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Red, White, and Blue Trifle

Light and fresh, this trifle is perfect for your next summer gathering.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 10 mins
Cooling time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings


  • 1 angel food cake baked and cooled
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint strawberries diced

Pastry cream (Creme Patisserie)

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed

Whipped cream (~3 cups total)

  • 2-3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar


Pastry Cream

  • Start by preparing your pastry cream. Combine milk, salt, vanilla bean paste, and 4 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar has completely dissolved ( about 2 minutes) before removing from heat.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup of sugar with the cornstarch and egg yolks, whisking together until the mixture is smooth.
  • Slowly drizzle ¼ cup of your warmed milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in the warmed mixture until the two are completely combined.
  • Once your mixture is smooth, return it to your saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously and cook for about 7 minutes, until the mixture has thickened to the texture of pudding.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter. Continue stirring until the butter has melted and the cream is glossy.
  • Strain the pastry cream through a mesh sieve, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool - at least 2 hours.
  • Once the mixture is cool and ready to serve, whisk until fluffy.

Whipped Cream

  • Combine your heavy whipping crema, vanilla bean paste, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on medium speed until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes). Do not overmix!


  • Break or slice your room-temperature angel food cake into rough cubes, about 2 inches in diameter.
  • Arrange a layer of cubes along the bottom of your trifle bowl. Top the cubes with a layer of pastry cream, followed by a layer of blueberries.
  • Arrange another layer of cake cubes atop your blueberries, followed by a layer of pastry cream, topped by a layer of strawberries.
  • Repeat this process as ingredients allow, alternating between strawberries and blueberries.
  • Once you have reached the top of your trifle bowl or have run out of an ingredient, top your final layer of fruit with a layer of whipped cream. Garnish with additional fruit. (If making this dish ahead of time, refrigerate after adding the final layer of fruit and wait to garnish with whipped cream until immediately before serving.)
  • Serve using a long-handled spoon; try to include as many layers as possible in each scoop as you serve.


The preparation time listed above does not include the time to bake/cool an angel food cake. 
Serving size will vary greatly depending on the container in which you assemble this dessert. If you don't have a large, wide, clear bowl, juice glasses can be used to make mini trifles.
No-bake version:
  • Purchase premade angel food cake
  • Substitute pastry cream with 1-2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding
  • Substitute homemade whipped cream with Cool Whip or Reddi-Whip. 1 container of either should suffice, unless you want a thicker layer of whipped cream on top.
Keyword blueberry, cake, fourth of july, fruit, labor day, memorial day, pastry cream, patriotic, strawberry, trifle