Christmas Puddings Alternative–Christmas Trifles



This post had been holding up for more than 2 weeks. I had prepared this to entertain my house guest. It is a simple and quick dessert that you can prepare to impress your guest. It can be a sinful indulgence or it can be as healthy as you want it to be. It is a good substitute for the heavy Christmas puddings. It is an impressive dessert due to its bright colour contrast of different layers between the trifles. Per Wikipedia:

“Trifle is a dessert dish made from thick (or often solidified) custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or jelly, and whipped cream. These ingredients are usually arranged in layers.” (Source:


Usually, trifles will comprise a few layers (from bottom to top):

  • Layer 1 – cakes. It can be biscuits, sponge cakes, sweet breads, normal cakes. Cakes are usually soaked in a liquid such as fruit juices, gassy drinks, ginger ales, cherry wines, syrups and etc. For this illustration, I am using Christmas fruit cakes soaked with some rums. If you are interested in making Christmas fruit cakes, you can refer to the following post: Easy Christmas Fruit Cake and Traditional Boiled Christmas Fruit and Nuts Cake.
  • Layer 2 and 4 –  creamy and soft like substances  such as agar agar,  jelly, jams, custard, cream cheese, whipped creams. In this illustration, I have selected custard to to go with my cakes and fruits.
  • Layer 3 and 5 – a layer of fresh fruits or glazed fruits, dry fruits, nuts and etc. Therefore, feel free to change to your desired ingredients following your health objectives. In this illustration, I have used mango, almond and strawberry.



As this is an extremely flexible recipe,  I will not list out  the exact quantity. Depending on what you like, you can always add or omit the quantity and types of ingredients.


  • About 1 cup of fresh cream for whipping
  • 2 tablespoons of custard powder
  • 2 tablespoons of castor sugar (not in picture)
  • Some fruit cakes
  • Some vanilla essence (optional)
  • Some strawberry
  • Some cranberry (soaked in rum or juices)
  • Some mangos cut into slices
  • Some oranges cut into slices
  • Some almond flakes or slices (not in picture)
  • Some dessert cups (not in picture)

Note that the fruit cakes were wrapped in a clingy wrap as they were in process of defrosting. 



Preparing the Custard


This is purely for references on how I cook my custards.  PLEASE COOK YOUR CUSTARDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR CUSTARD POWDER PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS. Every brand may be different so it is best that you follow the detail instructions.

  • In a pot, put 2 tablespoons of custard powder and 2 tablespoons of castor sugar, add 600 ml of fresh milk and vanilla essence. Stir until well mixed. Heat the custard mixture under low heat and stir using a wooden spatula or a balloon whisk until it boils. Stir constantly until the boiling custard solution starts to solidify and become custard. Set aside and let it cool. Keep a close eye in this process and the final few minutes can be rather fast. If it is too sticky, add some more fresh milk. Avoid using capsule based pan because it will continue to heat your custard even after you off the heat.


  • In a clean whisking bowl, beat your cream until stiff form. Make sure the bowl is clean and free from any oil or dirt before the whisking starts.


  • Cut your fruit cakes into small pieces and moisten with rum or your preferred juices. You can either brush with a brush or gradually add the rum using a teaspoon. Place some in the dessert cups or container. Put a layer of custard and followed by a layer of dry fruits and or fresh fruits. In this illustration, I have use some cranberry and oranges for the second layer.


  • On top of the fruits, put another layer of whipped cream. Topped the additional whipped creams or custard followed by fresh fruits and nuts. I have used fresh strawberry , almond and mango slices. Preferably served cold as desserts.



Isn’t this a simple dessert that is beautiful and presentable. Variations are many and you can fully change to suit your family’s taste buds be it the cakes or  creams or types of fruits …It can be as healthy as your want it to be. . It is also a good way of “getting rid” of your excess fruit cakes and a healthier Christmas dessert as contrast to the traditional Christmas puddings. Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


I am submitting this to the “Baby Sumo’s Christmas Recipes Collection 2013” event which is hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out.

For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE .  


If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 400 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD 


13 thoughts on “Christmas Puddings Alternative–Christmas Trifles

    • Do try other cakes based and body would not it is Christmas or not. Add red and green cherry will make it festive and if she can take alcohol, a bit of rum or cherry wine will definitely differentiate it from other trifles. If using dessert cup, you have full flexibility and just make one to suit her taste buds. Thanks for dropping by

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