Homemade Classic Trifle Desserts

Classic trifles are maybe the most underrated desserts; with delicious layers of cake, custard, and fruits, a classic trifle doesn’t only look good but also serves the taste buds with a heavenly sweet taste. Classic trifle recipes usually consist of creamy pudding, cake, berries, and several other colorful ingredients. 

Trifles are so easy to make that you will want to make them every day. What could be better than a dessert that doesn’t need too much work and can feed crowds? Following are some easy classic trifle recipes that you can make easily: 

Recipe # 1: Classic Trifle by Jessica Holmes 

Source: Sweetestmenu 


  • Sponge roll cake (plain) – you can get it from your local superstore
  • Cranberry juice – for soaking the cake
  • A handful of strawberries
  • A handful of blueberries 
  • A handful of raspberries
  • Some cherries
  • Jelly – 1 packet prepared (any flavor)
  • Custard


First, prepare jelly at least a few hours before you start making the trifle, and place it in the refrigerator for the time being. For the cake, soak it in the cranberry juice (you can use other fruit juices too if you don’t like cranberry juice). Take the bowl in which you want to assemble the trifle; cut the roll cake in slices and place them at the base of the bowl. 

Cut the strawberries in half, and clean the blueberries and raspberries. Berries go above the cake; you can use as many berries as you want, but try not to overuse them. Now comes the jelly you prepared beforehand; cut it into cubes (you can increase the amount of jelly if needed), and add jelly cubes to the bowl. 

Lastly, it’s time for the custard. You can either make the custard at home using custard powder or use store-bought custard. Now, repeat all the layers, top it with some whipped cream and cherries. Let the trifle rest for a few hours so the flavor of all the ingredients can soak together. 

Note: You can make the trifle a day before it’s needed for better taste

Recipe # 2: Christmas Classic Trifle 

Source: BBC Goodfood


  • Frozen summer berries and fruits – 750 g (raspberries, strawberries, black and red currants)
  • Leaf gelatin – 9 sheets
  • Caster sugar – 250g
  • Milk – 1.2 liter
  • Custard powder – 75g
  • Madeira cakes – 2
  • Sherry or cassis – 4 tbsp. 
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp. 
  • Icing sugar – 2 tbsp. 
  • Double cream – 300 to 450ml
  • Amaretti biscuits – 2 (crushed)


Get a cooking pan, and add all the frozen berries along with caster sugar and 1 liter of water in it. Let the fruits simmer on a medium flame for two minutes. After two minutes, take out around 150 ml juice and 6 tbsp. of fruit from the pan, and let the rest of the fruits cook for five minutes. 

While the fruits are being cooked, soak the gelatin sheets in cold water to soften them. Use a hand blender to mash down the cooked fruits and strain the puree with a sieve in a large bowl. Make sure you take out all the pulp from the fruits. 

Now back to the gelatin – squeeze out all the water from it and add the fruit syrup you strained earlier in it. Mix the gelatin and syrup properly so that the gelatin is completely dissolved in the syrup. Let this mixture cool down and place it in the refrigerator until it sets. 

Make custard from the custard powder (you can also use store-bought custard for convenience). The custard should be very thick; to make it thick enough, use 1.2 liters of milk and 50g of caster sugar in it. Let the custard cool down, and cover the bowl with baking paper. 

Cut the Madeira cakes into cubes and set them in the trifle bowl. Soak the cake with the juice and fruits you took out of the pan earlier, and then with sherry and cassis. Now, add a thick layer of custard, and let it sit for a while. After the custard has settled down, add the cubed jelly over it. Let it chill until it sets properly. Lastly, garnish the trifle with double cream whipped with vanilla extract, icing sugar, and crushed amaretti biscuits. 

Recipe # 3: Easy No-bake Classic Trifle 

Source: Create Bake Make 


  • Fruit salad – 830 g 
  • Swiss roll – 400 g
  • Raspberry jelly – 2 (85g packs)
  • Sliced peaches – 400 g
  • Thickened cream – 600 ml
  • Sweetened condensed milk – 1 tin (395 g)
  • Vanilla custard – 500 ml
  • Almond flakes – 50 g


Prepare the jelly beforehand, according to the instructions on the box, and place it in the refrigerator to set. Now, drain the excess juice or water from the fruit salad and peaches, and set them aside. 

For the Swiss jam rolls, cut them into thin slices. Now add the cream and condensed milk to a large bowl; beat this mixture with a hand mixer until a frothy or soft peak is formed. Let it rest aside. 

Now take your trifle bowl, place the Swiss roll slices at the bottom, top it with a custard layer (use half of it). You can make custard yourself, or use store-bought custard too. After custard and fruit salad, peaches will make the next layer. Lastly, add the jelly (use half of it). Now repeat all the layers in the same order until the bowl is full. 

Garnish with the cream and condensed milk mixture you made. Let the trifle set in the refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight. Serve with flaked almonds sprinkled over it.  

Recipe # 4: Classic Fruit Trifle 

Source: Women’s Weekly Food 


  • Raspberry jelly – 85 g
  • Sponge cake – 250 g (cut into cubes)
  • Custard powder – ¼ cup
  • Sweet sherry – ¼ cup
  • Caster sugar – ¼ cup
  • Vanilla extract – ½ tsp
  • Milk – 1 ½ cup
  • Thickened cream – 2 ⅓ cups
  • Canned peaches – 825 g (drained)


Prepare jelly and leave it to set in the fridge for twenty minutes. Arrange the sliced cake pieces at the bottom of the trifle bowl, and soak it with sweet sherry. 

Now, mix the custard powder, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Keep stirring and cook until the mixture boils and thickens. Cover it with plastic wrap or butter paper, and let it cool. 

Now, pour the jelly over the cake you set in the trifle bowl earlier, and refrigerate it for 15 minutes. Add peaches for the next layer, and then cover it with custard (mix ⅓ of cream in the custard). 

Lastly, whip the remaining cream and pipe it over the custard, and leave the trifle in the refrigerator for at least three hours or overnight, if possible. Serve this trifle garnished with maraschino cherries. 

Recipe # 5: English Trifle Recipe with Custard, Raspberry Jam and Sherry

Source: Gennifer Rose

Ingredients:*Prior to starting this recipe, you will need to bake one 8” Round Layer of Baked Classic Yellow Cake and let it sit out overnight to become a bit dry to absorb all the liquid in the trifle. See recipe on Gennifer Rose.*Prior to starting this recipe, you need to make custard and have it cool overnight. See Gennifer Rose’s recipe.Ingredients for Trifle Layers:– One jar of raspberry jam. You can substitute strawberry or any other berry jam if desired.– One can of peaches in syrup, save the juice from the can.– One packet of regular lemon Jello.– Sherry (not cooking sherry). I use dessert sherry or cream sherry.Instructions to Building Your Trifle Layers:1. Slice the cake horizontally across through the middle. Place one half of cake in bottom of glass trifle bowl. Cut the remaining cake into slices to cover the sides of the bowl.2. Spread raspberry jam across all exposed surfaces of the cake. How much raspberry jam you put on is your decision. I like to put lots of jam and generally use about a whole jar of jam for one trifle.3. Open a can of peaches and save the liquid from the can. Place peach slices in a circular pattern layer over the cake and jam.4. Drizzle sherry over the cake. How much you add depends on your personal taste. My mom likes to use a lot, probably about 1/3 cup, but I’m guessing here for the total cake.5. Put the syrup from the peaches in a saucepan and add about 1/3 – ½ package of lemon Jello. Bring to boil. Once the syrup has boiled sprinkle/pour the syrup over the cake making sure you saturate the cake well. Put in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the Jello set.6. Once the Jello is set remove from refrigerator and pour custard over the cake. Place back in refrigerator until ready to serve.7. Topped with freshly whipped cream and fresh fruit. Cut and serve!


Tips for Perfect Trifle Layering

Tips for Perfect Trifle Layering

Following are some tips that could help you make your trifles better:

  • Use a deep and large bowl for assembling the trifle layers. A trifle bowl is highly recommended. 
  • Place the base layer carefully, as it is the first thing that can be seen in the bowl. 
  • It’s better to use sponge cake or Swiss rolls for the base as they don’t easily turn to mush under different layers. 
  • Homemade custard is better than store-bought custard, and you can use whipped cream instead of custard if you want something lighter. 
  • You can add caramel sauce, lemon butter, or fruit curd to the custard for a better taste. 


Trifles are a must for events like Christmas parties when family and friends gather around, and you have to feed a crowd. Classic trifles are incredibly delicious and mouthwatering; no matter how much you make, it will end in a matter of minutes unless your guests have diabetes. There are hundreds of ways to make classic trifles; you can create your own recipe by experimenting and taste switching some ingredients.