This Lemon Trifle recipe is sweet, tart, light, and wonderful. Layers of homemade angel food cake, lemon curd, pudding, blueberries, shortbread cookies, and whipped cream result in a stunning presentation, but it’s so easy to make! Perfect dessert for a Sunday brunch, Easter, or any holiday!
More of a chocolate person? Check out our Death By Chocolate Trifle!
Anything cinnamon or lemon and I come running. How can anyone not love either of those flavors? Today we’re focusing on the latter – lemon! This Lemon Trifle Recipe is not only absolutely delicious and easy, but it’s a showstopper in presentation.
What is a Trifle
The first (and traditional) trifle originated in England around the 18th century and consisted of three or four layers, which included sponge cake that was soaked in booze, custard, and some type of fruit. In between the layers was usually homemade jam. Since then, there are a gazillion American made versions.
Chocolate, Strawberry, and Lemon Trifle are among the most popular. Not surprising! This particular Lemon Trifle recipe is so easy to make, but guests will think you labored over it all day and will oooh and aaaah over how fancy it looks. It’s a perfect dessert for entertaining, and simple enough for the inexperienced baker.
If you’d rather not read about the tips and recipe variations, feel free to scroll to the end for the complete written recipe!
How to Make Lemon Trifle
Scroll below for the easy printable recipe card.
- Thaw the whipped topping (or make whipped cream and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble.)
- Bake your cake and let it cool completely, then cut it up into small cubes. You can make this homemade angel food cake recipe from scratch or buy it from the store.
- Whip up a batch of this homemade lemon curd (so easy!) or buy a jar at the market.
- Make the pudding (according to package instructions.)
- Crush up the shortbread cookies and get your blueberries ready.
- Divide all the ingredients in half and assemble your trifle in this order: cake, lemon curd, pudding, cookie crumbs, blueberries, whipped topping. Repeat one more time.
- Cover well and refrigerate trifle for at least a couple hours (or overnight.)
- Garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint leaves, serve, and enjoy!
- Use small cut up pieces of pound cake instead of angel food cake.
- Drizzle a little bit of limoncello liqueur over the cake pieces.
- Substitute the lemon curd with blueberry or raspberry sauce. Or use both!
- Swap out the lemon pudding for vanilla pudding.
- Replace the shortbread cookies with Nilla wafer cookies or graham crackers.
- Instead of Whipped Topping, use homemade whipped cream.
- Homemade or Store Bought: I used my homemade angel food cake recipe and homemade lemon curd, but you can absolutely use store-bought ingredients to make this even easier. And if you have an aversion to whipped topping, feel free to make homemade whipped cream instead.
- Trifle bowl or Regular Glass Bowl: A regular glass bowl works if you don’t own a stemmed trifle bowl. Trifle bowls are usually tall, though, so if you opt to use a glass bowl, I recommend dividing the ingredients in thirds, instead of half, so you still get those gorgeous layers.
- Make Individual Parfaits instead: You can convert the trifle into individual parfaits, too. If you want to do that, divide your ingredients into however many servings you are making. Then divide each one of those servings in two, to create the layers.
Can this be made ahead of time?
Yep! It’s actually best to make this trifle several hours ahead of time (or up to a day ahead.) You can also make the pudding and angel food cake a day ahead of time – keep the cake wrapped, stored on the counter and the pudding stored in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
A lemon trifle is a foolproof dessert for a Sunday brunch, Easter, springtime, summer, or any occasion! Who wouldn’t love this?? Definitely any lemon lover!
Other Lemon Desserts we love!
Lemon Trifle Dessert Video
Lemon Trifle Dessert
- 14 ounce angel food cake , cut into 1-inch cubes (<< that link is to my homemade recipe)
- 2 boxes (3.9 ounces each) instant lemon pudding mix
- 4 cups cold whole milk (for the pudding mix)
- 1/2 cup lemon curd (<< that link is to my homemade recipe)
- 1/2 cup crushed shortbread cookies
- 1/2 cup small fresh blueberries
- 16 ounces whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed
- lemon slices , for garnish
- fresh mint leaves , for garnish
- Make this recipe for homemade angel food cake, or buy it at the store. Let cool completely. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Prepare pudding according to package directions.
- Make this homemade lemon curd recipe, or buy a jar at the store.
- In a 5 quart glass trifle bowl, layer in the following order: half of the cake cubes, half of the lemon curd, half of the pudding, half of the crushed shortbread cookies, half of the blueberries, and half of the Cool Whip.
- Repeat layers in the same order.
- Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours (or overnight.)
- Top with lemon zest and a couple mint leaves, if desired.
- Scoop and serve!