In my very humble opinion, I think trifle is one of the most underrated and often forgot about desserts. I don’t understand why we aren’t making it more, especially since it requires little to no baking time and can be made in advance which kind of makes it an ideal dessert these days with most of us in a hurry. A traditional trifle is made with an egg custard, fruit, cream, cake or typically Lady Fingers and is quite versatile with ingredients and flavors. This trifle requires very little effort and is incredibly light and fresh which is perfect on warmer weather days. Cream cheese replaces the eggs for the mousse-like filling which pairs perfectly with the mix of berries and almond flavor.
I make this Berry Almond Trifle every year for July 4th and it’s always so beautiful. The perfect blend of berries add some patriotic color and it’s a nice dessert for a crowd on a hot day. I’ve tried many trifle recipes and many variations of this specific one and it seems that every time I make one, it gets better and better!
Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make this trifle the best it can be:
- Regarding the almond in this recipe-include it or not, this is still a delicious dessert, and the vanilla extract can be doubled to replace the almond.
- Any white cake will do. Find my favorite white cake recipe here.
- The raspberry preserves accent the fresh raspberries which can often be mild in flavor. I recommend Bonne Maman for their high quality and accessibility. You can find Bonne Maman at nearly every food or grocery store. If you have the time, you can also make your own jam or compote to coat the berries.
-This trifle will taste best when fruit is fresh and as ripe as can be. I like for my trifle to set in the refrigerator overnight. This allows for the almond flavor to be absorbed and the fruit filling to really soak into bits of the cake pieces which creates a soft and distinct texture throughout.
-Use a traditional trifle bowl or a cylindrical dish of your liking. Small dessert cups or stemless wine glasses create a beautiful display for hosting too. Trifle doesn’t necessarily need to “look” like trifle.
Let's get baking!
BERRY ALMOND TRIFLE
1 cup raspberry preserves
1-quart strawberries, sliced
1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream
16-ounces (2 packages) cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups white/vanilla cake, cubed into 1-inch pieces (typically 1 9” cake is enough)
Slivered almonds, for garnish
Have your favorite cake on hand, cut up and ready to go. You can try one of my favorite white cakes here.
Wash all berries, slice strawberries, and allow to dry. Place berries in a bowl and set aside a few of each for topping. In a small saucepan, heat raspberry preserves until warmed through. Pour preserves over berries and gently stir until berries are coated. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip heavy cream until a stiff peak forms. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add in powdered sugar and mix on low to medium speed until mixture becomes creamy and smooth throughout. Stir in vanilla and almond extract. Pour half of the whipped cream into mixture and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. Gently fold the remaining whipped cream into sugar mixture.
Place cake pieces evenly at the bottom of a trifle or cylinder bowl. Pour ⅓ of the berry mixture over cake pieces and top with ⅓ of the cream cheese mixture. Repeat the process, beginning with cake, followed by fruit mixture, and topped again with cream cheese mixture. Garnish top of trifle with slivered almonds and remaining berries.
It is best to allow trifle to chill a minimum of 8 hours prior to serving but overnight is best.