When thinking about trifle recipes, you might worry that they’re a little over-the-top and complicated.
That might be true of your grandma’s trifle, but today’s recipes are much simpler.
The idea is to have a layered dessert in a grand glass dish that shows off all your hard work.
And nobody has to know if you used a boxed cake mix or instant pudding. It’s how it tastes that counts.
So if you’re looking for a big and beautiful crowd-pleaser, or something different for date-night, take a look at these 24 terrific trifle recipes.
No Christmas table is complete without a trifle.
A true classic trifle should have a base layer with fruit or sherry soaked cake, followed by a nice thick layer of creamy custard.
This all gets served in a grand dish with tall sides and a stand. You can find inexpensive trifle dishes online, and I think they’re a great investment.
If nothing else, it will be the most Instagrammed dish you own!
The cake and custard get topped with dark berry jelly and some fresh whipped cream.
Truthfully, you can layer it however you prefer, and use whatever fruit you like. It’s the layering that makes this dish look so pretty in a glass bowl.
If you’re going to stray from the classic, it should be with this rich and over-the-top chocolate trifle.
If you’re looking to make this as fast as possible, buy some brownie bites and instant pudding. It will be just as delicious and on the table in half the time.
Start with a layer of brownie chunks, and top with a cold and creamy chocolate pudding.
The whipped cream gives a great contrast to the dark chocolate and adds a little air to the dish which would be quite dense without it.
When you have all your layers built up, sprinkle with toffee bits, or chopped Oreos would be great.
If you ever go to New York City, Magnolia Bakery is an absolute must-visit.
Their banana pudding is legendary and comes in a variety of flavors. But the classic has to be the best!
This recipe, like the Magnolia recipe, uses instant pudding and vanilla wafers.
Where this recipe differs is with its creamy cheesecake filling. I mean, as if it wasn’t already amazing!
Just be sure to let this all set for at least an hour so the pudding and cream can start to soften the cookies.
Other than the Cool Whip, everything in this recipe is homemade. So if you’re looking to impress, read on!
Making peanut butter pudding is dangerously easy. Once you see exactly how easy, be prepared to make this over and over.
Personally, I think a piece of warm brownie with warm peanut butter pudding would be something epic.
But if you can hold off and let it all cool down, you won’t be sorry.
Not only does this trifle layer brownies with peanut butter pudding and Cool Whip, it just casually throws in some Reese’s cups for good measure!
The only possible way to make this better (it’s pretty perfect as is) would be to add some Reese’s Pieces on top.
This trifle is more like a deconstructed lemon and blueberry cake.
Rather than layers of pudding, jelly, and cake, it uses a lemonade-infused angel cake, lemon glaze, and Cool Whip.
The blueberries are like little candies scattered throughout the dish and add some sweetness to go with the zesty lemon.
If you think you’ll miss the jelly layer, why not try adding a layer of blueberry jelly? Just mix blueberry pie filling and gelatin.
My inner pumpkin spice latte-drinking, sweater weather-loving self is giddy with excitement for this trifle.
Glorious layers of soft gingerbread cake, pumpkin pie infused instant pudding and Cool Whip marry into one fall favorite you will fall in love with.
For the pudding, it’s as simple as incorporating pumpkin pie filling into prepared pudding.
The gingersnaps on top give a nice little crunch, and I think some salted caramel wouldn’t be out of place here.
If you’re looking for something easy but impressive, this recipe is for you.
Made with cherry pie filling, boxed brownies, Cool Whip, instant chocolate mousse, and Skor candy bars, the only hard part is not eating everything before it gets in the dish.
If you want to make it a little more grown-up, try mixing some rum through your cherries.
Since we’re going against the grain with these trifles, let’s go all the way. After all, who says they have to be big desserts for a crowd?
These minis are super cute and super easy to make for one, two, or ten.
As if moist chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate-coffee-caramel (!!!!!) isn’t decadent enough… this recipe calls for the cake to be soaked in Kahlua.
Smooth and creamy Irish Cream in a pudding? Sign me up!
These little minis are to die for. They’d be even cuter served in a whiskey tumbler.
Be careful when mixing your brownie batter and bake until just about set for fudge brownies. If you like them cakey, bake for an extra few minutes.
The Irish Cream pudding is as easy as stirring the liquor through pastry cream.
If I were you, I would add a layer of chocolate ganache to this for even more chocolate!
These six-ingredient minis are a real luxury in a glass.
Strawberries and champagne are a match made in heaven, but have you ever tried champagne and pudding?
Not only do the strawberries marinate in champagne, but the ladyfingers get dipped in the mix for a fruity and boozy treat.
If you really want to up your game, try adding a layer of strawberry and champagne jelly!
Sweet, tart, and so fresh, this might just be my favorite.
Rather than dipping your ladyfinger cookies in syrup, they get covered in a reduced raspberry sauce for a big kick of flavor.
I love the addition of white chocolate into the custard for a different note of creaminess.
And the passionfruit? It’s an easy layer of pulp on the top!
I would serve with chunks of buttery shortbread for some crunch.
Pineapple upside-down cake incorporates a deep caramel flavor and a soft, moist yellow cake.
Now, picture all that in trifle form!
By cooking pineapple chunks with butter and sugar, it will slowly brown and caramelize. The flavor is insanely good!
This gets thickened slightly with cornstarch, so it will set as a distinct layer in your trifle.
The only way this could get any better is with a drizzle of coconut-rum caramel.
Butterscotch is a lot like caramel. In fact, they’re practically identical. The key difference, though, is that butterscotch uses brown butter for an extra deep caramel flavor.
If layers of chocolate cake and butterscotch pudding aren’t making you drool, then I don’t know what will.
My only suggestion would be to throw some chocolate cookie crumbs in there for added texture.
When I think of sangria, I think of sunny days in Spain. Fruity and dangerously boozy, it can go down a little too well.
This recipe uses ladyfingers, but I think it would work just as well with a good pound cake.
The filling is a dreamy faux-cheesecake mix that gets flavored with fruit puree for extra flavor and beautiful color.
This is so versatile, you can change the fruits to any combination you prefer. I think a mango raspberry option would be divine!
It’s hard to describe what I love most about it, but I will eat cookie dough all day long.
The good news is, this recipe uses eggless and flour-free dough, so you can serve it up to the kids worry-free.
I love that this recipe incorporates both cookie dough and baked cookies into the layers for slightly different flavors and great texture.
My only suggestion is to add salted caramel in there somewhere.
Say that again!
Caramel. Apple. Cheesecake. Trifle?! I may have cried a little.
My obsession for all things caramel and cheesecake have come together to create this fall lover’s dream dessert.
You’ll need to cook your apple pie filling through and let cool before assembling this swoon-worthy trifle.
The layers are spiced apple pie, creamy no-bake cheesecake, graham crackers, and caramel.
There’s literally nothing that could make this any better.
Ok, so I spoke too soon…
The base of this cheesecake is similar, with apple, cheesecake, and caramel.
But! This recipe calls for diced Snickers bars to be layered inside.
*Picks mouth up from the floor.*
I actually really like that the apples stay raw for this. Sometimes apple pie filling is too mushy for me.
I love that crisp, sweet apple bite, and this dessert has it in spades.
Just don’t be shy with that caramel!
Homemade carrot cake is something special. I like to use a box grater to ensure the carrots are small and easy to incorporate, and I always add raisins and put in a little extra cinnamon.
Of course, no carrot cake is complete without cream cheese frosting. Though it isn’t technically a frosting, you’ll still get that great sweet tang in the faux-cheesecake layer.
This recipe calls for walnuts, which I would always suggest you toast to bring out the flavor! But pecans would be a great alternative.
As the name would suggest, tres leches cake is made using three kinds of milk: condensed milk, evaporated milk, and coconut milk.
For the trifle, you will be making an ultra-moist and subtly flavored coconut cake, coconut pastry cream, and the ultra-sweet tres leches sauce.
If you can, make it ahead and let everything sit together overnight.
The coloring of this cake is quite one-note, but I think it works well. But if you think you’d like a little pop of color, try adding a layer of that coconut-rum caramel.
This trifle is as much about the incredible colors as the flavor!
I’ve found that strawberry cake can be hit and miss. So using the box cake mix will guarantee flavor and that great color.
The key-lime cheesecake filling is zesty and pairs so well with the strawberry cake.
Although, if you can’t find the strawberry cake mix, you could always switch it up with Tequila Key Lime cake and use strawberry mousse.
Trifle might not be a winter warmer, but I think orange and cranberry are great holiday flavors, especially if you’re not a huge fan of mint or cinnamon.
Using a simple store-bought pound cake, the gem in this recipe is the cranberry layer. It cooks down with some sugar and plenty of orange and is absolutely bursting with flavor.
The orange cream is like a creamsicle mixed into the tart cranberries and it all works so well as a dish.
If you don’t like the look of the sugared cranberry recipe, you can probably find candied orange peel in the store instead.
Graham crackers, fudgy brownies, and a marshmallow fluff filling. Need I say more?
Using brownies to bulk this trifle up is genius. Who doesn’t love brownies?
This faux-cheesecake filling is crazy easy! Just beat together cream cheese with marshmallow fluff until smooth, then mix through the Cool Whip.
If you think you’ll miss that gooey melted chocolate, try adding some chocolate syrup between the layers.
So I do love caramel and chocolate and all that good stuff.
But I’m also a sucker for mango!
Eight ingredients might sound like a lot compared to some of the others, but it’s worth it.
You’ll be using a store-bought cake and the mango will be given a bath in brown sugar and lime juice.
Using white chocolate whipped cream will help it keep its whipped form and add a creamy sweetness.
The only thing that’s missing is some simple raspberry compote for a touch of tartness.
If you think about it, tiramisu is like a small trifle. It already has layers, just on a smaller scale.
This dessert is definitely something to share and people will be coming back for seconds.
The simple cream cheese and condensed milk layer is sweet and smooth and pairs perfectly with the espresso powder.
My only suggestion here is to soak your ladyfingers in something before assembling. I would go for Tia Maria, but Kahlua would be equally as delicious.
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