Vanilla Trifle Cake

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Yield: 20 servings

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There's something undeniably appealing about a well-made white cake wearing only the adornment of the first fresh berries of spring. Obviously, the judges thought so as well, when they gave this cake by Misti Gerrity of Lynn the top prize in the cake competition at Massachusetts' 2011 Topsfield Fair.

Vanilla Trifle Cake

star rating (7) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 20 servings
Published: 02/29/2012




  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 to 10 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • 1 quart fresh blueberries

Tips from our bakers

  • This cake can be frozen after assembly for up to a month; otherwise it should be kept in the refrigerator until served, but not longer than 4 or 5 days.


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 9" round cake pans.

2) To make the cake: In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.

3) In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth.

4) Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy.

5) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

6) Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and beat for 1 more minute.

7) Divide the dough among the prepared pans. If you're using a scale, put 1 1/2 pounds of batter in each pan.

8) Bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pans and cool completely on a rack.

9) To make the icing: Beat the butter with 4 cups of the sugar. Alternately beat in the milk and vanilla with the remaining sugar, adding enough sugar to make icing with a nicely spreadable consistency.

10) To assemble the cake: Trim any domes off the tops of the layers. Place a layer on a serving plate lined with parchment paper strips.

11) Spread the layer with frosting, and top with half the sliced strawberries and blueberries. Spread the trimmed top of the next layer with 1/4 cup of the strawberry preserves, and place it atop the berries. Repeat with the remaining layer.

12) Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing.

Yield: 20 servings.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 233g Servings Per Batch: 20 servings Amount Per Serving: Calories: 721 Calories from Fat: 279 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 140mg Sodium: 280mg Total Carbohydrate: 109g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 79g Protein: 2g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


  • star rating 07/03/2014
  • Pam from Iola, TX
  • Taste is great, and rose beautifully. So beautifully in fact that it was entirely too much for my 9" pans and it rose over the edges. Be sure to use an extra deep pan for this recipe! I ended up having an extra 6oz of batter, so 1lb 10oz in each pan; but I didn't make this recipe by weight. Definitely want to try it again with deeper pans & measuring ingredients by weight.
  • star rating 06/23/2014
  • Hilary from NH
  • I had some trouble with this recipe - I baked it for 40 minutes (recipe says 35-40) and all the signs of "done" were there - pulled away from the edges, sprung back when touched, tooth pick was clean - it was getting very brown on the edges too, not quite burnt, but overbrowned for a white cake. I set it on the racks to cool and when I came back? They had completely deflated. They were not done - and collapsed into a gummy blasting mat. The edges were salvagable, so I cut them off and made a trifle dish instead, and the flavor and crumb were wonderful, but if all the 'done' signs are there, and it was nearly burning, how would I have known it needed more time in the oven? A bit disappointed that I had to toss most of the cake (is there anything you can do with undercooked cake?.
    It sounds as though your oven may run a bit hot and that the exterior of the cake browned before the interior was able to bake through. You might want to check your oven with an oven thermometer.~Jaydl@KAF
  • 05/24/2014
  • Jean from IA
  • Just a question. One review stated they put a lemon, sugar glaze on cooked cake layers. What is the recipe for that? I have been wanting to try something like that but don't know how. Love your website and emails.
    Hi Jean, we have a few lemon glaze recipes, associated with different recipes. They vary a bit based on how white/hard you want the glaze to be. Check out our Lemon Bliss Cake recipe and our Lemon Bread recipe. Or you can type in "lemon glaze" in the recipe search box and several recipes will come up. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 11/14/2013
  • Amira from Cairo
  • star rating 02/11/2013
  • Marianne from California
  • This cake is very nice! It has a nice crumb and is easy to handle. When the cakes were still warm, I brushed on a lemon/water/sugar solution to keep them moist, and once cooled I wrapped them with plastic wrap and placed in freezer bags to freeze them. I filled one layer with a homemade raspberry sauce and the other with lemon curd. The frosting was a vanilla buttercream, and decorations were made with buttercream tinted yellow with lemon flavoring. This was a great success for the birthday gal being feted. I would definitely make this cake again!
  • star rating 09/14/2012
  • Mary from Indianapolis
  • Wonderful! Tried and true recipe. Would definitely make again and agin.
  • star rating 05/06/2012
  • Secretzw from KAF Community
  • Excellent cake. It was amazingly tender and light, while remaining perfectly moist. This will be my go-to for white cakes from now on!

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