Monday, May 6, 2013

Strawberry-Rhubarb Trifle with Rich Vanilla Custard

So I made another trifle for my son's birthday this year...but, who doesn't love trifle!  This trifle is like a culmination of my most recent recipe posts...I'm practical that way; but I needed to be...we celebrate a lot of birthdays between January and March!

This trifle would make a fabulous Mother's Day dessert!  As promised in it's stunning presentation, this colorful trifle delivers an abundance of flavor.  The marbled chocolate and vanilla cake, moistened with the sweet grenadine syrup, provides a beloved base for the tangy-sweet, strawberry-rhubarb fruit filling, which is mellowed by the rich vanilla custard.  Billowy clouds of fluffy whipped cream crown all the glorious layers of goodness.

                                              All Right, Already...
                                           Let's Just Dig Into It!


My Marbled Chocolate and Vanilla Pound Cake (published 4/21/13)*

The Soak for the Cake
1/4 c. plus 2-3 TB grenadine syrup

The Fruit Filling
22 oz. (l lb - 6 oz.) jar--yields about 2 1/3 c. Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Filling (I used the Private Selection brand that Kroger distributes within the Kroger family of stores.)*

My Vanilla Custard--makes approx. 4-5 c. (published 4/10/13 in my pie shots post)*

The Whipped Cream
2 c. (1 pint) whipping cream
3 TB powdered sugar

The Garnish
1 large strawberry, fanned

  • This recipe works well in a 3 qt. (12 c.) trifle bowl.
  • You could substitute the marbled pound cake with a chocolate pound cake like my Chocolate Pound Cake included in my post for chocolate cupcakes 8/10/12...or a vanilla pound cake like either my Tall Buttery Pound Cake posted 5/13/12 or my Very Happy Birthday Pound Cake posted 3/27/11.  However, I prefer the marbled pound cake or the chocolate pound cake for this trifle.  Since the cake needs to be completely cool, let it sit at least overnight after baking.
  • You could substitute the strawberry-rhubarb fruit filling with a strawberry or raspberry all-fruit spread, but I have to tell you the strawberry-rhubarb fruit filling was mighty good, if you can access it!
  • Be sure to cool the custard overnight in refrigerator, so it will be completely cold and firm.

  1. Cut about 2/3 of the cake into approx. 1 1/2-2" chunks.
  2. In 1 layer, place the cake chunks into a rectangular glass baking dish or plastic container and drizzle with the grenadine syrup.  Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and set the cake aside to absorb all the syrup for at least 1 hour.
  3. Layer about 1/2 of the pre-soaked cake chunks over the bottom of the trifle bowl.
  4. Cover the cake chunks with 1 c. of the fruit filling.
  5. Spread about 1/2 of the vanilla custard over the fruit filling, within about 1" of the edges of the bowl.
  6. Repeat the layers using the remainder of the cake, fruit filling and custard.
  7. Refrigerate overnight and keep refrigerated until ready to top with the whipped cream and serve the trifle.
  8. In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form and the mixture holds its shape.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. Top the trifle with the whipped cream right before you serve:  You can pipe the whipped cream on the trifle with a large star pastry tip, as photoed above, or just dollop on with a spoon or spatula.  Garnish with the fanned strawberry.

Enjoy all the oohs and aahs as you present your magnificent creation!

Printable Recipe


  1. My grandpa used to grow fresh rhubarb up north and I bet it would have been great in this! Sounds real tasty! Regina

  2. Aren't trifles just lovely? So simple and yet so elegant! This would be perfect for mother's day. Thank you so much for sharing, my friend!

  3. I have a beautiful trifle bowl that I've never used. I started to make a tiramisu 'caramel latte' trifle a few years ago, but miscalculated the amounts to fill the bowl, so we just ate it as is and I made a cake instead. I love your trifle - it screams Spring and Summer with the rhubarn and strawberries and that vanilla custard is just luscious! I think I may finally use my trifle bowl!

  4. What a gorgeous spring dessert! I'd love to dig right in :) Happy Mother's Day to you, Bonnie!