This beautiful and delicious Fruit Trifle includes layers of vanilla pudding, fresh whipped cream, fruit, and soft angel food cake. It’s one of the easiest desserts to make, with the biggest “WOW” factor!

A trifle dish layered with fruit, pudding and cake.

My mom used to make this Fruit Trifle for us as a special dessert during the spring and summer when I was a kid. Not only is it gorgeous, it is DELICIOUS! I love that it has that “wow” factor to it, but is also incredibly easy to make. Perfect for any occasion, and easy to adapt to your taste. We filled it with some of our favorite fruits — strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, pineapple and mandarin oranges–but the possibilities are endless!

How to Make a Fruit Trifle:

Make the Pudding:

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil.
  • While the milk is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup milk, stirring until no clumps remain. Add the egg and whisk until smooth.
  • Once the milk is boiling, slowly add it to the sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Return the entire mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly until it comes to a simmer. Cook for one more minute, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • (If the pudding has any lumps you can strain it through a fine mesh strainer.) Transfer pudding to a heat proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate until chilled completely. Store covered in the fridge.
Four process photos for making homemade vanilla pudding.

Assembly:

  • Add the cream to a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixers on high speed for a few seconds. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks.
  • Cut or tear the angel food cake into chunks. Prepare fruit by washing and slicing as needed. Add a layer of cake pieces to the bottom of the trifle. Scoop several spoonfuls of pudding on top. Add a variety of the fruit, then a few spoonfuls of whipped cream. Repeat process until the trifle is filled. (I don’t bother making “perfect” layers).
Layers of angel food cake, pudding, fruit and whipped cream being added to a trifle dish.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve, or for up to 2-3 days (the fruit in the trifle will taste best day-of).

Variations:

  • Pudding: Substitute your favorite flavor, or a large box of store-bought instant vanilla pudding. Prepare according to package instructions.
  • Angel Food Cake: Here’s a great homemade recipe, or you could substitute homemade or store-bought yellow cake or white cake.
  • Fruit: use any fruit you like, or have on hand including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes, bananas, kiwi.
  • Chocolate Fruit Trifle: Use chocolate cake, and chocolate pudding.

Make Ahead Instructions:

The pudding can be made up to 5 days in advance, stored in the refrigerator. The angel food cake can be made a few days in advance, or frozen for several months.

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Recipe

A trifle dish layered with fruit, pudding and cake.
Prep 30 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 40 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bundt pan angel food cake homemade or store-bought
  • 5 – 6 cups fresh fruit*
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Vanilla pudding:

  • 2 2/3 cups whole milk , divided
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

Instructions
 

Pudding:

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil.
  • While the milk is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup milk, stirring until no clumps remain. Add the egg and whisk until smooth.
  • Once the milk is boiling, slowly add it to the sugar mixture, stirring constantly. 
  • Return the entire mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly until it comes to a simmer. Cook for one more minute, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • (If the pudding has any lumps you can strain it through a fine mesh strainer.) Transfer pudding to a heat proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate until chilled completely. Store covered in the fridge.

Whipped Cream:

  • Add the cream to a large mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixers on high speed for a few seconds. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks.

Assembly:

  • Cut or tear the angel food cake into chunks. Prepare fruit by washing and slicing as needed. Add a layer of cake pieces to the bottom of the trifle. Scoop several spoonfuls of pudding on top. Add a variety of the fruit, then a few spoonfuls of whipped cream. Repeat process until the trifle is filled. (I don't bother making "perfect" layers).
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve, or for up to 2-3 days (the fruit in the trifle will taste best day-of).

Notes

Pudding: Substitute your favorite flavor, or a large box of store-bought instant vanilla pudding. Prepare according to package instructions.
Angel Food Cake: Here’s a great homemade recipe, or you could substitute homemade or store-bought yellow cake or white cake.
Fruit: use any fruit you like, or have on hand including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes, bananas, kiwi.
Make Ahead Instructions: The pudding can be made up to 5 days in advance, stored in the refrigerator. The angel food cake can be made a few days in advance, or frozen for several months.

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 3gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 113mgPotassium: 149mgSugar: 22gVitamin A: 905IUVitamin C: 0.8mgCalcium: 108mgIron: 0.2mg

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I originally shared this recipe March 2017. Updated March 2021 with process photos, a video, and more detailed instructions.

Process photos by Nikole from The Travel Palate.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. Hi! Is there a recipe for the angel food cake? I wasn’t able to find the link in the recipe. Would love to make it from scratch as well.

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