English Trifle Recipe - Allrecipes.com
English Trifle Recipe
  • READY IN 12+ hrs

English Trifle

Recipe by  

"Although this recipe uses a bit of sherry, the alcohol evaporates overnight. You may simply eliminate it if you don't care for alcohol. Two boxes of custard mix or vanilla pudding mix can be substituted for the pastry cream. However, using the pastry cream makes the dessert quite rich!"

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 10 to 12 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    10 mins

    12 hrs 40 mins


  1. The night before, slice the cake into 1/2 inch slices and sprinkle with sherry. Cover lightly so it won't get stale. Let sit overnight to allow alcohol to evaporate.
  2. To make the pastry cream: Mix sugar, flour and salt together in the top of double boiler. Slowly add milk to form a smooth mixture. Cook over low-medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Slowly pour 1/2 the hot milk mixture into a bowl of the beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly. Then pour all the mixture back into the double boiler and sir until thick. Add butter and vanilla. Chill.
  3. The next day, spread raspberry jam on top of sherried cake layers (or ladyfingers). Layer the bottom of a bowl with 1/3 the cake and pour 1/3 of the pastry cream over the top. Sprinkle with nuts. Layer cake, cream and nuts until all of the ingredients have been used. Top the uppermost layer with whipped cream and garnish with maraschino cherries and slivered almonds. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 02, 2006

Delicious and beautiful; 2 packages of vanilla pudding made to directions can be substituted. My double boiler is too small so I had to make it in 2 batches. Served it New Years Eve to 16 people; had several requests for the recipe.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 03, 2011

This recipe does sound delicious but ti is not a true English sherry trifle, speaking as a true English person, a sherry trifle from back home is sponge fingers soaked in sherry, with tinned mixed fruit drained and then a raspberry jelly (jello) poured over the top and set then a layer of thick proper custard followed on top of that a thick layer of dream topping and sprinkles!... that is a true common English Trifle !!

Jan 29, 2009

I just love this recipe! Now, with that being said, this last time I made trifle I did make quite a few changes. Instead of using cream sherry, I used Chambord liquer. I used a pre-made frozen pound cake that I cut into squares when thawed. Next, I had custard powder in the house from a different recipe, so I made that instead of the pastry cream that this recipe calls for. I know, lots of changes, but the 4 stars I give this recipe is what I rate it when I make it according to the original directions. The changes I made this last time are just optional suggestions to save time and change it up!

May 10, 2010

If this recipe had used homemade sponge cake or even packaged ladyfingers, it would have gotten 5 stars. Unlike every other English trifle recipe here, it uses real pastry cream instead of a mix and does not substitute whipped topping for real whipped cream. A real trifle to me is sponge cake, custard, jam, sherry, and whipped cream. It is not a collection of processed foods. You can really taste the difference, especially with the taste of the custard.

Nov 23, 2010

I made this recipe last Fall and everyone loved it. I substituted the pastry cream with instant vanilla pudding.

Nov 29, 2010

I too always make traditional English trifle, which I layer with sponge cake, brandy, red jello, fruit, blamonge, custard and whipped cream, but I do the easy way for potlucks at work using vanilla pudding and cool whip, Blamonge here in the US is just a instant cornstarch pudding which you can find in the Mexican food isle at most grocery stores. Any variation you do is a sure hit.

May 16, 2012

I made this two nights ago it was great!! I fashioned a double boiler out of a metal mixing bowl an had a blast!!


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 762 kcal
  • 38%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 101.2 g
  • 33%
  • Cholesterol
  • 284 mg
  • 95%
  • Fat
  • 33.5 g
  • 52%
  • Fiber
  • 1.7 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 14.2 g
  • 28%
  • Sodium
  • 602 mg
  • 24%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Chicken Breast Recipes
Chicken Breast Recipes

With our 2,700+ chicken breast recipes, you'll never serve the same old chicken again.

Zucchini On The Grill
Zucchini On The Grill

The firm, juicy texture of zucchini make them a perfect side to toss on the grill.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

English Trifle

This elegant dessert features layers of cake, vanilla pudding, and fresh fruit.

Chocolate Trifle

A chocolate lover’s delight with brownies, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream.

Slow Cooker Black Forest Cake

See how to make a rich Black Forest cake in the slow cooker!

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States