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Vanilla Trifle is simple to make yet elegant enough to be a centerpiece. Layers of cake, whipped cream, and fruit fill the tall dish from which gives the dish its characteristic name. Serve up a trifle for your next summer soiree and delight your guests with the light yet decadent dessert.
This “pudding” as the English call it, complements a wide range of meals. Trifle is light and airy and would be refreshing after a meal off the grill, or it would be just as lovely accompanying lighter fare of summer salads. This vanilla trifle recipe, in particular, manages to go with just about anything since the flavors are subtle.
Part of the elegance of trifle is seeing the beautiful layers through the glass dish with a lovely arrangement or garnish on top. Layering everything evenly will not only look gorgeous but will make sure that each helping has a good proportion of each component, making each bite delicious! For a festive look, separate the berries into layers of different colors to make a red, white, and blue dessert! Pay homage to the stars and stripes with blueberries and sliced strawberries or whole raspberries lined up as a spangled garnish.
Vanilla Trifle Ingredients
- French vanilla flavored pudding mix
- Whole milk
- Store-bought Angel Food Cake
- Cool Whip
This berry trifle uses fresh berries as frozen would seep liquid and make the cake mushy. Of course, you can make a fruit trifle with just about any of your favorite fruits. Omit, add, or replace and it’ll still be delicious. Try just strawberry trifle, or make it a strawberry shortcake trifle by using sweet biscuits instead of Angel Food Cake.
It’s easy to make variations of this recipe by changing up the cake or fruits used. Try chocolate pound cake with banana slices. Perhaps a cheesecake or custard filling instead of the pudding. Though trifle often feels like a summer dessert, by changing up the ingredients, it can just as easily find its way to the table for Christmas dinner, perhaps with black forest cake, garnished with cherries.
How to Make Vanilla Trifle
FIRST STEP: In a large mixing bowl add dry pudding mix and whole milk. Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat together until no lumps remain. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate per package directions.
SECOND STEP: In a trifle bowl, add ½ of the Angel Food Cake pieces and evenly spread them out.
THIRD STEP: Add ½ of the chilled french vanilla pudding over the top of the cake pieces and evenly spread it out with a rubber spatula.
FOURTH STEP: Add ⅓ of each berry on top of the french vanilla pudding.
FIFTH STEP: Add ½ of the cool whip to the top of the berries.
SIXTH STEP: Repeat the layers (cake, french vanilla pudding, berries, cool whip).
SEVENTH STEP: Add the remaining ⅓ berries to the top of the trifle.
I do not recommend using frozen fruit for this recipe. As it thaws it will soak into the Angel Food Cake, turning it into mush.
You can use a variety of instant jello flavor pudding flavors. Here are a few of our favorites: Coconut Cream, Banana Cream, French Vanilla, Vanilla, Cheesecake
If you’d prefer making an Angel Food Cake you can buy a box mix from the store. You will need either a tube pan or three 8.5 inch loaf pans for it to cook in. I recommend placing a baking sheet on the bottom shelf to prevent a mess if it overflows.
Storing this Recipe
Trifles should be served immediately or covered with cling wrap and refrigerated. An hour in the fridge prior to serving is good, but do not make this dish too far in advance since the cream will soak into the cake.
- 2 2.4 oz packages French vanilla flavored pudding mix
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 Store bought Angel Food Cake from the bakery department cut into 1 inch squares
- 3 16 oz containers strawberries tops removed and sliced
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups raspberries
- 8 oz Cool Whip
- In a large mixing bowl add dry pudding mix and whole milk. Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat together until no lumps remain. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate per package directions.
- In a trifle bowl, add ½ of the Angel Food Cake pieces and evenly spread them out.
- Add ½ of the chilled French vanilla pudding over the top of the cake pieces and evenly spread it out with a rubber spatula.
- Add ⅓ of each berry on top of the French vanilla pudding
- Add ½ of the cool whip to the top of the berries
- Repeat the layers (cake, French vanilla pudding, berries, cool whip).
- Add the remaining ⅓ berries to the top of the trifle.