Mucosally-administered vaccine strategies are widely investigated as a promising means of preventing HIV infection. This study describes the development of liposomal gel formulations, and novel lyophilised variants, comprising HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein, CN54gp140, encapsulated within neutral, positively charged or negatively charged liposomes. The CN54gp140 liposomes were evaluated for mean vesicle diameter, polydispersity, morphology, zeta potential and antigen encapsulation efficiency before being incorporated into hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) aqueous gel and subsequently lyophilised to produce a rod-shaped solid dosage form for practical vaginal application. The lyophilised liposome–HEC rods were evaluated for moisture content and redispersibility in simulated vaginal fluid. Since these rods are designed to revert to gel form following intravaginal application, mucoadhesive, mechanical (compressibility and hardness) and rheological properties of the reformed gels were evaluated. The liposomes exhibited good encapsulation efficiency and the gels demonstrated suitable mucoadhesive strength. The freezedried liposome–HEC formulations represent a novel formulation strategy that could offer potential as stable and practical dosage form.