Summer Berry Trifle

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe
Summer Berry Trifle

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

Berry Trifle

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.

What You’ll Need

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.

adding vanilla

Add a third of the whipped cream.

adding some of the whipped creamBeat until smooth and then add the remaining cream.

adding the remaining creamFold 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.

assembling the trifle

Continue alternating the lady fingers, berries, and cream.

assembling the trifle 2End 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 chillLet the trifle chill for at least 8 hours, then top with some fresh berries and a spring of fresh mint, if desired.

Berry Trifle

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

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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

  • 3/4 cup (8 oz) seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 quart (1-1/2 pounds) strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 pint (12 oz) raspberries
  • 1 pint (12 oz) blueberries
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (preferably Philadelphia brand), at room temperature
  • 1-3/4 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 1/3 of the berry-jam mixture (including 1/3 of the juices), then 1/3 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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Reviews & Comments

  • Amazing!!!

    • — Karen Lippold on July 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • Perfectly delicious!

    • — Delta555 on July 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this trifle many times and it is always a hit. Jen is my go-to gal for any special, and even not-so-special, occasion! However, this year my family has been on a keto diet regimen and I’ve had to scrounge up a few menu items that contain no sugar and very few carbs that even the non-keto among us can enjoy. I’m pretty confident that I can make the raspberry parfait utilizing Swerve granulated sugar substitute and no one will be the wiser. What do you think, Jenn? Any suggestions on your recipes that will stand up to a little keto-tweaking?
    Absolutely love the beauty and simplicity of your recipes. I am not a fan of overly complicated recipes and I’ve never been disappointed when making any of your dishes. You rock!

    • — Terry on July 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Terry! I wish I could help but I’ve never worked with sugar substitutes so I can’t say how it would impact recipes. (If it helps at all, I have read plenty of comments from readers who have said they’ve replaced some or all of the sugar in a recipe with a substitute like Stevia and have had good results.) Hope that helps at least a bit!

      • — Jenn on July 8, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is a great summer dessert! However, the intro to the recipe tripped me up … “can be made ahead of time” Actually, it MUST be made ahead of time as it must chill for 8 hours!!
    Yes, I should have read the complete recipe, but based on the intro – I left making it until the morning for a luncheon that day-Yikes! I cranked the fridge up to its highest setting & placed it in a bowl of ice. It set up a bit…it was tasty but soupy. I served madeleines on the side. (I used madeleines from Sams instead of lady fingers)
    I made it again and chilled it overnight and it turned out great!

    • — Julie Edwards on July 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, Good point! I just updated the recipe to reflect that. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I made this delicious trifle on the weekend and it was a big hit!!! (As all your recipes are!) I did add some fresh sliced peaches on top of the berry/jam layer too. Tasted great and looked so pretty! My family finished it for breakfast the next morning!!! Thanks so much again!!

    • — Linda on July 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • What a colorful and tasty dessert… I made this of a 4th of July dinner party last night and it was a big hit. Very colorful, not too sweet, looks like you fussed but didn’t really… how good is that? And FYI, this easily makes a ½ size… put it in a smaller bowl and voila… mini trifle! It appeared to be a good idea to chill it a long time… I did the 8 hour time for this one and I think it made it easier to spoon out into individual bowls in one piece. Another fabulous recipe from Jenn. Thanks!

    • — Julie Nise on July 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I’m looking forward to making this trifle tomorrow! Thank you for posting it! Would it be okay to add some sliced fresh peaches to the berries? Should I combine with the berries & jam or just add slices to the layers? Thanks Jenn!!!

    • — Linda on July 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, adding peaches would be fine and you can go either way (combining them with the berries or adding them to the layers). Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on July 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • This was so good! We didn’t have lady fingers so we just made a quick genoise cake layer and cut that up. The raspberry jam adds an extra delicious unexpected flavor.

    • — Ro on June 26, 2021
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  • This was a hit! I will definitely be making it again, by popular demand. My only question is: are there any specific tips for making the layers come out neatly, as in the picture? Mine looked messier (though still delicious).

    • — Victoria on June 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! The one tip I can think of is to make sure you go all the way to the edges with the lady fingers (breaking them into pieces as necessary) so they cover each layer. Also, I’m a total perfectionist, so take that into account when you look the picture! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Taste was great and it was easy to make. Having grown up with trifles in England, I felt this recipe is too sweet (and I used only half the powdered sugar called for). I suspect the combination of cream cheese instead of custard and excess raspberry jam caused that. Next time, a different recipe.

    • — Mark on June 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! We love your recipes, I’ve tried many of them & now look like a rockstar in the kitchen! My question is, how big is your trifle dish? I’m not sure if I will need to double the recipe. My trifle dish is pretty big and I want several layers.
    Thank you,
    Tracey

    • — Tracey Clifford on June 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Tracey, so glad you like the recipes! My trifle dish is 9 inches in diameter and it looks like I have 3 layers in my trifle, so you can gauge from that whether or not you’ll need to increase the recipe. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • Jen’s recipes are keepers. This turned out beautiful and luscious!!

    • — Ann Kern on June 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this last Sunday for a gathering. Since we were all adults, I added Grand Marnier to the cream cheese mixture and drizzled it on the pound cake I used instead of lady fingers. Oh, I also brushed a lemon syrup on the pound cake. It was a big hit!! I love your recipes. They always come out delicious!

    • — Bettie on May 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have what may be a silly question, but how do you best scoop this to serve? I’ve never made trifle before and would like to bring this to a party. Thanks!

    • — Rae on May 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Rae, Just use a big serving spoon to scoop it out into bowls or onto plates. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 27, 2021
      • Reply
    • Am I correct that the whipping cream is whipped?

      • — Melissa on May 29, 2021
      • Reply
      • Correct – enjoy!

        • — Jenn on May 31, 2021
        • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I’m going to make this for Sunday Lunch in the Park, but may I put pitted quartered cherries in too? They’re so good this year from California. I’m asking because they’re not ‘berries’. And what about adding some brandy to the jam when the fruit is marinading in it? If not brandy/cognac, anything else?
    Thank you!
    Joy

    • — Joy on May 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Joy, I think both of those additions sound wonderful!

      • — Jenn on May 27, 2021
      • Reply
  • I am not sure I can find crisp lady fingers. Can I use the usual type or is there another type of cookie I can substitute? Thanks!

    • — Jayne Jacobs on May 17, 2021
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend the soft lady fingers here, but cut up pound cake will work. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 17, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hello! This looks so delicious! I would like to make this but always seem to have a very difficult time getting my heavy whipping cream to actually whip and form peaks! Do you have any suggestions or alternatives?

    Thanks so much!

    • — Allison on May 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Allison, If you have a hard time getting peaks to form, it sounds like you just need to beat it a bit longer. Hope you enjoy the trifle if you make it!

      • — Jenn on May 9, 2021
      • Reply
      • Jenn, I love your recipes! I was wondering if you could substitute graham cracker mixture (like you would use as a crust) instead of lady fingers?

        • — Bettie on May 19, 2021
        • Reply
        • I wouldn’t recommend it, Bettie, but you could use cut up pound cake if you can’t find the crispy lady fingers. Hope that helps!

          • — Jenn on May 19, 2021
          • Reply
    • I like to chill my bowl and my beaters in the fridge before I whip the cream. Since I’ve done that, I’ve never ruined the whipped cream.

      • — Laurie Jackson on June 19, 2021
      • Reply
    • When whipping cream make sure you use a metal or glass bowl. Make sure everything is very clean. If there is any grease on your items it will cause the cream to droop. I also put my bowl and beaters in the freezer. Whipping cream needs to be cold.

      • — Kathy on July 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • I have been asked to make this for a party for 50, what do you think? Do I just times by 5 and use a punch bowl ?

    That is my plan.

    Thanks, it is wonderful.

    • — Gretchen Truebe on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Gretchen, As long as it will fit in the bowl, I think that should work. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on April 8, 2021
      • Reply
  • A favorite of my friends! I’ve made this recipe for several parties/occasions, and it still comes up in conversation. I made just one change – I’m not a fan of raspberries, so I substitute blackberries instead. Also, I love making this dessert, because you can make it the day before, and it’s just perfect when it comes time to bring it out. Just one warning – it goes really fast, so jump right in before it’s all gone! In fact, I usually make 2 mini trifles on the side just to make sure we get a taste.

    • — Louise T. on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • This trifle is beautiful and delicious.

    • — Deb S. on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is a crowd pleaser and often requested dish. It is so fancy and delicious! Usually when I make it the day before, there is none left once I serve it. I made it this past Friday evening for a BBQ on Saturday that got postponed to Sunday then canceled. How long will it stay good in the fridge for? (The dairy used had expiration dates in November)
    Thanks!

    • — Melissa on October 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Melissa, Glad you like it! It keeps well for several days.

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2020
      • Reply
      • I was hoping you would say that! Thank you!!

        • — Melissa on October 6, 2020
        • Reply
  • Can you make this a day ahead? Wanted to make day before to serve a large group.

    • — Rita on September 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • This was FABULOUS!! My family loved it and requested it for future family gatherings! I’ve already made it twice now! I love the filling; can it be used to frost a cake? If yes, how much lemon juice and/or zest should I add to make it a lemon frosting? Thanks so much for all of your recipes; they ROCK! :o)

    • — Mary Wise on September 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • It will definitely be a lighter frosting, but I think it should work. (And so glad you enjoyed this!)

      • — Jenn on September 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Easy to make, impressive presentation and really delicious! May I finish it off for tomorrow’s breakfast?

    • — Barbara on September 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • LOL – go for it! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Delicious and easy to make! It was a beautiful dessert for our 4th of July BBQ. It certainly feeds a crowd!

    • — Becca on July 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, If I make this today will it be ok for a BBQ this Sunday? I’m out of town tomorrow and I need a good but quick deasert to feed 10 book club peeps! Thanks. Janet

    • — Janet on July 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Janet, I think you could get away with it. It keeps well for several days. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 10, 2020
      • Reply
      • Great and thanks for your quick reply! I will come back with a rating but I’m 1000% sure its going to be delish and get devoured by all!

        • — Janet on July 10, 2020
        • Reply
  • I made this for the 4th, and it was a winner! So beautiful and absolutely delicious! I did substitute a pound cake for the ladyfingers, but otherwise followed the recipe. I only got two layers out of my ingredients, but it was still gorgeous. Thanks for the recipe!

    • — Jill on July 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’m so excited to make this today, since it’s been a huge success every 4th of July for the last couple of years as well as on some other special occasions. I’ve only had rave reviews and even some fighting over the last portion! Thank you!!

    • — Madeline on July 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • A perfect desert for a summer get together !! loved it

    • — Bev on July 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was absolutely yummy!! I made homemade lady fingers from another website recipe. Then made individual desserts in tiny mason jars. SOOOOO good! Although my super healthy son requested I make it next time with the jam. Not sure how that will go, but we will give it a try!

    • — Cathy Sanchez on July 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi! This looks amazing. Do you think frozen fruit would work?

    • — Chelsea on June 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Chelsea, this is really best with fresh fruit – sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this dessert for Father’s Day and it was a big hit. It is so delicious. I loved the cream cheese- whipped cream filling. Well done Jenn.

    • — Cindylou on June 25, 2020
    • Reply

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