A Strawberry Trifle is a lovely summer dessert and best made ahead of time.

In this version, layers of angel food cake, fresh berries, and a creamy no-bake cheesecake filling make a dessert just as pretty as it is delicious!

We love that it’s made ahead of time so it’s perfect for any party or potluck!

plated Strawberry Trifle with a spoon

Ingredients in  Strawberry Trifle

Trifle is a traditional British treat, sponge cake soaked in liquor, layered with fruit, chocolate, jello, custard pudding, or whatever your heart desires. This recipe is a cousin to its boozier relative from across the pond. But if no children are partaking, feel free to douse the cake with something stronger than strawberry syrup!

  • Cake: Angel food cake is light and airy but you can use pound cake if you’d like.
  • Creamy Cheesecake Layer: We prefer to skip the vanilla pudding mix and make a fresh cheescake-inspired layer. Cream Cheese, whipping cream and orange zest whipped together with orange juice add a little zippy twist to this “cheesecake”.
  • Whipped Cream: We prefer freshly whipped cream but whipped topping (or a tub of cool whip) works if you’re short on time.
  • Fruit: Strawberries, of course! Try making a cranberry trifle by changing up the fruit layer.

Strawberry Trifle ingredients with labels

To Make Juicy Strawberries

Combine the strawberries with sugar and allow them to sit out on the counter at least 30 minutes. The sugar will cause the berries to release juices (which make this trifle extra yummy). This process is called macerating and works with many fruits.

You can use sugar as in this recipe but also a splash of your favorite liquor as well (like Grand Marnier) or even citrus juices.

Sliced strawberries in a clear glass bowl with a spoon

How to Make Strawberry Trifle

  1. Prep Berries – Slice and toss with sugar.
  2. Make Cream Cheese Layer – Use a hand mixer or stand mixer and whisk until well combined.
  3. Make Whipped Cream – Make a bowl of whipped cream whipping until soft peaks form.
  4. Cut Cake – Cut the cake into cubes, toss with the strawberry juice and layer with the other ingredients.

Overhead shot of Strawberry Trifle batter in a mixing bowl, next to strawberries in a bowl and bread on a cutting board

How to Layer Trifle

  1. Combine strawberries with sugar and let sit. Toss the cake cubes with the strawberry juices.
  2. Layer angel food cake cubes, cream cheese mixture, and strawberries in a trifle dish or punch bowl. Repeat layers.

Use a transparent dish to show off the layers, or use individual dessert dishes or even wine glasses to create individual portions. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Soaked bread pieces in a bowl next to a bowl of sliced strawberries

Make Ahead

Trifle needs to sit 4 hours or overnight but will last in the fridge for several days. If you’re making this ahead for an event or special dinner, have some extra whipped cream and fresh berries to dress it up a bit before serving.

I find that after the initial 24 hours, the trifle can sink down a little bit so being able to top it up a bit will make it look as good as new.

Tips

  • Freeze the angel food cake before cubing to keep it intact as you cut it and layer it.
  • Add other types of berries or fruit along with strawberries. Try blackberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, or raspberries.
  • While a trifle bowl looks lovely, you can use any clear glass bowl (or even a 9×13 pan) to layer the ingredients.
  • Swap out the angel food cake for a pound cake to make this into a strawberry shortcake trifle.

Can Trifle be Frozen?

Generally trifle won’t freeze very well once it has been assembled because of the heavy cream. If you’d like to freeze this strawberry trifle, replace the heavy cream and sugar in this recipe with whipped topping (such as Cool Whip).

Alternatively, the cake freezes beautifully and berries can be frozen after macerating (or you can use frozen strawberries)!

More Fresh Fruit Dessert

plated Strawberry Trifle with a spoon
5 from 18 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Strawberry Trifle

This light & fruity dessert has layers of angel food cake, fresh strawberries, and a fluffy orange-flavored no-bake cheesecake filling.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigerate 4 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients  

  • 3 pints strawberries plus additional for garnish if desired
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 10" angel food cake homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Cream Layer

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 orange zested & juiced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream whipped

Instructions 

  • Slice strawberries and toss with sugar. Allow to sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
  • Cut angel food cake into 1" cubes.
  • Beat cream cheese, orange zest, sugar, and ¼ cup orange juice until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream.
  • Drain strawberries, reserving juices.
  • Place ½ of the cake cubes in the bottom of a trifle dish. Drizzle with half of the reserved strawberry juice. Top with ⅓ of the cream cheese mixture and ½ of the strawberries.
  • Repeat layers and top with the remaining cream cheese mixture.
  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  • Whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with powdered sugar. Top the trifle and garnish with additional fresh strawberries if desired.

Notes

  • Freeze the angel food cake before cubing to keep it intact as you cut it and layer it.
  • Add other types of berries or fruit along with strawberries. Try blackberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, or raspberries.
  • While a trifle bowl looks lovely, you can use any clear glass bowl (or even a 9×13 pan) to layer the ingredients.
  • Swap out the angel food cake for a pound cake to make this into a strawberry shortcake trifle.
  • Trifle will last in the fridge for a few days but the cake might sink down a bit as it rests. Top it off with additional whipped cream to serve.
5 from 18 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 582 | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1688IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Holly I have used many of your recipes and you never did me wrong I owned a deli for 22years 1980 through 2002 and you got me back in the kitchen it feels good thanks for all you do

  2. I’m caring for my grandsons while my son is deployed and my daughter in law, who is a nurse, continues to work. We made this trifle today. We didn’t have a trifle dish or a punch bowl so we made two bowls full. The boys loved putting sugar on the sliced strawberries and tearing the angel food cake in pieces. We used vanilla pudding which they helped whip and whipped cream from a squirt can but it turned out wonderfully.5 stars

  3. Under ingredients it lists 2 T powder sugar and heavy cream but doesn’t list where to use these ingredients
    Thank you

    1. Sorry for the confusion Cheryl, the additional cream is whipped and used to top the trifle before serving.