I’m calling this the summer of the strawberry shortcake trifle.

strawberry shortcake trifle

If you’ve been following my week in the life posts, then you know that this is basically the YEAR of the trifle for me. Not only the summer. They are just so good. They taste like 1995 is the best way possible. So nostalgic and wonderful, which is exactly what we all want and need while quarantined. Right?!

Also. I’ve wanted to make a strawberry shortcake cake for months. I was waiting until strawberries came in season, and then my sister-in-law made the most amazing berry trifle over memorial day weekend. And I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So this is how I meshed the two!

fresh picked strawberries

See, I’ve had an obsession with strawberry shortcake anything since I was a kid. Like a little little kid. Probably five or six? I watched strawberry shortcake cartoons and then I had the dolls too. And all I can remember is that they SMELLED LIKE CAKE. Does anyone else remember this? It had to be in the very late 80s or early 90s. And when I think about my toys from childhood, strawberry shortcake anything is all I remember. 

I was crazy over it. 

So naturally, I want all the strawberry shortcake recipes. Because if I haven’t screamed it from the rooftops enough, strawberries are my favorite fruit and they are divine when in season.

fresh vanilla whipped cream

The best part of a trifle is that you can use all homemade ingredients or store bought in a pinch. 

The past few weeks, I’ve done it both ways. So here are my thoughts!

I highly suggest buying the pound cake. Store bought pound cake is pretty darn good and if it’s not, it will be blanketed with vanilla pudding and whipped cream. I’ve also made it the “city girl trifle” way, which is where you make a syrup with orange liqueur and and sugar and then brush it over the cake. Wowza it’s good. It’s a great way to save store bought cake too.

I’ve made both boxed pudding and homemade pudding. This version has homemade vanilla bean pudding and it’s incredible. Silky but thick, rich but light at the same time. Tastes like heaven!

layered strawberries and pound cake

I also always make my own whipped cream. And I tend to add vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to it, but no sweetener or sugar. I love it this way because the hint of vanilla is so… pure. Not sugary sweet or fake. It also cuts the sweetness of the pudding and cake.

My favorite thing about this treat is that the strawberries are the sweetest part. YES. Perfectly juicy and sweet when in season – they almost taste like candy. Folded into the whipped cream and pudding with bits of the fluffy cake… OMG.

I don’t even know how to describe it!

It’s so summery. So fresh. So wonderful. 

strawberry shortcake trifle

Of course – you can do this with any type of berry! You can also do a fun mix of berries for a whole red, white and blue theme. You can throw this together in MINUTES if you use store bought ingredients. If you make your own whipped cream, you can still throw it together pretty quickly. And it’s looks so fancy. 

If you don’t have a trifle dish, use a large glass bowl. Or make individual trifle parfaits in glasses. It’s so easy.

layered pound cake and whipped cream

It’s such a crowd pleaser and everyone flips over it. Especially because it’s 2020 and we all forgot how much we love a good trifle. 

strawberry shortcake trifle

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

This strawberry shortcake trifle is made with buttery pound cake, homemade vanilla pudding and vanilla whipped cream! It is divine.
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  • 1 (9x5 inch) pound cake, cut into cubes (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 cups vanilla bean pudding recipe below (or 1 (5oz) box of instant vanilla pudding)
  • 2 to 3 cups whipped cream recipe below
  • 3 cups sliced or quartered fresh strawberries
  • fresh strawberries for garnish optional

vanilla bean pudding

  • 2 cups cold whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons butter

vanilla whipped cream

  • 2 cups cold whipped cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



  • Layer a few pound cake cubes and strawberries on the bottom of the trifle dish. Top with a layer of vanilla bean pudding and then whipped cream. Repeat with the cake cubes and strawberries. I like to repeat the layers 3 or 4 times. Top with whipped cream and fresh strawberries if you wish!
  • This is ready to serve immediately after making, however, you can also make it ahead of time. If you make the homemade pudding and whipped cream and want to make it ahead, I suggest making the whole trifle the morning of and storing it in the fridge. If you choose to use a refrigerated whipped topping, you might be able to get away with making it the night before. Just be sure to store it in the fridge!
  • If you don’t have a trifle dish, you can easily use a large bowl to make this.

vanilla bean pudding

  • Fill a shaker cup with the milk and add the cornstarch. Seal the cup and shake for at least 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a saucepan. Add the sugar and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove it from heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste or extract (or both!) and the butter until melted.
  • Let the pudding cool to room temperature. You can use it at room temp or store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use.

vanilla whipped cream

  • Place the heavy cream and vanilla paste (or extract) in a bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. You can also use an electric hand mixer if you wish. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.


pudding method from allrecipes

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strawberry shortcake trifle

It’s the best feeling to serve a messy dessert.