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This English dessert dates back to the Victorian age. It is made from sponge cake, lady fingers, or biscuits that are soaked in sherry (or other liquor or even fruit juice). The cake is layered with custard and whipped cream (and sometimes jam). It is best served in a glass bowl so the attractive layers are visible. The trifle can be topped with candied or fresh fruit, nuts, or grated chocolate.
In Colonial times the trifle was also known as "tipsy parson" or "tipsy squire". The Italian version is called zuppa ingelse, meaning "English soup" and the Spanish version is bizcocho borracho, meaning "drunken cake".
In place of the sponge cake you can also use angel food cake, brownies, or regular cake (either from scratch or from a mix). Many modern trifle recipes use pudding in place of custard and pie filling in place of the jam. It's sometimes called punch bowl cake because it can easily be made in a glass punch bowl for large groups making for a nice presentation (and easy to serve). The trifle usually needs to be refrigerated for a few hours for the cake layers to soak up some of the filling.
Death By Chocolate Trifle Dessert Made with chocolate pudding or mousse mix, whipped topping, chocolate cake mix, chocolate covered toffee candy bars, Kahlua oven
Chocolate Toffee Trifle
photo: ejkober Made with chocolate cake mix, frozen nondairy whipped topping, chocolate pudding mix, chocolate covered toffee candy bars oven Banana Cream Trifle photo: CDKitchen Made with frozen whipped topping, vanilla pudding and pie filling mix, banana breakfast quick bread, milk, bananas Low-Fat Trifle Made with vanilla pudding mix, raspberries or blueberries, cream cheese, milk, angel food cake, whipped topping, strawberries
Punch Bowl Cake Made with pecans, angel food or yellow cake mix, cherry pie filling, vanilla pudding mix, pineapple, whipped topping oven Pineapple Trifle Made with toasted coconut flakes, frozen pound cake, pineapple, milk, coconut cream flavor instant pudding, Cool Whip Bavarian Cream Cake Made with whipping cream, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt, flour, sugar, milk, eggs, water, unflavored gelatin
Butterfinger Trifle Made with candy bar, chocolate cake, chocolate pudding mix, Cool Whip
Pumpkin Trifle Made with powdered sugar, cream cheese, spice cake mix, butterscotch pudding mix, milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice
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Apple Spice Cake Trifle Made with cinnamon applesauce, eggs, vegetable oil, apple pie filling, butter, ground cinnamon, milk, vanilla pudding mix, whipped topping mix, frozen whipped topping oven, stovetop