I made a trifle! Otherwise known as a big bucket o’ fun!

Okay, no one calls them that except me. But they should! Look at this thing! Bright, fluffy, moist layers of cake, custardy cream, splushy berries, crunchy toasted almonds, and to top it all off, a smattering of sprinklessss!

Joyce served individual versions of this trifle after a delicious lunch of Cream of Mushroom Soup a couple of weeks ago, and as soon as I took a bite, I felt a little more jolly. I found myself craving the trifle’s cool, creamy brightness in the days following, and finally whipped one up for myself.

One of the things I loved most about Joyce’s trifle is that she used a Funfetti Cake. Do you remember Funfetti Cake? The boxed cake mix so many of us loved as a kid? My favorite was always the Funfetti Frosting, with inexplicably colorful beads of goodness mixed throughout. What were those things? Do I even want to know?!

Whatever they were, I loved them. And Food Blogger Confession #84: I kind of want to go to the store in my PJs right this minute, buy a tub of that frosting, and eat the entire thing with a spoon. In one sitting. While watching Supernanny.

But I digress — it’s easy to get distracted by trashy midnight snack fantasies. Can I dip Twinkies into my tub o’ Funfetti Frosting? Okay, I’ll stop. Ahem.

The story behind Joyce’s cake choice actually involves her son. When he was growing up, she’d always made him a homemade cake from scratch. One day, however, he visited a friend of hers and came home raving about an amazing cake he’d eaten. She decided to make it for his birthday that year and called up her friend to ask about it — only to find out it was a regular ol’ Funfetti Cake from a box! Since then, needless to say, she hasn’t bothered with a homemade cake when his birthday rolls around!

It just so happened my lunch date with Joyce was the day before her son’s birthday this year. She’d already been doing birthday baking, so she had Funfetti cake leftover to use in the trifle. If you have a favorite homemade cake you love, you can use it (a clementine cake, coconut cake, or lemon cake would be so good!), but I loved the blast from the past so much that I used a Funfetti cake in my trifle as well. Every polka dot of color made me happy.

Regardless of your cake choice, a trifle is a simple way to inject some fun into dessert. If you’re looking for something both casual and indulgent to welcome the coming spring, grab a cake and your favorite berries and start layering.

What food item is a “blast from the past” for you?

Bright, Fun Blackberry Trifle

Recipe by: Adapted from Phyllis Hoffman’s Celebrate Magazine
Yields: 8 servings

4 cups berries of your choice (Joyce and I used blackberries)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 layers of Funfetti or other cake, prepared and cooled
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 teaspoon lime zest (optional)
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Whipped Cream Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (to taste)

Combine washed berries, sugar, orange juice, and lime zest. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until well combined. In a trifle dish, layer torn pieces of cake, cheese mixture, and berries. Repeat layers. Cover and chill overnight.

When ready to serve, whip cream and confectioners’ sugar together until you have soft peaks. Pile whipped cream on top of trifle and top with almonds. Serve with leftover whipped cream for topping individual portions.

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46 Comments on Bright, Fun Blackberry Trifle

  1. muppy
    March 1, 2011 at 3:44 am (10 years ago)

    This looks fabulous, my daughter would love this!

  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    March 1, 2011 at 7:19 am (10 years ago)

    I absolutely love how fun this trifle looks! Trifles are already fun to eat, but you put funfetti in and it is even better! No wonder the kid loved it:-)

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm (10 years ago)

      He was actually older at the time — haha! But guys are always a little kidlike, right? 😉

  3. shannon
    March 1, 2011 at 7:55 am (10 years ago)

    that looks so freaking yummy!!!

  4. Erin
    March 1, 2011 at 11:31 am (10 years ago)

    So much FUN! I love that you have frosting cravings too! Funfetti is so cheerful! One time I was going to make these cinnamon buns, that used a cake mix, for my cousins and Aunts. However all they had was funfetti cake mix… Sooo we had FUN cinnamon buns, with sprinkles mixed in! 🙂

  5. Anton
    March 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm (10 years ago)

    Watergate Salad (which I made just yesterday) is my weird nostalgic food of choice. I love it.

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm (10 years ago)

      I have to confess, I’ve never been able to get over the appearance to actually try it, Anton! I must give it a shot!!

    • Chris
      March 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm (10 years ago)

      It’s kinda funny, Watergate Cake is mine.

      My parents were both career Army and whenever they had potlucks at Walter Reed, one of Mom’s coworkers brought that cake in and she always managed to bring me home a slice.

      • Jen
        March 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm (10 years ago)

        Until just now I’ve never heard of such a thing. Pistachio cake? MMMMMMMMMM making this sometime soon for sure. 🙂

  6. dc
    March 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm (10 years ago)

    Love funfetti cake!! And I don’t feel guilty at all…okay maybe just a little!! Hey, are those actual leaves on the trees in the background?! Wow!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm (10 years ago)

      Yes!! It’s totally been in the 70s and EVEN 80s here! 60s today, but I’ll still take it 🙂

  7. happydomesticity
    March 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm (10 years ago)

    This is really pretty. It is definitely a feel good, summer is coming dessert. You are an amazing photographer too!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm (10 years ago)

      Aw thank you! This thing was a disaster to photograph with all of its WHITE reflective surfaces and was driving me nuts — so what a nice thing to hear 🙂

  8. Amanda
    March 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm (10 years ago)

    Is it wrong that it’s only 10:36am, but I could totally go for a big ol’ bowl of this right now? Yum!

  9. Laura
    March 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm (10 years ago)

    Clicked over from LJ to read about this – it is so nice to know i’m not the only one who has frosting cravings!! 🙂 This sounds delicious, and i’m seriously craving fresh berries right now!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm (10 years ago)

      ME TOO! I wish I had more berries, but I took this trifle into work and it was GONE in two seconds flat 🙂

  10. Maggie
    March 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm (10 years ago)

    I love Funfetti! Usually I’m kind of a baking snob and won’t rely on cake mixes, but for Funfetti I make an exception! This looks great!

  11. Megan
    March 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm (10 years ago)

    That definitely looks like a big tub o’ fun! And I would eat Funfetti frosting (and rainbow chip frosting) with a spoon too!

  12. natalie (the sweets life)
    March 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm (10 years ago)

    love that you used funfetti in there! i recently BROKE my trifle bowl, i’m so sad!

  13. Maranda
    March 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm (10 years ago)

    Oh my gosh. This trifle is so stinking cute!!! And I would TOTALLY call it a big bucket o’ fun! And yes. I do believe twinkies and funfetti frosting are a definite go. I’m on my way!

  14. Maddie
    March 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m here by way of IJ, and I’ve looked at your lovely recipes before but I had to comment on this one. First of all, OMG, that looks so good! I love Funfetti so much! I don’t see how anyone can be unhappy with sprinkles around.

  15. Joanne
    March 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm (10 years ago)

    This trifle is basically everything I wanted to dig a large spoon into when I was a kid. And by “when I was a kid”…I mean right now this second.

  16. Taylor
    March 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm (10 years ago)

    You had me at Funfetti, looks delicious!

  17. Andrea@Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries
    March 2, 2011 at 9:37 am (10 years ago)

    A blast from my past is totally a good ol’ can of Spaghetti-O’s! 😉 Clearly, I wasn’t a picky child. Crank open a can of Spaghetti-O’s and I was good to go! In fact, here’s my food blogger confession: I even still ate them in college! I had a huge stash in my dorm room. It was cheap and easy; perfect college food if there ever was! 🙂

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 2, 2011 at 10:40 am (10 years ago)

      Spaghetti-O’s! Love it!! I love the little Chef Boyardee ravioli. Something about that weird tomato sauce . . . ha!

      • Jeanette
        March 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm (10 years ago)

        I LIVED on Chef Boyardee Mini Raviolis as a kid! My tastes have “matured” but I can still eat those things. Love this recipe. The kids are going to lose thier minds, they want sprinkles on everything.

  18. Joyce
    March 3, 2011 at 11:14 am (10 years ago)

    Who knew Funfetti would be such a hit? We all need a bit of fun in our lives every day! I’m so glad my simple dessert inspired you.

  19. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit
    March 4, 2011 at 12:45 am (10 years ago)

    This looks like spring to me! (I’m hoping it will be here soon!) I don’t use a lot of mixes, but I do buy funfetti occasionally. My kids loved it when they were little- It’s really pretty in this trifle too. I bought a trifle dish last summer and have never used it. This is a great reminder that I need to get it out and make this wonderful big bowl of yum. 🙂

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      March 4, 2011 at 9:25 am (10 years ago)

      Same for me, Betty! There’s just something about Funfetti (hey, that rhymes!)

      Thanks 🙂

  20. Virginia
    March 4, 2011 at 9:23 am (10 years ago)

    Oh wow! That looks absolutely amazing… and I’m already Googling where I can buy a trifle dish of my own to make it! And it has FUNFETTI!

    Funfetti makes everything better. True story. And that, Charlie Sheen, is winning.

  21. DessertForTwo
    March 7, 2011 at 11:28 am (10 years ago)

    This looks delicious! I love splushy berries with trashy TV shows! 🙂


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