Lemon-scented berries are scattered in between layers of angel food cake and creamy, vanilla pudding to create a crowd-pleasing trifle that is perfect for entertaining.
Just in time for spring entertaining, I am so excited to share my Lemon Berry Angel Food Cake Trifle. It was created on a whim when my mom asked me to bring dessert to a family dinner. To be completely honest, I just opened my pantry and tried to figure out what I could throw together with what I had on hand.
Let’s talk angel food cake for a minute. Confession: this was my first time baking it at home. In fact, I don’t even own a bundt pan. Embarrassing, right? If you’re feeling ambitious, my girl Megan has a beautiful recipe for Homemade Angel Food Cake. Since I’m not that fancy, I used a “just add water” mix hiding in the back of my pantry which allowed me to use two bread pans. Since you’re tearing the cake into bite-sized pieces, it really doesn’t matter what shape pan you use.
Whatever you do, try to avoid using store-bought angel food cake if possible. Freshly baked from a mix takes no time at all and trust me when I say it requires no baking talent. The end result is much more moist, fluffy and flavorful than the pre-made versions.
Homemade vanilla pudding couldn’t be any easier to make from scratch and only requires 6 ingredients you probably already have on hand such as milk, sugar and cornstarch. For freshness and bright flavor, I added a little lemon zest to the berries before layering the trifle.
After a little time in the refrigerator for all of the flavors to enhance and get cozy with one another, you are ready to serve this baby. Creamy, cool, slightly tart and bursting with flavor, my family went crazy for this dessert. In fact, my mom was sad I only made one dish. We devoured it!
If you’re entertaining a crowd, feel free to double the recipe. It is perfect for making ahead as well to help you save time on the day of the party.
Your fork is waiting.
- 2½ cups homemade vanilla pudding (see below)
- 1 large *angel food cake - torn into bite sized pieces
- 4 cups mixed berries - fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon butter
- To make the vanilla pudding, warm milk in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. While milk is warming, stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Once milk has started to create bubbles around the edge of the pan, slowly whisk in the sugar mixture. Continue whisking until mixture begins to thicken being careful not to boil.
- Remove from heat and gently stir in the vanilla and butter. Chill pudding in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before assembling trifle.
- While pudding is cooling, prepare angel food cake according to package instructions. Let cook completely before tearing into bite-sized pieces.
- When you are ready to assemble your trifle, start by mixing berries in a bowl with the lemon zest.
- Layer ¼ of the angel food cake pieces in the bottom of a glass trifle bowl or a large serving bowl. Scatter ¼ of the berries on top then drizzle with ¼ of the vanilla pudding.
- Repeat the layers 3 times until you've used all of the cake, pudding and fruit.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and chill completely before serving, ideally 2 hours or more.
Store bought will work in a pinch, but the "just add water" mix I used only took 5 minutes to prepare and the freshness and flavor blew store bought out of the water.
If using frozen berries, let them come to room temperature first.
Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe is from All Recipes.