English Trifle

00h 40
00h 30

Trifles, also known as ‘tispy cake’ is a classic British dessert that consists of layers of sponge fingers soaked in sherry, topped with layers of fresh fruit and whipped cream. 

Ingredients and Method


  • For the sponge
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • For the trifle
  • 1 tinned fruit cocktail in juice, pick out the cherries for later
  • 1 packet of custard powder
  • 1 pint milk
  • 1 tub of fresh cream
  • Sherry, optional
  • Chocolate Shavings
  • Fresh strawberries and blueberries to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C /Fan 160 °C/Gas mark 4. Grease a 30cm baking tin and line with baking parchment.
  2. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder into a Mason Cash mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into your baking tin and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until well risen. Remove the sponge from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then place on wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Cut the sponge into small rectangles and place at the bottom of your trifle dish.
  5. Drain half the juice from the tinned fruit cocktail and pour over the sponge based and pat down with a fork or spatula. You can sprinkle some sherry on top if you’re making a sherry trifle. Scatter the fruit over the sponge and pat down.
  6. Prepare the custard using milk and custard powder as per instructions on the packet. Leave to cool in the fridge until set.
  7. Once fully set, pour the custard over the sponge and fruit layer.
  8. Whisk the fresh cream until thick and forms stiff peaks. Spread evenly over the custard layer in a swirl pattern using the prongs of a fork. Place another layer of sponge, fruit custard and cream on top. You can include more layers depending on how tall your trifle dish is.
  9. Finish off your trifle with the remaining cream, some cherries, fresh fruit and chocolate shavings for decoration.

Products you will need