English trifle

Total Time
11 min
11 min
0 min
Trifle originated in England and traditionally involves multiple layers of fresh fruit, alcohol-soaked lady fingers or sponge cake, and custard, sometimes topped with whipped cream, or even layered with jelly. This version takes advantage of ready-made, fat-free angel food cake, which has a light, airy texture that soaks up plenty of juice from the fruit. We've skipped the Sherry or fortified wine, and call for a lighter, dairy-free whipped cream in place of custard. A show-stopping dessert for entertaining, trifle is typically served in a straight-sided clear glass bowl, so all the pretty layers are visible. If you choose a bowl that has sloping sides, spread your layers thinner near the top to prevent their spilling downward into the layers below. This sweet is a sure-fire crowd pleaser!



6 cup(s), fresh, halved

Fresh raspberries

1 cup(s), fresh


1 cup(s), seedless, halved


¼ cup(s)

Prepared angel food cake

10 oz, fat-free, cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices

Apricot preserves

1 cup(s)

Fat free whipped topping

16 oz, nondairy

Chopped walnuts

¼ cup(s), coarsely


  1. Combine the strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and sugar in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Line the bottom of a 12-cup trifle dish or glass bowl with one-third of the cake slices. Brush the cake with 1⁄3 cup of the apricot preserves. Top with one-third of the fruit mixture (about 2 cups), then one-third of the whipped topping (about 2 cups). Repeat the layering twice more with the remaining ingredients, ending with the whipped topping.
  3. Cover the trifle with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cake absorbs the juices, at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Sprinkle with the nuts just before serving. Yields 1⁄16 of trifle, about 2⁄3 cup per serving.


If you use a bowl that slopes outward rather than a straight-sided trifle bowl, you’ll find the layers need to be spread thinner near the top.Trifle originated in England and traditionally is made with either ladyfingers or sponge cake.