trifle was a favorite beautiful yet easy to throw together dessert as i was growing up - my mom made it with store bought cake and instant pudding, so it came together in a breeze. 

when it came time to celebrate a big birthday of hers (a lady never tells her mom's age, right) over the weekend, my dad thought she might enjoy a dressed up version of the old favorite. so i set out to make all the layers of a traditional trifle from scratch and boy was it a success! i mean, look at this - layer after layer of fresh berries, whipped cream, pound cake, and sherry. of course there must be sherry! 

this dessert is a crowd pleaser, and while it takes a bit of planning ahead to make all the layers, and half an hour or so for assembly the day you're planning to serve it - the effort is well worth it! you can expect abundant "wows" over your creation, and everyone reaching in for seconds! 

so, as the season for fragrant, sweet and intoxicatingly delicious strawberries approaches... i give you the perfect summertime dessert for a crowd. using all the ingredients listed below will give you enough for about 20 small servings. you can always half the recipe for a smaller bowl (though it has to be tall for the layers!), or make individual trifles in tumblers or other wide glasses. 


note: these amounts represent what i used for my trifle... but it'll all depend on the size of bowl you use. i made a large bowl, so this should be plenty for you, just keep an eye on how much of each item you're using as you layer your bowl! 

1 loaf of martha stewart's vanilla pound cake (or another pound cake or angel food cake recipe) 

double batch of smitten kitchen's vanilla bean pudding  (i had a little left over for snacking!) 

about 1 pint heavy whipping cream (i used a bit more) 

2 quarts fresh strawberries, greens removed and sliced in half 

1 pint fresh raspberries 

1 jar raspberry jam (i like american spoon!

about 1/2 cup cream sherry 


first, puree just under half of the strawberries in a blender, leaving some small chunks of strawberry. 

then whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. set aside one quarter of the whipped cream, and fold the pureed berries into the other three quarters of the cream. now, you're ready to start assembling the trifle! 

cover the bottom of a deep clear bowl (or about 10 wide glasses) with slices of the pound cake, cutting the slices to fill in the space as best you can. most important to making this look beautiful is the get the cake as close to the sides as possible.

sprinkle sherry over the pound cake (don't be afraid to have a heavy hand with it - being able to taste the sherry is super important to this being a traditional trifle!).  

spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the pound cake. 

scoop some of the vanilla pudding on next, spreading it around to create an even layer. 

next, layer half of the raspberries over the pudding to cover the entire layer. 

cover the berries with the strawberry whipped cream. 

continue to create layers, using the same structure until you reach the top of the container. choose one layer to use strawberries instead of raspberries for your fruit layer, placing cut side of halved strawberries against the sides of the bowl to create some distinction of the fruit layer. 

when you've constructed your last group of layers, top with the plain whipped cream and decorate the top with strawberries. you can also grate a little chocolate on top for decoration if you like! 

keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. serve within 24 hours of constructing, preferably less.