing. Plus, the more stained the pages are.. the more I know I loved that recipe!!!

  20. I love your book…non-glossy pages and all. 🙂

    I’ve already made breakfast bars, turkey stuffed sweet potatoes, mexican burgers, chili pork, and a handful of other breakfast recipes. My husband said this is the best cookbook I have ever purchased. It’s good and good for you! Now he loves you too.

    You’ll never please everyone, but I think you’ve pleased the majority. One of my favorite quotes is from Calvin Coolidge, “Persistance and determination alone are omnipotent.” You are both.

    Thanks for making me laugh, inspiring me with food, and keepin’ it real.

  21. I completely agree with most of the comments here. You don’t buy cookbooks because it’s gorgeous and will look great on your coffee table. Heck, most of my mom’s “cookbooks” are folders stuffed with magazine cutouts. The food is what matters. And your food is boss. I’m not even Paleo and I come to this blog every day.

    My Crossfit gym is holding a cooking contest based on your blog, and the prize is your book! I’m going to try that route first, but if I don’t win I still plan on buying it 🙂 Congrats on your book!

  22. I LOVE your cookbook, and I didn’t even notice any of the issues you referenced! What I noticed was how the writing sounds just like PaleOMG.com (which is very entertaining!) and how awesome the recipes are. Thanks for an awesome blog and and awesome cookbook, you help me eat Paleo, and eating Paleo definitely helps me with life.

  23. When I received my copy, I was a bit disappointed- NOT due to the content, but because of the paper quality. I was sad for that because of all the hard work you put into making your cookbook the best it could possibly be. The bad paper quality really kept the photography from really shining through.

    With that being said, I still love your cookbook! It is an honest reflection of you and all of your awesomeness.

  24. I love your book, esp the way the cover feels! I honestly thought the pages were recycled because you were going green so I thought it was cool. Truthfully the content of the book is wonderful and its huge that you have a book published!

    PS. I love your pics on the blog today! So fancy looking!

  25. This may help – I received your cookbook on Saturday and have planned the next two weeks of meals strictly from your book (I can’t wait to try them all!!). I do the meal planning for dinners and my husband does the cooking. Pretty awesome. He’s not paleo, except for dinner. However, before and after dinner he’s definitely not. After trying four recipes out of your cookbook so far he said last night, “We have tried four recipes and they are all actually edible! I would make all of these again” Huge!! Thank you for all you do!

  26. I have a huge confession to make. I’m a HUGE fan of your site, but I’m not on the Paleo diet. I like meat, I like sarcasm, and I like to workout, hence why I am drawn to your blog. Love your humor, honesty, and realness. Bought your cookbook and I cooked up some of your delicious recipes without even noticing the page quality. Keep on rockin’ 🙂

  27. I admit, my initial thoughts of the book were related to the quality. However, I got it to support you and this amazing thing you’re doing, and the content is quality. The people who love this blog will support you; I’m your age as well, and know there is a learning curve and you have to take risks in trusting people and hope for the best. Keep on keeping on, Girl!

  28. I LOVED THE PAPER! That was the first thing I noticed, and I thought it was such a good choice. Everyone has glossy, being different sets you apart, and I personally liked that choice, whether or not you were the one to make it!

    However, do what YOU feel comfortable with. If you believe you should be putting out a more quality item, then do exactly that. You’re right, you’re learning, and you’re young! So you’ve got plenty of time to perfect things.

    And no matter what, you’ve always got lots of good food to cheer you up 🙂

  29. I’m in school for Graphic Design and it’s comments like yours that make me realize I do have skills and I am employable. No designer should stretch out photographs and I feel like you should have say in the paper quality of YOUR book. Learning and growing can be such a bitch. I’m trying to embrace the growing pains. It seems like you’re doing quite well for yourself and I think you should be proud!!

  30. My copy should be arriving today and I am psyched! 🙂
    All of my favorite cookbooks get thrashed and I’m sure yours will be one of them – keep up the amazing work Juli!

  31. Hi Julie, I’ve been reading your blog and making your recipes for over a year now. I’ve gone so far as to print out all of your recipes and put them in plastic sleeves in a binder. Unfortunately, I didn’t print any of the pictures. When your book became available, I pre-ordered and not-so-patiently waited. I was really pleased when I got it, I love your selections, photography, comments, new stuff, place to put notes. I didn’t find it disappointing at all. I would love to have a .pdf to print it out and sleeve it. You can always tell my favorite recipes in regular cookbooks, the pages are all stuck together. I think you can be proud of your effort, and know that not everyone was disappointed. You’re my favorite crazy paleo child, you bring joy to my day!

  32. You probably have one, but make sure you have an experienced attorney well versed in publishing contracts before your next book. These publishers will try to rip you off, and you need to write into the contract exactly what you want.

  33. I bought your cookbook when you were signing copies at CF Broadway. Yes, the pages are thin, but it is by far my favorite Paleo cookbook. Don’t sweat it!

  34. Girl, your cookbook is awesome! I have been making recipes off of your sight for a year now and was so pumped when my copy of the book came in a couple of weeks ago. I have already made 9 recipes out of the book. The fam (including a 4 and 2 yr old) has been loving it. Thank you!!

  35. life: it isn’t perfect. sucks sometimes–okay, most of the time when it’s not the way we want it–but it’s all we have to work with, so we might as well embrace the quirks.

    i’m sorry you are disappointed in part by how your “baby” came out. that’s disheartening. but you’re learning, and not just stewing in your frustration. that’s beautiful!

    i can tell that your photography has improved exponentially just since your time in the Dominican Republic (i should get extra points for spelling it out!). this shot is proof of that–gorgeous!

    keep after it, girl! you’re loved!!

  36. Juli. I pre-ordered your cookbook, and I love it. What is most important to me is that the recipes rock my tastebuds…color me crazy (and lotsa people do) but I could care less if the pages are glossy or there are typos or whatever if the recipes are good. And when my totally un-Paleo husband takes a bite of one of your creations and looks at me incredulously and says, “Are you SURE this is healthy?” , you have a successful cookbook on your hands. Not just blowing smoke up your ass…we really enjoy your cookbook…more so than a lot of the recent Paleo releases! And I made that most recent hash for breakfast. My gawd. Yum.

  37. I haven’t ordered your cookbook but I live for this blog and I don’t mean that in a creepy way. I am much older than you and I am learning in life now matter how great you think you are doing there is always some “hater” out there poised to bring the strong ones down. You aren’t required to put out a cookbook of whatever quality for all of us seekers of help. Continue to learn and grow and although you can’t trust everyone there are still really good people left in this crazy world. I love your blog. On some of my darkest days it makes me laugh and as a blogger myself I share your recipes maybe more than I should! (i do always give you credit :)Keep on Keepin on you are doing a great! Tell the haters to step off

  38. As many have said, I bought your book to support you in what you’re doing. I did notice the pics but not so much the paper, but it’s ok. I hope no one holds those things against you and use it as a reason to not buy your book because it’s the content that matters :O)

    It definitely won’t stop me from buying your next one :O)

    Oh, and this custard looks delicious!! too bad i don’t have an ice cream maker and don’t have any room in my kitchen to store one :O(

  39. I LOVE your book. I laugh and then I cook a great dish from the book. My family is loving eating Paleo because everything I fix taste amazing. I heard a saying that I thought was funny…I eat Paleo 100% , 80% of the time….that made me laugh.

  40. I have your cookbook and I LOVE it lots! I love the writing style and the photography.

    I’m a graphic designer, so when I opened it up, I immediately knew the problem was in the stock that was selected. An uncoated or matte stock is definitely an unconventional choice for a cookbook. It has a great tactile feel, but isn’t really practical when you take into consideration it might have to deal with spills.

    Also, when ink hits and uncoated stock it immediately spreads out. This causes darkening and blurring. If your designer was unaware of the stock of the finished product, he or she might not have accounted for it while editing the photos (they need to be lightened up quite a bit in that instance).

    It sucks that people are upset with your book over this. I bought it because I wanted to support you because your free recipes (and stories) have brought me so much happiness over the past year or so. Your recipes are still wonderful, even if the photos are dark or blurry.

    The next time you publish a book, you should be sure to request a production sample or see it as a press check before the book ever goes to full production. This will avoid such a major surprise when you see the final product. Anyhoo, best of luck and keep on truckin’! Your book is amazing!

  41. There are ALWAYS going to be people who criticize, regardless of how you feel about your work (or in this case, not your work, but work you are associated with). It’s hard not to carry the negative comments with you, but seriously, the people who appreciate a good paleo recipe are going to appreciate your book. Period. 🙂 I know you post many links to other great paleo sites, but yours is my favorite. 🙂

  42. People will find fault in everything! Don’t let it get to you – the content (recipes and writing style) is what matters and you did a GREAT job! The book is amazing and something to be proud of!

  43. I feel for you and understand the disappointment you must feel. This was your first baby and you wanted it to be awesome… and it IS, but it’s not exactly what you envisioned. Lessons learned, as you said. Just know that those who truly support you can look past the early stumbles – we’re here for the long haul.

  44. You remind me so much of my daughter – both 25, dark haired, witty, brilliant beauties! With sometimes very colorful language. I love your blog, and love your cookbook more. To say it is changing our lives and contributing to saving my husband’s life is not an exaggeration. Seriously. I’d give you a big hug if I could. Instead, I’ll give my daughter an extra hug, keep reading and cooking from your exceptionally awesome book, roll my eyes at her language, and laugh a lot. Thank you! : )

  45. I don’t have your cookbook yet, but I have to say – every single recipe I’ve cooked from your blog has been dynamite. Not good, not pretty good, but just amazing. I love your recipes, and I can’t wait to try out your cookbook’s.

  46. Juli I’m so sorry to hear that you are disappointed in your FIRST (because we all know there will be more to come) cookbook. I was really excited to hear you had published one but I hadn’t gotten the chance to order it yet. I just saw the reviews on Amazon, and it kills me how cruel people are. You’re a freaking inspiration to me as a fellow food blogger and extremely popular in the paleo community. You’re way ahead of the game even if you still think your’e learning the ropes. I’m not ’embarrassed’ for you at all. You go girl :]

  47. Hey Juli! I actually did run across a couple of disappointed comments on blogs here or there which made me do a little more research before I purchased your book, but when I looked at ALL the reviews on Amazon, it seemed that THE MAJORITY are really positive – and unless you paid your friends to make them, I’m happy to say that they swayed me towards going ahead and getting the book. That, and the fact that I have really loved your blog and the recipes I’ve tried, I am glad I decided to order it! Hasn’t come yet, but I’m looking forward to it – and if it isn’t the uber sleek and shiny coffee table version – who cares? For one, it makes it more affordable (I’ve spent upwards of $50 for some of those beauties and they still get stained with spaghetti sauce and red wine, too!), and for two, that aspect of the book I would never blame on the author….clearly that’s the publisher’s domain. What would make me mad/sad/and otherwise rant-y would be that it might prevent some people from purchasing it. As soon as I get it and read through it, I’ll be sure to leave a review on Amazon! Feel free to pay me in chocolate….:)

    1. IT ARRIVED TODAY! Holy Balls !!!! It’s great….I can’t believe you’re disappointed in it or that people complained….your recipes, your sense of humor, your layout – well…I’m still curled up on the couch pouring through it….but I gotta go watch The Voice now! Just wanted to say GREAT cookbook!

  48. Two things- 1. I cannot wait to make this!! And 2. I love your cookbook!! You are simply amazing and inspiring!!

  49. Well, life happened. But everyone still loves you. And your book and your blog. And you are still fabulous you. I am going to buy your book right now and will be proud to have your first step. I admire you for putting yourself out there – you are learning to take criticism, sometimes from some very unhappy people. You are perfect as you are – right now, because it couldn’t be any other way and you couldn’t be any other person. Hugs.

  50. Hi. I’m new to your website and first have to say…YOU’RE 25? Holy crap! You’re so talented. This recipe looks fantastic. I don’t have an ice cream maker. What can I do instead? Freeze it? I want to have this in my mouth…LOL. Please reply. Sincerely, Suzie

  51. Looking at my kindle fire version right now…I wanna lick the pages! I’ll be meal planning at least the next 10 days with this cookbook.

    I am seriously proud of you and hope that one day I actually get to meet you & have you kick my ass in a WOD 🙂

  52. It is your FIRST cookbook… how many can even say they have a stinkin’ cookbook!!?? It is amazing… just as you are! I love you! Hope to see you soon! xo

  53. Hi Juli,

    Do you have a list somewhere of the brands you use? New to Paleo and trying to figure out what is what! Is there a coconut milk that doesn’t taste strongly of coconut? I don’t know if it is me or what but the milk just seems to overpower everything else in anything I make. Thanks.

  54. Hi Juli,

    Recently asked about the list of brands you used but gave my old e-mail instead of my new. Sorry.

  55. Hi Juli – I have a fructose intolerance. In many places where you use coconut milk, do you think I could subsitute unsweetened almond milk? Also, honey and maple syrup must be pretty moderated – if necessary could stevia or an artificial sweetner be used?

  56. Holy shit, girl. I made this dessert for my kids tonight and used your pumpkin swirl brownie recipe for it, and oh. snap. We’ll be doing this again.

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