This Easy Summer Berry Trifle is a simple dessert perfect for the summer months! Layers of cake, fresh summer berries, and a homemade whipped cream pudding mix combine for a beautiful trifle that’s perfect for patriotic holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July, summer parties, and weeknight treats. One bite and it’s sure to become a staple in your lineup of summer desserts.
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What Is a Berry Trifle?
Now a popular American treat, a trifle is actually an English dessert that originated in the 18th Century. Traditionally, an English trifle consisted of 3-4 layers of fruit, sponge cake (usually soaked in alcohol), and custard.
Additionally, in many versions, there was a layer of jelly between the fruit and cake. However, no matter how the dessert was made, it was always served in a large glass bowl.
Meanwhile, the American version of the berry trifle, like we’re making today, is a little simpler. Existing in a wide variety of flavors, they are made with layers of fresh berries, cake, fruit, and pudding. In some instances, they’re topped off with whipped topping and a sprinkle of nuts, too.
No matter how you make your berry trifle, they’re always delicious and super quick to prepare! Especially if you go with the American version and skip soaking the cake.
The Best Bery Trifle Recipe
There are soooo many reasons to love this easy berry trifle, but we’ll just name a few!
- It looks beautiful on your table.
- One batch makes enough to feed a crowd.
- You can whip it up in a matter of minutes. Seriously!
- It’s the perfect combination of cool, creamy, and fluffy textures with sweet flavors.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Sweet and simple is the name of the game when it comes to this berry trifle, and the ingredient list is the same using items you can easily find at your local grocery store. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Fresh Fruit – You can’t have a berry trifle without fresh berries! We use strawberries and blueberries for this recipe as they tend to hold up better than other berries.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar helps enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit and helps pull out excess moisture. This is important to prevent your fruit trifle from becoming watery.
- Lemon Juice – This enhances the berry flavor and prevents them from becoming soggy or browning.
- Vanilla Pudding – – Use box mix vanilla pudding. Do not make it or swap it out for homemade pudding! Otherwise, your pudding layer won’t become light and fluffy.
- Milk – We recommend using whole milk for the creamiest texture and the sweetest, most indulgent whipped cream layer. However, any milk you have on hand will work.
- Whipped Topping (Cool Whip) – This is key to creating a light, fluffy filling.
- Cake – To save time, we use store-bought pound cake. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to make your own from scratch instead.
Whip, Layer, Eat: How to Make a Summer Berry Trifle
This summer berry trifle recipe is the perfect dessert to whip up for all your warm-weather needs.
- Prepare the Berries. In a large bowl, add the strawberries, a bit of sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Repeat the process in a second bowl with the blueberries. Set the fruit aside until the berries begin to release their natural juices.
- Create the Whipped Cream Layer. Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat the pudding mix and milk in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Set the mixture aside to thicken. Then, add the whipped topping, and beat again until smooth.
- Assemble the Berry Trifle. Layer 1/3 of the cake in the bottom of a trifle dish. Arrange 1/3 of the strawberries on top followed by 1/3 of the blueberries. Smooth part of the pudding mixture on top. Repeat the process starting with a second cake layer, using all of the ingredients, and ending with a final layer of cake.
- Chill. Transfer the trifle to the fridge to chill for at least a few hours or up to overnight, and serve cold!
Mix and match different ingredients and flavor combinations to make this summer berry trifle recipe your own! For example, some of our favorite variations include:
- Use Different Fruit. A wide variety of fruit works great in trifle recipes. For instance, kiwi, pineapple, blackberries, peaches, and mangoes all taste amazing!
- Swap Out the Pound Cake. We love the sturdy texture that pound cake provides. However, if you want a super light and fluffy dessert, store-bought angel food cake or homemade angel food cake makes for a great substitution. We’ve also seen people use Lady fingers! We can’t guarantee how well they will hold up though.
- Include a Topping. Get a little fancy and top off your berry trifle with a little extra garnish like chopped nuts, coconut flakes, mint sprigs, or chocolate shavings.
Summer Berry Trifle Common Questions
Yes! In fact, we recommend it as the flavors really sink in and taste even better the next day.
No worries! Use any large, deep bowl such as a salad or punch bowl instead. Or, divide the trifle into individual jars for a super cute, single-serving dessert.
While we recommend making your berry trifle a day in advance, you don’t want to leave it in the fridge long. Otherwise, it will become soggy. For the best results, we recommend consuming your trifle within 3 days.
More Tasty Summer Treats
Looking for more ways to satisfy your sweet tooth this summer? We’ve got you covered with all the best desserts!
- Slow Cooker Summer Berry Cobbler
- Chocolate Brownie Pizza Tart
- Easy Fruit Salad
- Easy Peach Strawberry Cobbler
Summer Berry Trifle
- 16 ounces fresh strawberries sliced
- 16 ounces fresh blueberries
- 2 Tablespoons sugar divided
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice divided
- 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups whole milk or milk of choice, cold
- 12 ounces whipped topping thawed
- 2 loaves pound cake cut into 1-inch squares
- In a bowl, add the strawberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Repeat the process in a second bowl with the blueberries. Set the fruit aside for 30 minutes or until the berries begin to release their natural juices.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the pudding mix and milk until smooth. Let stand for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Add the whipped topping, and beat again until smooth.
- Assemble the berry trifle starting by placing ⅓ of the pound cake in the bottom of a large trifle bowl.
- Layer ⅓ of the strawberries and ⅓ of the blueberries on top followed by ⅓ of the pudding mixture.
- Repeat until all of the ingredients have been used, ending with a layer of pudding.
- Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or ideally overnight.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.