Flavors of London

How to Make English Trifle
(Taste London at Home)

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When I first read the Harry Potter series and became an Anglophile, I was a bit confused. What is this “trifle” dish was that everyone’s enjoying? To be fair, trifle sounds a bit like “tripe,” which is definitely not delicious (to me!) and should not be served at celebratory meals (in my opinion!). Actually, as you’ll see in this English trifle recipe, this is a delicious dish and it’s no surprise that you can find it on menus throughout London. (It’s also one of my must-try London foods!)

English trifle dates back to the 16th century and takes many different forms. Traditionally, trifle is made with layers of fruit, sweet alcohol-soaked sponge biscuit, and custard, sometimes with jam or jelly and topped with whipped cream (or a similar whipped dairy topping depending on the region of Britain). My version is an easier, alcohol-free version you can make at home with pre-made ingredients – but which seems fancier than the effort it takes.

Trifle Recipe Hero

In an attempt to make this English trifle recipe as easy as possible, I recommend buying as many of the ingredients pre-made as possible. You can, of course, make your own sponge or pound cake and strawberry jam if you’re a real wizard in the kitchen. I am not, so I wanted to make something easy enough for my future self to be able to make for any feast. Here’s an English trifle recipe you can use to bring a bit of English flavor into your home between trips to London.

Trifle Shopping List & Recipe

If you don’t have all of these ingredients at home, here’s what you’ll need to make this trifle recipe:

  1. Pound Cake or Sponge Cake: You can purchase this at your local store, bakery, or online. Here’s one option for sponge cake, and another for pound cake.
  2. Heavy Whipping Cream: You’ll need to whip this yourself in my trifle recipe, so grab a quart at your local grocery or online.
  3. Fresh Strawberries: You can definitely order strawberries online too for delivery by Whole Foods. If you’re like me, you might be picky and want to choose them yourself in your local grocery store or farmers market.
  4. Strawberry Jam: This isn’t your standard use of strawberry jam, so splurge on extra nice jam rather than a store brand. Opt for this English strawberry jam, or this keto-friendly strawberry jam if you’re trying to keep the sugar down despite enjoying dessert.

Step-by-Step Easy Trifle Recipe

Now that you have your ingredients, it’s time to make the dessert. First, you need to whip up your heavy whipping cream; you can do this by hand or with a food mixer if you have one.

Next start layering your ingredients into your serving dish. I made mine in individual glasses for each person, but you could use a larger dish and allow people to serve themselves from it.

First, put a layer of strawberries and jam on the bottom. Next, add a layer of cubed pound/sponge cake. Finally, add a layer of whipped cream.

Continue layering in this order until your serving dish is full. To finish your trifle, top with a layer of whipped cream and fresh berries. Use one berry in each glass, or a few on a shared dish; you could get fancy and fan your strawberries or turn them into roses if it’s a special occasion!

Trifle Recipe 2

Then there’s one last step: chill (and Netflix?). Take your trifle and chill it at least 30 minutes before serving. Once properly chilled, enjoy!

English Trifle Recipe

Trifle Recipe 3
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 2 cups Vanilla sponge cake or pound cake, diced
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 cups Strawberries, Diced
  • 1 cups Strawberry Jam


  1. In a large bowl whip up the heavy whipping cream until light and fluffy.
  2. Fill a small glass with 2 tbsp diced strawberries and 1 tbsp strawberry jam.
  3. Layer around 2 tbsp diced cake and 2 tbsp whipped cream.
  4. Continue layering the trifle alternating between the strawberry jam, heavy cream, fresh strawberries, and cake.
  5. End with whipped cream and a fresh berry on top.
  6. Take to the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

And there you have it – an easy trifle recipe that proves this easy trifle recipe is the opposite! Have any questions about this trifle recipe? Let me know in the comments!

This post was originally published on my Harry Potter blog, Follow the Butterflies.

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Valerie fell in love with London on her first trip to the city way back in 2011. Since then, she spent a year living in London and visits as often as she can (you can find her recent trip recaps here!). She launched LOMM in 2021 to help other travelers fall in love with her favorite city on earth.

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