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Summer Berry Trifle – a Great British Classic

Summer berry trifle

Dessert | 3rd August 2014 | By

Chocolate sponge covered with rose infused strawberries, blueberries and raspberries then smothered with custard and cream. If you’re a trifle rushed, this summer berry trifle makes for an easy but indulgent summer dessert.

When CT requested a trifle for his birthday, I was just a little relieved. Time and I don’t seem to get on so well these days and the day before his birthday was a particularly busy one. I’d been concerned that I might not be able to fit a cake in, but a mere trifle?

A while back I’d put a bag of chocolate madeleines I’d made (minus the chilli) in the freezer for just such a trifling occasion. Hooray, no cake baking required.

Normally, I’d make custard for a trifle. But shop bought ones are quite respectable now, so you can see the way this is heading. As for the fruit, that was easy too. It’s summer and flavoursome local Cornish strawberries and raspberries are in abundance. A half used punnet of blueberries was sitting in the fridge calling to be included, along with a bottle of my homemade rose syrup telling me it had been under-utilised this summer. So simple. All I had to do was  buy some cream, custard and fruit from the local greengrocers and assemble.

The trifle was a roaring success. CT reckoned it was the best birthday cake ever. The sponge had soaked up all the syrupy rose fruit juices and alcohol and it all worked symbiotically together to make a beautiful whole. We had it for a birthday breakfast before leaving for the day and had some for a late supper when we got home too. With all that fruit in it, it somehow felt a little less naughty than it really was, so we were able to indulge in a suitably carefree manner.

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Summer Berry Rose Trifle – The Recipe

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Summer Berry Rose Trifle

Chocolate sponge covered with rose infused strawberries, blueberries and raspberries then smothered with custard and cream, this makes for an easy but indulgent summer dessert.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: blueberries, cream, custard, raspberries, sponge, strawberries, trifle
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 357kcal
Author: Choclette


  • 12 chocolate madeleines (or sponge of choice)
  • 250 g blueberries – washed
  • 500 g strawberries – washed and halted or quartered (according to size)
  • 250 g raspberries
  • 3 tbsp rose syrup (or cordial of choice)
  • 3 tbsp rose liqueur (or use substitute with more rose syrup)
  • 500 ml custard
  • 300 ml double cream


  • Marinade the strawberries in the rose syrup for an hour if possible. Likewise marinade the blueberries in the rose liqueur for the same amount of time.
  • Line a trifle bowl or other large round dish with the madeleines or sponge.
  • Spoon the blueberries and any juice over the sponges, followed by the strawberries so there are distinctive layers of colour.
  • Pour the custard over the fruit, making sure all are covered.
  • Whip the cream until peaks form, but take care not to over whip. Spoon over the custard.
  • Sprinkle the raspberries over the top along with any other sprinkles desired. If you can bear it, leave in the fridge or a cool place to firm up for an hour or so before eating.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 791IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 2mg


Shop Local is a monthly event highlighting the importance of shopping locally. Both my raspberries and strawberries are Cornish and bought locally as were the eggs with which I made my madeleines. Hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, this inspired event is very dear to my heart.

This summer berry trifle is one of those Dead Easy Desserts that you can’t quite believe will turn out to be so good. Although it’s best to leave the fruit to marinade for a while, the assembly process itself takes less than 25 minutes. This event is normally hosted by Sarah of Maison Cupcake, but this month it’s guest hosted by Manjiri over at Slice of Me. The theme this month is strawberries.

As the blueberries were really fed up of sitting in the fridge and crying out to be used, I am submitting this to the No Waste Food Challenge. Normally hosted over at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diaries, it is being guest hosted by Laura this month over at I’d Much Rather Bake Than …


  1. Librarian Lavender

    3rd August 2014 at 11:21 am

    Such a great recipe! I also prefer shopping locally and I love good and fresh ingredients.

    • Choclette

      3rd August 2014 at 7:18 pm

      Very good to hear this LL – if more of us did it, the high street would be thriving again.

  2. belleau kitchen

    3rd August 2014 at 12:40 pm

    strawberry rose…hello my love!… this sounds divine and having never been a huge trifle fan I think i’ve just fallen in love with this one. Plus I love that you used those chocolate madelines for this, that’s so perfect. And such a great idea to do something different for a birthday too!.. lucky CT x

    • Choclette

      3rd August 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Strawberry and rose is such a wonderful pairing Dom – in fact I reckon rose is perfect with all the summer fruits. What’s not to love about trifle?

  3. Karen S Booth

    3rd August 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I was sad when Jude changed her blog name too, as I LOVE A Trifle Rushed – and also love this recipe too!

    • Choclette

      3rd August 2014 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks Karen – maybe we should start a campaign to bring it back again!

  4. Angie Schneider

    3rd August 2014 at 2:01 pm

    This berry trifle looks heavenly! I don’t mind using store-bought products if quality guaranteed.

    • Choclette

      3rd August 2014 at 7:22 pm

      Yes, absolutely Angie – it’s just it can often be quite hard to find good products.

  5. Laura Denman

    3rd August 2014 at 2:09 pm

    This sounds delicious. So fruity and summery and the perfect dessert when time is not on your side =)

    • Choclette

      4th August 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you Laura – it’s a five a day sort of trifle 😉

  6. Jude

    3rd August 2014 at 3:29 pm

    It’s a fabulous recipe, and thanks so much for the kind mention. Hoping your having a wonderful summer in Cornwall, Brittany is heavenly 🙂 Jude x

    • Choclette

      4th August 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks Jude. We’ve been having wonderful weather (touch wood) so have managed to get out quite a bit this summer. Sounds like you’re having a fabulous time.

  7. The Caked Crusader

    3rd August 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Lovely looking trifle – I always think trifles look so colourful and pretty!

    • Choclette

      4th August 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Thank you CC. Do I gather you are not a fan?

  8. Alicia Foodycat

    3rd August 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I love having cake in the freezer for these moments! Best trifle I ever made was from a chocolate cake that had been *terrible*, a jar of brandied cherries that had been in the cupboard when my husband moved into the flat (he didn’t tell me that until after we’d eaten them) and chocolate custard made by whisking melted chocolate into bought custard. It was divine.

    • Choclette

      4th August 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Now that sounds like a Black Forest trifle par excellence. Never would have thought to add chocolate to bought custard but that tip now firmly lodged in my brain.

  9. Katie

    3rd August 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I could eat a huge bowl of this right now. Love the diea of adding a little bit of rose for summer. Delicious

    • Choclette

      4th August 2014 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks Katie, at this time of year fruit is crying out for a little bit of rose 😉

  10. Sylvia F.

    3rd August 2014 at 7:18 pm

    It probably is silly but I have never ever tried triffle yet 😀 It looks amazingly tasty!

    • Choclette

      4th August 2014 at 12:40 pm

      How have you managed to get away with not having tried trifle Sylvia – still always good to have something to look forward to 🙂

  11. Heidi Roberts

    3rd August 2014 at 9:09 pm

    That looks simply divine – I love a simple trifle for a great summer pudding.

    • Choclette

      4th August 2014 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks Heidi. You’re right, it really is a good summer dessert.

  12. mr. pineapple man

    3rd August 2014 at 10:29 pm

    looks so good and pretty too!

  13. Ola Dania

    4th August 2014 at 1:07 pm

    The trifle looks amazing, its just made me want to go out and some cake. Am glad it was a success it really does look and sound like something I could make am not a baker but would love to give this a go. x

    • Choclette

      5th August 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Oh indeed you could make this Ola – you can always buy some trifle sponges.

  14. Kate Fever

    4th August 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Yum yum! So simple and yet so delicious, love a good trifle.

  15. Janice Pattie

    4th August 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I do love a good trifle, but I had to laugh at how busy you are now that you are no longer in your job, I could be that busy too!

    • Choclette

      5th August 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I know Janice, it’s ridiculous, but sooooo true.

  16. Jo

    4th August 2014 at 8:54 pm

    This looks beautiful! I think I’ll always have a soft spot for trifle as it usually appears at Christmas and family birthdays. In the past I’ve popped slightly dudd/overcooked sponges in the freezer as they’re perfect for trifle-making emergencies!

    • Choclette

      5th August 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks Jo. That’s a very good point you make, I shall never look at an overdone sponge in the same light again.

  17. Stuart Vettese

    4th August 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I’ve only recently come round to the thought of trifles as an anytime dessert. I always associated them with Christmas. Not anymore!!

    • Choclette

      5th August 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Oh absolutely not Stuart – trifle should be made and eaten whenever there is a need 😉

  18. Alison

    5th August 2014 at 8:33 am

    This looks delicious. I have loads of fruit in the garden at the moment so this would be an ideal way to use it up

    • Choclette

      5th August 2014 at 3:33 pm

      I am so envious of all your fruit Alison. Used to have loads at our old allotment but have trouble growing it in the new one.

  19. Hayley Warren

    5th August 2014 at 10:22 am

    This looks amazing. Definitely a good summer recipe.

  20. Kate Glutenfreealchemist

    6th August 2014 at 4:48 pm

    So simple….. yet so perfect! My best trifles have been made with left over cakes dug out of the freezer and fruit remains skulking in the fridge! The combination of chocolate cake and fruit is so yum! Who needs a birthday cake when you can have a trifle like this???

    • Choclette

      7th August 2014 at 8:37 am

      I’m obviously a bit late to this left over cake in the freezer malarky Kate, but I’m glad I finally cottoned on 😉

  21. Elizabeth

    30th August 2014 at 3:32 pm

    A beautiful dessert! Thank you for sharing with the No Waste Food Challenge and Shop Local 🙂

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