It was years ago when I first heard of trifle. A bit of research ended up showing some disturbing jello and fruit concoction, I’m not sure where it came from, but I knew that it wasn’t the trifle I’d tried. The trifle I had savored was actually cake and custard/pudding layers. I’ve made it a variety of ways.

Basically you take cake mix, bake it, and cut it into cubes. Do a layer of cake, a layer of pudding, maybe some nuts or toffee bits, and repeat, topping with whip cream. When I started my Christmas baking this year, I ended up doing 12 small Christmas cakes and 2 giant ones. This years’ cake was nuts as usual, but with addition of 1 can of dark pitted cherries that had been soaked in bourbon. Then that bourbon was used as the liquor in the cake batter. Subsequent weekly boozey bastings were about four doses of bourbon, followed by doses of cognac. It was an absolute hit. I ended up shipping some of the small cakes, gifting them, and using others for dinners attended. Christmas came and went and I still had a couple cakes to use up. Thankfully, I had one final dinner to prep for (post-Christmas dinner for friends).

So, to get back to the point of this post, I decided to make Christmas cake trifle, which would use up the cake and the cognac cream cheese icing I had left.

I took about 1 cup of the cream cheese icing and folded it into 2 cups of whip cream (don’t sweeten, just whip until you get firm peaks) for my pudding layer. It was a layer of the Christmas cake, half of the icing whip cream mix, sprinkled with some small bits of homemade toffee, then repeated the layers. Pop into the fridge to keep nice and chilled! 

It not only used up most of the leftover cake I had and all the icing, but got the thumbs up from everyone as a successful creation.

I’ve made quite a few different trifles. The variations are endless and creations are whatever flavours you desire. After baking a cake, I like to poke holes with a skewer on top (before cutting) and drizzling a liqueur or liquor over top. A couple examples are:

Black Forest Trifle: Chocolate cake (baked with Kirsch in the batter), drizzled with Kirsch, a layer of cherry pie filling, a layer of white chocolate pudding, repeat, top with whip cream and chocolate shavings.

Spiced Cake Trifle: Spice cake or gingerbread cake, drizzled with spiced rum, a layer of caramel or butterscotch pudding, a sprinkling of toffee bits, repeat, top with whip cream and more toffee bits.

If you like this recipe, please share!

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