How to make the ultimate trifle

Discover Good Food's top tips for making the perfect trifle, from using up leftover Christmas pudding to making your festive dessert ahead of time.

Christmas pudding trifle

It's a festive favourite, but with so many different people to please, making a trifle is often more complicated than its name suggests. Our experts and Good Food Facebook followers share their top tips for getting it right.

1. Use up leftovers

Trifle is a great dessert to make between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve – and it's the ideal dish to use up any leftover pudding or cake that you have from the big day. Use leftover Christmas pudding instead of sponge and Grand Marnier instead of sherry.

Try the recipe: Christmas pudding trifle

2. Use fresh fruit

Eggnog trifle in a bowl

Cassie Best says: "For a gorgeous festive trifle, I place slices of ginger cake at the bottom then layer up with clementine slices (which look great lined around the edge of the bowl) mixed with a little chopped stem ginger and a drizzle of sherry, amaretto or Grand Marnier, then top with custard, cream and flaked almonds."

You could also use profiteroles – try this delicious eggnog trifle recipe.

3. Leave to mature

White chocolate trifle

Former food editor, Sarah Cook: "Let it sit. A good trifle really improves from being made ahead so all the flavours can 'marry'. Not only does that make your life easier, it makes the trifle taste better."

Our white chocolate trifles can be made the day before – just chill until you're ready to serve.

4. Add a finishing touch

Chocolate brownie trifle

Food writer Adam Russell says: "Add a fancy finishing touch to your trifle. It could even be something shop-bought to make life easy."

Try adding crushed biscuits or chocolates, like in our tempting chocolate brownie trifle.

5. Make a booze-free option

Classic trifle in a bowl

Sarah Cook says: "Worried about kids getting tipsy, or have guests who don't consume alcohol? Split the trifle into two bowls and make one with grape juice, or juice from the fruits you are using."

Kids and adults alike will love this classic trifle made with frozen summer fruit.

A few tips from our Facebook followers:

Kaje Sawkins: "Add white chocolate to your custard, and lime zest in the cream, mmmmmm."

Louise Bolotin: "I skip the custard as I hate it. I make a corking trifle with extra cream, plenty of fresh raspberries and a base from madeira cake soaked in raspberry liqueur."

Mandi Cresswell: "We love a chocolate muffin/Black Forest version as a special treat at Christmas. Use chocolate muffins as a base, soak with cherry liqueur, add quality kirsch cherries, top with a vanilla custard, cover with cream and sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings – lush."

More trifle ideas

8 next level trifle recipes
Our best Christmas desserts
Make-ahead Christmas desserts

Browse our selection of trifle recipes and let us know your tips. Leave a comment below...

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