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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

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 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.

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. 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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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


  • 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)


  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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  • Beautiful

    Hi Jenn,
    it’s been a while since I posted a comment. I guess because I say the same thing: “OUTSTANDING.” This dessert is no different. So,so good!
    Great instructions-everything you need for a successful outcome in the kitchen.

    I did want to share that I left out the blueberries ,and used all strawberries & raspberries.

    It was so beautiful when I brought it to the table. Everyone was impressed w/the presentation& equally impressed w/ how good it was! YUM!!!! BTW,I found the same kind of glass “bowl “ you have in the pics.

    Thank you again!

    • — Lisa on August 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can you use mascarpone cheese instead of Philadelphia Cream Cheese? Thanks

    • — Doro Laurila on July 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Doro, mascarpone should work here. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 7, 2022
      • Reply
    • I just did this and it didn’t turn out well. I used mascarpone cheese because that’s what I had and the cream was grainy. I am sure there’s a reason but just to caution that cream cheese is probably more forgiving/reliable and when I used the mascarpone the texture was unappealing. Good luck!

      • — TJR on July 23, 2022
      • Reply
      • I’ve had this happen in other recipes. I think if you sifted the powder sugar next time, it would prevent the grainy texture.

        • — Huong on December 31, 2022
        • Reply
  • This is an absolutely fabulous trifle for summer, especially July 4th with its red, white, and blue colors. The whole family, from youngest to oldest, loved it. And to top it off, with the lady fingers addition, it is not difficult or time consuming to make.

    • — Geri on July 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hello- I used a cubed up angel food cake because that’s what I had on hand. It was yummy but I would like to try the original recipe to see if I get a different result. Excited to add this to my summer entertaining!

    • — Kristie on July 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hoping you will answer this quickly. I tried to buy a trifle bowl for a 4 th party.
    Are your measurements including the stand. Do you know how many quarts this recipe is? The one I ordered looked small. 3 qts. Many of them are that size. I have 2 of your cookbooks and love your recipes, but Leary of the size for your berry trifle. Thank you.

    • — Germaine Curry on June 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Germaine, I just double checked my trifle dish – it is 3-1/2 quarts (about 14 cups). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made this for a bereavement meal at church. It was a huge hit from presentation in trifle bowl to last bite eaten! Delicious!!!

    • — Ginger Hackney on June 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this trifle for a friend’s birthday celebration. Wow, what a huge hit!!! I received sooo many compliments on the presentation as well as the taste. It struck the perfect chord, not too heavy and not overly sweet. The ladyfingers added much better texture over traditional pound cake. Will definitely be my go to for trifle from now on!

    • — Virginia on June 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious!!! I used about one and a half pound cake from Entenmanns instead of lady fingers. Guests loved it.

    • — Dara on June 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thanks for this wonderful recipe! So easy to put together and everyone loved it. Made it exactly as written and I wouldn’t change a thing! It was a dessert I was proud to bring to a friend’s gathering.

    • — Diana D. on June 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was a huge hit! I’m gluten free and made with store bought gluten free lady fingers. Everyone that had this had to have seconds, some requested thirds! Super simple to throw together and love the sweetness of the fruit with the cream cheese.

    • — Heather on May 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • I couldn’t find the right type of lady fingers so I bought sliced pound cake and cut it into strips. Do I still need to make this the night before? Worried about it getting soggy. If I make it the day of the party, it will have about 5-6 hours to chill. Thanks for any advice!

    • — KC on May 28, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi KC, it should still be fine to make it the night before. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Should I cover the trifle with saran wrap when I refrigerate it over night? I just finished making it and am ready to stick it in the fridge. To cover or not to cover….that is the question.

    I love your recipes, especially the buttermilk fried chicken tenders. I make them for my grandkids!



    • — Mary Jones on May 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Mary! Yes, I’d cover the trifle. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I don’t care for ladyfingers. Could I use pound cake instead? Or even vanilla cake as a substitute? Thank you!

    • — Roxanne McKim on May 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Roxanne, pound cake will work well as a substitute. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is a showstopper! Everyone is impressed and thinks you spent all day in the kitchen (that you didn’t, is your dirty little secret…) I use mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese because it’s lighter and a little creamier, also a little sweet (I use less added sugar). The filling actually came from the tiramisu recipe I make, but started using it for trifles, with good success. An awesome summer dessert! (I buy my mascarpone from Trader Joe’s; it’s less expensive than other sources and is of great quality. It is soft and does not need to be brought to room temperature, just use as is.)

    • — Nancy on December 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Thanks for the tip!

      • — Ginger Hackney on June 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is our favourite summer dessert. Its so delicious and so easy to make. I add a little lemon juice to the fruit jam mixture and some lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture. Yum!

    • — Roshelle on August 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Will be a go to summer dessert. Delicious, beautiful and wonderfully easy to make.

    • — Rachel on August 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this twice in a week! It is beautiful, easy to make, MAKE AHEAD, and everyone loves it. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. This will be a go to for me when I need a tasty and lovely dessert.

    • — MaryAlice R Dunbar on August 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this today with fresh strawberries. It’s an easy recipe. My husband says it’s his favorite trifle recipe. The use of strawberry jam is genius and the cream cheese keeps it from being too sweet. Tastes like a strawberry shortcake cheesecake!

    • — Kate on July 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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
    • Wow this turned out amazing. I was a little skeptical at first because because I wanted to make a healthy version with sugar reduced jam, and skyr/quark instead of cream cheese. It started looking watery but then I put in the freezer and it set nicely and tastes as if i used cream cheese.

      Fairly simple, low maintenance, and pretty resilient (it’s not the end of the world if you miss a step or two, or modify things).

      • — Theo on April 9, 2022
      • 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
    • Reply
  • 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 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
      • Jenn ..Help !!!
        Making this for my niece for her 16th birthday (her request) I need to make it Sat night and her dinner is Sunday night . I dont want it to be soupy or to be hard either . Can I make it a whole day in advance ? Help :)))

        • — Judy Williams on December 11, 2021
        • Reply
        • Yes, Judy, it’ll be fine. Hope your niece enjoys!

          • — Jenn on December 13, 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!

  • 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!

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

    • Am I correct that the whipping cream is whipped?

      • 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!

    • Hi Joy, I think both of those additions sound wonderful!

  • 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!

    • I wouldn’t recommend the soft lady fingers here, but cut up pound cake will work. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

  • 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!

    • 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, 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?

        • 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!

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

  • 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.

  • This trifle is beautiful and delicious.

  • 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)

    • Hi Melissa, Glad you like it! It keeps well for several days.

      • I was hoping you would say that! Thank you!!

  • Can you make this a day ahead? Wanted to make day before to serve a large group.

    • Yes – hope you enjoy!

  • 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)

    • It will definitely be a lighter frosting, but I think it should work. (And so glad you enjoyed this!)

  • Easy to make, impressive presentation and really delicious! May I finish it off for tomorrow’s breakfast?

    • LOL – go for it! 🙂

  • Delicious and easy to make! It was a beautiful dessert for our 4th of July BBQ. It certainly feeds a crowd!

  • 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

    • Hi Janet, I think you could get away with it. It keeps well for several days. 🙂

      • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!!

  • A perfect desert for a summer get together !! loved it

  • 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!

  • Hi! This looks amazing. Do you think frozen fruit would work?

    • Hi Chelsea, this is really best with fresh fruit – sorry!

  • 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.

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