Cherry Trifle

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 10

A classic trifle often contains pastry cream in addition to whipped cream. You can use good-quality purchased vanilla pudding instead, or make your own from scratch. Add the pudding layer before you add the whipped cream.


  • 2 cups jarred pitted sour cherries
  • 5 Tbs. kirsch
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pound cake


Prepare the cherries
In a bowl, gently stir together the cherries, 4 Tbs. of the kirsch and the granulated sugar. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the cherries through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Reserve the liquid and cherries separately.

Whip the cream
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the cream, confectioners’ sugar, the remaining 1 Tbs. kirsch and the vanilla on medium-high speed just until firm peaks form.

Assemble the trifle
Trim off the ends of the cake and cut the cake into chunks. Line the bottom of a 2 1/2- to 3-quart clear glass bowl with about one-third of the cake. Brush lightly with some of the reserved cherry liquid. Spoon one-third of the cherries over the cake and spread one-third of the whipped cream over the cherries. Repeat the layering 2 more times, ending with whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight before serving. Serve cold. Serves 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Desserts, by Elinor Klivans (Oxmoor House, 2007).

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