I do love a good trifle, a large glass bowl filled with boozy chunks of sponge cake layered with creamy custard, fruit, jam, perhaps a bit of jelly, and topped with sweet whipped cream. Such a lovely, frothy confection goes down easy and leaves you feeling warm and cozy inside.
It’s a Trifle Delightful
While the traditional trifle is marvelous all on its own, playing around with ingredients can lead to trifle variations that are downright delicious. You could try gingerbread sprinkled with ginger wine and layered with pumpkin pudding, or fruit cake doused with brandy and layered with vanilla custard. Pound cake would be luscious drizzled with lavender syrup and piled high with fresh berries and whipped cream.
This time around I wanted something a bit more toothsome than the usual sponge cake, and turned to a Hungarian cake a dear friend introduced me to. Made with equal weights of eggs, flour, sugar, and butter, it is tender and flavorful, yet hardy enough to hold a generous sprinkling of homemade wine without going soggy. I added a heaping spoonful of lemon zest to the batter, used spelt flour instead of plain, and the result was moist and fragrant.
Instead of custard I opted for Greek yogurt sweetened with real maple syrup, and drizzled the cake pieces with homemade plum wine instead of the usual sherry. Rather than lashings of fresh fruit, I added a few scoops of cherries preserved in syrup. They are rich and sweet and you only need a few in each layer to pack a big punch.
Finally, I made personalized trifles, layering the deliciousness in individual wine glasses rather than a large trifle bowl. This makes it easy to remove servings from the fridge without taking up a lot of space with a giant bowl.
What is your favorite trifle recipe?
Spelt Lemon Cake
- 4 large eggs
- spelt flour
- white sugar
- butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Crack eggs into bowl and weigh them. Add exact same amount (by weight) of flour, sugar, and butter. Add vanilla and zest. Whisk everything together until smooth.
Line loaf pan with baking paper, add cake batter, place in oven and bake until done, about 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and pan and cool on rack.
Cherry Lemon Trifle
- 4 large wine glasses or mini trifle dishes
- 1 recipe spelt lemon cake (see above), cut in 1/2-inch squares
- 1/4 cup plum or cherry wine (or Port)
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1 cup cherries, pitted (fresh or preserved in syrup)
- lemon zest for garnish
Divide cake pieces into eight piles; place one pile in the bottom of each wine glass.
Sprinkle cake pieces in each glass with one teaspoon wine. Top cake pieces with 2 tablespoons cherries.
Stir together yogurt and maple syrup until smooth. Top cherries with 1/4 cup yogurt mixture.
Repeat steps once more, then garnish with lemon zest. Chill at least one hour or until ready to serve.