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Went Berry Trifle
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5 from 7 votes

Winter Berry Trifle

This festive, winter berry trifle is made with layers of sticky ginger cake, spiced berry compote, white chocolate custard and fluffy whipped cream.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Cooling time2 hrs
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: all spice, blackberry, blackcurrant, buttercream, caster sugar, cherry, cinnamon, cranberry, eggs, ginger, ginger cake, nutmeg, redcurrant, white chocolate
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 435.37kcal
Author: Emma Walton


For the berry compote

For the custard

For the ginger cake

  • 400 g ginger cake Mcvitie's Jamaica Ginger Cake
  • 8 tbsp kirsch (optional)

For the whipped cream


To make the berry compote

  • Place the berries, spices and sugar in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan with a splash of water.
  • Heat gently until the fruits have thawed and stir gently to ensure the sugar, fruits and spices are well combined.
  • Move to a medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved completely, the fruits have burst and you have a sticky berry compote (roughly 10 minutes).
  • Take out the 5 star anise and allow the compote to cool.

To make the custard

  • Place the egg yolks and the caster sugar into a large bowl and whisk for 2-3 minutes (by hand is fine) until the mixture becomes pale, thick and creamy.
  • Pour the milk and cream into a heavy bottomed saucepan along with the seeds from the vanilla pod.
  • Heat the milk and cream slowly until it comes to a boil (roughly 5 minutes) before turning the heat down to a simmer.
  • Add a ladle of the hot milk/cream to the egg yolk and sugar mix and whisk quickly to make sure that it does not curdle.
  • Add the rest of the milk/cream (a ladle at a time and ensuring it is mixed well) until all of the milk/cream has been combined with the sugar and eggs.
  • Pour the mix back into the saucepan and cook over a medium heat for another 5 minutes until the custard begins to thicken and coats the back of your spoon.
  • Add the white chocolate to the saucepan and stir until all of the chocolate has melted.
  • The custard should now be thick and glossy (see note 1).
  • Remove the custard from the heat and place to one side until completely cool.

To build up the layers

  • Before you can build the layers both the compote and custard must be completely cold. This can take an hour in the fridge or up to 2 hours at room temperature. 
  • Cut your ginger cakes into slices roughly 1 inch thick. 
  • Using just half of the ginger cake, cover the bottom of your trifle dish with the ginger cake.
  • If using kirsch, drizzle half of this over the ginger cake.
  • Next spoon over half of the compote followed by half of the white chocolate custard.
  • Repeat with another layer of ginger cake, kirsch (if using), compote and then custard.
  • Place into the fridge until half an hour before you are ready to serve.

To make the whipped cream

  • Pour the cream into a mixing bowl along with the icing sugar.
  • Using an electric whisk, beat the cream until it is thick and soft enough to spread but still holds its shape.
  • Spoon the cream over the trifle and level with a spatula.
  • Top with any leftover compote, ginger cake crumbs or shavings of white chocolate.


Note 1: how thick do you like your custard?

I don't like my custard too thick and gelatinous. Following my instructions you will have a custard that is still a little runny and not set like a soft jelly. If you want a thicker custard just heat for a little longer until you've got your desired consistency. Don't forget to stir regularly to stop it sticking to the bottom of your pan or going lumpy.


Calories: 435.37kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.03g | Protein: 3.95g | Fat: 23.2g | Saturated Fat: 12.93g | Cholesterol: 114.79mg | Sodium: 45.09mg | Potassium: 161.53mg | Fiber: 1.77g | Sugar: 39.64g | Vitamin A: 621.36IU | Vitamin C: 1.85mg | Calcium: 106.93mg | Iron: 0.51mg