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How to Make a Super-Quick Trifle

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This is a quick, easy version of the traditional Trifle.  Whether you buy pre-made ingredients or make them yourself, it will be delicious.  Be prepared for multiple recipe requests!

Try it yourself - Trifle can be an incredibly easy, tasty, and gorgeous holiday dessert.
 
 
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Step 1: Acquire ingredients

You'll need:

angelfood cake (made from a box is dandy; purchased if you must)
vanilla pudding (I used Jell-O instant)
frozen fruit (I used cherries, blueberries, and raspberries from Trader Joe's)
liqueur(s) of your choice (I used plum brandy, marsala, and kirschwasser)
whipped cream to top (optional)

Go ahead and bake your angelfood cake and mix up your pudding. I've made angelfood cake from a box and from scratch, and the difference isn't major- here you're combining it with so many other flavors that any such distinction would be lost. Purchased pre-made angelfood cakes will do, but tend to be a bit dry and sometimes taste off. Pound cake may be traditional, but I prefer angelfood because it's lighter, more absorbent, and complements the berries better.

I used a trifle bowl (purchased at Target for $14), but you can use any bowl. Glass is preferable, because then you can see all the pretty layers.

Step 2: Chop cake and layer

Chop your cake into smaller pieces, about 1 inch thick, and spread them in a dense layer across the bottom of your trifle dish or bowl.

The white interior of the cake looks best facing outwards for contrast with the fruit, so keep the darker edge pieces facing up. They'll disappear into the layers.
It looks very good.
suayres3 years ago
I gotta say, not only does the trifle look and sound woderful, the pastries around them in the pic look pretty phenomenal, too!
canida (author)  suayres3 years ago
Thank you! I can't take credit for the other pastries - other people brought most of them, as we do a big (40-50 people) dinner and everyone brings something to contribute. But they were most excellent.
Emma1404863 years ago
I live in New Zealand it is a kiwi favourite, I changed it up last year and made a choc berry version, it was just a chocolate spongecake soaked in the fridge overnight in blackberry jelly, then a can of blackberries on top - drain most of the juice, then some Swissmaid custard some whipped cream and fresh blackberries,blueberries and stawberries with crushed flake bars on top. Everyone loved it.
That chocolate berry versions sounds fantastic!! Did you have to heat up/melt the blackberry jelly in order for it to soak into the cake? And was it jelly, or more like a jam or preserve?
canida (author)  lechiengrand3 years ago
Or maybe jelly as in Jell-o? Either way, sounds delicious.
Sall074 years ago
 I love trifle!! We're English ex-patriots living in the states and we always love a good trifle when Christmas or another big occasion rolls around. It was always my job since I was a little girl to do the trifle and layer everything in order. This recipe is an interesting  and tasty-looking American take (I didn't think that trifle was big in the states), but for those looking to make this just a little bit more English/traditional just make the following simple swaps:

pound cake instead of angel food (a different taste but really not that big)

bird's custard instead of vanilla pudding (A BIG ONE, can probably be found in the international aisle of any supermarket and just takes a few minutes to microwave and then cool)(or alternatively you can make the creme anglaise from scratch which is absolutely divine but a wee bit more time consuming)

On top, finish off with some hand whipped cream sprinkled with almonds or berries for a final flourish. 

As far as the fruit: anything goes, be as creative as you want, the cherry's in this one look nice :). We usually put skinned orange segments and chopped bananas. I once saw on TV in England a recipe for a passion fruit, mango, and pineapple trifle! Maybe you could try that sometime!

Here's a picture from google that i found that looks a bit more like what we used to make, but i love the effect that canida's cool target bowl had! :D

780292.jpg
canida (author)  Sall073 years ago
The topping suggestion is awesome - nothing like toasted almonds and berries!

So how is bird's custard different - is it richer/sweeter/heavier? I think it would need to be to compete properly with a dense pound cake. Of course, the pound cake can absorb more liqueur, so there you go. ;)

And the tropical fruits sound excellent! Yum.
telairea4 years ago
My mother, who is Irish, made this every Christmas!  She used *lady fingers* instead of the cake.  I knew she used a liqueur but never knew what type, now I do.   Thanks bunches.
canida (author)  telairea3 years ago
Excellent! I know lady fingers are a bit drier, so can probably soak up more of the liqueur. Mmmm.
I use a similar recipe with whipped cream in place of pudding and only fresh berries.  Usually the cake doesn't require any more moisture and I like it best in the pre-soggy phase.  I'll have to try the liqueur idea.  The recipe is more expensive than say baking a pie, but super fast and perfect for summer.
canida (author)  jewelledlights3 years ago
Whipped cream would make it a bit lighter, perfect for summer. Let me know if you give the liqueur a try!
Ando-b5 years ago
I'm trying this straight away thanks alot for this great instructable
canida (author)  Ando-b4 years ago
Did you try the trifle? How did it turn out?
Oh my goodness, this looks so good! I am going to make it for my boss at work... and hoping she'll share it with me. :-D haha I will tell you how mine turns out.
canida (author)  White_Feathers4 years ago
How did it go?
jaevairny5 years ago
I'm glad to see that someone else uses the term "limiting reagent" in a culinary context. I learned about the concept when I took chemistry in high school, and have used it to refer to cooking ever since -- to the utter confusion of pretty much everyone within earshot.
canida (author)  jaevairny4 years ago
Handy terms! I'm a cell/molecular biologist with a chem minor, so my geekiness sometimes shows through. ;)
cyridia4 years ago
I just wanted to say that this recipe is awesome. :-) I showed this recipe to my mother, and she made it for a family gathering...I've never seen so many people ask for copies of a recipe! It's incredibly easy, especially if you use pre-made ingredients (store-bought angelfood cake, for instance--in our case, this worked doubly well, as the lid for the cake made an excellent trifle bowl), and it's DELICIOUS!
canida (author)  cyridia4 years ago
Fantastic! I love the idea of using the cake lid, too: what a smart idea. If you do it again take a picture, and I'll add it to the post with full attribution.
highlands6 years ago
this is great my neighbor from england use to make it with or without the liquer
I'll definitely have to try this.
YUMMY!!!! it sounds great!
chazzy6 years ago
Yes sir
bonwebb6 years ago
Just divine. You are excellently multitalented.
pilotaz7 years ago
looks yammi
I agree with LasVegas... keep up the great work :) and while your at it, send some samples out ;)
LasVegas7 years ago
Mmmm! This looks absolutely wonderful! I'm going to have to try it ASAP. Great Instrucatable!
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