Thursday 6 December 2012

Trifle Layer Cake

One of the most popular bakes I have made here on Cakeyboi are my Trifle Cupcakes. These comprised all the elements of the beloved Christmas dessert trifle – sponge, jelly, fruit, custard and cream.

When I had a few friends round recently for a festive evening, I, of course, had to bake a cake for the event. And I thought that this would be the prefect time of year to try out the cake version of my cupcakes, an idea that had been swimming around the recesses of my mind for a while.

The sponge fingers, usually used in trifle, would be victoria sponge cake, The custard would be a custard flavour buttercream which I had used before in my Nanaimo bars and Double Stuff Custard Creams. The jelly layer would be prepared in the cake tin which the cake was baked in, so it was the same diameter as the sponge cake. Lastly, instead of cream which I thought would be quite predictable, I decided to make a baked meringue topping, like you would find on Lemon Meringue Cake. And as I sprinkle Flake chocolate on my trifles, I decided to fold this through the meringue. Let’s get started…

Jelly Layer:
One sachet (23g) rspberry jelly
A handful of raspberries

Sponge Layer:
200 grams unsalted butter, softened
200 grams self-rising flour
200 grams caster sugar
4 eggs

Custard Buttercream:
120 grams unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons of custard powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
450 grams icing sugar
4 tablespoons milk

Meringue Topping:
100 grams crumbled Flake (or grated milk chocolate)
1 teaspoon cornflour
4 egg whites
Pinch of Cream of Tartar
225 grams caster sugar

In advance, make your jelly following the instructions on the pack using only three quarters of the water recommended. Pour this into one of the cake tins you will be using for the sponge cake. Place some raspberries into the jelly and place in the fridge to set. Once set, remove from the cake tin carefully. I tried to remove it in one perfect disc, but it collapsed. I should probably have lined it with foil! Still, the pieces could still be used…

Pre-heat your oven to 180oC. Grease, line and flour two 8” cake tins and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale yellow in colour. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture thickens slightly. Sift in the flour and stir to combine. Divide the mix between the two cake tins and place into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown, or when a toothpick comes out clean from the centre. Allow to cool a wee bit before removing them from the cake tins and cooling fully on a wire rack.

In a mixing bowl beat the softened butter with the custard powder, vanilla and milk. Add the icing sugar and slowly mix to combine fully.

Crumble the Flake bars and coat with the cornflour, set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy. Slowly add the caster sugar and beat on high for 5 minutes. The mixture should be thick and voluminous. Carefully fold in the chocolate.

Take one layer of sponge cake and place on a baking tray. Wrap a length of foil and wrap around the cake, this will prevent it from burning. Mound the meringue mix on top, swirling into a pleasing shape. Place into a 180oC oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, unwrap the foil and allow to cool completely.

Take the bottom layer of the sponge and spread on half of the buttercream. Do not coat the sides. Place the jelly disc (or pieces in my case) on top of the buttercream. Coat the top of the jelly with the rest of the buttercream (I piped this on with a disposable icing bag). Place the top layer of the (cooled) cake with it’s meringue topping on top of this. This is a tall cake, so to steady, I place a couple of bamboo skewers into the cake to hold it together. Place into the fridge until ready to serve.

My guests loved the cake and said that it actually tasted like trifle, albeit in cake form, which was my intention. The crusty meringue on top really finished it off perfectly. It is really festive and would be a nice alternative to this years Crimbo dessert. Give it a try!


  1. Looks very impressive and sounds delicious! I would! ; )

  2. Trifle cake is ace - mine was similar to yours and almost more popular than the real thing. Glad you kept the jelly in - so many people are dismissive of jelly!

    1. It ain't trifle if there isn't jelly! A definite must have...

  3. Wow, what a beast! this looks amazing! love the idea of it!

  4. Damn that looks good. The trifle cupcakes were fabulous. I was thinking of making a giant version of them nearer Christmas, don't think I can do as well as this!


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