A Strawberry Trifle is a lovely summer dessert and best made ahead of time.
In this version, layers of angel food cake, fresh berries, and a creamy no-bake cheesecake filling make a dessert just as pretty as it is delicious!
We love that it’s made ahead of time so it’s perfect for any party or potluck!
Ingredients in Strawberry Trifle
Trifle is a traditional British treat, sponge cake soaked in liquor, layered with fruit, chocolate, jello, custard pudding, or whatever your heart desires. This recipe is a cousin to its boozier relative from across the pond. But if no children are partaking, feel free to douse the cake with something stronger than strawberry syrup!
Cake: Angel food cake is light and airy but you can use pound cake if you’d like.
Creamy Cheesecake Layer: We prefer to skip the vanilla pudding mix and make a fresh cheescake-inspired layer. Cream Cheese, whipping cream and orange zest whipped together with orange juice add a little zippy twist to this “cheesecake”.
Whipped Cream: We prefer freshly whipped cream but whipped topping (or a tub of cool whip) works if you’re short on time.
Fruit: Strawberries, of course! Try making a cranberry trifle by changing up the fruit layer.
To Make Juicy Strawberries
Combine the strawberries with sugar and allow them to sit out on the counter at least 30 minutes. The sugar will cause the berries to release juices (which make this trifle extra yummy). This process is called macerating and works with many fruits.
You can use sugar as in this recipe but also a splash of your favorite liquor as well (like Grand Marnier) or even citrus juices.
How to Make Strawberry Trifle
Prep Berries – Slice and toss with sugar.
Make Cream Cheese Layer – Use a hand mixer or stand mixer and whisk until well combined.
Make Whipped Cream – Make a bowl of whipped cream whipping until soft peaks form.
Cut Cake – Cut the cake into cubes, toss with the strawberry juice and layer with the other ingredients.
How to Layer Trifle
Combine strawberries with sugar and let sit. Toss the cake cubes with the strawberry juices.
Layer angel food cake cubes, cream cheese mixture, and strawberries in a trifle dish or punch bowl. Repeat layers.
Use a transparent dish to show off the layers, or use individual dessert dishes or even wine glasses to create individual portions. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
Trifle needs to sit 4 hours or overnight but will last in the fridge for several days. If you’re making this ahead for an event or special dinner, have some extra whipped cream and fresh berries to dress it up a bit before serving.
I find that after the initial 24 hours, the trifle can sink down a little bit so being able to top it up a bit will make it look as good as new.
Freeze the angel food cake before cubing to keep it intact as you cut it and layer it.
Add other types of berries or fruit along with strawberries. Try blackberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, or raspberries.
While a trifle bowl looks lovely, you can use any clear glass bowl (or even a 9×13 pan) to layer the ingredients.
Swap out the angel food cake for a pound cake to make this into a strawberry shortcake trifle.
Can Trifle be Frozen?
Generally trifle won’t freeze very well once it has been assembled because of the heavy cream. If you’d like to freeze this strawberry trifle, replace the heavy cream and sugar in this recipe with whipped topping (such as Cool Whip).
Alternatively, the cake freezes beautifully and berries can be frozen after mascerating (or you can use frozen strawberries)!
More Fresh Fruit Dessert
This light & fruity dessert has layers of angel food cake, fresh strawberries, and a fluffy orange-flavored no-bake cheesecake filling.