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This show-stopping lemon berry trifle recipe includes lemon pound cake, fresh berries, a lemon cheesecake filling, and fresh whipped cream. Use store-bought cake if you’re short on time!

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! (With my classic cheesecake recipe, that makes two Friends desserts in a week lol.)

overhead image of lemon berry trifle

Video Tutorial: How to Make Lemon Berry Trifle

Today’s lemon berry trifle is my latest kitchen creation. In terms of flavor, it reminds me of this lemon berry yogurt cake. I assembled and photographed it when friends came to visit. It was an instant hit, so I made it again for my mother-in-law’s birthday. 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.

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.

Lemon Trifle Layers

  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, 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 whipped cream. 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 is my homemade lemon pound cake. Slice and cube the cake after it cools. The pound cake is the foundation of the trifle.

lemon pound cake cut into slices on a white cutting board
overhead image of cubes of lemon pound cake in the bottom of a glass trifle dish

Lemon Cheesecake

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 Ways to Eat 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 in a glass bowl

Homemade 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!).

homemade whipped cream in a glass stand mixer bowl

As we finished dessert, I asked for everyone’s opinion.

Comments on Lemon Berry Trifle

  • Lemon is not overpowering
  • Just the right amount 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!!

lemon berry trifle with a serving spoon and a serving of trifle on a white plate
serving of lemon berry trifle on a white plate with a fork

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! You’ll also love tiramisu, too!

Other Favorite Berry Desserts

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lemon berry trifle with a serving spoon and a serving of trifle on a white plate

Lemon Berry Trifle

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This show-stopping lemon berry trifle recipe includes lemon pound cake, fresh berries, a lemon cheesecake filling, and fresh whipped cream. Use store-bought cake if you’re short on time!



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
  • 56 cups fresh berries (I use blueberries and raspberries)
  • optional: additional berries and lemon slices for garnish


  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 3.
  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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Tilt-Head Glass Bowl | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Glass Mixing Bowls | Trifle Bowl
  3. Shortcut: To save time, you can use store-bought pound cake or angel food cake.
  4. 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.

Keywords: lemon berry trifle

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I appreciate the fact that Sally and other bakers have turned average bakers to the next level by giving us the ideas and tools to be successful.
    Even though this recipe is perfect, tastes delicious and look pretty, I do have a suggestion and would appreciate a comment from Sally. I made a trifle for a gathering of 60 people. I decided not to use a trifle dish. Because, after the first person digs into it, it begin to look like a mess. That didn’t happen when I made just 1 layer in a large dish. It looked pretty till the very end.

  2. i want to make a peach version of this. do you think i could just sub the lemons for peaches?

    1. Peach is a much more subtle flavor than lemon and this swap would likely require quite a bit of testing. You could definitely layer in fresh peaches – let us know what you try!

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