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Summer Berry Trifle with Italian Pastry Cream

This Berry Trifle is made with Summer Berries and Italian Pastry Cream, a delicious no bake recipe that is the perfect Summertime dessert. 

berry trifle in a glass bowl with fresh fruit on top


It was one of those days and I decided to make a new type of cake. In the oven it went and out it came. I let it cool down and when I tried to remove it from the pan it started to fall apart.

But it tasted amazing.

So I knew I would have to go back and redo it until I got it right, but I also knew I could not let this poor cake finish in the Italian’s morning caffe latte. It had to have a better ending than that!

I was always interested in making a Trifle Recipe so I thought this cake would be perfect. I don’t like pudding mixes, so I decided my Italian Pastry Cream would make a tasty custard filling.

And of course berries are everywhere these days so I had to include them!

berry trifle how to make, the berry filling, cooked and cake cut into pieces

What is a Trifle?

A trifle is an English dessert, consisting of layers of cake or lady fingers that are sometimes dipped in a liqueur or juice or spread with a jam or jelly, then layered with custard and fruit. It is a popular Christmas dessert.

making the pastry cream and layering in the bowl

What is the best base for a Trifle?

I used a simple but compact cake (even though it did fall apart when removing it from the pan), a pound cake makes the perfect base or even Lady fingers would work well.

layering the berry trifle cake, fruit filling and pastry cream

How to make Italian Pastry Cream for a Trifle

  • In a medium pot, heat over low the milk and cream, do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool to warm.
  • In a medium pot add yolks and sugar, whisk together until combined, then add flour and vanilla, place pot over low heat, slowly add warm milk/cream, whisking continuously until thickened.
  • Let cool to warm then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  • Whip the cream until stiff then fold into cooled pastry cream.
berry trifle in a bowl and some in a serving bowl

Can a Trifle be made in advance?

The trifle can be made in advance and refrigerated. It should be refrigerated at least 2-3 hours before serving.

How to store a Berry Trifle:

It should not be left a room temperature for more than two hours. Cover the trifle tightly with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated.

It will last up to three days in the fridge, although the longer it is kept in the fridge the longer the cake or cookie base will become soggy.

berry trifle in a glass bowl with fresh fruit on top

What Berries work best in a Trifle?

I used fresh Summer Berries including blueberries, raspberries and chopped Nectarines, although frozen berries would work well too.

Or just choose your favourites, place in a medium pot add a little sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice bring to bowl and simmer just until slightly thickened.

This is what I used to soften the cake instead of a liqueur, juice or jam.

My husband declared it his new favourite! I hope it becomes one of yours too. Enjoy!

Berry Trifle in a glass bowl.
berry trifle in a glass bowl with fresh fruit on top

Summer Berry Trifle with Italian Pastry Cream

Rosemary Molloy
This Berry Trifle is made with Summer Berries and Italian Pastry Cream, a delicious no bake recipe that is the perfect Summertime dessert. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chilling time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 208 kcal


  • 1 8 inch pound cake
  • 1 Pastry Cream Recipe
  • 1 cup whole/whipping cream


  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 medium nectarines chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Make the Italian Pastry Cream (the one with the milk and cream "our favourite") and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours.


  • In a medium pot mix together the berries, nectarine, sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until slightly thickened. Pour into a bowl, let cool to warm, then refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  • Remove the pastry cream from the fridge and whisk to soften it up. Whip the cream until stick peaks form, then fold into the pastry cream.
  • Cut the pound cake into medium sized cubes.


  • In a medium / large bowl (I used a 7 x 5 inch (18 x 12 cm) start by layering 1/3 of the cake on the bottom of the bowl, top with 1/3 of the berry mixture and top with 1/3 of the pastry cream continue for 3 layers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 2-3 hours or even overnight. Top with fresh fruit before serving. Enjoy!


Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 490IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!


  1. Hi Rosemary…
    Thank you so much for sending these recipes..
    They’re truly awesome…

  2. Thanks for the memories you just brought up from the cellar of my brain. Trifles! in the summertime, when the kitchen was all but shut down except for dinner. I grew up watching my grandmothers make custard and real whipping cream, picking blueberries and blackberries, peaches and sweet strawberries. When the cake was unavailable they would buy an angel food cake but the process was still the same as you described. Now it is time for me to revisit that glorious taste – thanks for the memories.

    1. Hi Hope, oh thanks so much, I love when I can share good memories. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

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