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How to Make Fruit Trifle Your Easiest Summer Party Dessert

Picture-perfect and ready to party.

We're calling it: Fruit trifles are the party desserts of the summer. Easy to make, drop-dead gorgeous, and scaled to feed a crowd, these multi-layered bowls of deliciousness can be assembled ahead of time and customized with any combo of fruit + cake + creamy filling you wish. Plus, there might booze involved. I'll share tips to make the best fruit trifles plus favorite recipes to try.

Raspberry Trifle
Pictured: Raspberry Trifle | Photo by dots

How to Make the Best Fruit Trifle

1. Use the right bowl. A large clear glass punch bowl with straight or gently sloping sides shows off the layers and layers of ingredients you use to build your trifle. You can also create individual servings in jars or parfait glasses.

2. Cut your cake, brownie, or cookie base into bite-size ingredients—this makes building and serving trifle a lot easier. However, if your recipe says you should use whole ladyfinger cookies to line the side of the bowl, you should follow the recipe.

3. You can easily build your trifle with convenient store-bought  ingredients, but in case you prefer homemade, try these recipes for pound cake, angel food cake, brownies, and ladyfinger cookies.

4. Trifles usually include a whipped cream, whipped topping, or pudding layer. If you prefer homemade versions of store-bought products, try these recipes for homemade whipped cream and pudding.

5. Build your trifle layers from the outside in. Press fresh fruit or cake or creamy fillings right up against the glass so you can see the outer face of the layer, then fill in the rest of the layer.

Favorite Summer Trifle Recipes to Try

1. All-American Trifle

Store-bought pound cake cut into cubes makes this colorful trifle super-quick to make. You moisten the cake with a bit of rum (or not), then layer it up with fresh berries and lemony white chocolate whipped cream. Lots of reviewers served this for their 4th of July parties, but it would be heavenly all summer long.

All-American Trifle

Photo by Allrecipes

2. Mixed Berry Trifle

We love the idea of creating individual servings of trifle so everyone gets a picture-perfect treat. Jars, wine glasses, or even water glasses make great trifle containers. "I scaled this down to 4 servings and made them into 'mini' trifles. They turned out so cute, and they are delicious!" Kim's Cooking Now!

Mixed Berry Trifle

Photo by Kim's Cooking Now!

3. Strawberry Angel Food Dessert

Trifles made with angel food cake are especially light and spongy. This version is loaded with strawberries and takes a mere 15 minutes to assemble.

4. Joy's Prizewinning Trifle

Here's another angel food cake trifle, but this one's layered with kiwis, strawberries, bananas, and pineapple. To get the most attractive layers, place fruit slices up against the glass before adding the filling. Build your layers slowly, making sure the cake and creamy filling stays behind the fruit layer.

Joy's Prizewinning Trifle

Photo by iluv2cook!

5. Vanilla Raspberry Trifle

Lady finger cookies (you can usually find them in the bakery section of your grocery store) are a third option for the cake filling, and make an attractive layer around the bowl. For this recipe, you'll soak the lady fingers in rum, but that's up to you.

Vanilla Raspberry Trifle

Photo by Cynthia Ross

6. Fresh Peach Trifle

Berries aren't the only fruits you can use to build a trifle. Try this peach-packed beauty layered with angel food cake and vanilla yogurt.

Fresh Peach Trifle

Photo by Molly

7. English Trifle

Where did trifle originate? In England, where this dessert dates back to the 16th century and is still a favorite holiday treat.

You might also like...

Explore our complete collection of trifle recipes for any occasion.
These quick and easy summer desserts are ready to impress in 30 minutes or less.
Got a houseful of little ones? They'll love these kid-pleasing summer desserts—and you'll love that they take only 5 ingredients to make.


About Vanessa Greaves

Good food, friends, and fun are always on the menu. Find me as foodelicious on Allrecipes and vanny.gee on Instagram (but only if you don't mind cat pics and cocktails).