World Baking Day 2015: My Easy Trifle Cake

The theme of this week’s Sunday Bake Club was Picnic Chic – and you should check their fantastic blog out here; each week they run fantastic themed baking  competitions and you can witness the brilliant bakers on Twitter demonstrating their talent. I thought Trifle was the best dessert to take on a picnic, besides the standard sausage roll and ham sandwich because everybody loves trifle.


But with the traditional trifle comes much debate: jelly or no jelly, creme anglaise or custard powder, the list goes on and on. I’m afraid there is no jelly in this cake at all and I do use ready-made custard (sorry Mary Berry!) but I think there is nothing to be ashamed of. I add gelatine powder to thicken it up but since all packets of gelatine have different strengths, follow the instructions on your packet to set 500ml of liquid. And sorry to all the bakers out there but I used a shopbought madiera cake and Angel cake for my Trifle Cake, which does take inspiration from Nigella’s Blackberry and Orange Trifle.

So I’ve dealt with the sponge and the custard, now it’s the fruit. A tin of peach slices is my favourite, cheap and cheerful. After the fruit comes cream and I’ve got a whipped Chantilly cream topping and chocolate strawberries finishing my trifle. But of course feel free to change it all up by adding more fruit or mixing up the flavour combinations or even adding jelly. Trifle is really incredibly versatile.

1 shop-bought Madiera cake and 1 shop-bought Angel cake


2 x 410g tin of peach slices – or any other tinned fruit if you wish

500g ready-made custard

6g Robertsons gelatine powder – follow the instructions on your own packet of gelatine to set 500ml of liquid

50g boiling water

300ml double cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

50g granulated sugar

50g dark chocolate, melted

Strawberries and 100s & 1000s, to decorate

Slice up each cake into 20 equal slices and then using the striped Angel cake sponge, line the outside of a deep 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with the sponge so that the stripes are all aligned. You may need to press the sponge down to make sure it is a tight fit. Then line the base with slices of the Madiera cake.

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Drain the peach slices from the syrup and then top the sponge layer with the fruit. Any excess syrup will dampen the sponge slightly and will compress down.

[Follow the instructions on your own packet of gelatine] In a small bowl, add the gelatine and boiling water and stir until dissolved. Place the custard into a large bowl and then remove 2 tablespoons of the custard and add to the gelatine to temper before returning to the custard and stirring until completely dissolved and well mixed. Pour over the sponge and fruit, cover with clingfilm and place into the fridge until the custard has set and does not move when the tin is tilted.


Make the Chantilly cream by whisking up the double cream with the vanilla and sugar straight from the fridge until it holds a medium peak. Once the custard has set, top with another layer of the Madiera sponge and cover with around half of the whipped cream. Then top with the remaining Angel cake and the remaining whipped cream.

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Create a ring around the top of the cake with some of the peach slices. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag and cut a very small hole out. Drizzle lines of the chocolate over some strawberries and allow to set. Pipe the words “Trifle Cake” onto the top of the sponge, using a strawberry slice cut into the shape of a heart to dot the ‘i’. Use the remaining chocolate to decorate the top of the cake before sprinkling over 100s & 1000s.

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Return the cake to the fridge to completely set the cream and chocolate. When doing the big reveal, dramatically drop the tin down to reveal the beautiful stripes of sponge and I’m sure people will be shocked to find out that you didn’t have to do any baking!





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