Wednesday, July 15, 2015

English Trifle

My first date with my husband was inner tubing in the snow at Mt. Rainier in Washington State on New Year’s Day. Each of us brought sandwiches, but my future English mother-in-law insisted he share the family’s holiday Trifle with me for dessert. And I’d like to share my version of that recipe with you!

English Trifle

Layers of cake cubes, fresh or frozen fruit, pudding or custard topped with whipped cream and garnished with chocolate sprinkles, sliced almonds or fresh fruit makes a lovely dessert. It may be served in a clear glass trifle pedestal bowl or individually in teacups. The ingredients listed can be mixed & matched to suit your taste and fill a trifle bowl, feeding a large crowd.

Working from the bottom to the top of the trifle bowl, place the layers as follows:

1.     Sponge Cake (Approximately 1½ 9” round cake layers, cubed. The recipe I use is from Special Teas, by M. Dalton King. Or you can use ladyfingers, pound cake, angel food cake, or 2 pkg. of shortcake cups. Cube the cake and divide this amount between the three layers in this recipe.)
2.     Peaches (Use fresh or 1 15 oz. can, drained. Or use another fruit or jam of your choice.)
3.     Custard or Pudding (2 cups for each layer - I use Birds Custard, an English brand)
4.     Sponge Cake
5.     Raspberries (fresh or 1 12 oz. pkg. frozen, thawed. Or another berry or jam of your choice.)
6.     Custard or Pudding (2 cups)
7.     Sponge Cake
8.     Whipped Cream (1 pint heavy whipped cream, sweetened. Do not use spray whipped cream, it deflates. Beat the whipped cream for 2 minutes with clean, cold beaters and bowl. Add sugar to taste, approximately 2 tbsp.)
9.     Garnish (Fresh fruit, fruit syrup, chocolate sprinkles, or sliced almonds – top immediately before serving to avoid dissolving into the whipped cream)

I like to think of English desserts as one of the “royal dainties” mentioned in Genesis 49:20. LOL! If you've made Trifle or have suggestions for other variations, please share them with us.




  1. Trifle is a favourite dessert in our family. We soak the sponge cake with a splash of port wine. The only fruit we use are bananas. No cream - that's just not done. We add in port wine jelly, set VERY firmly and cut into cubes. Custard of course.

  2. Mary, that's very interesting that no cream is used in your family recipe. My husband's folks used rum or sherry on occasion, but I've not heard of using port wine. Bananas would be good! Some choose fruit cocktail, but I prefer fresh fruit. And it wouldn't be trifle without sponge cake and custard. Thanks for your suggestions!

  3. I love dessert. This would be so good with a dark roast coffee. I suppose the English would rather have tea with it. :) Deb, do you live in Washington? I grew up in the Puyallup Valley in a little town called Orting. The town is well-known for it's detailed evacuation plan if Mt. Rainier was ever to erupt. It sits smack dab in the middle of a valley that would be wiped out by an eruption. Hopefully that will never happen.

    Terrill Rosado

  4. Terrill, I think my husband would agree with you regarding coffee, even though he was born in England. So you're in good company! Yes, I'm a native Washingtonian, now living in NW WA. My family rode around Mt. Rainier when I was growing up, so I'm thinking we must have visited Orting. Small world, but hopefully never a smaller Mt. Rainier!

  5. What a delicious treat you've shared. I enjoyed your post today & now... I need a treat ;)