Berry Trifle

June 18, 2022

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The easiest Berry Trifle recipe – it’s layered with lemony angel food cake, a rich and billowy cream cheese whipped cream topping, and an abundance of vibrant fresh fruit. It’s a decadent and heavenly dessert! 

Layered trifle in a glass trifle dish. It includes cubes of angel food cake, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and a cream cheese whipped cream topping.

The Fruitiest Trifle Recipe

This multicolor trifle is a quintessential summery treat, the crowning finish of any meal. It’s loaded with all the best things including cake, berries and lots of cream (that’s flavored with cream cheese as well).

And don’t be deceived by it’s fancy good looks, you’ll actually find it really a breeze to prepare. That is thanks to the use of a store-bought cake to save plenty of prep time and no cool time required.

Did I mention it’s a no-bake, no-cook dessert as well?

There’s just a few simple steps here of chopping, whipping and layering.

And while it’s true that many of us may not be big fans of store-bought cakes, this recipe is one of the best ways to doctor up an otherwise boring and slightly dry angel food cake. The secret is in the fresh lemon and honey glaze that’s brushed over it.

I think you’ll love the flavor in this dessert! Everything here pairs beautifully together and it’s sure to be a highlight of any summer gathering!

Photo of ingredients needed to make a trifle.

Berry Trifle Recipe Ingredients Needed

  • 1 (13 to 16 oz) store-bought angel food cake
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, well chilled
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (160g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 18 oz. fresh blueberries
  • 6 oz fresh raspberries, optional
  • Mint leaves, optional

Special Equipment Needed

  • You’ll need a trifle dish to make this recipe. You can find them online or in some larger retailers.
  • Mine is 14 cups (3.5 quarts) and this recipe fills it quite full.
  • If you don’t have a trifle dish and don’t want to purchase one you can try doing individual servings in glass cups.

Collage of eight images showing how to prepare the cake portion and whipped topping portion of a trifle.

How to Make and Layer a Trifle

  1. Brush angel food cake with honey and lemon, cut into cubes: Cut cake into 3/4-inch thick slices.
  2. In a bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest and honey until well blended. Brush mixture over each both sides of the angel food cake slices (try to use all of it up).
  3. Cut angel food cake slices into 3/4-inch cubes. Set aside.
  4. Whip heavy cream: In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip the heavy cream on medium speed until slightly thickened then increase speed to high and whip until very stiff peaks form (it should star to loose that wet sheen).
  5. Whip cream cheese with sugar: In a separate large mixing bowl using electric hand mixer (no need to clean beater blades) whip cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on low speed until blended. Increase speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Blend mixtures: Add whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold with a spatula until mixtures are evenly combined.
  7. Assemble trifle into eight layers: First layer 1/2 of the angel food cake into trifle dish. Set aside 3/4 cup blueberries, then sprinkle 1/2 of the remaining blueberries over the angel food layer.
  8. Top with 1/2 of the whipped cream mixture and spread into an even layer. Top with a layer of 1/2 of the strawberries.
  9. Repeat this layering process once more with the angel food cake, blueberries, whipped cream mixture and strawberries (leave some space in center of strawberries for next step).
  10. Finish with remaining blueberries and raspberries on top in the center if using, and decorate with mint leaves just before serving if using.

Collage of eight photos showing how to make the eight layers of a trifle.

Storage

  • The trifle should be stored covered in the fridge.
  • It is best served within a few hours of preparing (that’s when it will be fluffiest).
  • Though it will keep for up to one full day.

Close up photo of a homemade layered fruit trifle.

Helpful Tips

  • For the best flavor only use fresh lemon juice and don’t skip the lemon zest. It really brings another layer of bright flavor here to liven it up.
  • Use sweet berries if possible. I know this one can be tricky since you can’t taste before buying but usually when berries are in season in the summer you’ll be in luck.
  • Whip the heavy cream until it’s very stiff so it holds up well in the dessert to layering. And keep it cold, don’t let it sit out for long on a hot summery day.

Possible Substitutes

  • You can use various types of fruit here it doesn’t have to be just berries. Other good options are kiwi, pineapple, blackberries, peaches, or mangoes.
  • Pound cake would work in place of angel food cake. Dessert just won’t be quite as light (since pound cake is quite a bit heavier).
  • Lime would work for the lemon.
  • Granulated sugar could be used in place of honey, you’ll just need to whisk well until dissolved.

Trifle show in a single serving dish with a second serving in the background.

More Delicious Summery Desserts to Try

Layered trifle in a glass trifle dish. It includes cubes of angel food cake, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and a cream cheese whipped cream topping.
5 from 1 vote

Berry Trifle

The perfect summer treat! It's layered with lemony angel food cake, a rich and billowy cream cheese whipped cream topping, and an abundance of vibrant fresh fruit. It's a decadent and heavenly dessert! 
Servings: 10
Prep25 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (13 to 16 oz) store-bought angel food cake
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, well chilled
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (160g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 16 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 18 oz. fresh blueberries
  • 6 oz fresh raspberries, optional
  • Mint leaves, optional

Instructions

  • Slice angel food cake into 3/4-inch thick slices.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest and honey until well blended. Brush mixture over each both sides of the angel food cake slices (try to use all of it up).
  • Cut angel food cake slices into 3/4-inch cubes. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip the heavy cream on medium speed until slightly thickened then increase speed to high and whip until very stiff peaks form (it should star to loose that wet sheen).
  • In a separate large mixing bowl using electric hand mixer (no need to clean beater blades) whip cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on low speed until blended. Increase speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold with a spatula until mixtures are evenly combined.
  • To assemble the trifle, layer 1/2 of the angel food cake pieces into an even layer at the bottom of a 13 to 14 cup trifle dish. Set aside 3/4 cup blueberries, then sprinkle 1/2 of the remaining blueberries over the angel food layer.
  • Top with 1/2 of the whipped cream mixture and spread into an even layer. Top with a layer of 1/2 of the strawberries. Repeat this layering process once more with the angel food cake, blueberries, whipped cream mixture and strawberries (leave some space in center of strawberries for next step).
  • Finish with remaining blueberries and raspberries on top in the center if using, and decorate with mint leaves just before serving if using. This trifle will be best the day it is prepared though it will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Nutrition Facts
Berry Trifle
Amount Per Serving
Calories 492 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 16g100%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 308mg13%
Potassium 278mg8%
Carbohydrates 59g20%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 43g48%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 1108IU22%
Vitamin C 38mg46%
Calcium 107mg11%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.