Quick And Easy Mixed Berry Trifle
This berry trifle is and easy to make no bake dessert bursting with berries and layered with a light and airy lemon curd cream and sweet tsoureki bread (challah/brioche). Fruit trifle always makes me think of warm weather. Not that eating it should be limited to when it’s warm out, but the majority of trifles I have made and enjoyed have mostly been in the spring or summer at bbqs and picnics. They are great for June, July and August when fresh berries - local berries are at their peek here and when it’s the warmest time of year making it the perfect delicious, light dessert served cold. This recipe can get thrown together in no time and is beautiful and delicious and perfect for entertaining and for taking to a gathering. It’s always a hit and so versatile. Enjoy!
What is trifle made of?
Your typical layered trifle consists of some form of crumbled or cubed CAKE whether it’s pound cake, angle food cake or even lady gingers that are slightly soaked with a liquid usually made from citrus juice or even a liqueur and there’s usually some sort of fresh FRUIT layer or even a jam jelly or preserves layer involved that helps with the soaking as well. A trifle also includes a CUSTARD or CREAM layer or a pudding layer made with vanilla pudding, egg custard, gelatin, cream cheese, instant pudding or some other flavoured pudding or custard and some whipped cream made from scratch with heavy whipping cream on the top or even cool whip in some recipes.
What fruit is in trifle?
The flavours can vary widely within the flavours of the cake, pudding and fruit. This particular trifle recipe has one of my favourite flavour combos for the summer when all the fresh berries are in season. This is such a great recipe for all year round though and can be made with a variety of fruit. The lemon curd and cream combo goes well with just about any fruit combo - mango, peach, nectarines, kiwi, pineapple, cherries and chocolate, mandarin oranges or any citrus fruit, grapes and the list goes on. Basically your options are endless - the key is to use your favorite fruits.
What will you need for this fruit trifle
When it comes to my taste and preference in a trifle, I love a light one with plenty of fruit and a light lemon cream instead of a custard. I find the custard makes the dessert richer. This one is a lighter version perfect for the summer - one made with brioche as the cake portion and a simple lemon curd cream. That also keeps this trifle simple, streamlined, light and oh so delicious. Here is what you will need (full list in recipe below):
- Fruit: I used fresh berries here but any sliced fruit will work
- Cake: I used leftover sweet bread or sweet brioche bread in this recipe for the cake portion but you can easily use store-bought or homemade pound cake or angel food cake - I have even used my lemon poppy seed loaf and my lemon blueberry loaf as the cake portion. You can also use lady fingers too for each layer.
- Lemon Curd: Use store bought or homemade for the lemon cream
- Heavy whipping cream: to make whipped cream for the lemon cream
Tips For Making The Best Mixed Berry Trifle:
- Cut your cake, tsoureki or fingers into equal sized squares to make it easy to create even layers in your trifle
- Carefully spoon and smooth your layers of pudding and whipped cream with an offset spatula to give your trifle a gorgeous finished look - it can get messy so take your time
- I recommend making your whipped cream from scratch. It only takes a few minutes to make and tastes so much better than store bought whipped cream.
- Use whatever berries or fruit are in season and accessible!
Trifle Make Ahead & Storage
Can trifle be made in advance? You can absolutely make trifle the day before. In fact, it is best after the flavors have time to marry. We recommend serving anytime between 4 and 24 hours after the trifle is made. However, for the best presentation, hold off on garnishing the top layer with berries and other garnishes until just before serving. Leftover trifle can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days if tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. After that the whipped cream and fruit will start to spoil.
If you liked this berry trifle (no bake dessert), you will love these:
- 4 pints or approx 8 cups of mixed berries (Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- 1 orange, juiced and zested (lemon juice and lemon zest alternatively for more tartness)
- ¼ cup honey (maple syrup or sugar alternatively)
- 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 cups whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- one (11-ounce) jar lemon curd or homemade lemon curd (I use my homemade lemon curd recipe)
- 1 homemade or store-bought tsoureki, sweet bread or brioche, (approx 10-12 ounce loaf) sliced in ½-inch thick cubes (store bought pound cake alternatively)
- Extra berries
- Fresh Herbs
- Lemon zest
- Slivered almonds or chopped nuts
- Combine the berries, honey, cornstarch and orange juice and zest in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring it up to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and release their juices, about 3 minutes. Take the berries off the heat and allow to cool; the mixture will thicken up a little as is cools.
- In the meantime whip the cream with the vanilla to soft peaks in a large clean bowl with a hand mixer.
- Place the lemon curd into a second large bowl and stir in approximately ½ cup of the whipped cream to lighten it up and then fold in the rest of the cream. It’s ok if some thin streaks of lemon curd remain.
- To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the lemon cream into a large clear glass bowl or glass trifle dish. Add a layer of pound cake. Then soak the cake with a layer of fruit and berries and their juices. Keep layering to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream and garnish with fresh berries.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, between 4 and 24 hours.
- Leftover trifle can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days if tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. After that the whipped cream and fruit will start to spoil.
- How to store trifle? The best way to store trifle is in the fridge. Cover the trifle bowl with a layer of plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. The trifle will keep well for 2 to 3 days. It won’t be at its best after the first day though - just keep that in mind - you may find some spots where the bread/cake is soaked and soggy.
- How far in advance can I make trifle? Do not assemble your trifle too far in advance as the soft cream will blend into the sponge cake and could make it too soggy. An 1-4 hours and up to 24 hours in the fridge is ideal.
- Using Different Sized Trifle Dishes. The measurements and quantities of this fruit trifle are based on a trifle dish that is 8 to 9 inches in diameter. The amount of ingredients you need can vary based on the size of your trifle dish. Please adjust as needed and accordingly.
Adapted from The Food Network