Fruit Trifle 2.0

An easy, layered, fruity summer dessert, fit to feed a crowd – that’s Fruit Trifle 2.0 for you! ❀

Fruit Trifle. Easy Layered Summer Dessert of Vanilla Cake, Cherry Jelly, Custard and Fruits. Not Rachel Green's Trifle. English Fruit Trifle Recipe. Food Photography

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If you’re wondering why the ‘2.0’ is suffixing the title of this post, you probably want to check out my old blog post from four years ago, where I tiredly wrote about a childhood favourite – the humble Fruit Trifle. So I thought, an encore was in order, but with tweaks and revisions, that make for an easier and more delightful ‘viewing’,’making’ and ‘eating’ experience (I say ‘viewing’, becauseΒ seriously, the old pictures were horrendous, though I thought they were pretty good at the time). πŸ˜›

There are so many ways you can make a good trifle – Rachel Green’s ground beef version NOT included – and though I have tried several layered desserts (this egg-free Tiramisu is quite the show stopper!), not many come close to this classic Fruit Trifle from my childhood. So, I decided it needed a bit of a facelift and flavour boost while staying true to store-bought Cherry Jelly (Jell-o?), Custard Powder and Canned Fruits!

Before you let that frown set in, here’s some evidence that this Fruit Trifle is a good idea every single time…

  • Yes, the elements in this dessert are not wholesome, natural or remotely healthy. But they are so DARN DELICIOUS. And when put together, BOOM!
  • This dessert is so easy to make and requires almost no elbow-grease to put together. Apart from making the cake from scratch, it all comes down to following simple package instructions and allowing for the recommended chilling time.
  • This Trifle could easily feed a crowd, which makes it a great option for when you’re having guests over, or contributing to a potluck. Just layer it up in a large glass casserole and forget about it until it’s time to serve dessert.
  • Last, but certainly not the least, everyone will LOVE it. And in turn, will LOVE YOU for it! πŸ™‚

Are you sold? I certainly do hope so. Let’s get right to it! πŸ˜€

Fruit Trifle. Easy Layered Summer Dessert of Vanilla Cake, Cherry Jelly, Custard and Fruits. Not Rachel Green's Trifle. English Fruit Trifle Recipe. Food Photography

Here’s what you need:

For the Vanilla Cake:

  • Unsalted Butter – 150 g
  • Sugar – 100 g
  • Eggs – 2, large
  • All Purpose Flour – 150 g
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  • Water – 2 tbsp, at room temperature

For the Trifle

  • Cherry Jelly – 2 sachets, made according to package instructions, set in the refrigerator
  • Vanilla Custard – made according to package instructions, using custard powder and 750 ml milk, chilled
  • Canned fruits – 500 g tin, syrup drained, but reserved

Here’s how you make this fruit trifle:

For the Vanilla Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 170 Β°C/ 338Β°F. Cream butter, sugar and eggs until light, creamy and fluffy.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and beat the batter until the flour is completely incorporated. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
  • At this point the batter will be thick. Pour in a tablespoon of water at a time and beat well between each addition, until you have a batter that is light, airy and fluffy. Do not add excess water as the batter will split.
  • Pour the batter into a greased and lined 8-inch square or round cake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, and the top of the cake is springy.
  • Cool completely, then slice into thin strips.

Assemble the Fruit Trifle:

  • Line the base of the casserole with the cake slices. Lightly pour the reserved fruit syrup over the cake to soak it. Chill for 10 minutes
  • Using a fork, crumble the chilled jelly. Then layer it over the vanilla cake and pop it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Add the canned fruits to the custard and mix. For the final layer, pour the custard and fruit mixture over the jelly and even the surface out with the back of the spoon.
  • Put the fruit trifle in the fridge for a couple of hours to set well. Serve chilled.

Fruit Trifle. Easy Layered Summer Dessert of Vanilla Cake, Cherry Jelly, Custard and Fruits. Not Rachel Green's Trifle. English Fruit Trifle Recipe. Food Photography

I cannot tell you how much you need a good Fruit Trifle recipe in your life. And if you’re a dessert maker, you probably already have a recipe that works for you. Still, I appeal to you to try this one. The flavours are exciting and refreshing and it’s just the perfect summer dessert!

I love how the soaked cake, dances with the wobbly jelly and the creamy custard to unite in this melange of flavours – tangy, sweet and fruity – and textures that work so well together. Also, I love how this trifle edits out the traditional whipped cream topping, so you don’t have to worry about runny, deflated whipped cream if the trifle sits out for longer that expected; and no risk of a cloying dessert!

Fruit Trifle. Easy Layered Summer Dessert of Vanilla Cake, Cherry Jelly, Custard and Fruits. Not Rachel Green's Trifle. English Fruit Trifle Recipe. Food Photography

In the recipe above, I’ve told you how to make trifle for a crowd, in a large casserole. Let’s be honest, it isn’t the prettiest to look at. If you’re having a party-for-one, where you’re treating yourself to your favourite homecooked meal; hosting a fancy dinner party; or the theme for date night is ‘fine dining’, I’d suggest you set the fruit trifle in beautiful wine glasses or wide-bottomed whisky tumblers. Being able to view the layers and the colours through the glass definitely has dramatic effect and will surely create that ‘wow factor’ you’re hoping for. After all, we do eat with our eyes, so let’s amp the look up for good measure, shall we? πŸ˜€

Before I leave you in a trifle (get it, get it?) πŸ˜› , here are a few tips that will take this fruit trifle to the next level!

  • Managing the sweetness of every element is the only way to ensure you won’t end up with a sickly sweet dessert. So, taste every element at every step and alter the sweetness to your liking.
  • Apart from the cake, make sure that both the jelly and custard are chilled before layering.
  • You could always use a store-bought vanilla cake sponge for the base of the trifle.
  • You can use fresh fruits instead of canned fruits, but do not mix the two. They don’t seem to work in tandem.
  • If you decide to use fresh fruits, you could use a bit of mixed fruit juice to soak the cake.
  • Chilling time is everything. You don’t want all the layers mushing together. For this, the cherry jelly must set. Ensure that you allow it the recommended time, and then some, to end up with wobbly, dancing jelly!

Fruit Trifle. Easy Layered Summer Dessert of Vanilla Cake, Cherry Jelly, Custard and Fruits. Not Rachel Green's Trifle. English Fruit Trifle Recipe. Food Photography

I love this dessert, the family loves it and I know you will love it too. Not much of the recipe has changed, but I do believe making the sponge from scratch makes a huge difference! Also you can mix it is up with a lemon sponge cake topped with berry or lemon jelly and mixed berries in the custard! The thought of it makes me swooooon! πŸ˜€

What’s your favourite layered dessert? These Chestnut Chocolate PotsΒ are mine! Tell me all about your’s in the comments below. Also, if there’s a particular dessert you’d like me to share the recipe for/ do a step-by-step blog post on, let me know! I’d love to know what you have in mind. πŸ™‚

Fruit Trifle. Easy Layered Summer Dessert of Vanilla Cake, Cherry Jelly, Custard and Fruits. Not Rachel Green's Trifle. English Fruit Trifle Recipe. Food Photography

Want to Pin This recipe for later? Here you go!

Fruit Trifle. Easy Layered Summer Dessert of Vanilla Cake, Cherry Jelly, Custard and Fruits. Not Rachel Green's Trifle. English Fruit Trifle Recipe. Food Photography

For regular updates on what’s happening in The Foodscape kitchen, follow me on Instagram atΒ @thefoodscape! You’ll love all the deliciousness there, I promise! ❀

Author: Winola Peris

Food blogger, photographer & stylist with big dreams in my head, passion in my heart and a lot of hustle in my bones!

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