This homemade strawberry trifle recipe packs a summery punch with loads of fresh berries and a fresh mint simple syrup! Add in some homemade whipped cream and airy sponge cake, and you'll have a layered presentation fit for a queen!
Make the simple syrup: prepare the Mint Simple Syrup and store it in the fridge for at least 12-24 hours before assembly to infuse (please see our Mint Simple Syrup Recipe for full instructions). The remaining steps should ideally be completed on the day you plan to serve the trifle.
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
Preheat and prep: preheat your oven to 350°F and place your baking rack in the middle of the oven. Lightly grease the bottom of a 10" round cake pan or springform pan (don't grease the sides though so the cake can grip onto them!). Line with a piece of parchment, cut to fit in the bottom of the pan, then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper.
Melt butter: melt butter on the stovetop or in the microwave and set aside to cool briefly while preparing other ingredients.
Combine flour and starch: in a small bowl, sift together flour and cornstarch and set aside.
Whip eggs and add sugar: place eggs and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (a hand mixer works too, but your arm might just get a little tired). Whip on medium speed for 2 minutes to loosen them up, then turn up to medium-high and gradually pour in sugar over 2-3 minutes in a few batches.
Whip to ribbon stage: continue whipping eggs until you reach "ribbon stage," which may take an additional 1-2 minutes after all the sugar is in (see notes). You're looking for the eggs to get fluffy and very light in color (pale yellow), to increase 2-3 times in volume, and be thick enough to show the lines of the whisk while mixing.
Fold in flour: gently transfer batter to a large, shallow bowl (deep stand mixer bowls are not great for folding). Using a spatula, gently fold flour into mixture in three batches, doing your best to not deflate the mixture (add the second batch when the first is about 75% blended in, and do the same for the third batch - this helps prevent deflation!). Be sure to check for flour pockets at the bottom of your bowl (see our folding tutorial here!).
Stir in butter: drizzle melted butter over the batter and then gently stir it in, again trying not to deflate the batter too much (be sure to check the bottom of the bowl again too!)
Transfer and bake: gently pour the batter into your prepared pan and shake to level it. Bake for 28-32 minutes until top is golden brown, fully set, and springs back when lightly touched. When ready, remove from oven and allow cake to cool fully to room temperature in the pan (it may shrink and wrinkle a little which is perfectly normal).
TO PREP CAKE, BERRIES AND CREAM:
Un-pan and slice cake: once cool, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan (if needed), flip the cake out onto a cutting board, then flip it back over so the flat bottom is on the cutting board. Use a serrated knife to slice it into ten 1" strips. Place strips on their side, cut side up, on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet for easy clean up.
Soak thoroughly: using a pastry brush, squeeze bottle, or pitcher with a small spout, generously soak the cut side of the cake with the Mint Simple Syrup. Soak each slice once, wait 1-2 minutes for the syrup to soak in, then flip the slices over and repeat on the other side. Continue brushing on both sides until you have used up the full cup of syrup (If you need to use a little more than a cup to get all the cake fully soaked, feel free to do so!). Set cake aside to continue absorbing the syrup while you prepare the whipped cream and berries.
Cut berries: wash and dry all strawberries. Reserve a few extra-pretty whole berries if you like for garnishing your trifle, then cut all the rest into halves or quarters (you want them to be bite-sized), then set aside.
Whip cream: combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, mix on medium-high until the whipped cream reaches a thick and fluffy soft peak stage, and be careful not to over-mix (if your mixture starts to look grainy, you're about to turn your cream into butter so stop there!)
Cube the cake: slice the soaked cake strips into cubes, about 1" squared.
TO BUILD THE TRIFLE:
Start with cake: using a 8-10" traditional trifle dish, start to layer your ingredients by adding about half of your cake to the bottom of your dish in an even single layer. (Note: for best results assemble immediately before service).
Then the berries: cover the cake with half the chopped strawberries.
Top it with cream: dollop half of the whipped cream on top of the strawberries and spread it out into a solid layer.
Repeat all three: add the second half of the cake in another layer, then the rest of the berries, and lastly, heap up the remaining whipped cream on top.
Garnish and enjoy! Add whole, chopped, or fancy fanned strawberries on top of the whipped cream, and decorate with mint leaves as well if you like. To serve, scoop out a big spoonful of this fresh and fruity treat, and enjoy all the layers of delight with any and all loved-ones lucky enough to grab some before it's all gone!
Test Kitchen Tips
"Optional" Mint Simple Syrup: while you definitely need a simple syrup with this drier traditional sponge, if you'd enjoy a more American-style yellow layer cake, then you can bake up our Easy Vanilla Sheet Cake, and skip the syrup all-together. You'll miss out on the fresh mint flavor, but it will still be super delicious, just with a more classic strawberry + vanilla profile!
"Ribbon" Stage: to check if you've reached "ribbon stage" (usually after about 5 minutes of whipping here), stop the mixer and use the whip or a spatula to drop some of the mixture back onto its surface. You want the ribbon you're making to melt back into the mixture in the count of 3, but not much sooner. If it melts in much faster, keep whipping!
Individual Servings: trifle is also a great option for cute individual desserts; anything clear from mason jars to wine glasses work great to show off all those pretty layers!
A Classic Strawberry Trifle: if you prefer to make a more classic vanilla + strawberry trifle, you can just leave the mint leaves out of the syrup (see that recipe for details) and follow the rest of the recipe as written.
Can this be made ahead? Because we're making fresh whipped cream instead of using store-bought with stabilizers, you'll want to whip the cream, and assemble your layers just before service. Leftovers can be stored air-tight in the fridge for up to 2 days (but again, trifle is best served fresh!).
⭐ Did you try this tasty recipe? ⭐Please give it a ⭐ rating in the recipe card or leave a comment at the bottom of the page to help others find this sweet recipe. I’d love it if you'd share your treats (literally and electronically!), and tag @mint.and.mallow.kitchen on Instagram or Facebook so I can see your beautiful bakes! Xo, Jocelyn