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How to Make an Alternative Trifle - An Illustrated, Quick and Easy Alternative to Traditional Trifle, With Marshmallow

Updated on September 15, 2018
annart profile image

Ann is no 'cordon bleu' but is happy to share tried and tested traditional favourites which family and friends enjoy.

Delicious Cold Desserts

Cold desserts are something the British do a lot and do well; from Eton Mess to Syllabubs to Summer Pudding or just good old Strawberries and Cream. Summer time is best for these of course but they’re just as welcome for a celebratory meal at any time of the year.

I wanted to make a Sherry Trifle for our friends in France but (not having thought about it in advance!) couldn’t buy sherry, nor jelly, nor trifle sponges. So I concocted a version with marshmallows and wine (or fizzy pop) instead, using the cheap and abundant ‘egg biscuits’ on every French supermarket shelf.

The result of this alternative was greeted with interest and the verdict extremely favourable.

Marshmallow Trifle

Marshmallow Trifle topped with Double Cream
Marshmallow Trifle topped with Double Cream | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: Serves up to 8 people. Cooking only for custard.

You will need

The ingredients given are sufficient to serve about 6 generous helpings.

  • Egg biscuits or rusks or trifle sponges - 8-10, depending on size of dish
  • 4-6 tbsp sweet white wine - or a fizzy drink of choice - to soak biscuits
  • Jam to cover biscuits
  • Packet Marshmallows
  • 2 Kiwi fruit
  • Medium punnet Strawberries
  • 1-2 Tins Ambrosia Custard or make your own ½-1 pint custard, or use Double Cream for the topping
  • Medium - Large Bowl (transparent so that the layers of colour can be seen)

Build your Trifle!

biscuits, marshmallows, kiwis, strawberries
biscuits, marshmallows, kiwis, strawberries | Source
more marshmallows & kiwis
more marshmallows & kiwis | Source
Side view of layers
Side view of layers | Source
Final layer of strawberries
Final layer of strawberries | Source
Topped with a thick layer of whipped Double Cream!
Topped with a thick layer of whipped Double Cream! | Source


  • Place biscuits on the bottom of the bowl and fill in gaps with broken pieces
  • Soak the biscuits with the wine or lemonade
  • Spread a good covering of the jam over the biscuits
  • Cut the Marshmallows in half length-ways, then place a full layer on top of the jam
  • Cut Kiwis into thin slices, then place a layer on top of Marshmallows
  • Hull the strawberries, cut in half length-ways, place layer on top of kiwis
  • Repeat the layers of marshmallow, kiwi & strawberry, saving a few strawberries for the top
  • Cover with either the custard or the double cream (whipped until thick)
  • Put in the fridge to cool and set

If you wish, you can use instant custard powder or make your own to go on top should you prefer a thicker set custard, or stick to the Double Cream.

Serve cold with a few extra strawberries (or 100s & 1000s, or chocolate chips/curls) on top to add colour.


When and Where to Serve your Trifle

This trifle is great for adults and children alike. It's easy to eat, wonderfully cool on a hot summer's day and looks so appetising it's impossible to resist!

Use it for family meals, for guests when you want to impress, as well as for a quick and easy dessert. You can vary the fruit to taste, even use a tin of fruit cocktail if you have no fresh fruit at hand.

I don't know anyone who doesn't like some form of trifle, so try this out; you'll find that your guests will be asking for the recipe and wanting to impress their friends too!

Your favourites

Recipes are extremely popular on hubpages. What cold dishes do you like? What alternatives have you made to recipes, either through choice or necessity? Let me know and share your experience.

Choice of Cold Desserts!

What cold desserts do you prefer?

See results
5 stars from 1 rating of Marshmallow Trifle

© 2013 Ann Carr


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    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Thanks DDE. I hope you enjoy this version. I appreciate your visit. Ann

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like the idea of trifle and have to get back into making for this summer great suggestions.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      RTalloni: Glad you like this. Yes, it's easy for children to do; I've made this with my granddaughter and she loves making it and eating it!

      Can't imagine it as a salad though - cream & marshmallows? Ah well, each to his own! I must confess I prefer this to a traditional trifle; it's lighter and I'm not a huge jelly fan.

      Thanks for reading & leaving your comments, also for pinning it. Ann

    • RTalloni profile image


      4 years ago from the short journey

      A delightful alternative! :) This looks like a fun recipe for all ages and with spring/summer coming I expect to see more responses here. Pinning to my Ways w/ Food: Desserts board, though I know some who would consider this a salad!

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Yes, Beth, it's good to vary this recipe according to taste. It is, after all, an emergency recipe in the first place!

    • Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

      Beth Eaglescliffe 

      4 years ago from UK

      Mmm! this sounds a nice trifle for a hot summer’s day. Just like you, I never have those sponge fingers in my store cupboard either. So when I want to make a trifle so I use ginger nut biscuits as a base. They get very soggy but the ginger flavor gives a good contrast to the sweetness of custard and jelly.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      AliciaC: Thank you for reading and commenting. I'd never thought about it either but 'necessity is the mother of invention'! The thought process went, 'No jelly! What do I have that's squidgy? Marshmallow.' It was an experiment and fortunately a successful one . Not all my experiments work!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Trifle is one of my favorite desserts. I love the sound of this alternate version! I've never thought of making trifle with marshmallows before. I'll definitely have to try this.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      Rosemay50: Thanks for commenting. Yes it is! The best thing about it is that you can add any fruit you like and you can change the liquid and even the sponge/biscuit for the base. Great for imaginative cooks! Hope you enjoy it.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      This looks delicious for summer desserts

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      LaurieNunley517 : thank you for reading and leaving your comment. I hope you enjoy trying this. Yes, you can use any sort of spongey cake or biscuits as the base - anything which can absorb the lemonade/wine/etc!

    • LaurieNunley517 profile image


      5 years ago from Deep South

      Ann, first thank you for welcoming me to Hubpages. I didn't know how to reply to your comment at first! LOL The dessert looks perfect. I live in the Deep South and it is HOT and humid here...this dessert looks like just the right thing. Could I substitute angel food cake for the sponge? Thanks!

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      Elias Zanetti, thanks for your comment. Yes it's a delicious combination, very refreshing. I hope you enjoy trying it.

      Ceres Schwarz, thank you for commenting. I find it much easier to cook if you know what it's supposed to look like, then again mine don't always look like the cook's version! Hope you enjoy trying it!

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 

      5 years ago

      Wow, this recipe looks really good. The images of the marshmallow trifle looks very delicious and tasty. Now I want to have some. The other images are also very helpful in showing readers how to make this recipe.

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 

      5 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Delicious desert and most appropriate for the summer season. The combination of strawberries with kiwi should be quite interesting. thanks for sharing that straightforward recipe!

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      5 years ago from SW England

      Wow! that was quick! Thanks billy. I appreciate your continued support. Cold desserts are soooo good! A must when the weather is hot which I'm sure it often is in your part of the world and this is so versatile. All the best to you and Bev. Ann

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Ann!

      We are not into cold desserts over here as the British are, but this does sound delightful. Thanks for sharing it and it's good to see you writing again. Take care my friend.


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