Not a Trifle Dessert

by | Dec 28, 2009 | Dessert, Entertaining, Recipes

We have demonstrated the Raspberry Trifle that is in our cookbook at a few events (see recipe below). When prepared and served in a trifle bowl it makes a beautiful dessert, as well as a delicious one. The first time I made this dessert it was the night before we were to demo it at a book-signing event. It took my cousin Wendy and me over two hours to make it, which really concerned us because we had about 30 minutes to make it during our demo.  Since that day I have made it several times and have it down to about 25 minutes–-except for the pudding that is folded into the whipped cream needs to be made either the night before or a few hours before assembly.  A couple of times I have substituted the raspberries and raspberry jam with cherries and cherry jam. While I really like the cherry version, a couple of the other Circle H Cowgirls like the raspberry best.  ~merry carter~

Here’s a picture of the cherry trifle that I made for dessert on Christmas Day.

Cherry Trifle

Raspberry Trifle

serves 12


  • 1 (3-ounce) package of regular vanilla pudding (not instant)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon rum flavoring
  • 1 pound of pound cake
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup cream sherry
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
  • Fresh raspberries or slivered almonds, for garnish (optional)

Make the pudding according to the package instructions, using the half-and-half and rum in place of the milk. Chill the pudding thoroughly. When the pudding is chilled, cut the cake into 3 layers, horizontally. Cut each layer into 1-inch cubes, keeping each layer separate. Whip 1 cup of the heavy cream, beat in the vanilla and sugar. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled pudding.

To assemble the trifle, spread the sides of a 9-inch round clear glass bowl with some of the jam. Put the cubes from 1 cake layer into the bowl. Spread jam on each square and sprinkle 1/3 of the sherry over the cake squares. Add a layer of raspberries followed by a layer of pudding. Continue adding layers in this order: cake squares with jam, sherry, raspberries, and pudding. Be sure to spread the bottom of each cake square with jam before adding. Repeat as many times as you can, making 2 or 3 layers.

To make the topping, whip the cream with the vanilla and sugar to taste. Spread the whipped cream on the top of the trifle. Garnish with fresh berries or slivered almonds, if desired. Chill the trifle for a couple of hours before serving.

Some lessons learned from making this trifle:

– Cut the poundcake in half lengthwise and then cut into squares, leaving the squares in place. Spread a thick coating of the jam over the squares. This is a huge time saver.

– I recommend making the trifle the night before so that the cake absorbs the liquid.