Classic Trifle made with fresh berries, sponge cake and custard. This oh-so-delicious no bake dessert easily serves a crowd and takes only minutes to make.
Classic Trifle 💕
Is it even Christmas without trifle? This is my tried and true recipe for a delicious summer berry trifle that’s made using store bought ingredients.
It comes together in just minutes making it perfect for easy entertaining.
Trifle. Have you had it before? Living here in Australia, Trifle is something of a staple, especially around the holidays. And always when you have a hungry crowd to feed.
It’s one of those no-fuss desserts that are really fun to throw together – and much easier than something like a Pavlova. And there are basically no rules! It’s supposed to be messy but oh-so-tasty, you’ll be reaching for seconds.
WHAT IS TRIFLE?
For those that may not have had trifle before, it’s basically a messy no bake dessert comprised of fruit, custard and cake. It’s typically considered an English dish, which makes sense as Australians love many classic British desserts, like Eton Mess and Banoffee Pie.
The type of fruits can vary – some use tinned peaches, others use fresh mangos – but I always use berries.
You can really customise trifle to your liking and to what you have available to you, but follow the basic thread – cake, soak, fruit, jelly, custard – repeat. The final touch? Clouds of whipped cream.
Ideally, your trifle will have time in the fridge to soak – overnight is perfect. All the flavours will meld together and the cake will soften. It tastes just how you would expect – sweet, creamy and altogether delightful.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT TRIFLE
My Classic Trifle starts with cake. I usually use small sponge rolls that I can buy at the supermarket – but you can use any kind of sponge cake, vanilla cake or madeira cake you like – cakes without any frosting are best.
To help the cake soak up all the flavours, it’s drizzled with cranberry juice. Again, if you prefer another liquid, like apple juice or a liquor, you can use that. But cranberry juice works really well with all the berry flavours that are going on in my Trifle recipe.
Next comes the fruit. Since Christmas is in summer here in Australia, berries are usually in season. My favourite combination is strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and even some cherries. You can use your favourite fruit, but using fresh fruit is best.
Then comes the jelly. I recommend making up a packet of jelly the day before, or at least a few hours before you assemble your trifle. I usually use a small pan, or cake tin, so the jelly is about 1 inch thick. Once it’s set, I cut it into 1 inch cubes. You can double the jelly in this recipe if you like. I use raspberry jelly.
Now it’s time for the custard. You can make your own custard from scratch or using custard powder, but it’s a simple dessert, so store bought custard works just fine. Buy a good quality one.
More cake, more berries, more jelly and more custard. Then top the trifle with any leftover fruit before piling high with whipped cream.
Always keep trifle refrigerated before serving – and remember it’s best time make trifle a day in advance or at least a few hours to let everything soak together.
CAN TRIFLE BE MADE THE DAY BEFORE?
Yes. Please do.
CAN TRIFLE BE FROZEN?
No, I wouldn’t recommend it.
HOW LONG WILL TRIFLE KEEP?
My trifle keeps well for 3-4 days. Always keep it refrigerated.
HOW MANY DOES THIS TRIFLE FEED?
It depends, but my guess is it would feed approximately 12-15 people.
Easy homemade Trifle made with fresh berries and custard.
- 1 x 85 gram packet of raspberry jelly
- 420 grams (approximately 6 cups) store bought sponge rolls*
- 4 tablespoons cranberry juice*
- 500 grams (approximately 4 cups) fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
- 480 ml (2 cups) store bought custard
- 360 ml (1 and 1/2 cup) whipped cream
- Make your raspberry jelly in advance according to the packet instructions. Pour jelly into a small rectangle or square baking tin, so it’s roughly 1 inch high. Leave it in the fridge to set.
- Begin by prepping your ingredients. Chop your strawberries in half and then combine with raspberries and blueberries. Roughly chop your sponge cake into 1/2 inch slices. And chop your jelly (once set) into 1 inch squares.
- To assemble, line the bottom of a 12-cup trifle bowl with half (approximately 3 cups) of your cake slices. Press slices up along the sides of the bowl (see photo below). Drizzle cake slices with 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice.
- Add one third (approximately 1 and 1/3 cups) of the fresh berries on top of the cake, along with half of the jelly squares. Then, pour over 1 cup of custard.
- Add another layer of cake using the remaining cake slices, drizzling over 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice. Then, add one third of the fresh fruit and the remaining jelly squares.
- Pour over another 1 cup of custard. Scatter the remaining fruit over the top. Cover the top with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours or even better, overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve, add whipped cream on top.
*You can use any plain store bought cake (that’s not frosted) like sponge cake, Swiss rolls, madeira cake etc.
*You can use apple juice or another sweet juice if you like.