How to Layer a Trifle to Make a Gorgeous Dessert
To show off the layers of cake, berries, and custard, a straight-sided glass dish is best. If you don't have a trifle dish, get creative. Use a clear glass bowl or cookie jar, or even a straight-sided vase. Just make sure the opening at the top is large enough to add all your ingredients and to spoon out portions.
Layer 1: Start with a Sauce
Start by spreading a layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish. For this trifle, we used a creamy lemon-white chocolate sauce made with eggs, cream, white chocolate, and lemon juice for the bottom layer, but you could also start with homemade pudding, your favorite frosting, or a fruit sauce.
Layer 2: Top with Crumbled Cake
Layer 3: Spoon on More Sauce
Next, add more sauce. This second layer in a trifle ensures the cake absorbs all the rich flavor of the creamy sauce. Or, if you want to learn how to layer a berry trifle, you could try adding a layer of berries between the cake and the second layer of sauce or pudding. Don't overdo this second sauce layer, you want to be sure to keep your cake cubes visible.
Layer 4: Add Fruit
For color and flavor, top the trifle dessert with a sweet fruit compote or fresh cut-up fruit. For this Christmas trifle, tart cranberries are cooked in sugar until syrupy then paired with sweet strawberries. Just remember: Trifles are meant to be viewed all the way around, so when you're adding the berries, make sure to spread them out all the way to the sides instead of piling them into the center. If you're learning how to assemble a chocolate trifle, you could swap out the fruit for chocolate curls or colored chocolate candies.
Layer 5: Finish with Whipped Cream
For the final layer, a dollop of whipped cream adds extra richness to the dessert. For a boost of flavor and a bit of flair, we sprinkled candied ginger strips over the whipped cream. For other trifle recipes, you could add a dusting of cocoa powder, a sprig of fresh mint, or sprinkles to make the whipped cream look more festive. Enjoy the trifle right away or refrigerate until ready to serve (up to overnight). Use a large spoon when serving in order to keep all those trifle layers intact.
Make Mini Trifles!
If you don't own a trifle bowl, another option is to make mini trifles. You can use individual trifle bowls, which will have the same look as a large one but in mini form, or you can use Mason jars, wine glasses, or any clear glass container that will let your guests see those trifle layers.