I love baking from scratch. There is something therapeutic. But while I love baking from scratch sometimes convenience takes over. Like in the case of these strawberry trifle puddings.
While making the fried chicken from Country Cooking from a Redneck Kitchen cookbook, I stumbled on this recipe for Strawberry Custard Trifle. I love layered jar cakes and with strawberries in season this dessert sounded perfect to make. The recipe calls for box cake mix and I don’t use box cake mixes. My original plan was to make my own cake and make this recipe. Things did not go as planned. I had people coming over and while the meal was entirely homemade and from scratch (dal makhani, butter chicken, bhindi and dahi bhalla) I cheated a little with the dessert. As far as I remember this is probably the first time I have used a box cake mix in a dessert. But it was so worth it.
Francine Bryson, the author of Country Cooking, calls these trifles packaged ingredients artfully put together. Served in mason jars, it does make for a pretty presentation. My guests loved these and with a few homemade additions, this dessert was a big hit. This would be perfect for Memorial Day or for summer entertaining !
P.S: Trifles are a great way to rescue dry or cracked cakes!
Feel free to use your own vanilla cake recipe or a sponge cake (if using a sponge cake make sure its a day old so that it hold its own when soaked), or just go for a box cake. You could also buy a pre made cake if you like and eliminate any kind of baking. While the cake and custard is from a pre mix, the roasted strawberries are not.
While, the original recipe calls for frozen sweetened strawberries, I have a super easy balsamic roasted strawberry recipe that I first made for my mom’s birthday cake filling. I put the strawberries in with the cake and had both things ready in almost the same time.
The best part is this trifle pudding can be made and layered the night before you are hosting a party. You could make it in a bowl as well if serving to a larger group or incase you don’t have the required number of jars. I used 8 ounce jars for this dessert, which yields a generous serving size.
While the cake and whipped cream topping is enough to serve 8, the roasted strawberries are enough for just 5-6 servings. So keep that in mind when you make these. And definitely do make these.
- 1 (15 ounce) box yellow or white cake mix (or a homemade 9 by 13 inch vanilla cake)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil ( you could use butter- but for this recipe I prefer the oil)
- 1 (5 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 recipe roasted strawberries (below)
- 1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed ( or about 2 cups whipped cream)
- 450-500 gms strawberries
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- Chop the strawberries into quarters and put in a roasting pan. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, vanilla paste. You can put the strawberries in the oven along with the cake, though it will take a little longer for the strawberries to roast (about 45 minutes to roast at 350 F). Remove the cake and let the strawberries to continue baking for a few more minutes. Let cool before layering in the jars. Keep syrup.
- Make the cake batter as directed using 3 eggs and oil in a 9 by 13 inch pan. Let cool completely in the pan.Cut cake into 1 inch squares.
- Prepare the vanilla pudding with the milk.
- Arrange a layer of cake in your selected jar. Spoon a little of the syrup and then add the roasted strawberries. Add a little of the pudding. Repeat with remaining cake pieces, strawberries and pudding. Spread the whipped topping on the top. Chill thoroughly or at least 1 hour and up to overnight