The Best Strawberry Trifle Recipe with Scratch Pudding
This spring has started off like no other, but there are still many ways to achieve a sense of normalcy in the comfort of our own homes. Today, I’m sharing a strawberry trifle recipe that will make you and your family feel fancy without even leaving the house.
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A Celebration of Spring
I’m sharing this favorite strawberry dessert recipe as part of a spring tour hosted by the lovely Paula Skulina from Virginia Sweet Pea. If you don’t know Paula, she’s a kind soul with a love for all things vintage, and her beautiful blog is definitely worth a visit!
Each day this week, my friends and I are sharing a variety of spring decor, crafts, and (today) recipes. Our hope is that we can lift your spirits and give you a reason to daydream during this challenging time.
You’ll find all the links at the end of this post, and trust me, you won’t want to miss them!
Strawberry Trifle Dessert Recipe
Traditionally, the English trifle is a dessert made with layers of fruit, custard, and sponge fingers soaked in sherry or fortified wine. It’s like a super-sized parfait that feeds a crowd!
My strawberry trifle recipe substitutes pound cake for sponge fingers (a.k.a. ladyfingers) and includes a homemade pudding akin to a custard.
Strawberry Trifle FAQs
- Is it better to use pound cake or angel food cake for a trifle? I prefer using a pound cake for a richer flavor and to prevent the trifle from getting soggy after refrigeration.
- How many layers is a trifle? This will depend entirely on the size of your trifle bowl and appetite. This strawberry trifle includes nine layers–two each of cake, pudding, strawberries, and blueberries, topped with whipped cream–in a 3-quart dish.
- How long will a trifle last? This dessert should last 3-4 days in the fridge, similar to any pudding or fruit dessert. However, it doesn’t seem to last long in my family!
Note: You can also enjoy single-serve portions of this trifle recipe by serving it as a parfait.
Strawberry Trifle Dessert Ingredients
- 1-2 lbs fresh strawberries or raspberries
- 1 lb blueberries or blackberries
- Pound cake loaf (can substitute angel food cake or sponge cake)
- 8 oz. whipped cream (or tub of Cool Whip)
- Homemade pudding [jump to recipe] or box of vanilla pudding mix (5.1 ounces)
Directions for Making Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
This strawberry trifle is not only moist and delicious but also has the power to make children obey your every command, especially if you force them to wait while you take photos!
I recommend using either a trifle bowl with a pedestal or a large bowl made of clear glass so your guests can see all of the delicious layers.
Step 1: Slice strawberries in quarters or halves
Some recipes call for macerated strawberries, which means adding small amounts of sugar to create a strawberry syrup mix. I find that the pudding and whipped cream make this particular trifle rich enough already, but I’ll leave it up to your taste buds.
If you decide to macerate the strawberries, simply place the halved strawberries in a glass bowl and coat them with a fine layer of sugar.
Step 2: Cut pound cake into small 1-inch squares
Before preparing my strawberry trifle, I baked a pound cake (Betty Crocker mix) and let it cool. You can definitely opt for store-bought cake to save time. No shame in that!
Then, I placed the cake cubes in my glass trifle bowl with the “cake” part facing outward. The challenge with trifles is making the window shopping look as good as the purchase if you know what I mean.
Step 3: Layer pudding mixture and fruit on top of cake
You don’t need to follow any particular rules when you assemble the trifle dessert. However, adding the pudding directly on top of the cake will result in a more moist texture.
Step 5: Repeat layers with cake, pudding and fruit
As you continue to add layers, make sure to leave about 2 inches from the rim to add a final layer of Cool Whip or other whipped cream.
Step 6: Add whipped topping and garnish
To finish the trifle, you can add a generous layer of Cool Whip, followed by sliced fruit, chocolate, nuts, mint or any other garnish your heart desires!
I ended up adding some fresh mint that is now growing like crazy on my patio. It gave the berry trifle a little extra height for good looks.
Many variations exist for this multi-layered dessert, so I encourage you to tailor it with your favorite fruits and toppings. What I love about this dessert is how it can feed a crowd for special occasions like bridal showers or holiday parties (think 4th of July).
Optional: Homemade Pudding Recipe
Note: This homemade pudding recipe also works as a pie filling to make coconut cream pie or banana cream pie.
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups milk, scalded
- 3 slightly beaten egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- In a large saucepan, mix flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add scalded milk (heated in microwave about 1.5 to 2 minutes on high), and stir well.
- Cook over low-to-medium heat, stirring constantly for about 1 minute.
- Temper the egg yolks by adding a small amount of the hot liquid and mixing it with a fork.
- Add the egg to the hot mixture and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until it reaches a boil.
- Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.
Pin it for later!
Continue Your Tour
Please visit the lovely spring posts my friends have created for you below! There’s something for everyone, from home decor to crafts.
Monday ~ Mantels
Hearth and Vine | Postcards from the Ridge | Marty’s Musings
Tuesday ~ Tablescapes
Lora Bloomquist | Our Southern Home | The Painted Hinge
Wednesday ~ DIY
Sweet Pea | 2 Bees in a Pod | The How to Home | Our Crafty Mom
Thursday ~ Recipes
My Wee Abode|Thistle Key Lane|Harbour Breeze Home|First Day of Home
Friday ~ Porches and Decks
Redhead Can Decorate | Worthing Court | Follow the Yellow Brick Home
I hope you enjoy sharing your strawberry trifle dessert with many friends this season. My prayers for safety and good health are with each and every one of you!
Strawberry Trifle with Homemade Pudding
- 1-2 lbs strawberries (or raspberries)
- 1 lb blueberries (or blackberries)
- 1 pound cake (or angel food cake)
- 8 ounces whipped cream
- 1 package vanilla pudding mix (5.1-ounce box, or homemade pudding recipe-see article)
- Cut strawberries in quarters or halves, as desired.
- Cut pound cake into small 1-inch squares.
- Add one layer of cake to the bottom of a trifle bowl, with the cut side facing outward. Then, add layers of pudding, followed by fruit on top of the cake.
- Repeat layers with cake, pudding, and fruit. For best presentation, face the strawberry halves outward in the trifle dish.
- Top with whipped cream and garnish with more strawberries, mint, or blueberries.
More Desserts Recipes to Try
Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe
Make this creamy cheesecake with strawberries for a special dessert
The Best Valentine Sugar Cookies Recipe Ever
These Linzer lookalike cookies are crisp and delicious with a surprise inside.
The Best Cheesecake Flan You'll Ever Eat
This is a delicious cross between flan and a traditional cheesecake. The carmelized topping is to die for.
Best Mini Heart Shaped Cheesecake Recipe
Make a special single-serve dessert with these mini heart shaped cheesecakes.
I love how you structure your posts. The Q&A plus not having to scroll for ages to find the recipe was awesome. Also loved the alternative ways to put this recipe together!
Thanks, Kathleen! It’s good to get your feedback on the post structure. I know what you mean about scrolling. I hope you enjoy the recipe! We’re looking forward to enjoying it again this summer.
I think you mean 1/4 tsp salt for the pudding, not 1/4 cup.
Hi Faith! Gosh, you are correct. Thank you for letting me know about that typo! I’ve fixed it now. This recipe can be used as a pie filling as well. Let me know what you think if you try it. I may still make tweaks and would love some input. Thanks, Crissy
It is delicious:)
Oh, I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks again for catching that error. Enjoy the pudding. 🙂
Your trifle looks so delicious! It’s so pretty, too! Can’t wait to make this for my family. Thanks so much for sharing! 💕 🍓
Thank you, Lauren! It’s so easy to make and so refreshing for summer. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!
This dessert looks so yummy and your photo looks gorgeous!
I’ll probably try to give it a go tonight using what I’ve got at home (almond cake, apples and maybe a little frozen berries if I manage anything decent with these).
Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Hi Alex! Thank you for the sweet compliment. You can always adapt the recipe and try some shortcuts, like pudding mix or other fruits. I think the layered look is what makes this such a fun recipe. Enjoy it! I’d love to see how it turns out, too! I’m going to check out your site as well.
This looks amazing Crissy! I’m seriously going to try making this. I’d love to invite you to share at our Charming Homes and Gardens link party!
Hi Kim! I hope you do try it! I’ll definitely head over to join the party. Thanks so much for the invite!
I could dive right into that bowl and swim around!! It just looks so tempting!!
Thanks so much, Julie! Now, that’s a fun idea! I might have to create a giant “trifle bowl” for the kids to swim around in to help pass the time. Ha!
Love this recipe, and your mom’s pudding recipe, as well! The trifle is gorgeous, too! I’ve made a similar black forest version… more for a winter night than your fresh and spring-time inspired berry trifle. You ‘smirk’ made me giggle… You always make me laugh! Pinned “of course”!
Thank you, Julie! Ooo, black forest sounds amazing, too. You’ll have to share your recipe with me. So glad if I could provide some laughter! We always need more of that, right? Sending hugs your way!
It has been years since I have made trifle. Thanks you for the recipe. It will be enjoyed by everyone in my family. Especially during Spring and Summer!
Thanks, Meegan! I feel like I’m always scrambling to figure out a dessert for parties and special occasions. I’m glad I could remind you to bring your trifle dish back out. I do hope we get to feed a crowd again very soon! Enjoy!
This looks almost too pretty to eat, Crissy…but I would find a way. 😉 Have a lovely spring. xo, mb
Ha ha! At least I have the photos to remind me of what this looked like before it was devoured! Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Spring to you, too, Mary Beth!
Hi, Chrissy. This is a beautiful dessert! What a perfect spring dessert when we FINALLY get to be with friends and family again. I love desserts that feed a crowd and this looks like something I can handle! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks, Marty! Oh, won’t it be wonderful to finally be reunited with all of our loved ones? This dessert made me think a lot about that. I’m praying it can at least be my dish for July 4th, if not something sooner! Happy Spring!
Yum, Crissy! I love the creamy combo with cake and fruit in trifles. And the presentation is so beautiful! Your footed glass bowl is perfect. Printed and Pinned!
Thanks so much, Lora! I love that you printed it off! I should remind my readers that they can do that. This pudding recipe is one of my family’s go-to pie fillings, so I think you’ll enjoy it. My mom often adds bananas or coconut for different variations. Enjoy!
Hey Chrissy! This looks absolutely divine, and I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks! I love all the colors and the addition of fresh fruit – it makes it the perfect spring dessert! So happy to be on tour with you this week!
Your trifle not only is beautiful to look at, I can tell by reading the recipe that it tastes great. (I read recipe books like they are novels.) I can picture your two boys eager to get a bowl of this yummy dessert to enjoy as you photographed it. This recipe will be perfect to share with my family and friends once we get the all clear to once again enjoy gathering together.
Ha ha! I love that, Paula. I need to ask my husband about the name of a book I think you’d enjoy. It’s part cookbook, part memoir. He says the dishes sound amazing. My poor boys really did watch me make this from start to finish. I felt so guilty making them wait!
Thanks for a great hop!
Beautiful presentation and photography Crissy. It’s been way too long since I made a trifle and I forgot just pretty they can be. Yours looks divine! Pinning of course!
Thank you, Michelle. I’ve never owned a trifle dish before, but now I’m seeing all the possibilities. It was fun to be on the “dessert circuit” with you this time! Thanks for pinning!
Crissy, I love that your trifle is both beautiful and sound delicious. Perfect for spring with the freshness of berries and adds extra beauty to the table. Looking forward to trying it soon.
Thank you so much, Patti! My family of four enjoyed it, and there was none left. Here I thought we’d never finish it! Happy Spring to you and your family!