English Sherry Trifle


  • Day old Pound Cake or any dried sponge. (Don’t use freshly baked, a day or two old sponge is better)
  • Raspberry Jam
  • 3/4 cup of good quality sherry (I like Harvey’s Bristol Cream)
  • 2 punnets of fresh raspberries
  • 1 pint of birds custard (made with milk, sugar, and I add 2 tsp of vanilla extract for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream, 1 tablespoon confectioner’s / icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract



  • Can use almond flakes or raspberries or sprinkles.




  1. Cut sponge into half inch slices and spread liberally with raspberry jam, arranging them jam side up in the dish. 2 layers should be sufficient.
  2. Pour the sherry over the sponge slices.
  3. Wash and dry the raspberries and arrange half of them over the sponge.
  4. Make the custard according to the packet.  I tend to use Birds Custard.  A traditional English custard.  At the end of the cooking I always add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract so that it gives it an extra flavor boost.
  5. Pour the custard over the sponge and let it cool.  Place some clear plastic wrap/clingfilm over the custard so that it does not form a skin.  Place in fridge to get fully cold.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the cream.  Whisk the cream until it forms peaks.  Add 1 tablespoon of icing/confectioner’s sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and fold in carefully.
  7. Remove the plastic wrap from the custard and pour the cream over the custard and smooth out.
  8. Decorate the top as you desire.  The traditional ways in England are either sprinkles (called hundreds and thousands in the UK), almond flakes, or raspberries.  In the picture above I used raspberries and some caramel sauce.
  9. Leave the trifle at least 4-6 hours before serving, preferably overnight to allow time for the sherry to soak into the sponges.  Of course, you can make this a day or two in advance and leave the whipped cream topping until just before serving.
  10. This dessert will last a couple of days in the fridge.