Artfully layered, sliced ripe strawberries, cubed angel food cake, and creamy whipped vanilla pudding make this strawberry trifle a dessert to be remembered.
Why you’ll love it: This trifle is easy, surprisingly light, and stunningly beautiful.
How long it takes: 15 minutes plus 2 hours to chill
Equipment you’ll need: trifle bowl, mixing bowl, electric mixer, measuring utensils
With its beautiful layers and bright red strawberries, a strawberry trifle looks like a work of art. Maybe you could call it a work of art although that would imply that it takes a lot of effort to create.
This trifle definitely does not take a ton of effort. It’s basically strawberry shortcake in a fancy bowl.
Once fresh strawberries hit the market, I start thinking about this trifle. It’s one of my sister’s favorites so we often make it for her birthday. It kind of looks like a fancy layer cake in a bowl so we stick a few candles in it and sing Happy Birthday!
Strawberries are so lovely but a trifle can made with other summer berries, like raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. I love peach desserts in the summer like this peach crumble, and sliced peaches are fantastic in this trifle, too. Try combining fruits for your own stunning creation. Blueberries and strawberries make a stunning patriotic dessert. Try using bananas and banana pudding for a banana twist!
About this layered dessert
The three simple building blocks of this dessert are:
- angel food cake
- whipped cream + pudding
What makes it look so stunning is:
- seven easy layers
- a clear glass trifle bowl that displays all seven layers so artfully.
I’ll run you through the basics in the next few paragraphs, but as always, the full printable recipe can be found at the bottom of the post.
What you need
- Angel Food Cake: Bake your own from scratch, use a mix, or buy an angel food cake already made from the grocery store. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose.
- Strawberries: Red ripe strawberries add so much beauty and flavor to the trifle. Slice the strawberries thinly.
- Whipped Cream, Instant Vanilla Pudding, Milk, and Plain Yogurt: The homemade whipped cream is stabilized by the pudding mix so that this trifle can be made ahead.
- Orange Zest: Finely grated orange zest is stirred into the creamy whipped pudding mixture to add citrusy flavor. Lemon or lime zest is good, too.
- Trifle Bowl: A clear glass large straight-sided bowl is indispensable to display this beautifully layered dessert. A regular bowl won’t have the same “Wow!” effect but, you know what, the dessert will taste (and look) the same once it’s scooped out — absolutely delicious!
How to put a trifle together
First off, cube your cake. Cut it into one inch squares. Some people like a more rustic look so they tear the cake into pieces. That’s fine, too.
Next, prepare the strawberries. Rinse them off and hull them (remove the green cap). Slice them thinly, about 1/8 inch thick, from top to bottom.
For the next part, you’ll need a couple of large bowls and your mixer. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
In the other bowl, blend together milk, yogurt, and instant vanilla pudding mix.
Gently fold in the whipped cream and grated orange zest.
Make sure you gently fold in the whipped cream! If you stir, stir, stir, the whipped cream will deflate and the mixture will be soupy instead of fluffy.
Time to layer! Start with half the angel food cake, then a third of the strawberries, then half the whipped cream/pudding mixture.
Repeat all three layers, and decorate the top with the remaining strawberries. You’re done! How beautiful is that!
Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. The trifle is best if you give it a couple of hours in the fridge.
Remember, presentation is everything with a trifle. Set the bowl in the middle of the table and let everyone ooh and ahh.
Once that moment has passed, stick a big spoon into the trifle and give everyone a plate and a spoon. Dig in!
This dessert has its origins in England. A trifle usually consists of sponge cake drizzled or soaked with wine, brandy, or rum, preserves, fruit, whipped cream, or custard. Most are layered in a tall sided glass bowl.
There are many recipes for trifle. Martha Stewart has twelve holiday trifle recipes!
Cake, fruit or preserves, custard or whipped cream are the classic layers in a trifle.
A trifle made with custard or pudding can be made up to twenty-four hours in advance but needs to be stored in the fridge.
How to make this trifle your own
- For a mixed berry trifle, combine raspberries, blueberries, black raspberries, and strawberries. Use all four or any combination of berries you like. Sliced peaches are great, too.
- Add sliced bananas to make a strawberry banana trifle.
- If you’d like to make your trifle with cream cheese, use the whipped cream and cream cheese filling from these No Bake Lemon Berry Cheesecakes. The creamy layer in the cheesecakes works perfectly in a trifle.
- Prefer custard? Try this simple custard from All Recipes, or my vanilla pudding.
- Instead of angel food cake, try brownies. These Raspberry & Brownie Mini Trifles are amazing.
Make Ahead Ideas
To get a head start on making this dessert, make your angel food cake up to a day in advance (if you’re making your own). Cut the cake into cubes and place in a covered bowl or plastic bag.
You can assemble the entire trifle in the morning, cover it tightly and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve it.
Leftover trifle will keep in the fridge for up to twenty-four hours. It may deflate a bit, and the juice from the strawberries will run a little, but will still taste good.
More creamy dessert recipes
Creamy, dreamy, yummy! Aren’t those desserts the best kind? Try:
- Pink Lemonade No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes
- Chocolate Pudding Pie Recipe
- Pumpkin Poke Cake (with real pumpkin, not canned)
- Easy Crème Brûlée for Two (Slow Cooker!)
- Easy Grapefruit Cheesecake Bars with Mint
- Fruit Salad Parfaits with Shortbread Cookie Crumble
- Mini Fruit Tarts – EASY!
- Irish Coffee Ice Cream Pie with Whiskey Ganache
- Yogurt Tart with Oat Crust
- Cappuccino Mousse Cups
- 1 cup cold 2% milk
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 cups (16 oz) heavy cream, chilled
- 8 cups cubed (1-inch cubes) angel food cake
- 4 cups sliced strawberries (about 1 pound)
- In a large mixing bowl, beat heavy cream with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) at medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat milk, yogurt, and pudding mix, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in orange peel and whipped cream until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Place half the angel food cake cubes in 3 quart trifle bowl. Arrange one third of the strawberries around sides of bowl and over cake. Spoon half of pudding mixture over strawberries.
- Repeat layers once, and top with remaining berries.
- For best taste and texture, refrigerate two hours before serving.
- Other fruits to consider for your trifle: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas. Try a combination of fruits.
- Top trifle with toasted sliced almonds, if desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.