This Red Velvet Trifle has layers of fresh berries, moist red velvet cake, and creamy cheesecake pudding. Top this patriotic trifle off with a couple dollops of whipped topping and cute little cake stars for an ultimate fresh summer dessert.
Are you a fan of delicious desserts to please a crowd? If you are like us, then you are going to love our Cherry Cheesecake Dump Cake or Watergate Cake. Try out this classic recipe, that is one of our go to summer favorites.
Patriotic Berry Trifle
This red, white and blue trifle is the perfect summer dessert to share with your guests. The strawberries and blueberries not only add to the Independence Day theme of the trifle, they also add a nice lightness when paired with the red velvet cake. This star topped trifle would be perfect for Memorial Day or the 4th of July.
This dessert is made even more simple by making most of it yourself and kind of cheating for the other half. The red velvet cake is completely made from scratch, but the pudding is made from a box mix and the frozen whipped topping is from a tub.
Of course, you could go ALL OUT and make the pudding and the whipped topping yourself. Or if you have even less time, go the opposite route and go buy a pre-made red velvet cake or just make it from a box mix. We aren’t judgy around here and 100% understand having a lack of time. Anything to make life easier and we are all in.
This red velvet cake is homemade so it has a little special touch to it. This red velvet cake recipe is super light and airy, but also moist. Make this red velvet dessert is so great for the 4th of July but, it can be make anytime of the year. Easy trifle recipes are the best especially on holidays
What to Use Instead of Buttermilk
I don’t know about you but I rarely have real buttermilk just laying around. And when I do go buy it for a recipe, I tend to only need a small portion and the rest just ends up going bad. Here are a few ways you can make your own buttermilk if you just don’t feel like running to the store for one special ingredient. I don’t recommend replacing buttermilk with just plain milk.
- LEMON OR VINEGAR METHOD: Add 1 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice plus just enough milk (2% or whole is recommended) to fill up to the 1/2 cup line. Let this mixture set up for 5-10 minutes to thicken or curdle a little. Then it’s ready to use.
- YOGURT OR GREEK YOGURT METHOD: Combine 1-2 Tablespoons of milk plus just enough plain yogurt to fill up to the 1/2 cup line. Stir to combine and it’s ready to use. If you use Greek yogurt, use 2-3 Tablespoons of milk due to the fact that Greek yogurt is bit thicker than regular yogurt. The consistency should be like buttermilk.
- SOUR CREAM METHOD: Combine 2-3 Tablespoons of milk to just enough sour cream to fill up to the 1/2 cup line. Stir to combine and use in your recipe. The consistency should be like buttermilk.
What is Red Velvet Cake?
When I was a kid, I used to eat magical red velvet cake and swear that it was cherry flavored. But it wasn’t exactly cherry, I just couldn’t quite put my finger on what that flavor was. It was mind boggling. I laughed at myself when I later learned that red velvet cake was basically chocolate cake with red food coloring. HA! Why does that red color seem to change the flavor of the cake? Why don’t we taste it as a chocolate flavor?
In case you are wondering what does red velvet cake taste like, I guess it would depend on what you picture while you eat it. If you picture chocolate cake it will clearly taste like chocolate. If you picture cherry or strawberry flavoring, you may taste it as cherry or strawberry. It makes me wonder why someone didn’t just add some fruit flavoring to make us all stop tasting things that weren’t there.
What is a Trifle Dessert?
A trifle is a layered dessert in glass bowl. Usually it contains cake, a pudding or custard, and fruit. A typical English trifle consisted of alcohol soaked cake, custard, fruit laid into 3 or 4 layers. There are tons of different trifle ideas and variations you can try out when making a trifle.
Trifle Recipe with Pudding Ingredients
- Sugar: Granulated white sugar.
- Butter: Unsalted butter at room temperature.
- Flour: Use all purpose flour.
- Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Baking Soda: Make sure your baking soda is fresh.
- Salt: I like to use fine sea salt or kosher.
- Buttermilk: Make sure to use buttermilk or one of the substitutes that are listed above. Buttermilk needs to be at room temperature.
- Eggs: Use fresh, room temperature eggs.
- Vinegar: White distilled vinegar.
- Gel Food Coloring: I like to use the “red no flavor” gel.
- Instant Pudding: You can use cheesecake or white chocolate instant pudding.
- Milk: You can use non-fat, low-fat, or whole milk.
- Fruit: I used strawberries and blueberries. Cut the strawberries into slices. You could also use blackberries or raspberries.
- Frozen Whipped Topping: Make sure to thaw it out. The topping is optional for the top of the trifle.
How to Make a Trifle
- Prepare pans. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two 8″ square pans or two 9″ round cake pans. Add in a parchment paper sling and butter it.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- Cream butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix wet ingredients. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add in buttermilk, vanilla extract and red food gel. Mix until combined.
- Bake cake. Pour into two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Make pudding. While cake is cooling, whisk together both boxes of instant pudding with 4 cups of cold milk. Place in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes.
- Cut shapes. Once cake is cool, cut out your star shapes (using directions below) and cut the rest of the cake into cubes.
- Layer into trifle dish. Begin layering ingredients in a trifle bowl, regular bowl, or in cups.
- Add on topping. Start with adding in half of the cake cubes, then gently add on half of the pudding, half of the cut strawberries, and half of the blueberries. Top with swirls of whipped topping and cake stars.
How to Cut Cake into Stars
- You will need a 1- 1 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter.
- Cut one strip of cake (making sure it’s wide enough for your star cookie cutter). Cut the strip in half to make two thin strips.
- Using the cookie cutter, press it into the flat strip. Remove the star from the cutter and set aside. Repeat through the rest of the cake strips. You should be able to get about 8-10 stars, but I only used 5 for the top of my trifle.
Red Velvet Trifle Recipe Tips and Variations
- Using real whipped cream. If you have the time, you could whip up some real whipped cream or use the stuff from the can for the top of the trifle instead of frozen whipped topping. I like the stability of the pre-made frozen whipped topping, that’s why I used it in this recipe.
- Leave it as just berries. You could leave the top of this trifle as just a layer of berries if you like. I only added dollops of whipped topping on top, you could omit it completely or top each serving with it instead. Of course, you will need them if you want to add on the cute cake stars.
- Super short on time? If you are short on time, instead of making the red velvet cake from scratch, you can buy a pre-made cake or make a boxed mix. This would be so much quicker, but I wanted to add an element of homemade to this trifle.
- White chocolate pudding. If you like, you can use white chocolate pudding instead of cheesecake pudding to make a white chocolate trifle.
- Room temperature ingredients. Make sure the ingredients you are using like the buttermilk, eggs, and butter are all at room temperature.
- Use different cookie cutters. Make different shapes other than stars for the top of the trifle.
Trifle Storage Instructions
- How to Refrigerate: Store the trifle in a glass container or BPA-free airtight plastic container. It should last about 5 days in the fridge.
- Can trifle be frozen: So the whole assembled trifle cannot be frozen, but the red velvet cake can be. Store cake by putting it into an airtight glass, BPA-free freezer-safe bag or freezer-safe plastic container. Make sure to label the cake with the recipe name and date. It should last about 3 months in the freezer.
- How to Thaw: Thaw the frozen cake in the refrigerator overnight.
Try these other summer favorites!
- Blackberry Iced Tea
- Spicy Grilled Shrimp
- Grilled Artichokes
- Mexican Street Corn
- Chocolate Raspberry Cake
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Red Velvet Trifle
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red no flavor food coloring gel
- 2 packages instant cheesecake pudding mix 3.4 ounce
- 4 cups milk
- 32 ounces strawberries 4 cups, cut in half
- 22-24 ounces blueberries 2 1/2 cups
- 1 cup frozen whipped topping thawed
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two 8" square pans or two 9" round cake pans. Add in a parchment paper sling and butter it.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in eggs one at a time. Add in buttermilk, vanilla extract and red food gel. Mix until combined.
- Pour into two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
- While cake is cooling, whisk together both boxes of instant pudding with 4 cups of cold milk. Place in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes.
- Once cake is cool, cut out your star shapes (using directions below) and cut the rest of the cake into cubes.
- Begin layering ingredients in a trifle bowl, regular bowl, or in cups. Start with adding in half of the cake cubes, then gently add on half of the pudding, half of the cut strawberries, and half of the blueberries.
- On top of the blueberry layer, add in the rest of the pudding, the rest of the cake, and the rest of the berries (I combined the strawberries and blueberries on top). Add dollops of thawed whipped topping and add your cake stars on top of whipped topping.
- Make this with a pre-made cake or boxed cake mix.
- Use white chocolate pudding instead of cheesecake pudding.
- Be sure to use room temperature buttermilk, eggs, and butter.
- Red velvet cake trifle will last about 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out!