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+ servings
Strawberries and blueberries topped on a custard trifle.

Super Easy Australian Trifle with Custard

A simple, traditional trifle for busy cooks. Perfect for celebrations or Christmas, we've made this quick, easy and hassle free. Loaded with custard, cream and iconic port wine jelly for an Australian trifle to impress!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Australian, English
Prep Time 10 minutes
Jelly Setting Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 771kcal
Cost $15



For the trifle layers:

  • 400 g Swiss jam roll sliced, the older the better
  • 1.8 kg custard double thick
  • 2 packets port wine jelly makes 1 kg (2 pounds) of jelly
  • 1 cup canned fruit two fruits, peaches, pears etc NOT pineapple
  • 600 ml thickened cream



For the trifle base - jelly and cake layer:

  • Pop your jelly crystals in a large mixing bowl and top with boiling water according to packet. Stir until crystals completely dissolve. Top up with cold water according to packet, stir through and set aside to cool.
    2 packets port wine jelly
  • Slice jam scroll or cake into 1.5cm wide slices. Arrange in a single layer in a deep trifle dish. Optional: Then arrange one row of slices around the edge. Add the canned fruit into the middle.
    400 g Swiss jam roll, 1 cup canned fruit
  • Carefully pour the jelly over the cake slices until just covered. Pop in the fridge for around 3 hours to set.

For the cream

  • Pop the cream in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Optional: Add the vanilla essence and sugar. Whip on high speed until the cream thickens and holds a nice shape (around 3-5 minutes).
    600 ml thickened cream, 2 tsp vanilla essence, 150 g sugar

To assemble the custard and cream layers

  • Once your jelly is set, use a large spoon to layer the custard over the jelly. Smooth off with the back of the spoon once all the custard had been added.
    1.8 kg custard
  • With another large spoon, gently place spoonfuls of whipped cream over the custard. Then using a fork, very lightly spread the cream to cover the custard and make the third and final layer.
  • Top with fresh fruit such as strawberries and blueberries and Optional: dust with a light sprinkle of icing sugar to finish.
    fresh fruit, 1 tsp icing sugar / powdered sugar
  • Serve immediately or keep chilled in the fridge until ready to dish up.


  • Jelly - Port Wine Jelly (or Jello for Americans) is one of the most popular flavours for the jelly base. You can use whatever flavour you prefer though, raspberry and blackberry also make nice bases.
  • Swiss Jam Roll - We use Swiss rolls from the store, but it's also popular to use madeira cake, Italian sponge fingers like in tiramisu or homemade Vanilla sponge cake. Whether you slice it or chop it into squares is completely up to you and the presentation you want to achieve.
  • Custard - You can make your own, or if you're using shortcuts, do what we did and buy double thick custard. Buy the best and thickest you can find - this is crucial, as you need it to be strong enough to hold your cream and not let it sink.
  • Layering  - Best tip here is to slow down and be careful. Take your time when layering the cream on the custard in particular. Have a light hand as you spread it around so you don't end up pushing the cream into the custard.
  • Fridge space - This may seem obvious, but there's nothing worse than pouring your jelly into the trifle dish, and realising your fridge is packed full for Christmas and there's no space! So check the empty bowl fits on the shelf in the fridge BEFORE popping together your trifle.
    Serving: A long handled ladle or spoon is best to scoop through all the layers and dish up each serving with an even amount of each layer.
  • Toppings - Have fun and get creative with your toppings. If fresh fruit isn't your thing, you could try lollies, marshmallows, chocolate shavings or sprinkles instead. Some people also like to add crushed peanuts or even cookies like oreos.


Calories: 771kcal | Carbohydrates: 124g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 179mg | Sodium: 712mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 91g | Vitamin A: 1059IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 267mg | Iron: 2mg