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Sherry Trifle – Christmas Dessert

By February 6, 2022February 22nd, 2022Christmas, Desserts, Recipes
Sherry Trifle

 Sherry Trifle – a traditional Christmas Dessert | As a teenager, I had a traumatic experience with a trifle that made me swear off them forever. Until I ran into Australian of the year and classy lady Ita Buttrose at Channel 9, and she asked me for a trifle recipe. It was time to get over my aversion to this simple dessert. Unfortunately, because I don’t usually make trifle, I don’t have a trifle bowl where you can see all the lovely layers, so mine’s just in a whopping great ceramic salad bowl.


• 2 x 400g jam roll cakes, sliced 1cm thick (or make your own sponge and slice it up.)
• 500g cherries, pitted
• 2 x 125g punnets raspberries
• 2 packets raspberry flavoured jelly, made to directions and cubed
• 600ml custard, either home-made or thick store-bought
• 1/3 cup sherry (I use McWilliams Cream sherry because it was Nan’s favourite)
• 600ml thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks

The flagon of sherry comes out every Christmas in honour of Nan.

Cook’s Note

The recipe below makes a massive trifle. It would serve 16 people – generously. Maybe 20. The quantities can be halved for a smaller gathering. I have used cherries and raspberries because they are gorgeous at the moment, but any seasonal fruit would be lovely too.


1. In a very large bowl lay the slices of 1 ½ of the jam rolls in the base and halfway up the sides.

Cut little pieces of jam roll to fill any gaps.

2. On top of this place one third of the fruit.

Halve the cherries, and the raspberries too if they’re big.

Using a spoon, sprinkle about half the sherry over the fruit and sponge.

Some for the trifle, some for the cook 😉

4. Lay half the jelly over the fruit then top with half the custard.

Thick homemade custard or good quality, thick store bought custard work best.

Spread evenly.

5. Lay the remaining sponge slices on top of the custard.

Layer 2 – repeat the process.

6. Top again with fruit, sherry, jelly and custard.

Second layer done.

7. Dollop the whipped cream over the custard and spread with a spoon.  Top with the last of the fruit and sift some icing sugar over just before serving.  Serve nice and cold.

Dive in!

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Lesley Scott-Smith says:

    This looks very Christmassy and I love the fruit. My recipe has 2 colours of jelly and we dob those, the custard and cream around the jam roll (moistened with cola because my Dad didn’t drink) until they’re all gone. Mum used to cut a banana up over the top and sprinkle the lot with dessicated coconut. We still love it.
    This year, though, I’m going for the JG version. Not posting any pix of me apres cherry-pitting though!

  • Robyn says:

    I use to make trifle with my Mum’s sponge cake but Mum is no longer with us and my sponges turn out like frizbies so the jam roll seems the way to go . Thanks Julie

  • Tan says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe Julie, I made it today for Christmas lunch and it was a winner. Beautiful take on the classic trifle I remember eating as a kid.