Mum's Trifle

It's a simple dessert, but one filled with comfort and joy. My mum adds a good glug of sherry to her cake base, but I have left that out. Although I love it, Graham is not so keen, but the choice is yours. The jelly really moistens up the cake, so you don't need to add any extra liquid, although saying that, a good boozy trifle can go down a treat.

I'm not going to lay this out as a traditional recipe, this is more of a case of layering and you can't go wrong. If you want more custard and less cream, just adjust it to suit yourself. It's all about plunging your spoon through the layers and the taste sensation as your taste buds tingle.

Mum's Trifle

1. Start off with a nice large bowl, a clear one is good so you can see all the lovely layers.

2. Your first layer is sponge. You have a choice here. I used a few slices of my Jaffa Drizzle Sponge Cake, without the chocolate drizzle. I sometime use a Madeira cake. Homemade cake is a good choice, but bought cake works just as well.

3. Fruit next. I used blackberries and clementines in my trifle. Unfortunately the clementines I had were a bit bitter, so I used tinned clementines in fruit juice, instead of fresh. Fresh berries such as strawberries and raspberries are lovely in a trifle, again you choose.

4. Now we add the jelly. Jelly can be a problem for vegetarians, but there are alternatives out there. I used a sachet of Hartley's Quickset Raspberry Jelly, which uses pectin instead of gelatin. It's easy to use, just follow the packet instructions. Don't be alarmed when it doesn't set as firm as regular jelly, this is normal. Leave the jelly to cool slightly before pouring over the sponge and fruit. Leave to cool and set in the fridge.

5. Now for the custard. If you can find a good fresh custard to buy, then why not save some time, but if you have some time to potter about in the kitchen and want a more deluxe trifle, then make your own. You can find my recipe for fresh custard here. It is the custard recipe I use when I make ice cream and it is filled with lovely specks of black from fresh vanilla. I would leave out the cinnamon for this dish however.

6. Our last layer is cream. I whipped double cream with a little sugar until it was lovely and thick and then spread it across the top of the custard.

7. Decoration. I sprinkled my trifle with chocolate flakes, but many of you will remember childhood trifle sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, those colourful little sugar sprinkles. It depends how nostalgic you are feeling. A dusting of cocoa powder is rather nice too.

Dig in! How can you resist?


  1. simple? perhaps. ridiculously appealing and overwhelmingly enticing? definitely. it's a looker, too. :)

  2. My aunt would make a trifle that could light a match but I do enjoy at least a little spirit in my trifle. Come to think of it I haven't had one in years...I need to rectify that!!!

  3. I know what you mean Val, I think that is quite a good quality in a trifle myself. Hehe!

  4. oh boy. there are some things I just should not be told about for my own good!
    country mouse xx

  5. Indeed! how could I resist??

    Gorgeous pics!

  6. He,he just give in to it Country Mouse, you know you should :)

    Thanks Sarah :)

  7. Looks great, Jacqueline! It looks so beautiful :)

  8. It's that glug of sherry! It gets me every time!

  9. Wow that's a gorgeous looking trifle!

    You've just reminded me that I haven't had trifle in 8 years, since I left the UK.

    Oh dear. :(

  10. That looks ridiculously good! Brings out the big child in you. I haven't had jelly for a long long time, due to the gelatine content, until I came across an vegetarian friendly alternative, but was not aware of the one you recommended. Thanks for sharing.

  11. It looks gorgeous Jacqueline - just like the trifle my mum used to make for our birthday parties. I still much prefer trifle like this - I think booze in trifle is horrid!

    I'd love to know where you got the jelly - I had a look in my local huge Tesco and they didn't have it :-(

  12. That is one fine looking trifle. If it has fresh fruit, I can't wait to dig in.

  13. A lovely recipe, Jacqueline! Trifles are a favorite with my family.

  14. Thanks A&N :)

    Hi Pam, You just have to be careful your hand doesn't shake while you are pouring in that glug!

    That's a sad state of affairs Richard. Go on, be good to yourself :)

    Hi Sophie, it is rich and very delicious. Yum!

    Which kind of jelly are you using Mangocheeks?

    Thanks FC :)

    Hey C, I got mine from Tesco, but I had to go to two stores to find it. It is in sachet form rather than a block. If you have trouble getting hold of it, let me know and I can send you some.

    I'd say "go for it!" TB, but it is gone already!

    My family too Barbara :)

  15. Hello jacqueline this is Pierre in France
    I have done my first triffle thanks to N. Lawson ! and yours is scrumptious !!
    Cheers from Paris

  16. Trifle is one of my most favourite puddings to eat - though I never bother making it - a family friend makes the best one and knows when she is invited over, the invite includes her trifle! I love how traditional it is, swiss roll, strawberry jelly, custard and cream, simply delicious! :)

    Yours looks lovely btw, am glad to see you are using your mums recipes, I don't think I could subject mums cookery to my following!!

  17. Now, THAT looks amazing! I am a huge trifle fan and really, really miss it this time of year!

  18. A big bowl of trifle is a thing of joy - I love the squelch sound you get when taking the first (and only the first - why doesn't it happen on subsequent spoonfuls?) helping out of the bowl!

  19. You can't beat a mum's trifle Jaqueline! My mum in law brings one round every Xmas Day. How's tricks stranger? Cheers David x

  20. Nice to meet you Pierre, I hope you are now a convert :)

    It sounds like you have a good supply of trifle Anne, I would be inviting that friend over regularly :)

    Thanks Ricki :)

    Me too Cynthia :)

    You are right CC there is definitely a squelch!

    Hi David, I know, I haven't been around much recently. I am fine, how are you?

  21. That looks fabulous, my mum puts sherry in hers too!

  22. trifle is a nostalgic indulgence for me - I have never tried vegetarian jellies but have seen them every now and then - I think I have seen some in Indian grocers - I agree that a see through bowl is essential because they look so beautiful as you demonstrate so well

  23. Hi Nic, it is definitely a mum dessert :)

    Thanks Johanna :)

  24. Oddly I've never made a trifle before and rarely eaten one. This looks like a yummy and comforting dessert!

  25. I remember my aunts trifle when I lived in Calgary, very, very boozy:D This is a great choice for vegetarians and vegans too.

    1. It's such a comforting dessert Val. My mum makes it boozy, but I leave it out. Cooper is a bot young for that!


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