Easy Lemon Trifle

lemon trifles in individual cups

Lemon trifle, here in handy individual glasses, is an easygoing recipe that combines cubes of fluffy cake, tangy lemon curd, and sweetened whipped cream ~ I’m pretty sure you’ve just found your new favorite summer dessert!

lemon trifle cups, with spoons

lemon trifle is officially the easiest dessert of the summer

The beauty of this dessert is that you can make it as easy or as complicated as you want. I used a homemade lemon sponge cake and lemon curd (or try another fruit curd) but you can definitely substitute store-bought versions of both and have an almost-too-easy dessert to impress company in a flash. If you ask me, though, the real whipped cream is a must.

making individual lemon truffle cups with lemon curd

what you’ll need for lemon trifle cups ~ 3 ingredients!

This is absurdly simple considering the delicious payoff.

  • CAKE, cut in small cubes ~ I used my lemon chiffon cake, but you can use any type of plain cake you like. Pound cake works well, and you can use a boxed mix too, or buy a pre-made cake that you like from the grocery store.
  • LEMON CURD ~ I made a quick homemade lemon curd but you can certainly use one from a jar.
  • SWEETENED WHIPPED CREAM ~ definitely whip this yourself, you’ll want the texture and flavor of real cream. I don’t recommend an aerosol can or a readymade whipped topping for this dessert.
layering up an individual lemon trifle in a glass

how to layer a lemon trifle

Whether you’re making a full sized trifle or personal little cups, the method is the same.

  1. Lay down a layer of cake cubes on the bottom of your cup or bowl.
  2. Spoon lemon curd over the cubes.
  3. Spread a generous layer of whipped cream over the curd.
  4. Repeat the layers until your vessel is almost full, finishing with a nice dollop of whipped cream.
  5. Sprinkle the top with lemon zest if you like.
  6. You can serve right away, but I prefer to let the trifle chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the cake to soak in the moisture from the curd and whipped cream. It just gets creamier the longer it sits.
making lemon trifles

trifle tips and faqs

What type of cake is best for a trifle?

A plain cake is best, and it can be a pound cake, a sponge cake, or even a boxed mix cake. Vanilla is traditional, but I’ve used a lemon cake, and you can change it up with chocolate, or other flavors.

Can I make trifle ahead?

Absolutely! It’s one of those desserts that gets even better after sitting in the fridge overnight. I’d say you could make it up to 24 hours in advance. Just be sure to wrap it securely in plastic so it stays moist and doesn’t take on odors from your fridge.

Can I use non dairy topping for this trifle?

You can if you need to for dietary reasons, but otherwise I’d stick to real whipped cream for best flavor and texture.

Who has leftover cake??

I get it, so feel free to purchase a store bought pound cake for this recipe.

lemon trifles in individual cups

more lemony favorites

lemon trifles in individual cups
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5 from 4 votes

Lemon Trifle

Lemon trifle, here in handy individual glasses, is an easygoing recipe that combines cubes of fluffy cake, tangy lemon curd, and sweetened whipped cream ~ I'm pretty sure you've just found your new favorite summer dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

  • 5 cups white, yellow, or lemon cake, cut in small cubes I used lemon chiffon cake, recipe here
  • 1 cup lemon curd Make it homemade, recipe here
  • 1 1/2 cup sweetened whipped cream

Instructions

  • Put a layer of cake cubes at the bottom of 4 glasses.
  • Top each with a tablespoon (approximately) of lemon curd.
  • Add a heaping tablepoon of whipped cream over the curd. Spread to cover the surface.
  • Repeat the layers 2 more times, ending with a dollop of whipped cream. I like to sprinkle a little lemon zest on top as well because it looks so lemony and pretty.
  • You can serve right away but I like to let them chill for a couple of hours, ideally. This allows the moisture from the curd and the whipped cream to soak into the cake a bit.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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4 Comments

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  • Reply
    Donna Falana
    July 28, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    In the recipe, you say to use sweetened whipped cream. Is that heavy cream that has been whipped, or do you sweeten it with something?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 28, 2021 at 8:15 pm

      I just mean heavy whipped cream sweetened to taste with sugar.

  • Reply
    Donna Falana
    July 28, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Can the chiffon cake be frozen? I want to make the trifle recipe, but don’t need a large amount. I’m having a couple of friends over for a birthday dinner, and just need three servings.
    Thanks!

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