Christmas trifle recipe

(74 ratings)

Christmas trifle is great to prep ahead of time and this Christmas Trifle recipe is the ultimate festive dessert using mulled wine and layers of custard

Christmas trifle recipe
Preparation Time35 mins plus several hours to allow sponge and trifle to cool
Cooking Time35 mins
Total Time1 hours 10 mins

Christmas trifle is a traditional festive treat that the whole family is sure to enjoy. This classic Christmas trifle recipe is the ultimate Christmas dessert.

An easy trifle recipe from Annie Bell, you'll find this Christmas trifle is a real showstopper. As well as the traditional layers of custard, cream, sponge and jelly that you would find in a classic trifle, this recipe has a festive twist. For a Christmas twist on a classic British dessert, there's mulled wine in this Christmas trifle. The festive mulled wine flavour means this Christmas trifle recipe would make a great alternative to the usual festive desserts. This recipe serves 8 people and will take around 1hr and 10 mins to prepare and cook. It's best to make this dessert ahead of time and prepare in advance so all you have to do on Christmas Day is add the finishing touches. This dessert is a delicious, classic trifle that you'll want to make time and time again. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or covered tightly in clingfilm and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Love a good trifle? We've got loads more lovely trifle recipes right here!


  • 150ml sweet white wine
  • 50ml brandy
  • 100ml fresh orange juice, sieved
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 gelatine leaves, e.g. Supercook, cut into broad strips (or ½ a sachet of powdered gelatine)
  • approx. 6 trifle sponges
  • 150g raspberry jam
  • 4 medium egg yolks
  • 80g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g plain flour, sifted
  • 425ml full-cream milk
  • 2 strips of orange peel, removed with a potato peeler
  • 300ml double cream
  • Jellied orange and lemon slices
  • Or sugar spun stars




  1. Bring the wine, brandy, orange juice, spices and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then leave to infuse for 5 mins. In the meantime, place the gelatine in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 5 mins, then drain. Pour some of the hot wine solution over the soaked gelatine, stir until it dissolves, then stir this back into the rest of the solution.
  2. Arrange the trifle sponges over the base of a 20cm trifle bowl 8 - 9cm deep, cutting them to fit. Strain over the wine solution, leave to cool, then cover and chill for several hours or until set.
  3. In the meantime make the custard. Whisk the egg yolks and icing sugar together in a medium-size non-stick saucepan until smooth, then whisk in the flour a third at a time, until you have a thick creamy paste.
  4. Bring the milk to the boil in a small saucepan with the orange peel, and whisk it into the egg mixture a little at a time to begin with, until it is all incorporated.
  5. Return the pan to a low heat and cook for a few minutes until the custard thickens, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to disperse any lumps that form; if necessary you can give it a quick whisk. The custard shouldn’t actually boil, but the odd bubble will ensure that it’s hot enough to thicken properly.
  6. Cook it for a few minutes longer, again stirring constantly. Discard the orange zest, pour the custard into a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave to cool.
  7. To assemble the trifle, work the jam in a bowl to loosen it, then spread it over the surface of the sponges and jelly. Give the custard a stir with a spoon to smooth it, and spread this over the jam. Whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks and spread it over the top of the custard. Cover and chill for a couple of hours or overnight. Decorate with jellied slices just before serving.
Top Tip for making Christmas trifle

This Christmas dessert is best made in advance so each layer has time to set.


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