Mary’s royal cherry trifle

Mary’s royal cherry trifle

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(6 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus chilling


Serves 8

Mary Berry whips up a creamy, fruity pudding studded with almond amaretti biscuits and smothered in kirsch and custard

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal886
  • fat50g
  • saturates29g
  • carbs94g
  • sugars75g
  • fibre1g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 450g cherry, reserve a few lovely cherries for the top and stone the rest



    One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour…

  • 340g jar cherry jam or conserve
  • 450g madeira cake, cut int 1cm-thick slices
  • 100ml kirsch or cherry brandy



    Produced in mainly in Germany, but also in Switzerland and the Alsace region of France, Kirsch…

  • 10 ratafia biscuits or 5 amaretti biscuits, broken
  • 300ml double cream, whipped lightly

For the custard

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 300ml milk



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

  • 300ml whipping cream


  1. First, make the custard. Tip the caster sugar, cornflour and vanilla into a mixing bowl and add the eggs and egg yolk. Whisk with a hand whisk until smooth and blended.

  2. Pour the milk and double cream into a pan and heat gently until hot, but do not boil. Pour this over the egg mixture and immediately whisk until blended. Wash the pan to remove any scum from the milk and pour the custard back into the clean pan. Heat gently, stirring constantly until thickened. Don’t panic if the custard starts to look lumpy as it thickens, just continue to heat and whisk until the custard is thick and smooth. Pour into a jug and cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool.

  3. Tip the stoned cherries into a pan with half the jam or conserve and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 mins until softened and saucy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

  4. Spread half the slices of Madeira cake generously with the remaining cherry jam. Sandwich with the remaining cake slices, then cut in half. Pour the kirsch or brandy into a shallow bowl, dip each sponge sandwich into the liqueur, then arrange in the base of the trifle dish (you will need a shallow, straight-sided, 20cm round glass dish about 5cm deep). Line the edges of the dish first to create a stripy effect, then fill in the centre with the remaining sandwiches, pouring over any remaining liquid.

  5. Spoon over the cherries and any juice from the pan, then scatter over the broken biscuits. Pour over the cooled custard, then spread whipped cream over the top. Decorate with fresh whole cherries and chill for a few hours, or make it a day ahead and chill for up to 24 hours before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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21st Dec, 2017
Delish. Did not think the custard was stodgy at all! There is a big difference between kirsch and cherry brandy. I wouldn't use kirsch it's quite harsh tasting, like grappa at 40% whereas cherry brandy is only 24% and tastes so good. I used tinned cherries as they arent in season and I added a layer of cherry jelly over the custard layer, then cream.
25th Jul, 2014
I have made this on a few different occasions now and everybody loves it! I used Madeira wine due to not having cherry brandy, still delicious though.
11th Jan, 2013
Daughter in law made this for dessert on Christmas day it was absolutely delicicious and can't wait to make it myself and eat it again, best trifle I have ever tasted
23rd Jul, 2012
wow! i felt so proud when i made the custard plus the cake looked so much better than I expected. It was delicious as well and a lot easier than it looks. The biscuits added a lovely crunchy finish to it and when combined with the cherries (I used sweet) the result was mouth-watering! I definitely recommend this one!
11th Jun, 2012
My proudest moment of this was the home made custard - and it was so easy! Definitely one of the best trifle recipes around, and we've got some cherry brandy left over, so I’ll be making it again!
2nd Jun, 2012
This is wonderful and best made ahead to leave time to enjoy at its best. If you want to cheat a little then you can buy ready made good quality"vanilla custard". I have a few of Mary Berry's books about desserts and baking and they are a core part of cookery library.
30th May, 2012
Hi Katka, yes you can leave in the middle of table as a center piece and scoop out with large spoon in to guest bowls.
30th May, 2012
A silly question but as I am not Brittish I honestly do not know the answer :) How do you serve this? Put it in the middle of the table and everyone gets a spoon and digs in? Or do you take it out of the fridge and divide it into cups or put on plates as you would with any other cake? Many thanks from central Europe!
28th Nov, 2017
Can I use frozen cherries instead of fresh?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question. Yes, it's fine to use frozen.
7th Nov, 2013
How far ahead can you make this trifle? Would it be OK to make it the day before?
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