This patriotic trifle dish is such an easy dessert for your 4th of July or Memorial Day gathering but looks like you spent all day making it! It’s perfect for your next summer BBQ, cookout, or any red, white, and blue affair.
Summer is finally here! I think that with everything going on this year it felt like it took forever to get here. Our family is really big on outdoor cookouts and get togethers, so I’m always looking for an easy dessert that I can throw together quickly! That’s where this gorgeous patriotic trifle comes into play.
If you’ve ever made a trifle you know just how easy they are to put together. You don’t have to worry about frosting anything, and you definitely don’t need any cake decorating skills. It’s literally as easy as cutting up a cake, throwing it in a trifle dish and adding some topping. To make it even easier on the day of your event. You can easily make the cake and topping ahead of time so that all you have to do is assemble it.
When I made this dessert, my kids were over the moon about it. It’s the presentation that makes it so exciting. There’s something about the layers of bright colors and fresh fruit that you can’t wait to take a bite of. It actually kind of reminds me of those Firecracker or Bomb Pops you’d eat as a kid. Trust me when I say that you will get a lot of “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” when you take this beauty to a party!
What you Need to Make this Red, White, and Blue Trifle:
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Kitchen Tools Needed:
- Hand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Liquid Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Silicone spatula
- Chef’s knife and paring knife
- Serving spoon
- Trifle Bowl
- Dessert bowls
- White cake mix
- The ingredients called for on the box of cake mix
- Red and blue gel food coloring
- White instant pudding mix (such as white chocolate or vanilla)
- The ingredients called for on the box of pudding
- 12 ozs whipped topping
- Strawberries and blueberries
- Star sprinkles
How to Make a Patriotic Trifle for a summer party
1. Prepare your cake batter
The great thing about this recipe is that it uses a box cake mix. If you have a favorite white cake recipe that you love, you are more than welcome to use it, but if you’d like quick and easy, a cake mix is the way to go. Simply prepare the batter using the instructions on the box.
2. Color your batter.
Divide your batter equally into 2 mixing bowls. Add red food coloring to one and blue to the other until you reach the desired color intensity. Once you’ve colored the cake batter, line 2 cake pans with parchment paper. You can use either round or square cake pans as long as they are the same size. Add each of the colored cake batters to the cake pans and bake according to the instructions on the cake mix box.
One thing to note about food coloring—Red food coloring can taste bitter, and this recipe uses a fair amount to get the bright red color. Wilton makes a no-taste red gel coloring that works great in this recipe.
3. Prepare the topping mixture.
While the cakes are baking, mix the pudding according to the instructions on the pudding mix box.
Once the pudding is mixed, you can cover it and set it in the refrigerator until ready to use. Gently fold in the whipped topping just before you’re ready to use it.
4. Cut the cake into squares.
Once the cake is finished baking and has had enough time to cool, remove the cakes from their pans and cut into 1.5″ squares. If you’ve used a round cake pan, don’t worry! Your edges may be rounded, but you can add those to the center of the trifle when it comes time for assembly. While the rounded edges do fit nicely around the trifle, they have a different appearance from the cut edges.
5. Assemble the red, white, and blue trifle.
Add all of the red (or blue) squares to the bottom of the trifle dish. Try to squeeze as many as you can around the outer edge to help keep a uniform color. Then, add half of the pudding mixture. Top with the blue squares. Finally, add the remaining pudding mixture.
6. Decorate a patriotic trifle for summer!
Use strawberries, blueberries, and sprinkles to decorate the top of the trifle. To make the decoration for the top, hull 3 equal-sized strawberries by removing their tops with a paring knife and cut them in half. Add 5 halves to the top of the trifle in the shape of a star. Finish the decoration with some of the blueberries and star sprinkles.
I was inspired by this simple design, but you could also make your star out of blueberries, or use a simple circle design. What’s great about this summer dessert is not only is it easy to make, you can make a huge statement with the decoration even if you have no cake decorating skills at all.
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How far in advance can you make this dessert?
You can easily make both the cake and pudding topping the day before you plan to serve it. I don’t recommend making the entire trifle ahead of time because it can get soggy. Simply wrap the cakes individually with plastic wrap once they have completely cooled. The pudding mixture can be stored covered in the refridgerator. On the day of your party or cookout, all you would need to do is cut the cake and assemble the trifle.
What if I don’t have a trifle bowl?
I see trifle bowls often at second hand stores, so if you really want the look of the full dessert I would suggest starting there. You can also easily add this dessert to mason jars to make individual portions. If you decide to use mason jars, you may want to cut your cake into slightly smaller squares.
How do you serve a trifle dessert?
I suggest using a large serving spoon to be able to get all the way down to the bottom of the trifle dish. Try to keep the layers of the trifle as intact as possible when you slide it into either a clear dessert dish or a small bowl. A trifle would also look adorable served in small mason jars.
How do you transport a trifle?
This is such a great dessert to bring to a summer bbq or pool party! It’s very easy to transport as long as you take care to make sure it doesn’t tip over on the way there. Cover the top tightly with plastic wrap and either carry it on someone’s lap or package into the car with items around it so that it can’t fall over.
If you make this patriotic trifle, let us know! We’d love for you to tag us on Instagram or leave us a comment letting us know what you thought! It’s such a fun dessert and so easy to make! I promise it will be your go to summer dessert!
- Mix the cake batter according to the directions on the box.
- Divide the batter evenly into 2 bowls. Add red food coloring to one and blue food coloring to the other until the desired color is reached. Make sure to mix well, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure the color is evenly mixed.
- Bake the cakes according to the instructions on the box.
- While the cakes are baking, make the pudding mix according to the instructions on the box and set in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Once the cakes are done baking and have cooled, remove the cakes from the pans. Cut the cakes into approximately 1.5" squares.
- Remove the pudding from the refrigerator and mix in all of the whipped topping until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Begin to assemble the trifle by adding the red cake squares to the bottom of the trifle bowl.
- Top the red squares with half of the pudding mixture.
- Add the blue cake squares on top of the pudding mixture.
- Add the remaining pudding mixture to the top of the blue cake squares.
- Remove the top and cut 3 strawberries in half. Arrange 5 strawberry halves into the shape of a star along with a few of the blueberries. Finally, sprinkle some of the star sprinkles over the top of the trifle.
- Serve in small bowls or dessert cups.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 304Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 1mgSodium 392mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 1gSugar 30gProtein 3g
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