Classic Berry Trifle

Classic Berry Trifle

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Set time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
290 Calories
18g Fat
21g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 290
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 123mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 18mg 92%
Calcium 109mg 8%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 211mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When it is time to party, whether it is July 4th or not, the perfect dessert has to be a berry trifle. They taste so good, are quick and easy to make, and are breathtakingly beautiful to look at. What's not to like?

This classic berry trifle recipe takes its patriotic theme from the red, white, and blue, created by the clever use of strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream. But there is more to this dish than meets the eye. Hidden inside, behind a thick layer of cake set with jello, is a thick layer of custard sauce. Already in love with this dessert? Just wait; it gets better? The trifle can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept chilled in the refrigerator, making your celebrations even easier. Now that's something to celebrate.

The trifle can be made in one large glass dish or, if you prefer, into individual glasses. For ease, this recipe is for a large bowl but merely divide the mixture evenly between the glasses for an individual serving. 


  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1 (4-ounce) package strawberry gelatin

  • 6 ounces pound cake, cut into 1/2-inch slices

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

  • 2 cups store-bought canned or homemade custard

  • 2 cups whipped cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Berry Trifle ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Add 1 cup boiling water to gelatin and stir until dissolved. Let cool for 30 minutes.

    gelatin and water in a measuring cup

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Line bottom and sides of trifle dish with cake slices. Pour in cooled gelatin. This will soak into cake and leave a deep pool in the bottom. Let set in refrigerator for 2 hours.

    bottom and sides of trifle dish lined with cake slices with gelatin mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Slice strawberries into thick, 1/4-inch slices (keep a few if you want to use on top of trifle). Decorate inside of bowl with strawberry slices by sitting slices pointing upwards on cake in 2 layers, one slightly in front of the other.

    strawberries on top of the cake slices in a trifle dish

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Once gelatin sets, spoon custard into trifle bowl, making sure it does not go above line of strawberries.

    custard in the trifle dish with the strawberries and cake

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Cover custard layer with a thick, fluffy layer of whipped cream. You can either pipe this on with a piping bag or by using a spoon.

    whipped cream over the custard in the trifle dish

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Finally, for blue layer, use blueberries either in a ring around dish or spread randomly over surface. Decorate with strawberries.

    Classic Berry Trifle topped with berries

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • For a very grown-up trifle, you can splash the cake slices in the bowl with a little sherry or your favorite liqueur. Just make sure if this is the case, you don't serve it to children. 
  • Gelatin is not a taste or texture for everyone, and it is OK to leave this out if you wish. The cake will soak up some of the juice from the strawberries sitting on top. 

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