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Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle | Layers of angel food cake, boozy berries and cream cheese filling

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

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This Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle features layers of sweetened berries doused with Amaretto, angel food cake cubes and luscious cheesecake filling, lightened with whipped cream. 

I was hosting brunch at my house, and that called for a lovely fruit-filled dessert recipe. Adding a homemade cheesecake twist to a strawberry trifle recipe was brilliant
 Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle in a glass trifle bowl topped with 3 whole strawberries

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

A fruit and cream dessert is perfect for a mid-day treat, especially when company is invited. I love sweets featuring berries, like this stunning Strawberry Shortcake Roulade, but sometimes it’s nice not to turn on the oven! Sliced berries were sweetened and then dosed with a bit of Amaretto. The cheesecake layer was composed of cream cheese and sour cream, then a billowy cloud of whipped cream was folded in. Not a classic English trifle by any means, but utterly delicious!

A store-bought angel food cake made quick work of the preparation. Since this is a no-bake trifle recipe, it’s perfect for hot summer days when you don’t want to turn on the oven as well as holidays when the oven is often filled with turkey and casseroles!

Not exactly health food, but this strawberry cheesecake trifle is definitely lighter fare than so many other dessert options! You know it’s a hit when the men at the table start inquiring about the ingredients. They do combine beautifully for a delicious party in your mouth with every bite.

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle in a glass trifle bowl on a red and white napkin garnished with whole berries

No-Bake Trifle: Perfect for Berry Season

The berries the last few months have been lackluster, but I was thrilled to find some marvelous ripe gems at the market. This no-bake trifle would not be nearly as tasty with frozen or pale tasteless berries. Save this recipe for strawberry season or around the holidays when you can often find some lovely berries.

Tips for Making a Trifle:

Since a trifle is made in special, straight sided glass bowl, care is needed to make a beautiful presentation. Smears up and down the sides of the container defeat the purpose of using a transparent serving piece.

Layering ingredients:

  • Carefully layer the bottom layer, placing the berries in the center and then move them towards the perimeter to avoid spattering the sides.
  • Since the cake pieces don’t leave marks, just layer them carefully, trying to aim for an even top.
  • The cheesecake, custard or pudding layer, depending on your recipe, must be layered with care. With fat as an ingredient, it’s hard to clean marks off without using Windex, which you don’t want to do use around anything edible! Again, I carefully add the custard to the center and use an offset spatula or spoon to carefully spread it towards the edges to make an even layer.

What are Trifles?

  • Trifles are very forgiving and adaptable.  Known as English trifles, the original version was made of spongecake fingers, fruit and custard. I used angel food cake in this recipe but I also love trifles made with pound cake or lady fingers.
  • The first mention of a trifle in a cookbook was in the late 1500’s. Gelatin made from bones of calves feet was utilized to make the jelly or jam back in that era.

How to Tweek a Trifle Recipe:

  • The cake pieces are often soaked with liquor like a sweet sherry, port, madeira or whiskey, but I love sprinkling in a liqueur like Chambord, Amaretto or Grand Marnier for  a less boozy taste. In this recipe, the Amaretto was added to the berries to keep the cake nice and white.
  • Jam is often an ingredient in a classic English trifle, but I did not use any in this Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle. It is  spread on the cake pieces for another delicious element.
  • I’ve made a Fudgy Brownie Trifle that has absolutely no fruit, so a “trifle” can now refer to any layered dessert served in a trifle bowl. You can easily invent your own!

The servings vary on the size of your trifle bowl, but this does feed a crowd. If you don’t have a trifle bowl, any clear container will do. The glorious layers in this Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle will wow your guests!

More Strawberry Desserts You’ll Love:

 

Kitchen Tools Used in This Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle Recipe:

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Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

A twist on an English trifle featuring angel food cake, fresh strawberries, and a cheesecake filling. Recipe adapted from Country Woman.

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 18 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American, British

Ingredients

Cheesecake layer:

  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (to add to cream)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (to add to cream)

Cake layer:

  • 1 angel food cake, cut into cubes (I only used half a large bakery angel food cake)

Strawberry layer:

  • 2-3 pounds of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced (I used about 2 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar; add sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside. In a small deep metal chilled bowl, whip the cream, vanilla and sugar. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Set aside.
  2. Combine strawberries, sugar and Amaretto. Layer in large glass trifle pedestal bowl, starting with strawberries, then a layer of cake, followed by a layer of the cheesecake filling. Repeat, ending with the filling.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and chill well before serving.

Notes

Servings will vary depending on the size of your trifle bowl.

 

More Christmas Week Recipes!

Welcome to Day 2 of Christmas Week. This annual event was started in 2012, and is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic. This year we have over 35 bloggers sharing festive sweet recipes for the event. Plus we all chipped in for a huge Amazon Gift Card Giveaway so be sure to enter! Click over to my Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes Post to enter this holiday giveaway. Open to those in the US and Canada. This giveaway is now closed.

Recipes from Day 2 of Christmas Week! Please visit all our talented participants:

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52 comments on “Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle”

  1. I bet there were gasps of delight from everyone when they saw this beautiful trifle. Then again, I’m sure that happens overtime you have guests! It’s true that right around this time of year you can sometimes find wonderful berries. I wonder why that is?

  2. I got sweet strawberries a couple of weeks ago so I think this is a dessert that will be doable when I’ve got guests coming in a couple of weeks. It certainly looks beautiful.

  3. Amazing Christmas treat! Looks very good!

  4. This sure will brighten anyone’s day… looks so incredibly delish.

  5. This trifle sounds fabulous Liz! I love cheesecake-anything, and adding fresh strawberries sounds like the perfect twist!

  6. WOW! The Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle looks stunning! I’m a huge fan of strawberries, so I’d die to try it !

  7. What a great dessert, Liz! It looks very festive for the holiday and has to be delicious! I’m sure it would disappear quickly!

  8. This is really a beautiful dessert. I am sure that it would be the hit of any meal. I know that I would love it.

  9. This trifle looks so gorgeous and delicious! Can’t wait to get my hands on some strawberries!

  10. Wow, this is a show stopper. Perfect for all occasions.

  11. Lizzy,
    Your trifle looks lovely. And I forgot to thank you for the giveaway.
    Annamaria

  12. The first time a friend brought a trifle to a dinner party I know I’d be hooked. That same friend bought me a trifle bowl for Christmas – she knew how excited I would be! I love this strawberry filled version. It’s perfect for holiday festivities!

  13. This is a beautiful trifle!! My kind of dessert 😀

  14. I don’t see the recipe?

  15. Ripe, delicious berries this time of year is a real treat!

  16. I’m in love. I always make my trifle the traditional way with custard but your cheesecake sounds fantastic.

  17. I have been wanting to make a trifle and this totally got me in the mood. It is so beautiful with those precise layers.

  18. How beautiful and delicious, Liz! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas… Wishing you all a very blessed New Year.

  19. I am making this for my daughter’s Birthday tomorrow, my mouth is watering, wish me luck!

  20. I made this today and it is OUT of this world! I love the way the strawberry juice absorbs into the angel food cake. Soooooo delicious! Thanks for sharing

  21. I have to make this for the 4th of july adding some blackberries to make it patriotic I love it!

  22. If I don’t want to use liquor, can u suggest something else to make strawberries “liquid-y”?

    • Hi, Nancy,
      Just adding the sugar will make the strawberries juicy, but if you want to add a little liquid in place of the Amaretto, I’d try some freshly squeezed orange juice. Hope you enjoy!!!

  23. Can you please specify, does powered sugar go with cream cheese or with whipping cream as really want to make asap

  24. Please specify when powered sugar gets added verses regular sugar.

  25. Could you use Cool Whip instead of cream?

  26. I found this recipe off Pinterest and thought it looked amazing. I made it in individual serving cups for a bridal shower and it was such a hit! Fantastic recipe, definitely worth keeping.

  27. What a great breath of thinking Spring is near! love this idea for all winter long! keeps the warm weather near and dear to me!

  28. Oh my gosh, I think I could eat this all myself. One of my favorite desserts EVER!

  29. So light and pretty! My family loves anything with strawberries, such a big hit!

  30. This trifle is absolutely gorgeous!

  31. Such a tasty treat! So fresh with the berries!

  32. I’m a sucker for anything cheesecake!

  33. Trifles are the best!!

  34. I am so with you, that turning on the oven in the summer is a no go. Love this trifle Liz!

  35. This is gorgeous!! It is the perfect summer dessert!

  36. This strawberry cheesecake trifle is such a pretty dessert for spring gatherings! Love how easy it is to make!

  37. How far in advance can you make this? If I make it the day before I want to serve it will the cake be too soggy?

    • The day before is just fine–we ate the leftovers for days without anyone complaining. If you have time to make it on Easter morning, go for it, but I made this for brunch once and made it the night before I served it–everyone loved it!

  38. I made it and it came out great! Thank you so much. I almost never post a comment but this recipe was easy and delicious! I made single serving portions, looked very pretty.

  39. Love me some strawberries!!! 🍓 

  40. I’ve never made trifle but this looks so yummy nothing can stop me from attempting it. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  41. I’ve made this twice now and the first one didn’t come out as pretty but still delicious! This is such a crowd pleaser and everyone comments on it!

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