Lemon Berry Trifle

Lemon Berry Trifle

Trifles are an ideal party dessert, especially in the spring and summer. Served in a lovely glass bowl or trifle dish, the presentation is equally impressive and beautiful. You can prepare trifles in advance and even though I recommend homemade cake for those layers, you can definitely get away with store-bought. Especially when you take the time to make homemade whipped cream and homemade lemon curd!

Trifles are as show-stopping as tall layer cakes, but worlds easier to assemble. There’s always an exciting new layer to discover and unlike Rachel’s trifle, each layer is pretty pleasant!!!

She made half an English trifle… and half a shepherd’s pie! (Lol that’s two Friends desserts in a week.)

Today’s lemon berry trifle is my latest kitchen creation. I assembled and photographed it a couple weeks ago when friends came to visit. It was an instant hit, so I made it again for my mother-in-law’s birthday this past weekend. The whole family gathered at our house to celebrate, so I chose this dessert not only because it feeds a lot, but for its ease of preparation. I also baked this easy funfetti cake with chocolate buttercream. Both desserts only had 1 serving left!

After preparing this lemon berry trifle for two separate large groups, I have some helpful make-ahead tips for you. But first, let’s discuss the layers.

This show-stopping lemon berry trifle recipe includes lemon pound cake, fresh berries, a lemon cheesecake filling, and fresh whipped cream. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

4 LAYERS TO LOVE

  1. Lemon pound cake: I use and recommend my lemon pound cake recipe. You can prepare the cake a day or 2 in advance. Since there are other homemade components to the recipe, feel free to use store-bought pound cake or even angel food cake.
  2. Lemon cheesecake layer: The lemon cheesecake layer is the star of the show. It’s light, fluffy, and a pleasing balance of sweet and tart. It’s prepared with cream cheese, homemade lemon curd, vanilla extract, and homemade whipped cream. I strongly suggest using homemade lemon curd and homemade whipped cream in this lemon berry trifle. Both taste considerably more appetizing than their store-bought counterparts. Homemade lemon curd can be prepared up to a week in advance and the whipped cream is only 3 basic ingredients!
  3. Fresh berries: No extra steps here, just layer fresh berries right into the trifle. Whichever berries you use, I recommend using fresh. Frozen berries are a convenient substitution when fresh berries are not available, but they leak juices in the trifle layers regardless if you thaw or not before layering. Think about how you want the fruit to taste and go from there.
  4. Whipped cream: Always homemade. Prepared with heavy cream, a little sugar, and vanilla extract—you can’t go wrong with fluffy and lightly sweetened homemade whipped cream. Half of the whipped cream is beaten into the lemon cheesecake filling and the remaining half is spread or piped on top of the trifle. I used my Wilton 1M tip for piping.
This show-stopping lemon berry trifle recipe includes lemon pound cake, fresh berries, a lemon cheesecake filling, and fresh whipped cream. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Deliciously moist lemon pound cake recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is my homemade lemon pound cake.

Lemon pound cake for lemon berry trifle on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Slice and cube the cake after it cools.

Lemon pound cake for lemon berry trifle on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The pound cake is the foundation of the trifle.

Homemade lemon curd on sallysbakingaddiction.com

THAT LEMON CHEESECAKE LAYER!

The lemon cheesecake layer was everyone's favorite. It reminded us of lemon mousse-- very light and very airy. Homemade whipped cream not only tops the entire trifle, but is beaten into the cheesecake layer itself. This addition incorporates air into the lemon cheesecake layer, promising a fluffy texture instead of a heavy texture.

All of the lemon flavor in this layer comes from lemon curd, so I definitely recommend using fresh. And all of the sweetness comes from the lemon curd and whipped cream. Store-bought versions of both, made with who the heck knows what, will quickly over-sweeten the entire dessert.

The lemon cheesecake layer uses 1 cup of my lemon curd recipe, so you'll have 1/2 cup leftover.

OTHER USES FOR LEMON CURD

And if you don't have plans to eat right away, you can freeze lemon curd for up to 3-6 months.

Lemon cheesecake filling with whipped cream and lemon curd on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make deliciously simple lemon curd on sallysbakingaddiction.com

WHIPPED CREAM

Homemade whipped cream is the finishing touch. You can use heavy whipping cream instead of heavy cream, but with its slightly higher fat percentage, heavy cream makes a sturdier whipped cream. If you're using your stand mixer, don't walk away from it. While beating heavy cream into whipped cream takes a few minutes, there's only a few seconds between perfectly whipped cream (delicious!) and over-whipped cream (lumpy!).

Rescue tip just in case: you can always fix over-whipped cream.

As we finished dessert on Sunday, I asked for everyone's opinion:

  • Lemon is not overpowering
  • Just the right about of sweet
  • I'm having seconds
  • The pound cake is really good on its own AND with all the layers
  • The whipped cream is really creamy!
  • My new favorite dessert
  • So simple, but so good
  • When can you make it again?

That last comment was my favorite!!

So there we have it. Lemon berry trifle is a stunning dessert that can be prepared in advance and impresses anyone who takes a bite. In my eyes, that’s the sweetest ending to any party meal!

Deliciously soft and creamy homemade whipped cream on sallysbakingaddiction.com
This show-stopping lemon berry trifle recipe includes lemon pound cake, fresh berries, a lemon cheesecake filling, and fresh whipped cream. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
This show-stopping lemon berry trifle recipe includes lemon pound cake, fresh berries, a lemon cheesecake filling, and fresh whipped cream. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Lemon Berry Trifle

YIELD

serves 12

PREP TIME

30 minutes

COOK TIME

1 hour (if using homemade cake)

TOTAL TIME

3 hours, 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Pound Cake

Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Lemon Cheesecake & Berry Layers

  • one 8-ounce block (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lemon curd (homemade or store-bought), at room temperature
  • 5-6 cups fresh berries (I use blueberries and raspberries)
  • optional: additional berries and lemon slices for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice the lemon pound cake into 9 1-inch slices. Cut into bite-sized cubes. Set aside.
  2. Make the whipped cream: In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract together on high speed into stiff peaks, about 3 minutes. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use in step 4.
  3. Make the lemon cheesecake layer: In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the vanilla extract and lemon curd and beat on medium-high speed until combined. Lastly, beat in half of whipped cream (about 2 cups) that you prepared in step 2. Cover and store the remaining whipped cream in the refrigerator until used in step 5.
  4. Assemble: This trifle has 3 layers of pound cake, 3 layers of berries, and 2 layers of the lemon cheesecake mixture. Begin with a base of lemon pound cake cubes. Top with an even layer of fresh berries, then half of the lemon cheesecake mixture. Repeat. Finish with final layer of lemon pound cake cubes followed by a final layer of berries. Spread or pipe remaining whipped cream on top of the trifle. I used Wilton 1M piping tip to pipe the whipped cream on top. (Whisk the whipped cream to reincorporate any liquid if needed.)
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours (see make ahead tip if you wish to store longer). You can refrigerate uncovered for 2-4 hours, but I recommend loosely covering if storing longer than that. The time in the refrigerator gives the flavors a chance to settle and allows the pound cake to soak up some of the lemon cheesecake mixture.
  6. Garnish with extra berries and/or lemon slices and serve cold. Cover and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

Make ahead tip: I suggest making the homemade lemon pound cake 1 day ahead of time. Let it cool, then cover and store at room temperature overnight. You can prepare the lemon curd up to 1 week before using. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. After assembling the trifle, you can refrigerate for up to 6 hours before serving. If you wish to refrigerate for longer than 6 hours, I suggest making the whipped cream in two parts. To do so, only prepare half of it in step 2 (simply halve all the ingredients). Use this for folding into the lemon cheesecake layer in step 3. Prepare and assemble the trifle, then cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. When ready to serve, prepare the remaining whipped cream and add it on top of the trifle.

RECIPE NOTES

  1. To save time, you can use store-bought pound cake or angel food cake.
  2. Interested in using frozen berries? Frozen berries are a nice substitution, but they will thaw and leak their juices in the trifle layers. If you thaw them before layering, they'll still be extra juicy.

© SALLY’S BAKING ADDICTION. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

SHOP THIS RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today's recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Tilt-Head Glass Bowl | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | Trifle Bowl

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47 Comments

Comments

  1. Gayatri on May 9, 2018 at 12:42 am

    Sally, the second I saw the word ‘trifle’, my mind jumped straight to Rachel! “It tastes like feet!” I laughed out loud when I read your post and your trifle looks amaaaaazing and I’m sure tastes equally great! I’ve been thinking of making one with fresh mangoes because it’s the only good part of summer in India 😀

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:25 am

      Thank you so much!! Your mango version sounds delicious – let me know what you think 🙂

  2. Natalie on May 9, 2018 at 7:09 am

    This trifle is gorgeous! I love lemon and berries together!

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:26 am

      Thank you Natalie!! It’s one of my favorite combos too – especially in summer!

  3. Wendy on May 9, 2018 at 7:16 am

    I love the simplicity of this dessert and the combination of flavors. I will definitely be making this over the weekend and can’t wait to taste this beauty!! Finding your new site easy to use and love the trending now section because some of those recipes I had forgotten about☺

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:26 am

      Thank you so much Wendy! I hope you enjoy making this dessert – let me know what you think 🙂 I’m thrilled you are loving the new site – I really appreciate your feedback!

  4. Natalie Munroe on May 9, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Lemon and blueberry together are so satisfying! This looks beautiful and I look forward to trying it.
    I’m upset because you clearly forgot the layer of beef sautéed with onions and peas. Everyone knows you put beef in a trifle. Lol.

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:27 am

      Hahaha! I hope you enjoy this recipe, Natalie 🙂

  5. ReneeW on May 9, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Sally, does the (homemade) lemon curd need to be room temperature before blended with the cream cheese? I can’t WAIT to try this. YUM!

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Renee! Great question. I recommend the lemon curd is at room temperature so it blends nicely with the cream cheese.

  6. Kim on May 9, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Wow I can not wait to make this. Thank you for all you do and I am loving your new site.

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:27 am

      Thank you so much Kim!

  7. Margie on May 9, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I have wanted to make a trifle for a very long time so am soooo happy you’ve posted this delicious looking dessert. Really looking forward to make it. Your desserts are delicious and so easy to follow. Thanks Sally!

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:28 am

      I hope you love this one! Thanks so much for your positive feedback – it means a lot! 🙂

  8. jaime on May 9, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Looks delicious and LOVE the new website layout!

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:28 am

      Thank you so much!!

  9. Celeste on May 9, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Plan on making this for Mother’s Day! Thanks, Sally.

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:28 am

      Perfect for Mother’s Day! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  10. Jeannette Riss on May 9, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Sally – is your lemon loaf (without the glaze) a suitable substitute for the lemon pound cake or is the density of the pound cake a necessity?

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      The lemon loaf from my cookbook? Yes, absolutely! It would be wonderful in this trifle.

  11. Talissa on May 9, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Wow! This looks so yummy. I think that I will make this mini by serving these in tiny mason jars. Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      So cute!!

  12. Sally on May 9, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I’m very excited to try this recipe, I’m from
    NZ and trifle is a staple at Christmas!
    Is there any reason you use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar in your whipped cream? I always make my own but have only ever used powdered sugar.
    Thanks,
    Sally

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Sally! I make whipped cream both ways and never notice a difference in taste or texture. So, really, it’s personal preference! If I’m making whipped cream for a certain recipe that already uses granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar, I’ll just reach for that one 🙂

  13. Paige Flamm on May 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    I 100% need this in my life!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  14. Sam on May 9, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Every time I hear the word “trifle” I think of Friends. LOL And this trifle looks amazing! 🙂

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      HAHAHA me too

  15. Oksana on May 9, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    I’ve never been a fan of trifles (mainly because the versions I tried were way tooooooo sweet for my teeth). But this one looks so appealing! I will definitely try it. Besides it is easy to make – it’s like crumbled cake with heaps of frosting. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      That’s why it’s good! The “frosting” to cake ratio is on point. 😉

  16. Lauren @ Lemon & Mocha on May 9, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    I love lemon trifles and this one looks fabulous! Also, I’m loving the new blog layout!

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks so much, Lauren!

  17. Krista on May 9, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    This looks and sounds beyond divine!!! I am so excited to try this! I am literally drooling. Haha!

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:28 am

      Thank you so much Krista!

  18. Tash on May 10, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Is it too early to bookmark this as this year’s Christmas dessert? Perfect for an Aussie summer Christmas, a trifle I’ll ACTUALLY love (I hate jelly!)

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      NEVER too early to bookmark recipes. You know I already have a holiday baking list! 🙂

  19. Turner on May 10, 2018 at 6:20 am

    The way you decorated the top is so pretty! I love trifle.

  20. Patricia @Sweet and Strong on May 10, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Every time I see a Trifle I always think of that Friends episode, lol. And this is so perfect for Spring! I made your lemon pound cake last year and even my husband (who is not a huge lemon fan) could not get enough!

  21. Bernice P on May 10, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Hi Sally, This looks delicious. I am going to try it for Mother’s Day Brunch this weekend…. quick question.. If I assemble it the day before will the blueberries ( fresh) breakdown and make the cake portions purple looking . Will top with whipped cream the day of the brunch… Thanks so much.. Love all of your recipes…

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Hi Bernice! The fresh blueberries will not break down overnight, but I do recommend waiting to top the trifle with whipped cream until the day of. See my make ahead tip. 🙂

  22. Laura | Tutti Dolci on May 10, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Such a beautiful trifle and absolutely perfect for Mother’s Day!

  23. Serena on May 12, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    I made this today. Unfortunately I have a gluten intolerance so I couldnt use your pound cake recipe. This trifle was absolutely out of this world amazing. You are seriously a baking wizard. Your recipes are un-be-lieve-able!! I’m a terrible baker, don’t know why but I find difficult to get consistent results. But when I use your recipes they turn out perfect every time! Just thought you should know.

  24. Kelli Culpepper on May 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Oh my goodness Sally, this was divine. My husband and son made this for my mother-in-law and me today for mother’s day. They made Ina’s lemon cake for it and used blueberries and strawberries. Your recipe for the curd. Wow! Two thumbs up. Feel certain we will make again and again. Might have trumbled Ina’s lemon bars.

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      How wonderful that they baked for you!! Glad it was enjoyed!

  25. Eva on May 13, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Sally, I’ve been looking for an excuse to make this and I have my mother coming from overseas and a gathering of in-laws. I just need to get everything done a week before as I have too much going on so my question is can I freeze the lemon pound cake? I’m thinking of making everything else with the exception of whipped cream a few days ahead, will that work? And could I get away with making whipped cream a day before??

    Thanks for this lemon beauty of a dessert!

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 5:51 am

      Hi Eva! You can bake, cool, + freeze the pound cake. Then thaw and cut into cubes as directed. Or even cut into cubes and freeze those. Whichever is easier for you. I don’t recommend making the whipped cream a day before, but a few hours ahead is perfectly fine. Have fun with your family!

  26. Iram on May 14, 2018 at 4:55 am

    Made it yesterday for mother’s day. Home made Gluten free pound cake ( since we have Celiac in the family) with the rest of the recipe exactly yielded an excellent dessert both delicious and beautiful in presentation. Thanks for a wonderful recipe Sally. I got my nine year old to assemble the whole thing which was double the fun.

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      I’m glad you were able to make it work for you! So fun to get everyone involved in making it! 🙂

Reviews

Questions

  1. ReneeW on May 9, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Sally, does the (homemade) lemon curd need to be room temperature before blended with the cream cheese? I can’t WAIT to try this. YUM!

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Renee! Great question. I recommend the lemon curd is at room temperature so it blends nicely with the cream cheese.

  2. Jeannette Riss on May 9, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Sally – is your lemon loaf (without the glaze) a suitable substitute for the lemon pound cake or is the density of the pound cake a necessity?

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      The lemon loaf from my cookbook? Yes, absolutely! It would be wonderful in this trifle.

  3. Sally on May 9, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I’m very excited to try this recipe, I’m from
    NZ and trifle is a staple at Christmas!
    Is there any reason you use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar in your whipped cream? I always make my own but have only ever used powdered sugar.
    Thanks,
    Sally

    • Sally on May 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Sally! I make whipped cream both ways and never notice a difference in taste or texture. So, really, it’s personal preference! If I’m making whipped cream for a certain recipe that already uses granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar, I’ll just reach for that one 🙂

  4. Bernice P on May 10, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Hi Sally, This looks delicious. I am going to try it for Mother’s Day Brunch this weekend…. quick question.. If I assemble it the day before will the blueberries ( fresh) breakdown and make the cake portions purple looking . Will top with whipped cream the day of the brunch… Thanks so much.. Love all of your recipes…

    • Sally on May 10, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Hi Bernice! The fresh blueberries will not break down overnight, but I do recommend waiting to top the trifle with whipped cream until the day of. See my make ahead tip. 🙂

  5. Eva on May 13, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Hi Sally, I’ve been looking for an excuse to make this and I have my mother coming from overseas and a gathering of in-laws. I just need to get everything done a week before as I have too much going on so my question is can I freeze the lemon pound cake? I’m thinking of making everything else with the exception of whipped cream a few days ahead, will that work? And could I get away with making whipped cream a day before??

    Thanks for this lemon beauty of a dessert!

    • Sally on May 14, 2018 at 5:51 am

      Hi Eva! You can bake, cool, + freeze the pound cake. Then thaw and cut into cubes as directed. Or even cut into cubes and freeze those. Whichever is easier for you. I don’t recommend making the whipped cream a day before, but a few hours ahead is perfectly fine. Have fun with your family!

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