Margarita's International Recipes


Colonial Trifle

What's great about trifle, a dessert that clearly comes from England, is that it's very easy to prepare and that you can make infinite varieties of it. I tried to stick pretty closely to the recipe for this one, so that it would be similar to what colonials ate, but I didn't want to make the required Naples biscuits (similar to lady fingers) or Savoy cake. Instead I used a store-bought angel cake. Feel free to use whatever cake you have at hand.

I did make a Colonial-style custard and topped it with the wine whipped cream the recipe called for. The cream was "interesting", it had a subtle white-grape-juice flavor to it, but when my kids tasted it, they definitely found it to have an alcoholic flavor (aka "yucky").

The whole thing went well together - my 7-year-old thought this trifle (the one I made for her had regular vanilla whipping cream) was the most delicious thing she'd ever tasted. I thought it was just OK.

Colonial Trifle


  • white wine whipped cream (see recipe below)
  • sponge-style cake
  • custard
  • fruit jam, jelly or preserves


Make the white wine whipping cream by whipping together 1/2 cup whipping cream with 2 Tbsp. white wine and 2 Tbsp. sugar - taste and adjust ingredients to your taste.

Put the cake at the bottom of a trifle or wine glass. Cover almost to the top with custard. Top with white wine cream. Spread a very thin layer of jam or preserves on the cream.

Adapted from The Compleat American Housewife 1776

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