This easy Berry Trifle recipe is a delicious dessert that’s ready in minutes! Great to make ahead, this beautiful trifle features layers of fresh berries, cake, and cream for a favorite dessert anytime!
Fresh juicy blueberries and strawberries are the colorful highlights of this classic trifle recipe. Berries are layered with my homemade vanilla cake, cream cheese poundcake, angel food cake, vanilla pudding or pastry cream, and homemade whipped cream to create a stunning summer dessert!
Berry Trifle is one of those desserts that is absolutely perfect when you need to serve a few people or a crowd. It is most definitely one of my family’s favorite desserts and is perfect for serving guests all through the spring and summer, including patriotic holidays such as July 4th!
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There are so many things to love about this trifle! It is beautiful with its colorful, decadent layers, is such a simple recipe to make, and is fun to create. I love that so much of the recipe can easily be made ahead! When you are entertaining or making a large meal for family or guests, a recipe that can be made ahead or prepped ahead is such a time saver! And the flavors even seem to “come together” even more when it’s made a bit ahead of serving.
How to Make Berry Trifle
There have a few options to choose from when making this trifle.
I start with the classics. Let me share how I make it and give you some options.
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.
- Fresh strawberries and blueberries – Use clean ripe berries. Slice the strawberries.
- Sugar – I use granulated sugar, but you can also use your favorite sugar substitute if you wish.
- Vanilla Pudding or Pastry Cream – The homemade recipes are delicious, but you can omit this and use only the homemade whipped cream if you like.
- Vanilla Cake or Cream Cheese Pound Cake – The cake should be cut into cubes. Both of these homemade cake recipes are delicious in this trifle recipe, but you can also use angel food cake or plain pound cake from the store if you wish.
- Whipped Cream – My homemade whipped cream only takes a few minutes to make and is so fluffy and perfect in this recipe. While I prefer to use whipped cream in my trifle, some prefer the non-dairy whipped topping found in the grocery store’s freezer section.
Your ingredients will depend on which cake you decide to use and whether you use vanilla pudding or pastry cream. All options are delicious, and I have made various combinations for my Berry Trifle over the years. All of my trifles turn out delicious and beautiful and are a hit when I serve them.
Start with a glass trifle bowl or dessert glasses. I use a glass trifle bowl in each of these photos, but I’ve also used large glass bowls or individual dessert glasses. Use what you have and what makes you happy with your presentation. I refer to it as a trifle bowl in the instructions.
Sweeten the strawberries. Add your sliced strawberries to a medium-sized mixing bowl, sprinkle with sugar, and set aside. This brings out the maximum sweetness of the strawberries.
Begin to layer the ingredients. Assemble the layers by adding half of the pudding OR half of the pastry cream to the bottom of the glass trifle bowl.
Add a layer consisting of half of the cake cubes onto the pudding/pastry cream.
Next, add a layer of one-third of the berries onto the cake layer.
Then spoon half of the whipped cream onto the berry layer.
Repeat the layers. Add the next layer with the remaining half of the cake cubes, then scoop on a layer with the remaining half of the pudding/ pastry cream. Layer with another one-third of the berries, and then top the berries with the remaining whipped cream. You’ll save the last third of the berries just before serving.
Prepare to serve. Just prior to serving, top the trifle with the last of the berries. This looks freshest and most beautiful.
A Thought About Trifle Layers
Many people go to great lengths to make sure that every layer of the ingredients shows in their trifles. You can be very precise in the placement of your layers, or you can have a cube of cake or dollop of cream out of place – it’s your choice. The dessert will be delicious whether every strawberry slice is placed perfectly or not. This can be a very fun dessert to make!
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
As I mentioned, this berry trifle can certainly be made ahead. It tastes best once the flavors have some time to marry each other. Either of the cake options as well as the pudding or pastry cream options, can be made a bit ahead as well.
To make ahead. Assemble the berry trifle, stopping before the last step of topping with the last third of the berries to add at the time of serving. Cover the trifle bowl with plastic wrap to form an airtight seal and place it in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy the trifle after a period of at least 4 hours up to 24 hours.
To store leftovers. Cover any leftover trifle well with airtight wrap and place in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
Freezing is not recommended for this trifle dessert.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can definitely make this berry trifle the night before. Berry trifle tastes even more delicious when it has had a little time for the flavors to combine. It is best enjoyed within 4 to 24 hours of assembling. See my Make Ahead instructions for how to assemble and store.
While the juices from the berries and the cream in the trifle will soften the cake, it will not become soggy overnight.
Fresh berries always work best in a trifle. Favorites include strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
Fill a large mixing bowl 2/3 full of clean, cool water. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the water and stir to combine. Add the fresh berries and allow to soak in the water for 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the berries through a fine mesh strainer or colander and rinse with cool water. Arrange the berries on paper towels or tea towels on the counter to dry.
More Delicious Berry Recipes
Here’s my delicious Berry Trifle recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Berry Trifle Recipe
- Add sliced strawberries to a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar and stir to combine.
- Assemble trifle in layers by adding 1/2 of the vanilla pudding to the bottom of the trifle bowl, followed by 1/2 of the vanilla cake cubes, 1/3 of the strawberries and blueberries, and 1/2 of the whipped cream. Repeat with another layer of the vanilla pudding, cake, strawberries and blueberries and the whipped cream.
- Top with the final 1/3 of the strawberries and blueberries just prior to serving.
Make Ahead and Storage InstructionsAs I mentioned, this berry trifle can certainly be made ahead. It actually tastes best once the flavors have a bit of time to marry each other. Either of the cake options as well as the pudding or pastry cream options, can be made a bit ahead as well. To make ahead. Assemble the berry trifle, stopping before the last step of topping with the last third of the berries to add at the time of serving. Cover the trifle bowl well with plastic wrap to form an airtight seal and place it in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy the trifle after a period of at least 4 hours up to 24 hours. To store leftovers. Cover any leftover trifle well with airtight wrap and place in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Freezing is not recommended for this trifle dessert.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.