Classic Berry Trifle

Patriotic Trifle
Elaine Lemm
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Set time: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings

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!


  • 1 cup water (boiling)
  • 1 (4-ounce) package of strawberry gelatin
  • 6 ounces pound cake (cut into 1/2-inch slices)
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups homemade custard (can use canned instead)
  • 2 cups whipping cream (softly whipped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

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

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

  6. Cover the custard layer with a thick fluffy layer of whipped cream. You can either pipe this on with a piping bag or use a spoon the fluff up the creak using a fork.

  7. Finally, for the blue layer, use the blueberries either in a ring around the dish or spread randomly over the surface. Decorate with strawberries if you want extra wow factor.

  8. 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. 


  • 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 okay 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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