The best English trifle recipe

The Brits know a thing or two about whipping up a smashing pudding. Follow this darling recipe from the clever clogs at the Cookery School and you’ll be a trifle master in no time.


For the custard:

500g milk/cream if a richer custard is desired
1 vanilla pod
5 egg yolks
50g sugar

For the trifle:

1 freshly made sponge cake
1 batch freshly made custard
Fino sherry to sprinkle over toasted slivered almonds
570ml whipped cream
Fresh seasonal berries – approx 750g


For the custard:

Pour the milk/cream into a saucepan.

Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the milk/cream and add the empty pod too, so that maximum vanilla flavour is extracted. Bring the milk/cream slowly to the boil.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Slowly pour in the milk/cream, beating all the time to ensure the eggs do not curdle.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and, whisking all the time over a very low heat, cook until the custard thickens.

Remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Strain the custard if necessary and chill until needed.

For the trifle:

Cut or tear the sponge into pieces and place in bottom of a large glass bowl.

Sprinkle well with sherry. Spoon the cream over the sherry-sprinkled cake. Sprinkle over a layer of berries. Spoon over some of the freshly made but cool custard.

Repeat the process starting with the sponge cake until the dish is full. Pour over the remaining whipped cream to cover. Sprinkle with the almonds and refrigerate.

» Cookery School, 5B Little Portland St, W1W 8BW 
Tube: Oxford Circus
020 7631 4590