Layered fruit trifle in a glass bowl

Classic trifle

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(18 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 15 mins Plus cooling and setting

More effort

Serves 10

Christmas celebrations are not complete without a trifle and this recipe is guaranteed to be the crown jewels of the table

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal581
  • fat26g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs78g
  • sugars60g
  • fibre3g
  • protein13g
  • salt0.77g
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  • 750g frozen summer fruit (raspberries, blackberries, red and blackcurrants)
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 9 sheets leaf gelatine



    A colourless, tasteless and odourless setting agent made from the boiled bones, skins and…

  • 75g custard powder
  • 1.2l milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 1½-2 madeira cakes
  • 4 tbsp sherry or cassis
  • 300-450ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 crushed amaretti biscuits, to serve


  1. Put 750g frozen summer fruit in a pan with 200g caster sugar and 1 litre water and bring to a gentle simmer.

  2. Cook for 2 mins, then scoop out 6 tbsp fruit and 150ml juice. Now carry on cooking the fruit in the pan for 5 mins.

  3. Meanwhile, soak 9 sheets leaf gelatine in cold water to soften it. If you have a hand blender, blitz the cooked fruit or mash with a potato masher, then strain through a sieve into a large bowl and push through the pulp so just the skins and seeds are left.

  4. Squeeze excess water from the gelatine, add to the hot fruit syrup and stir to dissolve. Cool, then chill until on the point of almost setting.

  5. Make the custard according to pack instructions with 75g custard powder, 1.2l milk and 50g caster sugar to create a really thick custard. Cover the surface with baking paper while it cools a little.

  6. Pile 1½ - 2 cubed madeira cakes into a trifle bowl, spoon over the reserved juice and berries, then 4 tbsp sherry or cassis.

  7. Pour over a thick layer of custard, pushing it against the side of the dish to seal in the cake below. Leave to cool and set with a skin – this makes a barrier for the jelly.

  8. When the custard is cold and set, and the jelly is on the point of setting, spoon the jelly over the custard and chill until ready to complete.

  9. Whip 300 - 450ml double cream with 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp icing sugar until just holding its shape, then spoon round the bowl over the set jelly. Scatter with 2 crushed amaretti biscuits and chill until ready to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Cara Bailey's picture
Cara Bailey
30th May, 2020
We made this with a packet of very old gelatine granules that we found at the back of our cupboard, as our local tescos didn't stock gelatine leaves. We used 4 sachets, and our jelly was amazing!
26th Dec, 2019
I made this trifle on Christmas Eve it’s quite time consuming and sadly, the jelly never set even though I left it in the fridge overnight leaving a coulis type mixture.
David Blackshaw's picture
David Blackshaw
23rd Dec, 2019
The recipe was great until it came to the jelly. Despite following the recipe precisely I ended up with fruity juice on top of my trifle that never set.
12th Apr, 2019
Have to disagree with weezychef. It's pretty straightforward and reasonably quick even making fresh custard instead of powder.
18th Jan, 2013
I made this on Christmas eve, it was such a faff! and not as nice as a the usual trifle.
22nd Dec, 2012
i wish to make it for chrsitmas ... anyone can tell me please if i can prepare on Sunday (2 days before) ? will it keep good ?
barnesy's picture
20th Dec, 2012
Instead of the gelatine, i used raspberry jelly poured over the fruit. Lovely.
5th Jun, 2012
Was perfect as a Jubilee trifle! I piped cream on the top and instead of crushed amaretti biscuits, sprinkled on red, white and blue sugar sprinkles! Recipe easily fed 12 people.
mother_ship's picture
30th Dec, 2011
Made a half sized version of this over Christmas and it was very good! Did have a bit of a panic over my jelly setting so added a couple more leaves and ended up with a rather firm jelly :-) Are all leaves of gelatine the same size? I think I would cheat and use a strawberry flavour packet of jelly next time. But overall a fab combination of layers and flavours.
12th Dec, 2018
Did you halve everything exactly? Thank you


Claudio Rojas
22nd Dec, 2019
Hey, great comments on this one and look good !. I have a quick question though, how long does the gelatine take to set? Will it not set in the time I'm waiting for the custard to cool and set enough? Thanks.
lulu_grimes's picture
24th Dec, 2019
Hello, How quickly the jelly will set depends on how cold it is - so if your fridge is very cold then it might set quickly, if it's warmer it may take longer. The custard will set before it is completely cold. I hope this helps.
15th Dec, 2018
Can I use fresh ready-made custard? Does the top layer of Jelly really turn out that lovely colour, 0r will I need a packet of Jelly?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. Shop-bought custard will be much runnier so it won't be as easy to get the jelly to stay on top. We have lots of delicious trifle recipes, including options with the ready-made custard. This one's a great option: Or see more here:
22nd Dec, 2015
Hi, can the jelly be made with fresh berries instead? And how far in advance can the trifle be made (without cream)? Thanks!
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Jan, 2016
You can make this 3 days ahead if you don't cover with cream, and yes you can use fresh berries.
23rd Dec, 2014
Just wondered what kind of set you get with the jelly? It seems like a lot of gelatine to use.
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Jan, 2015
Hi yummymummy83 thanks for your question. The jelly is made with just under a litre of liquid so 9 leaves of gelatine will ensure that it sets firmly enough to give defined layers and hold the cream on the top but will still be wobbly. Hope this helps, let us know how you get on. 
Aikimagic's picture
24th Dec, 2015
Hi all, can I use a packet of jelly instead of gelatine? I can't get hold of 'leaves' only granules and you can purchase leaves of different sizes so I'm not guaranteed of the correct jelly constituency. Thanks.
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