recipe, sweet

Brandy Berry Trifle

I’m sure most of us have a dish that reminds us of a special someone. For me, a trifle reminds me of my Mom. My Mom doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth (unlike me!), so she rarely feels inclined to do anything dessert-y. But every once and a while, normally around a big holiday like Christmas, she will break out her killer Trifle recipe. And we fall back on our heels in shock, hoping that if we shower her with ‘mmm!’s and ‘best dessert ever!’s, she’ll do it more often. No luck! It’s a once-a-year thing. So instead of waiting for her next trifle, I thought I would attack this British dessert myself… and oh, what a success!

This dessert is a classic British dish, and it was initially a way to use up leftover custard, cake, and berries that were trailing around the kitchen. It became such a hit, that it become iconic! Nowadays, hardly anyone outside the British realm has even heard of it! So I bring it upon myself to introduce (or reintroduce) this decadency to you, because it is really too good to disappear from anyone’s kitchen table!

See all of those delicious layers? Crispy-edged lady fingers drizzled with French Brandy, deliciously juicy blueberries and raspberries, and a homemade vanilla custard, thick with cream and eggs. Simple and yet elegant in presentation, this dessert can easily pass at an elegant evening or for breakfast with a hot cup of English Breakfast tea.

But of course you can have it for breakfast, you’ve got dairy, fruits, carbohydrates… you know, anything you could possibility need to justify it! 🙂

Brandy Berry Trifle


For the Custard
– 500mL 15% cream
– 125mL 2% milk
– 1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthwise and scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
– 6 egg yolks
– 140g granulated sugar
– 35g flour

For the Trifle
– 400g lady fingers (or pound cake, or angelfood cake, or… whatever kind of cake you like best!)
– 3 cups fresh or frozen berries (if frozen, do not defrost)
– 1/4 cup brandy (or rum, or sweet sherry)


For the Custard
1.  bring the milk, cream, and vanilla to a boil on the stove top, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly
2. whisk together egg yolks and sugar, until light in colour. Add flour, mix well.
3. Pour the milk mixture overtop the egg mixture, slowly at first, whisking continuously to not cook the eggs.
4. Put the mixture into a clean pot, and heat over medium heat until thickened. It will stick to the back of the spoon, and begin to form soft ripples while you stir it. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

For the Trifle
1. This is a layering game! You can choose whatever order you prefer, but I did berries-custard-ladyfingers-brandy. And the repeated the process over again. The important part is to add your brandy directly onto the lady fingers so they absorb the alcohol, otherwise you will end up with a soggy mess.
2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving (24 hours is best!).

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  • Ali

    great website

  • Thanks for your comment, Ali! Sometimes I wonder myself how I find the time haha 🙂
    Good luck with the berry trifle! Let me know how it turns out!

  • Ali

    This comment has been removed by the author.