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Trifle recipes: Layered summer desserts

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Classic dessert for summer

The traditional English trifle, a layered dessert with fruit, jam, custard, cake and whipped cream, is the perfect ending to a meal on a sweltering summer day. Trifles are light, sweet, and delightfully layered with varying flavors and textures. Here are some tips and recipes for trifles so you can make this lovely layered dessert a frequently served summer treat.

Trifle Recipes

The following trifle recipes show you three of the near countless trifle variations. Best yet, they call for convenient store-bought ingredients so you can put a trifle together in no time. Feel free to make cakes, jam, custard and whipped cream from scratch if you have the time.

Triple Berry Trifle

Makes 12 servingsIngredients:
1 (9-inch) pound cake, cubed
1 cup blueberry, raspberry or blackberry jam
10 ounces blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
10 ounces raspberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
10 ounces blackberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
1 (5-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Extra berries and chopped nuts for garnishDirections:
1. Place half of the cake cubes in a large glass serving bowl or trifle bowl. Layer with 1 cup jam and half of the berries. Pour 1 tablespoon liqueur over the berries and cake.2. In a separate bowl, combine pudding mix with low-fat milk and condensed milk and stir well. Spoon half of the pudding mixture on top of fruit then add half of the whipped cream.3. Top with the rest of the cake, jam, berries, liqueur, pudding and whipped cream. Garnish with extra berries and nuts. Chill before serving.

Chocolate Trifle

Makes 12 servingsIngredients:
1 (19.8-ounce) package brownie mix
1 (5-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 (8-ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (1.5-ounce) bar chocolate candy, chopped
Mint sprigsDirections:
1. Bake brownies according to package directions (preferably for cake-like brownies rather than chewy). Let cool then slice into cubes.2. Stir pudding mix together with water and condensed milk then combine with 1 container of whipped topping. Arrange half of the brownies in a glass serving bowl and top with pudding mixture and half of the remaining whipped topping and half of the nuts.3. Layer again with brownies, pudding, whipped topping and nuts. Garnish with chopped up candy bar and mint sprigs. Chill before serving.

Individual Strawberry Trifles

Makes 10 servingsIngredients:
1 (9-inch) pound cake, cubed
1-1/2 cups strawberry jam
8 ounces fresh strawberries, sliced
1-1/2 cups lemon curd, homemade or store-bought
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 crushed shortbread cookiesDirections:
1. Place cake cubes into the bottom of 10 glass dessert dishes. Top with strawberry jam and fresh strawberries.2. Spoon lemon curd over strawberries and top with whipped cream and crushed cookies. Chill before serving.

More light and luscious summer desserts

Homemade custard recipes
Light Tiramisu
Naturally sweetened dessert recipes

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