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Vanilla Trifle

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close up shot of vanilla trifle in a clear dish with strawberries and blackberries on top
Vanilla trifle is a layered, traditional English dessert that is sure to please any dinner guest.
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Table of Contents
  1. Vanilla Trifle Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Vanilla Trifle Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This recipe for vanilla trifle is made from layers of fluffy angel food cake, French vanilla pudding mix, and fresh berries. It’s a creamy, delicious, and decadent fruit trifle that couldn’t be easier to make.

close up shot of vanilla trifle in a clear dish with strawberries and blackberries on top

Vanilla Trifle Ingredients

Vanilla trifle raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 2 (3.4-ounce) packages of French vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Store-bought angel food cake, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 3 (16-ounce) containers of fresh strawberries, tops removed and sliced
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups of fresh raspberries
  • 16-ounce container of Cool Whip

PRO TIP:

I do not recommend using frozen fruit for this recipe. As it thaws, it will soak into the angel food cake, turning it into mush.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE: If you’d prefer to make your own angel food cake, you can buy a box mix from the store. You will need either a tube pan or three 8.5-inch loaf pans for it to cook in. If you choose this option, it’s best to place a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack to prevent a mess if it overflows.

PUDDING: You can use a variety of instant pudding flavors. Here are a few of our favorites: coconut cream, banana cream, vanilla, and cheesecake.

FRUIT: You could use any combination of your favorite fruits for your trifle. It’s not recommended to use frozen fruit for this recipe. When it thaws out it will soak into the angel food cake, turning it to mush. Stick to fresh fruit for this recipe.

WHIPPED CREAM: If you would prefer to make your own whipped cream in place of Cool Whip, check out our homemade whipped cream recipe.

How To Make This Vanilla Trifle Recipe

STEP ONE: In a large mixing bowl, add the dry pudding mix and whole milk. Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat together until there are no lumps remaining. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate according to package directions.

pudding mix and milk being combined in a bowl

STEP TWO: In a large trifle bowl, add half of the angel food cake pieces and evenly spread them out.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

The best knife to use when cutting angel food cake is one with a serrated blade, it will cut the cake easier, and you won’t lose the airy, fluffy texture of the cake.

angel food cake pieces placed in a bowl

STEP THREE: Add half of the chilled French vanilla pudding over the top of the cake pieces and evenly spread it out with a rubber spatula.

pudding mixture spread on top of the angel food cake pieces

STEP FOUR: Add ⅓ of each berry on top of the layer of pudding.

berries placed onto of the vanilla pudding

STEP FIVE: Add ½ of the Cool Whip to the top of the berries.

cool whip spread on top of the berries

STEP SIX: Repeat the layers from step two through step five (cake, pudding, berries, Cool Whip).

Vanilla trifle topped with berries

STEP SEVEN: Add the remaining ⅓ berries to the top of the trifle.

PRO TIP:

Chilling this dessert overnight will allow the flavors to blend together and soak into the cake.

How To Serve

English trifle is one of the easiest desserts to make and even easier to eat. All those divine layers of fruit, sponge cake, and pudding layers combine for a heavenly treat that looks so beautiful in the trifle dish. Serve this amazing, simple dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.

Another yummy vanilla-flavored dessert is our vanilla brownies. It’s so easy to make this tasty treat. If you’re on the hunt for another berry dessert, you have to try our berry icebox cake.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: You can make your trifle a day ahead and store it in the fridge. Assemble the trifle according to the instructions, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it. Any leftovers should also be stored, covered with plastic, in the fridge.

IN THE FREEZER: We don’t recommend freezing leftover trifle as the cake will end up soggy once thawed. 

close up shot of vanilla trifle in a clear cup

Trifle desserts are delicious, layered desserts that are so simple to make. This vanilla trifle uses moist angel food cake, creamy pudding, and fresh berries to make a decadent dessert. It’s the perfect ending to any meal.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a trifle bowl?

A trifle bowl is a large glass bowl that is usually on a pedestal. It displays all of the lovely layers of this dessert through the clear glass.

Can I make a trifle the day before?

Trifle can be made a day ahead and, in fact, it should be made ahead of time so that the flavors are able to blend together and soak into the cake.

Can I use something other than angel food cake in a trifle?

Any other soft, sponge-like cake would work well for a trifle. Ladyfingers are also a popular choice for this fluffy dessert.

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close up shot of vanilla trifle in a clear dish with strawberries and blackberries on top

Vanilla Trifle

5 from 2 votes
Vanilla trifle is a layered, traditional English dessert that is sure to please any dinner guest.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 (3.4-ounce) packages French vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 store-bought angel food cake, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 3 (16-ounce) containers strawberries, tops removed and sliced
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 16 ounces Cool Whip

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the dry pudding mix and whole milk. Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat together until no lumps remain. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate per package directions.
  • In a trifle bowl, add ½ of the angel food cake pieces and evenly spread them out.
  • Add ½ of the chilled French vanilla pudding over the top of the cake pieces and evenly spread it out with a rubber spatula. 
  • Add ⅓ of each berry on top of the French vanilla pudding.
  • Add ½ of the Cool Whip to the top of the berries.
  • Repeat the layers (cake, French vanilla pudding, berries, Cool Whip).
  • Add the remaining ⅓ berries to the top of the trifle.

Notes

  • I do not recommend using frozen fruit for this recipe. As it thaws it will soak into the angel food cake, turning it into mush.
  • The best knife to use when cutting angel food cake is one with a serrated blade, it will cut the cake easier, and you won’t lose the airy, fluffy texture of the cake.
  • Chilling this dessert overnight will allow the flavors to blend together and soak into the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 323mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 277IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 214mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Jean Spooner says

    5 stars
    All your recipes are super great. They are easy to follow.
    Thank you so much for the trifle recipe
    I’m going to make it for Thanksgiving dinner at my friends house
    Thanks again