simple trifle.

happy friday, everyone! please hop on over to Sarah Hearts to check out my guest post over there!

can you believe it’s nearly the end of May? honestly, i have no idea where time is flying off to! I’ve been a busy bee lately, baking up a storm for a charity bake sale, traveling to Atlanta for the BlogHer Food conference last week, and since i’ve returned home, testing recipes like it’s going out of style. whew!

know what day i’m really looking forward to? Memorial day.

ahhhh, Memorial day. we all get a day off from work to relax, spend time with friends, and eat plenty of good food. typically heralded as the inaugural barbeque of summer, Memorial day invites us to enjoy the sunshine for the next three months.

well, in Florida, our summers tend to be a bit longer, hotter and more humid, but i digress.

i certainly hope you’ll be spending Memorial day lazing about, hopefully near a pool or some other large body of water. in the spirit of a day of rest and relaxation, i’m sharing with you what is the simplest of desserts to prepare: a trifle.

trifles take hardly any effort to assemble. it’s appeals so perfectly to my lazy side!

you can bake the cake yourself as i did a day in advance, but it’s definitely not a requirement. same goes for the preserves. if you happen to jar your own, you are amazing. if you’re lazy like me, you’ll use delicious preserves that someone else made! the only thing thing i insist you make is the whipped cream, because freshly whipped cream is beyond compare. if you have a stand mixer, it practically does the work for you!

oh god, i feel like that last bit sounded really infomercial-esque. sorry.

this trifle is elegant, simple and striking. i chose to make individual trifles because i’m addicted to buying small serving bowls and the like and happened to have mini trifle dishes. you could achieve the same effect by using small drinking glasses, or if you’re going to a picnic or the beach, use clear plastic cups that can easily be disposed of.

but you better recycle those plastic cups! you can’t see it, but i’m shaking my fist at you. lovingly, of course.

this recipe would also yield you a standard-sized trifle, if you happen to have a large trifle glass!

trifles are a favorite dessert of mine because they are endlessly versatile. you can substitute any type of cake or preserves, and also add fresh fruit to make innumerable delicious combinations.

the real beauty of this trifle is that it can be prepared a day or two in advance. i just cover the tops tightly with plastic wrap and allow them to chill out in the fridge until i need them. honestly, i think it makes them a little more delicious. the cream firms up a bit, akin to the texture of ice cream. it’s super-tasty.

so in the spirit of laid back camaraderie and enjoying the first days of summer, please make this trifle for your Memorial day get-together, your long weekends at the beach, or for a late-evening backyard dinner with your neighbors. everyone will think you’re a genius!

simple trifle

Yield: 12 miniature trifles, or 1 standard-sized trifle

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

this recipe is endlessly adaptable. you can use pretty much whatever you have on hand. it's the perfect lazy dessert!


one standard-sized pound cake, coffee cake, or any cake of your choice
one 16-ounce jar of preserves (whatever flavor you like)
1 quart heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 pint fresh fruit


cut the cake into small one-inch cubes. set aside.

empty the entire jar of preserves into a small saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. cook until the preserves are thinned out and slightly runny. remove from heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes and set aside.

in a separate bowl (or your stand mixer, if you have one), combine the whipping cream and confectioners' sugar. whip until soft peaks form. set aside.

assembling the trifles

arrange the cake cubes in a single layer on the bottom of the trifle dish. add a generous layer of jam, and if using, sprinkle on the fresh fruit. spread a layer of whipped cream on top of this.

repeat this process to fill the dish, topping with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

you can serve these immediately, or cover tops with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to two days prior to serving.

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3 Responses to “simple trifle.”

  1. #
    Annalise — May 27, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Such cute trifles!

    I still can’t believe we didn’t get to connect last weekend. I should have just stood up at one point and shouted “Jaclyn where are you??!” Haha. Seriously though, I would have loved to meet you. Hopefully our paths will cross again! And I hope you enjoyed Blogher Food. I sure did!

  2. #
    jaclyn — May 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    thanks, Annalise! i can’t believe we didn’t get together at blogher food, either! so crazy. it was a whirlwind few days, and i had a great time for sure. glad to hear you had a blast, too! perhaps someday we’ll meet up! i sure hope so :]

  3. #
    sweety — February 26, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    looks yummy will try

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