Why is a Trifle called a Trifle?

November 06, 2016

Why is a Trifle called a Trifle?

Well......seeing it is getting close to Christmas and I have oodles of leftover cake from a two tier 18th Birthday Cake I designed this week, I decided to use it up in a heavenly tasty English Tipsy Trifle. It brings back so many memories of when I was a child and we ate Trifle every Christmas. I would alway's steal a cube of jelly while my Mam wasn't looking!!

So where exactly does the word 'trifle' originate from....?

Trifle comes from the old French term 'trufle' which means of little consequence.

A real English Trifle is made with real egg custard over a sponge cake soaked in fruit and sherry and topped with whipped cream. There are so many variations including chocolate trifle, cherry trifle, strawberry trifle, no-custard trifle, jelly trifle and many more.

I just love the slurp noise you get when you put your first spoon in!

Here is my simple easy to make recipe for you all to try...


  • Place leftover cake or sponge in the bottom of a glass bowl. Sprinkle fresh raspberries and a sliced banana over the sponge.
  • Add a drizzle of sherry (depending on how much you like it) and let it soak into the fruit.
  • Then add raspberry jelly (optional). Let it set in the fridge.
  • Next make the 'homemade' custard as below. (Taken from Delia Smith's Christmas Book)

Custard Ingredients:  425ml double cream, 4 large egg yolks, 25g golden caster sugar, 1 level dessertspoon cornflour, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Custard Method:  Place the cream in a pan over a gentle heat and simmer. While the cream is heating use a balloon whisk to whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Then, whisking the egg mixture all the time with one hand, gradually pour the hot cream into the bowl. When it is all in return the lot back to the saucepan and simmer.  If you overheat it don't worry just transfer it back to the bowl and whisk until smooth again.

  • Pour the custard into a jug and cover the surface with cling film and leave to cool.

  • Then once cool add to your trifle.
  • Top with whipped cream and decoration of your choice. I often use sprinkles for the kids or grated chocolate or nuts for the grown ups!

I do hope you enjoy my Tipsy Trifle.

I would love to see pictures of your trifles so please send me a message.






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