If you like cold fruity desserts and the taste of lemon meringue pie paired with a flavorful layer of fluffy cake, this creamy dreamy fruit trifle recipe is for you.
Here in the South, we love our trifle recipes. They really are the perfect summer treat and my creamy dreamy fruit trifle is no exception. It’s light, fluffy, sweet, and flavorful all at once.
You only need five ingredients to make my easy fruit trifle: a baked yellow cake (you can use a cake mix or make it from scratch), plus lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, whipped topping, and the seasonal mixed fruits of your choice. Today, I’m using banana slices, strawberry slices, and chopped grapes.
To make the fruit trifle, all you need to do is bake the cake, mix together the condensed milk, lemon juice, and whipped cream, chopped up your fruit, and then add them in layers to your trifle bowl. We love an uncomplicated summer dessert! Now, trifles typically have a custard pudding or jello layer. But today our pudding layer is made with whipped topping and condensed milk. It has a similar consistency but a lighter flavor for summer.
This homemade trifle is truly a taste and texture sensation. In one bite you get fluffy cake, refreshing whipped topping, fresh fruit, and that tangy lemon flavor. If you like my lemon meringue pie recipe, you definitely need to make this next!
- A 9×13 yellow cake, baked and cooled
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Cool Whip
- Bottled or fresh lemon juice
- Fruit of your choice (I am using strawberries, bananas, and grapes)
How to Make Fruit Trifle
To begin with we need to make our topping.
In a large bowl, add sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and whipped topping.
Mix that together really well with a wire whisk until well blended. This will take a couple of minutes.
Now dip your finger in and have a little taste. Isn’t that lovely?
Crumble half of your cake into the bottom of a trifle bowl or punch bowl.
My trifle bowl ended up being a little small for this so feel free to use a punch bowl or larger one.
In the end, My kids had to eat a little bit of cake. Their lives are all difficult like that sometimes, but they are troopers!
Top that with 1/2 of your topping mixture that tastes like heavenly lemony clouds.
Now add in some sliced fruit.
I didn’t slice my grapes though, I just threw them in.
It is important to disobey at least one instruction in every recipe you make just to give your rebellious side a chance to see the light of day.
Top this with more cake, half of it if it will fit.
Then top that with the rest of your topping and decorate the top heavily with fruit.
I got all design-ish on this but you could really just chop fruit and pile it up there and it would still be pretty!
Cover this and refrigerate for an hour or so before serving or eat right away if you want. It gets better when it gets cold though.
Store leftovers either in the trifle bowl (covered in plastic wrap) or an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- For the cake, you can just use a cake mix or you can use my recipe to make a yellow cake from scratch that is found in my book, Come Home To Supper (click here to order).
- You can also substitute the yellow cake for golden cake, white cake, angel food cake, homemade vanilla cake, or homemade pound cake.
- If using bananas, dip each banana slice in orange juice or a little lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
- You can use as much fruit as you like and any fruit that you like, such as oranges, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, mandarin oranges, grapes, banana, and kiwi fruit.
Can I use canned fruit in my fruit trifle?
Yes, you can use either canned fruit or fresh fruit in your fruit trifle. You just want to make sure it’s drained well before adding to the trifle, so it doesn’t make the cake layer extra soggy.
Can I make my trifle in advance?
Yes, I recommend making your trifle ahead of time and letting those layers marry together in the fridge. I recommend making it from 4 to 24 hours in advance.
You may also like these tempting dessert recipes:
- 1 box yellow cake mix prepared according to package directions in a 9x13 pan, baked, and cooled
- 16 ounces cool whip light, fat-free, or regular
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- assorted seasonal fruit
- In a large mixing bowl, combine Cool Whip, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Stir with wire whisk until well blended.16 ounces cool whip, 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup lemon juice
- In a punch bowl or trifle bowl, break up half of the cake. Top with 1/2 of the lemon mixture. Top with half of the fruit, the remaining cake, and the remaining pudding mixture. Decorate the top heavily with more fruit.1 box yellow cake mix, assorted seasonal fruit
- Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving, if possible. Can serve immediately but it is even better cold.
“It’s easier to magnify the faults of another than to work and eliminate flaws within yourself.”