BERRY TRIFLE + More Festive Desserts

December 20th. 2021


Today I share my last recipe for 2021. It is has been a huge recipe creation year for me with close to 200 recipes tested, written and photographed. Including recipes for my Your Weekend column for; 3-4 recipes a month for NZ Gardener – I love the intertwining of my garden produce in this monthly feature – and of course recipes for my new cookbook due out next spring (2022). It has been a BIG year, in so many ways. I am ready for a break. As I am sure you are too, dear reader.

Thank you for being here, for cooking my recipes and sharing them with your friends and family. For supporting my cooking workshops (of what I could run this year) and my latest 2022 recipe calendar. And for the continued love for my Homegrown Kitchen cookbook, it is still as popular as when it first came out. For an author who pours so much into each book, this is truly the best feedback. Thank you for helping to spread the word, I hope my next book will be as well received.

Below I share a festive dessert – a simple berry trifle I have been making for several years. I make them into individual servings, so some can be child-friendly without the liquor. I still remember feeling quite giddy as a child after my Aunty Kath’s Christmas trifle (!). Although, feel free to make one large bowl, preferably a glass one, so to show off the layers. The sponge can be made from scratch, and so can the custard, or use store-bought and throw this together in no time.

Happy feasting! Wishing you all safe and happy holidays ahead, I’ll see you in the new year xo

Plus more festive sweets and desserts:

Berry Trifle

The recipe is designed to be adaptable. If you haven’t got berries, use fresh or canned stonefruit. Prefer to use whipped cream? Go right ahead. Instead of sponge cake, use Italian ladyfingers for a trifle/summer tiramisu hybrid.
Servings 8
Prep Time 30 minutes


  • 800 g fresh boysenberries or blackberries
  • about ½ cup sherry and/or blackcurrant cordial
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 sponge cake, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 600 g vanilla custard
  • 200 g mascarpone or cream, lightly whipped
  • fresh cherries and chopped hazelnuts to garnish


  • Place the berries into a mixing bowl. Add the sherry or cordial and sprinkle over the sugar. Mix together to lightly bruise and soften the berries.
  • Arrange 8 serving glasses on a tray. Distribute the sponge into the bottom-third of the glasses. Evenly spoon over the softened berries and juices.
  • Combine the custard and mascarpone, or whipped cream, and top up each glass.
  • Cover and chill for up to 3 hours, until ready to serve.
  • To serve, add a few cherries to the top of each trifle and finish with a scattering of chopped hazelnuts.

Join the Conversation

  1. The photo shows cream and custard in separate layers whereas the recipe says to mix together

    1. You can do either, as I said in the recipe it is super adaptable. Make it your own 🙂

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