Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's Only a Trifle

Since my mother takes my grandmother to the resale shop regularly, I asked her to keep an eye open for a trifle bowl for me. I didn't want it badly enough to pay the prices I saw online, but I did want one. In just a few days she showed up with a trifle bowl, very pleased that, as it was half off, she only paid $3.50 for it! For me, it was as simple as wanting something and getting it. Yeah for me! And since this wee blessing befell me, I thought I'd share the recipes which inspired me to want the trifle bowl in the first place. Note: we never use alcohol in our trifles, and it can easily be omitted from these recipes. These are easy to prepare and a delight to serve. There's even a special one for patriotic holidays.

From Fabulous Food:

The Basic Recipe
1 cake mix
2 packets of custard or pudding mix
2 bags, 1 lb. each, frozen fruit or equivalent sliced fresh fruit
1/3 C sugar (more or less to taste)
1 1/2 C heavy cream, whipped (or to save time, use whipped topping)

additional fresh fruit for garnish

1/3 C sherry or other liquor (optional)

Serves 10-12

Basic Instructions:
Prepare cake according to directions on package. Let cool completely.

Prepare custard or pudding mix according to package instructions. Let cool completely.

Mix fruit with sherry. If you don't want to use alcohol, use a little water or juice instead. You want the fruit to be setting, but not swimming, in a bit of sweetened juice. Some people like to really soak the cake in the alcohol, then add the fruit on top. I think this can tend to make the cake too soggy, so I prefer less.

Whip the cream.

To assemble:
Trifle is very forgiving, it takes no effort to make it look great! If you don't have a trifle bowl, like the one in the photo, use any large glass bowl. It doesn't technically have to be glass, but it looks prettier if it is. You can also make individual servings by placing the layers in large wine goblets.

Cut the cakes into large chunks and cover the bottom of your dish with a layer of cake. Top with a layer of prepared fruit, then a layer of custard. Repeat the process until you are out of ingredients or the bowl is full. Top with whipped cream and garnish with fresh fruit. Chill until serving time.

To Serve:
Simply scoop out servings with a large spoon.

Trifle Tips & Variations
While a sponge cake is traditional, when a white cake is called for I often like using Angel Food Cake, as it holds up to the fruit without getting soggy. The variations below are just to get you going. I know you'll come up with some of your own as well.

Low or No Fat Trifle -- You can make a virtually fat-free trifle by using angel food cake, fat free pudding and low or no fat whipped topping
Strawberry Shortcake Trifle -- Yellow or Angel Food Cake, Custard and Strawberries
Black Forest Trifle -- Chocolate Cake, Cherry Pie Filling and Custard
Chocolate Raspberry Trifle -- Chocolate Cake, Raspberries and Custard
Tropical Fruit Trifle -- Angel Food Cake, Mixed Pineapple, Mangos, Papayas, etc. and either Vanilla or Lemon Pudding, Sprinkle top with Toasted Coconut
Apples & Cream Trifle -- Yellow or Spice Cake, Apple Pie Filling and Custard
Peaches & Cream Trifle -- Angel Food Cake, Sliced Peaches, Optional Alcohol: Peach Schnapps or Brandy
Red, White & Blueberry Trifle -- Angel Food Cake, Mixed Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries, Custard
Raspberry Lemon Trifle -- Yellow or Lemon Cake, Lemon Pie Filling and Raspberries
Banana Cream Trifle -- White or Chocolate Cake, Sliced Bananas, Custard


  1. Yummy! And I love a great find too. I'm queen of the yard sales lol

  2. Mmmm, that looks delicious! I guess I will have to start searching for a trifle bowl.


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