Summer Berry Trifle

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Summer Berry Trifle

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This berry trifle is perfect for a summer party — it’s refreshing, gorgeous, and make-ahead.

Berry Trifle in a large glass dish.

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

Berry trifles make wonderful (and patriotic) summer party desserts. Not only are they gorgeous, they feed a crowd and are made in advance. The only drawback is that, with all their layers, they can be time-consuming to make from scratch. I save time by using store-bought Savoiardi biscuits (a.k.a. crisp ladyfingers), cream cheese, and raspberry jam. The result is a dazzling, delicious berry trifle that can be made in 30 minutes. Use a deep, clear glass bowl or a footed glass trifle dish so the pretty layers can be seen. And don’t worry if the layers look slightly uneven or if the layers mix a bit — that’s the beauty of a trifle. You can also make the trifle in small glasses as individual parfaits.

“Oh my! This is so easy, beautiful and absolutely delicious!! Made for a party and everyone raved.”

Charlene

What You’ll Need For Summer Berry Trifle

berry trifle ingredients

Step-By-Step Instructions

To begin, warm the raspberry jam in the microwave.

Warm Raspberry JamToss it with the berries and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the trifle.

Berries tossed with Jam

Beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, then set aside.

beating heavy cream

In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and Confectioners’ sugar.

cream cheese and sugar

Beat until smooth and creamy, then beat in the vanilla.

Bowl with cream cheese, Confectioner\'s sugar, and vanilla.

Add a third of the whipped cream.

adding some of the whipped cream

Beat until smooth and then add the remaining cream.

adding the remaining cream

Fold with a rubber spatula until evenly combined.

combined cream mixture

To assemble, begin by layering the lady fingers in the bottom of the dish. Top with a third of the berry mixture, followed by a third of the cream. Continue alternating the lady fingers, berries, and cream.

assembling the trifle 2

End with the cream cheese mixture on top; for the last layer of cream, leave a 1-inch border around the edge showing the fruit beneath. Sprinkle some berries and a fresh mint on top.

finished berry trifle ready to chill

Let the trifle chill for at least 8 hours, then top with some fresh berries and a spring of fresh mint, if desired.

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Video Tutorial

Summer Berry Trifle

This berry trifle is perfect for a summer party — it’s refreshing, gorgeous, and make-ahead.

Servings: 8-10
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes, plus at least 8 hours to chill

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (8 oz) seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 quart (1½ pounds) strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 pint (12 oz) raspberries
  • 1 pint (12 oz) blueberries
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (preferably Philadelphia brand), at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (7 oz) package crisp lady fingers (also called savoiardi biscuits)
  • Fresh mint spring, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Set aside a few berries for topping the trifle.
  2. Heat the raspberry jam in a large bowl in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until hot and liquidy. Add the fresh berries and toss to coat. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla, then beat in a third of the whipped cream. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream until well combined.
  5. Cover the bottom of a 9-inch (14-cup capacity) trifle dish or glass bowl with a layer of lady fingers (break into pieces as necessary). Follow with ⅓ of the berry-jam mixture (including ⅓ of the juices), then ⅓ of the cream. Alternate, ending with the cream cheese mixture on top; for the last layer of cream, leave a 1-inch border around the edge showing the fruit beneath. Garnish with the reserved whole berries and a fresh mint spring if using. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight, before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 554
  • Fat: 31g
  • Saturated fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 65g
  • Sugar: 41g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Sodium: 197mg
  • Cholesterol: 143mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I made this for the 4th of July and it was superb. Visually enticing, it does not disappoint. In fact, it was a huge success.

    • — Kathryn Ranieri on July 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this for a tea party last week and it was indeed a show stopper. People circled around it, not wanting to disturb it because it was so pretty, but once someone took the first serving, it was gone in minutes.

    Jenn, is it possible to over- whip the cream? My stiff peaks turned to soft boulders with a few moments and as a novice whipper, I wasn’t sure if it would ruin things. Tasted fine but it was a bit tough to fold in.

    • — Joanna on July 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Glad it was a hit! And yes, it is actually pretty easy to overwhip cream. (It’s always done before you think it is, and can go from smooth to curdled looking very quickly.) If you make this again, if you’re nervous about over whipping it, when it’s close to done, remove the bowl from the mixer and finish whipping by hand (you don’t need to dirty a whisk; simply hold the whisk attachment with your hand).

      • — Jenn on July 2, 2024
      • Reply
      • Jenn, I’m making this again tonight for a summer party at work tomorrow. I will try your whipping method. Thank you for always dishing out (!) good advice. I shall report back.

        • — Joanna Strycharz on July 11, 2024
        • Reply
  • I loved the use of cream cheese rather than the typical custard as I’ve found the latter makes it too soupy. So I browsed through a bunch of recipes online and settled on yours as it was different enough that I’d likely get a better consistency. I also use and trust your recipes and no-nonsense approach to cooking/ baking. There’s too much fussing around with other chefs and I didn’t want to spend the entire day making all the components from scratch.

    After I read the comments I decided not to use the jam as I was concerned it would be too sweet. I should have followed it to the letter as I found it could have used a little more sweetness. As the other berries in the store were too tart, I used only strawberries and let them macerate for a bit. I typically use an orange or other liquor too but as it was for a party with nonalcoholic peeps, I only added sugar.

    I’ll make it again and follow the recipe exactly to compare. I took one star off as there no way this could be made in 25 minutes… it took me close to 1.5 hours including prep and decoration. Please recalibrate the time for those who are not familiar with your recipe.

    I was too rushed to take a picture but will make it gain and post it. Everyone LOVED LOVED LOVED it! Thank you!

    • — Jasmine on June 29, 2024
    • Reply
  • Looks Beautiful & reviews are great as usual!
    I’m about to make this for a Bridal personal shower & wondered if I can use fresh peaches with the berries?
    Thank you😊

    • — Kathy Strong on June 14, 2024
    • Reply
    • Sure, Kathy, adding some peaches should be fine. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on June 14, 2024
      • Reply
  • Does the trifle need to be set beforehand, or can it be eaten as is?

    • — Lauren on June 4, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Lauren, this really needs to be refrigerated for the full 8 hours. If not, the cookies will still be hard. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 5, 2024
      • Reply
  • As always, excellent recipe!
    My trifle bowl has a 16 cup capacity so the last layer of cream ended about an inch below the rim. Would you recommend increasing the ingredients to 1 1/2x and, if so, should I do 3 bigger layers or a 4th layer? Thanks

    • — Rae on June 3, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Rae, glad you liked it! I believe making 1.25 times the recipe should be sufficient, and I’d opt for the 3 bigger layers.

      • — Jenn on June 3, 2024
      • Reply
  • Delicious and easy. My family really enjoyed this dessert. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks!

    • — Charlotte on May 27, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Do you think adding some peaches would be okay (end of Sept party). Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! I appreciate you for every single one of them!! Joan

    • — joan on September 16, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Joan, that should be fine. And so glad you enjoy the recipes! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 18, 2023
      • Reply
  • I’m updating my negative comments from Aug 18th…sadly I posted before serving to guests the next day (after letting sit 8hrs.). Honestly people raved…much better after the required wait time. Sorry for posting prematurely. The flavors, appearance and quality were typical for this excellent site. Still expensive but given the final outcome, worth it.

    • — Linda Grinalds on August 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • First off this is a very expensive recipe about $25 just for the ingredients. For that price, I was expecting more. The filling was not light and airy and cool. It was thick and heavy from the cream cheese…. The jam just makes it way too sweet.

    • — La Machine on August 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • I’m updating my negative comments from Aug 18th…sadly I posted before serving to guests the next day (after letting sit 8hrs.). Honestly people raved…much better after the required wait time. Sorry for posting prematurely. The flavors, appearance and quality were typical for this excellent site. Still expensive but given the final outcome, worth it.

      • — La Machine on August 28, 2023
      • Reply
  • Easily the best trifle I’ve had! I made this for a get together recently and it was a hit. I’ve made trifle before with pudding mixes and whipped cream but the whipped cream & cream cheese combo in this recipe is the way to go! My husband asked me to make another batch the next day!

    • — Michelle on August 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made this today and served it tonight. It came together quickly (which is a plus) and tasted incredible. Family and friends gave it rave reviews. Highly recommend this trifle! Thanks for the recipe, Once Upon A Chef!

    • — Carolyn S. on August 5, 2023
    • Reply
  • Oh my! This is so easy, beautiful and absolutely delicious!! Made for a party and everyone raved. Light and perfect for summer entertaining.

    • — Charlene on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • I cant find the right kind of lady fingers How much pound cake do I need instead?

    • — Joni Antweil on July 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Joni, I’m not 100% sure how much pound cake you’ll need — just cut it into the shape of lady fingers and layer it according to the recipe. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific about the amount!

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2023
      • Reply
    • I couldn’t find them locally but Amazon has them.

      • — Charlene on July 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • I have made this trifle twice now and it is show-stopping delicious. 1)simply stunning in a trifle dish
    2)bright, wonderful summer flavors
    3) makes enough for eight, with leftovers

    • — Crystal Kelly on July 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • I so much want to put orange liquor like your raspberry and cream parfait has and is so delicious. How will that work with this recipe? Thanks!

    • — Cheryl Smith on July 12, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, I’d add it to the cream cheese/confectioners’ sugar mixture. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on July 14, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi, I’ve got some spare gooseberries – would it be ok to add some to the fruit mix for this recipe do you think?

    • — Julie C on July 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, I’ve never had gooseberries, so I don’t know what they taste like, but if you like the way they taste, that would be fine.

      • — Jenn on July 11, 2023
      • Reply
    • Are you in the US? I have never come across them here. Love gooseberries!

      • — Susan Ridgway on July 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is the BEST festive desert and so beautifully impressive. I have made it several times and never realized the discrepancy with the Jam measurements. It says 3/4c (8oz) which confused me. I used 1 c though. Which is the correct measurement!

    Also, if you can’t find the crispy Lady Fingers, and only the soft kind, just put them in a 200 degree oven for 10-15 mins, cut off stove and let them sit til they are crispy.

    Thanks Jenn!

    Tissa L

    • — Tissa Loehr on July 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Tissa, So glad you like it! 3/4 cup is the volume you need and it’s the equivalent of 8 ounces (what it would weigh if you put it on a scale). Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on July 5, 2023
      • Reply
  • In reading previous comments I see that you can make this the night before — is that also if you are using angel food cake? I couldn’t find lady fingers – all sold out for the 4th.

    • — Jorjann Kuypers on July 3, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, it’s still okay to make it the night before. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 3, 2023
      • Reply
  • Can you make this the day before?

    • — Jorjann Kuypers on July 3, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 3, 2023
      • Reply
    • I added grated lemon rind to the cream cheese, and everyone loved it!

      • — Connie on July 6, 2023
      • Reply
  • This trifle is delicious any time of the year. I made it for a New Year’s party. It was a very refreshing alternative to all the holiday baked goods. I plan on making it again this summer with fresh local berries.

    • — Linda on July 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! Thanks Jen

    • — Fanny on June 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Fabulous recipe! I made this as a special birthday gift to my daughter instead of a usual cake! Her whole family loved it. Easy to follow and accurate directions. The whipped cream/cream cheese combo even pleased our littles!

    • — PL Brooks on June 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was fantastic! I made a few small tweaks – I subbed sugar free raspberry jam for the regular version. And added lemon zest to the cream filling. I also brushed the ladyfingers with Chambord liquer. Super delicious dessert!

    • — Ginger on May 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • Not only does it taste wonderful, it looks beautiful!

    • — Laura Roberts on April 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe! For those asking about altering, don’t mess with perfection:) This is always a favorite and we are excited to have it for Easter.

    • — Veronica on April 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • I did it! My trifle dish is 8in so I had to smash the layers a bit to fit 3. It also domes over the top so I had to put the berries on top before I added plastic wrap to chill so it didn’t stick to the cream. I am a terrible baker but this was so easy to follow. Used a berry medley. Hope it turns out ok- worried the ladyfingers will be too soggy or too firm. Either way it’s beautiful and I am sure will be delicious.

    • — Suzanne on March 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • I LOVE this recipe and have made it several times. I use cream cheese pound cake in it and it is fabulous.
    I have a question… I love the the “pudding part” with the cream cheese and wondered if there was a way to make it chocolate for a chocolate trifle? Thanks

    • — Amy on February 5, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you like it! I wouldn’t recommend trying to tweak the filling to make it chocolate – it would require too many changes. You could certainly look for a recipe for a chocolate filling and use that instead.

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    This recipe sounds wonderful. I am planning to try this soon. I don’t have a microwave though, can I use the oven instead for the jam? Also, would this be a good choice to serve 10 people? Thank you so much!

    • — Gloria on December 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Gloria, I’d recommend heating it in a very small saucepan on the stove. Yes, this would be good for 10 people. Hope everyone enjoys! 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn, it turned out amazing. It was a hit at the party!

        • — Gloria on December 26, 2022
        • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I’m planning on making this for the holiday weekend but wanted to get your thoughts first. I’ve made an amaretto cheesecake with fresh berries in the past and thought a little Ameretto in the cream cheese portion might be a good addition. I don’t want it to overpower it but enhance it. Any thoughts are much appreciated! 💕

    • — Candice Hill on September 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Candice, I think I’m weighing too late to help (sorry!) but I think a modest amount of amaretto in the cream cheese mixture would work. If you did try it — I’d love to hear how it came out!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thank you Jen. I actually made it accordingly to your instructions and it was loved by all. Definitely a favorite ode to summer dessert!
        Thanks for all you do 💞

        • — Candice Hill on September 6, 2022
        • Reply
        • Glad it came out nicely — thanks for taking the time to let me know! 🙂

          • — Jenn on September 7, 2022
          • Reply
  • I was afraid with the jam it would be too sweet so I just sprinkled a 1/4-1/2 of a cup of sugar over the fruit and tossed it around. Let it sit with cling wrap over it for a while and proceeded with the rest of the recipe. Turned out plenty sweet but not overwhelming.
    So good and easy!

    • — Dani on August 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    this recipe sounds amazing. I’m thinking about prepping it ahead for fall/winter now that all the fruit is in season. Have you ever tried freezing the trifle for longer periods? If so, what’s your recommendation in terms of how long it will keep?

    Thanks ahead & all the best
    Sarah

    • — Sarah on August 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, I’ve never frozen this and based on the amount of dairy it contains, I don’t think it’s a great candidate for freezing — sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jenn, yours is the website I always turn to for recipes. Yours are superior! I have a tough question. We are invited to a party at a summer cottage with limited (probably no) refrigerator space. The gathering is on a Saturday, and I would make the trifle on Friday. I would remove it from the fridge around noon on Saturday and take it in a cooler. My question is can it remain in the cooler until 7:00 that evening? I have good freezer packs, but am afraid the trifle might break down over that length of time. Thank you. Maria

    • — Maria Spooner on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Maria, As long as you have plenty of good freezer packs, I think it will be fine. 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2022
      • Reply

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