What I love about a trifle is that it’s impressive, feeds a lot of people, and can be a little messy. You can turn it into individual desserts by layering in mason jars or cups or use a giant glass bowl if you don’t have a trifle dish. I love seasonal strawberries, but any berry would work here. And by all means, use store-bought pound cake or boxed pudding if you want to speed up the process. I’m not judging over here. I just want you to enjoy a delicious dessert!


Whipping Cream Pound Cake

  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups (297 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (171 grams) cake flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream

Vanilla Pudding

  • 4 ½ cups (1,080 grams) milk, divided
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

Soaking Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar

Macerated Berries

  • 1 quart (680 grams) fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar


Make the Pound Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  1. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl fitted for a stand mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  1. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla.
  1. Sift the flour and salt together. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of flour, mixing to combine.
  1. Add the cream and then the remaining flour until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  1. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 75 to 85 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for about 30 minutes before removing and cooling completely.

Make the Pudding:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add about 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk in the cornstarch until combined. Whisk in the egg yolks and set aside.
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the balance 4 cups of milk with the sugar and salt and set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  1. Slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly to temper the egg yolks. When combined, pour the mixture back into the pot.
  1. Whisk the mixture as it comes to a boil and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens to pudding-like consistency that thickly coats the back of a spoon.
  1. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla bean paste or extract. Pour into a clean bowl, cover the top with plastic wrap, making sure to press down on the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Stash in the refrigerator until completely cool.

Make the Syrup: 

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and orange juice to a simmer over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and let the mixture cool before using.

Assemble the Trifle:

  1. Half or quarter the berries, depending on their size. In a bowl, combine them with the sugar and allow them to sit until the juices begin to release.
  1. Slice the pound cake into 1-inch cubes. Place half of them in the bottom of a trifle or other serving dish and then brush half the syrup on top.
  1. Add half of the vanilla pudding over top, then a layer of half the strawberries.
  1. Create another layer of cake, syrup, pudding, and strawberries. Trifles are best served within a few hours of making. Store in the refrigerator if not serving immediately.


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AnnMarie Mattila
AnnMarie Mattilahttps://pastryathome.com
AnnMarie Mattila is a writer for Pastry Arts Magazine, as well as a freelance baker and pastry chef in New York. She has a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University and is also a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education.

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