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Christmas Trifle

Quintessentially English, the humble trifle is the perfect way to end festive celebrations.

Photographs: Natasha Liviero / Unsplash

Text: Natasha Liviero

Christmas Trifle

Makes 1 x 2.8L/3L Trifle Bowl


500g jelly (cranberry/raspberry flavour)

250g sponge cake, e.g. Pound cake/

Madeira cake/Swiss roll

200g raspberries

200g strawberries

60g freshly squeezed orange juice

85g orange liqueur e.g. Cointreau/

Grand Marnier

20g castor/fine sugar

For the custard ingredients:

500g full-fat milk

200g cream

5g vanilla

7 extra-large egg yolks

65g castor/fine sugar

30g corn flour

For decorating:

300g cream

15g castor/fine sugar

chocolate shavings

30g almond flakes, toasted



gold dust


  1. Prepare jelly as per packet directions. Alternatively, make your own with 500ml sweetened cranberry/raspberry juice and 6g gelatine powder (230 bloom) hydrated in 50g cold water. Heat the juice, add the bloomed gelatine and mix well until fully dissolved. Do not boil the juice/gelatine, as it will damage the gelatine’s thickening properties. Refrigerate in a trifle bowl until set.

  2. Prepare the custard by heating the milk, cream and vanilla until simmering. Next, whisk together the egg yolks, castor sugar and corn flour. While whisking, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture until combined. Return the mixture to medium-low heat, stirring continuously until a thick custard forms and coats the back of a spoon, approximately 15 minutes. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl, contact cover with cling film and leave to cool at room temperature in an ice bath.

  3. Next, you can layer the trifle by cutting the cake into cubes, approximately 3cm x 3cm, and placing it on top of the set jelly.

  4. Cut the strawberries similar in size to the raspberries and place them in a bowl with the orange juice, liqueur and sugar. Mix and macerate for 15 minutes before spooning on top of the cake.

  5. Spoon the cooled custard over the macerated fruit. You can contact cover the custard and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight at this stage.

  6. Before serving, whisk the cream and sugar until firm peaks form.

  7. Spoon the cream over the custard and decorate with chocolate shavings, almond flakes, raspberries, mint and gold dust. Serve immediately.

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