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 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.
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.
how to layer a lemon trifle
Whether you’re making a full sized trifle or personal little cups, the method is the same.
- Lay down a layer of cake cubes on the bottom of your cup or bowl.
- Spoon lemon curd over the cubes.
- Spread a generous layer of whipped cream over the curd.
- Repeat the layers until your vessel is almost full, finishing with a nice dollop of whipped cream.
- Sprinkle the top with lemon zest if you like.
- 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.
trifle tips and faqs
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.
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.
You can if you need to for dietary reasons, but otherwise I’d stick to real whipped cream for best flavor and texture.
I get it, so feel free to purchase a store bought pound cake for this recipe.
more lemony favorites
- Lemon Crunch Cake
- Strawberry Lemon Blondies
- Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Poppy Seed Frosting
- Meyer Lemon Pudding (super easy recipe!)
- Raspberry Lemon Cake
- 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.
- Nutrition shown based on using 5 cups of homemade lemon chiffon cake.