Holiday Trifle

This easy and impressive berry trifle is a mix of fresh berries, orange liqueur–soaked ladyfingers and a decadent cream filling. It’s the perfect dessert that will wow any holiday crowd.

Prep Time:
20 min
Cook Time:
15 min


  • 1 3/4 cups ( 440 mL ) milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup ( 125 mL ) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup ( 60 mL ) cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ( 5 mL ) vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup ( 250 mL ) 35% whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp ( 15 mL ) orange zest
  • 1 pkg ladyfinger biscuits (200 g)
  • ¾ cup ( 175 mL ) orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups ( 375 mL ) sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup ( 60 mL ) strawberry jam


  1. Heat milk in large saucepan set over medium heat just until starting to simmer.

  2. Meanwhile, in heatproof bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch until smooth; gradually whisk about one-quarter of the hot milk into yolk mixture, then whisk contents of bowl back into sauce-pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.

  3. Stir vanilla with salt; stir into pastry cream. Immediately strain through sieve into bowl. Cover with plastic wrap directly over surface to prevent skin from forming. Let cool completely. Refrigerate until completely chilled and set.

  4. Using electric mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks start to form. Fold one-third of cream into pastry cream; fold in remaining cream and orange zest. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  5. Reserve ½ cup (125 mL) each blueberries, blackberries and raspberries; set aside. Gently toss together remaining berries, strawberries and jam; set aside.

  6. Spread one-quarter of the pastry cream into bottom of 12- to 16-cup (3 to 4 L) trifle dish or bowl. One at a time, dip one-third of the ladyfingers into orange liqueur and place on top of pastry cream, halving ladyfingers as necessary to fit. Layer one-third of the berry and jam mixture over top; repeat to make 2 more layers. Spread remaining pastry cream over top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. To serve, garnish with reserved berries.


• Substitute raspberry jam for strawberry jam if desired.
• For a non-alcoholic trifle, use 1 cup (250 mL) orange juice mixed with 2 tbsp (30 mL) marmalade instead of liqueur.