Easy Fruit Trifle

This FRUIT TRIFLE is a super easy, no-bake dessert perfect for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or any other festive gathering during the summer season. Layers of angel food cake, vanilla pudding, whipped topping, and pie filling form a beautiful make-ahead dessert that everyone loves! 

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Red white and blue fruit trifle layered dessert in glass bowl

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Easy No-Bake Fruit Trifle

Since it’s summer, no one wants to be turning on that oven to bake, which is why this no-bake recipe is perfect for summer occasions as well as year-round for baby and bridal showers. You can make these trifles in individual cups or in a large trifle dish, both are great options for a party!

This patriotic fruit trifle is easy, yet eye-appealing dessert that only takes a few minutes to throw together, especially if you use a store-bought angel food cake! 

Impress your friends and family, they’ll never guess how easy it was, and you will have a show-stopping dessert!

Less time in the kitchen………..means more time in the FUN!

A serving of fruit trifle on a plate

What is a Trifle Dessert?

The trifle dates back to 18th century England where this three or four-layer dessert was made with some sort of fruit, alcohol-soaked sponge cake, and custard. You would often find homemade jelly in the mix of the layers to add an extra fruit flavor. It was often served in a glass round bowl to expose all the layers. 

The trifles we see today in America, while still amazing, are typically a little less complex. You’ll often find multiple layers of crumbled or cubed cake, pudding, and fruit and topped with whipped cream and some sort of crumbs or nuts to add texture.

fruit trifle photo collage

How To Make A Perfect Fruit Trifle

Don’t be afraid to get creative with the layers in this no-bake trifle dessert. By adding different fruits, flavored custards, or fillings you can really make this recipe your own. The best part is that is can be made 100% from scratch for an authentic trifle, or made with a mix of store-bought ingredients to save on time without sacrificing flavor. 

To start the recipe, whisk pudding mix and milk then let sit in the refrigerator to soft set. While the mixture sits, cut, or tear cake into 1-inch cubes and set aside. 

Once the pudding mixture is soft set,  remove from the refrigerator and gently fold in the whipped topping.
Now begin layering the trifle starting with placing some of the cake cubes on the bottom of a trifle bowl, followed by pie filling, then the pudding mixture. Repeat layers ending with pudding mixture.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve and garnish with fresh fruit and mint leaves if desired.

Can I Change The Flavors For This Patriotic Delight?

Trifle can be made in any number of flavor combinations, simply change up the pie filling flavors or swap the angel food cake with pound cake or even brownies!

patriotic red white and blue fruit trifle dessert

Tips For Making An Easy Fruit Trifle

  • To save some time, fold the cake cubes into the pudding mixture and just later pie filling and pudding/cake mixture ending with pie filling. Top with some extra whipped topping and fresh fruit.
  • Don’t want to make your own angel food cake from scratch? Pick up an angel food cake from the grocery store bakery. 
  • Try swapping out the whipped topping with homemade whipped cream instead. Simply whip a pint of whipping cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Save some calories by using the sugar-free pudding, low-fat milk, light or fat-free Cool Whip and sugar-free Angel Food cake. 

A serving of patriotic fruit trifle on a plate

Can You Make A Trifle in Advance? 

Yes, this is a dessert the should be made ahead of time!! 

A day or two ahead, (or at least 2 hours), is optimal to allow the flavors to mingle and set up.  You also want to serve it chilled.

To make in advance, if you are going to garnish with fresh fruit on top, refrain from doing so until you are ready to serve. If you aren’t going to serve for a day or more, cover with cling wrap and keep in the refrigerator. Top with fresh fruit just before presenting.

fruit trifle with strawberry, blueberry and apple pie filling

Don’t Miss Out On More Firework Worthy Desserts 

No-Bake Raspberry Cheesecake – The perfect make-ahead dessert for a summer BBQ or potluck.  A thick chocolate chip cookie crust with a layer of fluffy no-bake cheesecake is topped with raspberry gelatin for a crowd-pleasing treat. 

Red White and Blue Cupcakes – If you are looking for patriotic cupcakes for your next party, these Red White and Blue Cupcakes are sure to spark their attention and earn salutes at any Memorial Day and  4th of July celebrations. 

3-Ingredient Berry Ice Cream – This simple no-churn 3-ingredient ice cream is the best way to beat the heat. The finished consistency is a little more rich and elegant than a sorbet, but easier and lighter than ice cream!

Strawberries and Cream Magic Bars – Magic Bars made with fresh glazed strawberries and a sweet cream cheese layer with a Golden Oreo cookie crust! Chill for a tasty summer dessert!

Frozen Creamsicle Pie – If you are a fan of the ice cream truck classic, orange creamsicles, or dreamsicles, you’re going to love this creamsicle pie. It’s the perfect summer treat with an amazing vanilla-orange flavor combo

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fruit trifle with pie filling in a dessert bowl and on a plate

This is a super easy, no-bake patriotic dessert perfect for Memorial Day, Fourth of July or any other festive gathering during the summer season.

Tools Used To Make This Patriotic Trifle

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Trifle Bowl

This classic and durable trifle bowl is my favorite for serving up a beautiful layered dessert that’s just as good to look at as it is to eat. 

All-purpose Serving Bowls

This affordable set of classy glass serving bowls are perfect for almost any occasion. The versatile design is sure to allow for maximum usage for anything from ice cream, cake, or anything you can think of. 

Glass Bowl Set

Everyone should have a good set of mixing bowls in their kitchen. This set is my favorite because the variety of sizes means I always have exactly what I need available. 

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UPDATED June 2020 . We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe. Originally posted in May 2010.

fruit trifle with strawberry, blueberry and apple pie filling

Easy Fruit Trifle

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Fruit Trifle is an extraordinary no-bake dessert that is surprisingly easy to make. Layers of angel food cake, vanilla pudding, whipped topping, and pie filling form a beautiful make-ahead dessert that everyone loves! Use strawberry, blueberry, and apple pie filling for a fabulous patriotic treat with little effort for any party.

Ingredients

  • 1 prepared angel food cake (I just pick one up at the grocery store bakery)
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package of vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 (8oz) tub of whipped topping (Cool Whip)
  • 1 (21 oz) can Apple Pie Filling
  • 1 (21 oz) can Blueberry Pie Filling
  • 1 (21 oz) can Cherry Pie Filling
  • Fresh berries to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes. Set in refrigerator for 5 minutes, to soft set.
  2. Meanwhile, cut or tear cake into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Remove soft set pudding from refrigerator and gently fold in the whipped topping.
  4. Place 1/3 of the cake cubes on the bottom of a trifle bowl. Top with 1 can of pie filling and 1/3 of pudding mixture. Repeat layers ending with pudding mixture.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  6. Garnish with fresh fruit and mint leaves if desired.

Notes

SAVE A STEP: You can save a step and fold the cake cubes into the pudding mixture and just later pie filling and pudding/cake mixture ending with pie filling. Top with some extra whipped topping and fresh fruit.

MAKE OR BUY ANGEL FOOD CAKE: I like to make this dessert as quick and easy as possible, so I pick up an angel food cake from the grocery store bakery. But feel free to make the cake, if you prefer. Just make sure the cake is completely cool before cutting into cubes.

IF YOU WANT TO USE REAL WHIPPED CREAM: If you prefer real whipped cream, you can replace the whipped topping by whipping a pint of whipping cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

MAKE IT LIGHTER: You could easily make this a little on the lighter side by using the sugar-free pudding, low-fat milk, light or fat-free Cool Whip and sugar-free Angel Food cake (Walmart sells them in their bakery)

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 83mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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Red white and blue fruit trifle layered dessert