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Strawberry Shortcake Trifles Recipe

Strawberry shortcake trifles are a delightful and visually impressive dessert that are perfect for spring and summer celebrations. These individual trifles feature layers of tender shortcake, fresh, juicy strawberries and creamy, rich whipped cream cheese filling.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifles Recipe
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All the ingredients for this recipe should be easily found in your local supermarket. However, careful attention should be paid when selecting strawberries. Choose fresh strawberries that are bright red, firm and fragrant for the best flavor and texture. Cornstarch, often used as a thickening agent, is used here in the cake batter to make it lighter and more tender.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifles Ingredients

All-purpose flour: This is the main ingredient for the cake, providing structure and body.

Cornstarch: Used to make the cake lighter and more tender.

Baking soda and baking powder: Leavening agents that help the cake rise.

Unsalted butter: Adds richness and moisture to the cake.

Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cake and strawberries.

Lemon zest: Adds a subtle citrus flavor to the cake.

Eggs: Give the cake structure and stability.

Vanilla extract: Enhances the flavor of the cake and cream layer.

Sour cream: Adds moisture and creaminess to the cake.

Strawberries: The star of the dish, adding sweet and tangy flavor.

Heavy cream: Whipped to create a fluffy cream layer.

Cream cheese: Adds tanginess and creaminess to the cream layer.

Powdered sugar: Sweetens and thickens the cream layer.

One reader, Anjela Richmond says:

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This strawberry shortcake trifle recipe is a game-changer! The layers of moist cake, fresh strawberries, and creamy filling create a delightful explosion of flavors. It's easy to make and looks stunning in individual servings. A definite crowd-pleaser, perfect for any occasion!

Anjela Richmond

Essential Techniques for Making Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

How to bake the cake: This involves preheating the oven, preparing the baking sheet, mixing the cake batter, pouring and spreading the batter into the baking sheet, and baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

How to make the strawberry layer: This involves tossing the diced strawberries with sugar and letting them rest for 10 minutes to release their juices.

How to make the cream layer: This involves whipping the heavy cream until soft peaks form, then separately whipping the cream cheese until smooth, adding powdered sugar and vanilla, and whipping until light and fluffy. Finally, combining the cream cheese mixture with the whipped cream until stiff peaks form.

How to assemble the trifles: This involves placing the cake rounds in dessert cups, adding a spoonful of strawberries over each cake round, piping the cream mixture over the strawberry layer, and repeating the layering process.

How To Make Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

Our shortcake trifles are made with three layers of soft vanilla cake, fresh strawberries, and smooth whipped cream! A true crowd pleaser at any party.

Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours



For Cake:

  • 2cupsall-purpose flour,plus more for dusting pan
  • 3tbspcornstarch
  • ½tspsalt
  • ½tspbaking soda
  • ½tspbaking powder
  • ½tbspunsalted butter,softened
  • cupsgranulated sugar
  • 1tsplemon zest
  • 4large eggs
  • tspvanilla extract
  • 1cupsour cream

For Strawberry Layer:

  • 2lbsfresh strawberries,diced, plus 12 more small whole for garnish
  • tbspgranulated sugar

For Cream Layer:

  • 2cupsheavy cream
  • 6ozcream cheese,softened
  • ½tspvanilla extract
  • ¾cuppowdered sugar



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 18×13-inch rimmed baking sheet.

  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until pale and fluffy.

  4. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then mix in vanilla. Add ⅓ of the flour mixture, then mix just until combined.

  5. Add in ½ of the sour cream, then mix just until combined.

  6. Repeat with the flour and sour cream once more, then end by mixing in the last ⅓ of the flour mixture and mixing just until combined. Scrape down the bowl to ensure it’s evenly combined.

  7. Pour and spread the batter evenly into a prepared baking sheet.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 24 minutes until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

  9. Remove from the oven, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

  10. Once cool, cut into 24 rounds the size of the dessert cups.

Strawberry Layer:

  1. Toss the diced strawberries with the sugar. Let rest 10 minutes.

Cream Layer:

  1. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.

  2. In a separate medium mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until smooth, then add powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the cream cheese mixture to heavy cream, then whip until stiff peaks form.

To Assemble Trifles:

  1. Place 12 cake rounds in 12 fairly tall dessert cups, then add a spoonful of strawberries over each cake round.

  2. Transfer the cream mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, then pipe cream mixture over strawberry layer. Repeat layering process once more.

  3. Garnish each with a fresh strawberry, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

The cake can be made a day in advance and covered. Just wait to prepare the cream mixture and strawberries until almost ready to serve.


  • Calories: 500.27kcal
  • Fat: 25.81g
  • Saturated Fat: 14.95g
  • Trans Fat: 0.03g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 7.22g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.45g
  • Carbohydrates: 62.17g
  • Fiber: 2.11g
  • Sugar: 41.95g
  • Protein: 6.82g
  • Cholesterol: 143.17mg
  • Sodium: 265.88mg
  • Calcium: 100.33mg
  • Potassium: 239.55mg
  • Iron: 1.72mg
  • Vitamin A: 280.12µg
  • Vitamin C: 45.08mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Your Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

When preparing the strawberry layer, it's important to let the diced strawberries rest with the sugar. This process is called maceration, which allows the strawberries to release their natural juices and intensify the flavor. The sugar draws out the moisture from the strawberries, creating a delicious syrup. This not only sweetens the strawberries but also makes them softer and juicier, enhancing the overall taste of your strawberry shortcake trifles.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

Prep ahead: Prepare the cake, strawberry layer, and cream layer a day in advance and assemble the trifles just before serving for a time-saving dessert option.

Use store-bought cake: If you're short on time, you can use store-bought pound cake or angel food cake instead of making the cake from scratch.

Chill the cream: Place the mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for a few minutes before whipping the cream to help it whip faster and hold its shape better.

Organize ingredients: Before starting, gather all the ingredients and equipment needed for the recipe to streamline the cooking process.

Quick assembly: Instead of layering the trifles, consider assembling the components in a large serving dish for a quicker dessert option.

Pre-sliced strawberries: Save time by purchasing pre-sliced strawberries to skip the prep work and speed up the recipe process.

Efficient piping: Use a piping bag to quickly and neatly layer the cream mixture over the strawberries, saving time and ensuring an attractive presentation.

Substitute Ingredients For Strawberry Shortcake Trifles Recipe

  • all-purpose flour - Substitute with gluten-free all-purpose flour: This substitute is suitable for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It provides a similar texture and structure to traditional flour in baking.

  • cornstarch - Substitute with arrowroot powder: Arrowroot powder can be used as a thickening agent in place of cornstarch. It has similar properties and is a suitable substitute in this recipe.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used as a dairy-free alternative to butter, providing a hint of coconut flavor to the recipe.

  • granulated sugar - Substitute with coconut sugar: Coconut sugar can be used as a natural sweetener alternative to granulated sugar, adding a slightly caramel-like flavor to the dessert.

  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative to sour cream, providing a similar tangy flavor and creamy texture to the cake.

  • fresh strawberries - Substitute with frozen strawberries: Frozen strawberries can be used when fresh ones are not available, and they work well in this recipe as they retain their flavor and texture when thawed.

  • heavy cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can be used as a dairy-free alternative to heavy cream, providing a rich and creamy texture to the dessert.

  • cream cheese - Substitute with vegan cream cheese: Vegan cream cheese can be used as a dairy-free alternative to traditional cream cheese, suitable for those following a plant-based diet.

How to Beautifully Present Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

  1. Elevate the cake: Carefully cut the cake rounds into perfect circles and ensure they are evenly sized for a polished presentation.
  2. Layer the trifles in clear glassware: Use tall, clear dessert cups to showcase the beautiful layers of cake, strawberries, and cream, creating an enticing visual appeal.
  3. Garnish with precision: Top each trifle with a single, meticulously placed fresh strawberry to add a pop of color and a touch of elegance.
  4. Incorporate symmetry: Arrange the trifles in a uniform manner on the serving platter to create a visually appealing and balanced presentation.
  5. Utilize negative space: Leave a small gap between the trifle cups to allow the focus to remain on the individual desserts, enhancing the overall aesthetic.
  6. Emphasize layers: Ensure that each layer is distinct and visible, allowing the vibrant colors and textures to shine through for a visually stunning presentation.
  7. Highlight the cream swirls: Use a piping bag to create intricate and uniform swirls of cream on top of each trifle, adding a professional touch to the presentation.
  8. Consider the plating angle: Present the trifles at a slight angle on the plate to add a dynamic element to the overall presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Trifles

  • Oven: An appliance used for baking and roasting food by surrounding it with dry heat.
  • Baking sheet: A flat, rectangular metal pan used for baking and cooking food in the oven.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for mixing ingredients together, typically made of glass, ceramic, or metal.
  • Electric stand mixer: A kitchen appliance used for mixing, beating, and whipping ingredients, often with various attachments for different tasks.
  • Paddle attachment: A specific attachment for an electric stand mixer used for mixing and creaming ingredients.
  • Wire rack: A metal rack used for cooling baked goods and allowing air to circulate around them.
  • Electric hand mixer: A handheld kitchen appliance used for mixing and whipping ingredients.
  • Piping bag: A cone-shaped bag used to pipe semi-solid foods by pressing them through a narrow opening at one end.
  • Large round tip: A specific attachment for a piping bag used to create large, round designs when piping frosting or cream.

How To Store and Freeze Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

  • These strawberry shortcake trifles are best served immediately after assembling for the freshest taste and texture.
  • If you need to make them ahead of time, you can prepare the individual components (cake, strawberries, and cream) and store them separately in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before assembling.
  • Assembled trifles can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours before serving. Cover each trifle cup with plastic wrap to prevent the cream from absorbing any odors from the fridge.
  • For longer storage, it's not recommended to freeze the assembled trifles as the texture and quality will deteriorate significantly upon thawing.
  • However, you can freeze the cake rounds for up to 2 months. Wrap each round tightly in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw the cake rounds in the refrigerator overnight before using them in the trifles.
  • The strawberry layer and cream layer should always be prepared fresh for the best results and should not be frozen.

How To Reheat Leftover Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

  • To reheat leftover strawberry shortcake trifles, start by removing them from the refrigerator and letting them sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes. This will help the cake and cream layers soften slightly and make them easier to reheat.

  • If you want to reheat the entire trifle, place it in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is warm and the cream is slightly melted. Keep an eye on it to make sure the cream doesn't completely melt and become runny.

  • For individual servings, you can reheat them in the microwave. Place a single serving in a microwave-safe dish and heat it on medium power for 30-45 seconds, or until the cake is warm and the cream is slightly melted. Be careful not to overheat it, as the cream can quickly become runny in the microwave.

  • Another option is to reheat just the cake layer and add fresh whipped cream and strawberries on top. To do this, remove the cake layer from the trifle and place it on a baking sheet. Heat it in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 5-7 minutes, or until it's warm and slightly crispy on the edges. Then, add fresh whipped cream and strawberries on top of the warm cake.

  • If you want to get creative, try transforming your leftover strawberry shortcake trifle into a new dessert. Crumble the cake and layer it with the strawberries and cream in a parfait glass. Or, blend the cake, cream, and strawberries together to make a strawberry shortcake milkshake.

Interesting Trivia About Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

Strawberry shortcake is a classic American dessert that dates back to the 19th century. It was originally made with a sweet biscuit, but over time, it evolved to include a sponge cake or pound cake. This dessert is often enjoyed during the summer months when strawberries are in season, and it's a popular choice for picnics and outdoor gatherings. The combination of sweet strawberries, fluffy cake, and creamy whipped cream makes it a beloved treat for many.

Is Making Strawberry Shortcake Trifles at Home Cost-Effective?

This strawberry shortcake trifle recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as flour, sugar, strawberries, cream cheese, are commonly found in most kitchens. However, the quantity of ingredients and the need for fresh strawberries, heavy cream might slightly increase the cost. The dessert's delightful taste and visual appeal make it worth the investment. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20-$25. Overall Verdict: 9/10.

Are Strawberry Shortcake Trifles Healthy or Unhealthy?

The strawberry shortcake trifles recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy due to several factors:

  • The cake layer is made with all-purpose flour, sugar, and butter, which are high in calories and low in nutrients
  • The cream layer contains heavy cream and cream cheese, both high in saturated fat
  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of added sugar in both the cake and strawberry layers

However, the recipe does include some healthier ingredients, such as fresh strawberries, which are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and the use of sour cream in the cake layer, which can add moisture and reduce the need for additional butter.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace some or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour or almond flour for added fiber and nutrients
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the cake and strawberry layers, or use a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup
  • Use low-fat cream cheese and replace some of the heavy cream with Greek yogurt for a lower-fat, protein-rich alternative
  • Increase the proportion of strawberries to cake and cream for a more balanced treat
  • Serve smaller portions to reduce overall calorie intake

By making these adjustments, you can enjoy the delightful flavors of strawberry shortcake trifles while minimizing the negative health impacts of excessive sugar and saturated fat consumption.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Strawberry Dessert

The strawberry shortcake trifles recipe is a delightful and elegant dessert that combines the classic flavors of strawberry shortcake in a new and exciting presentation. The layers of moist cake, sweet strawberries, and creamy filling create a harmonious balance of textures and flavors. The use of fresh strawberries and homemade cake adds a delightful touch, elevating the overall taste and presentation. The individual servings make it perfect for entertaining or special occasions. Overall, this recipe is a wonderful twist on a beloved dessert and is sure to impress anyone who tries it.

Enhance Your Strawberry Shortcake Trifles Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze: Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling. Once grilled, drizzle with a balsamic glaze for a sweet and tangy finish.
Bacon-Wrapped Dates: Wrap each date in a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Bake until the bacon is crispy and the dates are caramelized for a delicious sweet and savory appetizer.
Mango Salsa: Combine diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing and tropical salsa to serve alongside the trifle desserts.
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Boil the potatoes until tender, then mash with butter, cream, and roasted garlic for a rich and flavorful side dish that complements the sweetness of the trifle desserts.
Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken: Marinate the chicken in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, and herbs before roasting to perfection. The bright and zesty flavors pair well with the strawberry shortcake trifles.

Delicious Alternatives to Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a flavorful herb and garlic mixture before threading them onto skewers and grilling to perfection.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Slow cook beef short ribs in a rich and savory sauce until they are fall-off-the-bone tender and full of flavor.
Mango Coconut Popsicles: Blend together ripe mangoes and creamy coconut milk, then freeze into refreshing and tropical popsicles for a sweet treat.
Chicken Tortilla Soup: Simmer together tender chicken, hearty vegetables, and spicy seasonings to create a comforting and satisfying soup that's perfect for any occasion.

Appetizers and Main Courses That Complement Strawberry Shortcake Trifles

Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory and indulgent stuffed mushrooms. The combination of creamy cheese, flavorful herbs, and earthy mushrooms will leave everyone wanting more. These bite-sized appetizers are perfect for any gathering or party.
Caprese Skewers: These colorful and refreshing caprese skewers are a delightful appetizer that will brighten up any meal. The juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fresh basil are drizzled with a tangy balsamic glaze, creating a burst of flavor in every bite. These skewers are a great way to start off any dinner or celebration.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish by combining tender chicken with a rich and flavorful Alfredo sauce. Serve it over a bed of al dente fettuccine for a satisfying and comforting meal.
Beef Stir Fry: Whip up a quick and delicious stir fry by sautéing thinly sliced beef with an assortment of colorful vegetables in a savory sauce. Serve over steamed rice for a hearty and nutritious dinner option.

Why trust this Strawberry Shortcake Trifles Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delightful dessert experience, crafted with precision and expertise. The strawberries are carefully selected for optimal sweetness, while the cream is whipped to perfection for a luscious texture. The homemade cake is tender and moist, ensuring a delectable base for the trifle. With a harmonious balance of flavors and textures, this recipe promises to elevate your dessert game and leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. Trust in the quality of ingredients and the meticulous assembly to deliver a truly unforgettable culinary delight.

Want to share your experience making these delightful Strawberry Shortcake Trifles or have any questions about the recipe? Join the discussion in our Baking and Desserts forum section and connect with fellow dessert enthusiasts!
Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones for the strawberry layer?
Yes, you can use frozen strawberries if fresh ones are not available. Just make sure to thaw and drain them before tossing with sugar.
Can I make the cake rounds in advance and store them for later use?
Absolutely! You can make the cake rounds in advance and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze them for longer storage.
Can I substitute the heavy cream with whipped topping for the cream layer?
Yes, you can substitute heavy cream with whipped topping, but the texture and flavor may vary slightly. Make sure to use a stabilized whipped topping for best results.
How far in advance can I assemble the trifles before serving?
You can assemble the trifles up to 24 hours in advance and store them in the refrigerator. However, it's best to add the fresh strawberry garnish just before serving.
Can I use a different type of cake for the trifle, such as angel food cake or pound cake?
Absolutely! You can use angel food cake or pound cake instead of the traditional shortcake for a delicious variation. Just adjust the size of the cake rounds to fit your dessert cups.

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