Summer Berry Sherry Trifle

Sherry trifle is a recipe that is quite popular in England. It is made with a light sponge cake or ladyfingers and filled with a delicious vanilla custard with a hint of cream sherry and fresh fruit. It is really a delightful dessert and one that is perfect to serve in the warmer months. I made this dessert easier by using store-bought ladyfingers (when I can find them) or Sara Lee pound cake in place of making my own sponge cake. The result is equally as good as making my own cake and takes a lot less time. I used berries in this recipe. However, fresh peaches and nectarines are a delicious addition, as well. This is a great do-ahead dessert and one that feeds a crowd. Pro tip: Another great summer dessert from the 225 archive is the Stone Fruit Berry Pizza, published in 2018.

Servings: 6

For the custard filling:

4 cups whole milk

4 egg yolks

¾ cups sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 tablespoons cream sherry

2 tablespoons butter


  1. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, heat the milk for 1 to 2 minutes, until warm but not hot.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt until it becomes light in color.
  3. Transfer the egg mixture into a heavy 2–4-quart sauce pot. Turn the heat on medium-low and slowly whisk in the warm milk.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to continually stir the mixture over the heat until it begins to thicken and coat the back of the spoon.
  5. Remove from the heat and whisk the custard to allow it to begin to cool.
  6. Add in the butter and continue whisking until smooth. Pour in the vanilla and sherry, and stir to combine.
  7. Transfer the custard into a small mixing bowl and set aside. Fill a larger bowl with a little ice and water. Place the small bowl of custard into the ice water and continue stirring to allow the custard to cool. Once the custard is cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge until you are ready to build the trifle.

For the whipped topping:

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Pour heavy whipping cream into a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer on high to start whipping up the cream until it begins to thicken.
  2. Turn off the mixer and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  3. Turn the mixer back on and continue whipping the cream until stiff peaks form. Keep the whipped cream chilled in the fridge until you are ready to serve the trifle.

For the trifle:

2 cups sliced strawberries

1 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries or blackberries

13 cups sugar

½ cup cream sherry

1 family size, ready-made pound cake cut into 1-inch slices (or three 6-ounce packets of lady fingers)


  1. Place the berries into a mixing bowl along with the sugar and sherry. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a large trifle dish or glass serving bowl with a layer of the pound cake slices.
  3. Spoon in half of the berries and spread them out evenly.
  4. Pour in half of the custard and spread it over the berries.
  5. Place a second layer of the pound cake slices on top of the custard layer and around the sides of the bowl followed by the remaining berries.
  6. Top this layer with the rest of the custard. Place it in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
  7. Top with whipped cream before serving.

This article was originally published in the June 2022 issue of 225 magazine.