Strawberry Trifle

strawberry trifle with pound cake and pudding
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Stand & Chill: 95 mins
Total: 116 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 trifle
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
314 Calories
12g Fat
50g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 314
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 350mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 40g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 45mg 223%
Calcium 106mg 8%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 262mg 6%
*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.)

We can thank the English for the trifle, an exquisite, versatile, and delicious layered dessert. The first known mention of a trifle was in Thomas Dawson's cookbook, "The Good Huswifes Jewell" [sic], published in 1585. His trifle was a simple sweetened rosewater and ginger cream concoction. Over the years, trifles have evolved from Dawson's cream and later fruit fools to the infinitely adaptable layered dessert we adore today.

You don't have to be an experienced cook to make this versatile strawberry trifle—it can be as simple or as complex as you like. Use store-bought cake, pudding, and thawed frozen whipped topping—or make everything from scratch with a homemade angel food cake or pound cake, 3 cups of freshly whipped cream, and 3 cups of homemade vanilla pudding. To change it up a bit, add a cup or two of blueberries or blackberries to the strawberries, or give the trifle some crunch with a few layers of granola or chopped nuts.

A glass trifle bowl with a pedestal is ideal for showing off all of the layers, but a 3-quart glass bowl or punch bowl will also work. Or you might choose to layer the trifle ingredients in single-serve glass dessert bowls.

A trifle is perfect for a special occasion or event. Take your trifle along to a summer potluck or barbecue, a birthday or Mother's day celebration, or a shower.


  • 2 pounds strawberries (6 to 8 cups sliced)

  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 5 1/10 ounces vanilla pudding mix (6-serving size)

  • 3 cups cold milk

  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping

  • 1 pound cubed pound cake (about 6 cups)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for easy strawberry trifle
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Rinse and hull strawberries and slice thinly. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the berries and toss gently. Let strawberries and sugar stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

    sugar on straweberries
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine vanilla pudding and cold milk; whisk for 2 minutes and let stand for about 5 minutes.

    instant pudding preparation
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Gently fold whipped topping into pudding until well blended.

    folding the whipped topping into the pudding mixture
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Strain juices from strawberries into a small bowl or cup; set aside.

    sweetened strawberries drained

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  6. Layer about one-third of the cake cubes in the bottom of a 3-quart glass bowl. Spread about one-third of the pudding mixture over layer of cake cubes. Arrange about half of the sliced sweetened strawberries over pudding layer. Repeat layers once, ending with remaining strawberries. Arrange remaining cake cubes over strawberry layer and drizzle with reserved strawberry juices. Top with remaining pudding mixture.

    trifle preparation
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

    easiest layered strawberry trifle with pound cake
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

How to Store

  • Cover leftover trifle and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Keep the trifle cold for serving—it should never be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the ambient temperature is 90 F or above.
  • Make the trifle up to one day in advance or prepare the cake and custard a day or two before assembling and serving the trifle.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of pound cake, make the trifle with cubed angel food or sponge cake.
  • Spread slices of cake with a thin layer of strawberry jam before cutting them into cubes.
  • Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of an orange liqueur to the strawberries and sugar, such as Cointreau, Triple Sec, or Grand Marnier.
  • Add a cup or two of mixed berries, blueberries, or blackberries to the strawberries.
  • Swap out the strawberries with peeled, thinly sliced fresh peaches or mangoes.
  • Add a few tablespoons of granola or chopped nuts to each cubed cake layer.
  • Garnish the trifle with extra strawberries, a few mint leaves, blanched almonds, or crumbled cake.
  • Instead of vanilla pudding or custard, layer the trifle with lemon pudding.
  • For a vegan trifle, use coconut whipped cream, vegan vanilla pudding, and vegan yellow cake.

Should a Trifle Have Jelly?

Jelly, or flavored gelatin, is often included in a traditional English trifle, but it is not essential.

Recipe Tags:

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cooking the classics: english trifle.