Strawberry Trifle – delicious and stunningly beautiful strawberry dessert of layers of vanilla cake, homemade custard, fresh strawberries, strawberry glazed and whipped cream. Elegant and easiest no-bake dessert that’s perfect for any occasion!
I camped out at a farmer’s market last weekend and bought a couple of summer fresh produce to officially welcome the summer season. And I couldn’t be any happier with that I got. As a result, I bought boatloads of sweet corn, cucumber, avocados, cherries and berries, to name a few. I’m a happy camper!
So to begin with, let me share to you the easiest no-bake dessert you could think of – Strawberry Trifle. A delicious layered no-bake dessert served in an elegant trifle bowl with layers upon layers of comforting goodness.
What is a Trifle?
Trifle is an English classic dessert that has been around for more than four centuries. This luscious and decadent no-bake dessert usually features a sponge soaked in sherry or madeira wine (for adults) layered along with fruits and custard then sometimes topped with a whipped cream. Adding fruit-flavored jelly into the layers also makes it pleasing for the kids.
It is said that trifles have come to evolve from a similar dessert known as fool (check out my Raspberry Fool and Mango Fool) and were then used interchangeably. Aside from trifle bowls, trifles are occasionally served in individual glasses, too.
How To Make The Traditional Trifle?
Before we get into my version of strawberry trifle, let’s touch base a bit on how British people traditionally make their trifles back home.
- First, line the glasses or bowl with cake slices or trifle sponges and soak it then with a bit of sherry (omit this if serving to kids).
- Lay the sliced fresh strawberries on top of the cake slices and press lightly with fork to squeeze out a bit if its juice.
- Next, pour over into the glass or bowl the liquid jelly, which refers to Jello in British term, and place it in the fridge to allow the jelly to set to.
- Once the jelly is beautifully set, pour over your homemade or store-bought custard in a thick layer. Repeat the layering before you top it all with a thick layer of whipped cream and fresh slices of strawberry for visual presentation.
What are the Ingredients of a Strawberry Trifle?
Now that you have an idea on how the traditional trifles are made, let’s dive right in to my version of strawberry trifle which is as decadent as the one above.
Cake. What’s actually great with trifles is that you can use even leftover sponge cakes, pound cakes cookies and even brownies instead of angel food cake. In light with that, I have made this recipe using leftovers from my homemade Vanilla Cake and also with the store-bought cake and they both taste amazing. So it won’t really matter whichever you use as the cake soaked up all the flavors from the layered fruit and custard.
Strawberries. I use fresh strawberries for this trifle, but you can actually also use thawed frozen berries, too. Moreover, if you think you’ll be short on fresh strawberries, just go ahead and spoon some strawberry preserves (see how it differs from jam and jelly). I wouldn’t highly recommend for you to use jam or jelly to replace the fresh strawberries. Obviously, there’s nothing quite as lovely as biting into those slices of strawberries between those layers.
Homemade Vanilla Custard. You won’t regret taking the extra time to making this vanilla custard from scratch – it just taste sooo good! Just make sure you don’t leave the custard unattended as boils quickly and you need to be stirring at it until it thickens to avoid lumps. When it’s slightly cooled, it should be like soft whipped cream where we can easily spoon it over the trifle and spread easily. Simply beat it with an egg beater if it cools too much and sets.
Heavy Whipping Cream. In the U.S., heavy cream is the same as heavy whipping cream as both contains at least 36% fat while whipping cream/light whipping cream is between 30-36%. Please take note that the heavier the cream, the better it will whip. In our case here, you can just whip up the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks so you can use it to easily top on desserts.
Can I Substitute Strawberries?
Yes, you sure can. You may either use any of the these: cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, banana, pumpkin, pineapples and more. You can perhaps any two mentioned fruits. The possibilities is limitless.
What Can I Use Instead of Vanilla Cake?
Aside from vanilla cake, you may replace it with any sponge cake, pound cake or angel food cake. Some even went as far as pancakes and even brownies, too. That’s the beauty of this dessert – a scrappy yet delightful treat!
Can Trifle Be Made the Day Before?
Yes, you sure can. Whether you’re catering to a large group or just want to make things in advance, this strawberry trifle is ideal! Just assemble the layers then refrigerate. For leftover trifle, loosely cove and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Take note, that the cake will still be edible but soggy as it soak up the custard.
Can Trifle Be Frozen?
I haven’t tried freezing a trifle, but it sure looks not ideal for freezing with the presence of cream in this dessert.
More Strawberry Recipes
How To Make Strawberry Trifle
Add dry ingredients to a saucepan: cornstarch, sugar and salt. Mix to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks. Gently whisk the wet ingredients into the saucepan making sure there are no lumps, until sugar has dissolved.
Place sauce pan, on the stove at medium high heat – keep stirring constantly until it starts to bubble. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, until mixture has thickened. Stir in the butter and vanilla until thoroughly mixed. Turn off the heat. Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent the surface from drying up and forming lumps. Allow it to come to room temperature, refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut vanilla food cake into small, bite sized cube pieces.
Layer half of the cake in the bottom of a trifle dish or large bowl. Generously top with the vanilla custard mixture, followed by sliced strawberries. Top strawberries with strawberry glaze, if using. Repeat the layering process.Garnish the top with fresh strawberries and whipping cream. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- ⅓ cup (42.6 g) cornstarch
- ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon (1.3 g) salt
- 3 cups (720 ml) whole milk
- ¾ cup (180 g) heavy cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
- 2 ½ - 3 pounds (1.1 - 1.3 kl) homemade or store bought vanilla cake
- 4-5 cups (576- 720 g) fresh strawberry , sliced length wise
- strawberry glaze (optional)
- 2 cups (476 g) heavy whipping cream
- Add dry ingredients to a saucepan: cornstarch, sugar and salt . Mix to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks.
- Gently whisk the wet ingredients into the saucepan making sure there are no lumps, until sugar has dissolved.
- Place sauce pan, on the stove at medium high heat – keep stirring constantly until it starts to bubble. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, until mixture has thickened.
- Stir in the butter and vanilla until thoroughly mixed. Turn off the heat.
- Cover the surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent the surface from drying up and forming lumps. Allow it to come to room temperature, refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cut vanilla food cake into small, bite sized cube pieces.
- Layer half of the cake in the bottom of a trifle dish or large bowl. Generously top with the vanilla custard mixture, followed by sliced strawberries. Top strawberries with strawberry glaze, if using, and repeat the layering process.
- Garnish the top with fresh strawberries and whipping cream. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Tips & Notes:
- Don’t leave the cream filling mixture on the stove unattended. It’ll start to boil quickly and you need to be constantly stirring until it thickens else it will have some lumps.
- Vanilla custard can be replaced with cream cheese and whipping cream custard. Just whisked together 1 cup of whole milk, 1 cup of sour cream and 4 oz cream cheese. When thick, fold in 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.