This Lemon Blackberry Trifle is like a greatest hits collection of many of my favorite things: ultra-moist cake, tangy lemon curd, softly whipped sweet cream, juicy berries, and a hint of fresh mint. This is a must-make!

Lemon Blackberry Trifle |
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If all goes well, this will be the last dessert I truly eat for…awhile. Like a month. Or maybe more.
(Pause for dramatic effect.)

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still going to keep making and posting new dessert recipes on SugarHero, and I’m still going to taste-test them all to make sure that I love them and think they’re perfect. But there’s a big gaping chasm between taste-testing a bite here and there, and the kind of “taste-testing” that I’ve been doing, which generally involves a giant spoon and a huge plate and a very embarrassing interlude of snorfing and gulping and licking my chops behind closed kitchen doors. Things have gotten a little out of hand.

Since having my son a year ago, I’ve learned some very important lessons. Lessons like: people who claim the baby weight “just falls right off” when breastfeeding are big lying liars. And they should probably be shunned, or at least glared at behind their smug backs. And that a steady diet of sugar and butter and four hours of sleep a night does not, in fact, make that weight fall right off either. And that one must finally accept some responsibility and put down the giant trifle eatin’ spoon and get to work.

Lemon Blackberry Trifle |

So this, then, was my last hurrah, at least for a month or so while I reset my eating habits and get reacquainted with my long-lost friends, vegetables. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently did a 3-day juice cleanse, which was a great kick in the pants to get serious about eating well. I was planning on going straight from the juice cleanse into my don’t-call-it-a-diet-diet, but the prospect of three parties this weekend convinced me to relax the rules, enjoy the socializing, and make a real start after Memorial Day.

Lemon Blackberry Trifle |

If I have to hold back on desserts for a bit, I’m glad I got to say goodbye with this trifle. It’s like a greatest hits collection of many of my favorite things: ultra-moist cake, tangy lemon curd, softly whipped sweet cream, juicy berries, and a hint of fresh mint. It was the perfect dessert for Memorial Day, when spring transitions to summer and the world is warm and bright.

Lemon Blackberry Trifle |

I know I’ve talked up trifles before, but allow me to gush a bit more. They look fancy, they taste amazing, but they’re so easy to make. The directions basically amount to “Layer yummy things in a bowl. Serve.” I’ve provided recipes for making the cake and lemon curd from scratch, but you can easily substitute purchased cake and curd and make this without breaking a sweat.

Options, you ask? Options, you have: Use jam instead of lemon curd, change out the berries, experiment with cake flavors, add some cream cheese to your whipped cream—there are endless possibilities, and unless you’re making pineapple-red velvet-basil-fig jam trifle, you really can’t go wrong. And even then, well, the magic of trifle just might surprise you.

So long, sugar gluttony, and thanks for all the trifle.Lemon Blackberry Trifle |


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Side view of Lemon Blackberry Trifle in a trifle bowl.

Lemon Blackberry Trifle

5 from 2 votes
This Lemon Blackberry Trifle is like a greatest hits collection of many of my favorite things: ultra-moist cake, tangy lemon curd, softly whipped sweet cream, juicy berries, and a hint of fresh mint. So basically this is a must-make!
Prep12 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Total42 minutes
Yields1 large trifle


For the Lemon Cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest, packed from one large lemon, preferably organic
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 oz unsalted butter, (6 tbsp), at room temperature
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 3 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

To Finish the Trifle:

  • 24 oz blackberries, 12 oz can be frozen, but at least 12 oz should be fresh berries
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, large leaves, finely chopped, (optional)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
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To Make the Lemon Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is moist and very fragrant. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix everything on low speed until well-combined. Add the milk, oil, butter, and lemon extract to the mixing bowl and once it’s incorporated, raise the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, then add the 2 eggs and beat for 2 minutes more on medium-high speed. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once more.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.

To Make the Lemon Curd:

  • Fill the bottom of a double boiler (or a regular saucepan) with about an inch of water and bring it to a simmer on the stovetop.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar with a handheld or stand mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and yolks, and beat for 1 minute more. Add the lemon juice and mix—at this point the mixture will look curdled.
  • Pour the liquid into the top of a double boiler or a bowl that fits snugly over your saucepan. (I actually like to use the metal mixing bowl that goes on my stand mixer so I’m not dirtying too many dishes.) Cook the mixture over the simmering water, whisking frequently, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you want to use a candy thermometer, cook the curd until it reaches 175 degrees F.
  • Once the curd thickens, remove the pan from the heat and pour it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg. Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the curd, and refrigerate it until it is chilled and thick.


  • Combine 12 ounces of blackberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. If you are using frozen berries, they should be completely defrosted. Mash the blackberries with a fork or potato masher until they’re coarsely broken down and release their juices. Add the finely chopped mint leaves, if you’re using them, and stir them in.
  • Whip the cream and the powdered sugar together until the cream holds firm peaks.
  • Cut up the lemon cake into small cubes.
  • Assemble the trifle in a large glass bowl or trifle bowl. (A 3-4 quart bowl is perfect.) Spread a little whipped cream on the bottom of the bowl, and cover the cream with a single layer of cake cubes. Top the cubes with about a third of the lemon curd, then spoon half of the blackberries on top of that, then add a layer of whipped cream. Repeat this process with more cake cubes, the rest of the lemon curd, the rest of the blackberries, and more cream. Top the bowl with a layer of cake cubes. Spread a thin layer of cream over the cubes. Decorate the top with the remaining fresh blackberries, the rest of the whipped cream, and any other garnishes you’d like, like fresh mint leaves or a twist of lemon.
  • Chill the trifle in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, to let the cake absorb some of the moisture. The trifle can be chilled overnight and served the next day. Leftovers will keep, well-wrapped and refrigerated, for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

If you don’t want to prepare all of the components from scratch, you can substitute about 10 cups of cubed pound cake (or other sturdy cake) for the cake in this recipe, and about 2 cups of prepared lemon curd. Super simple, right?

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Calories: 6407kcal | Carbohydrates: 757g | Protein: 74g | Fat: 361g | Saturated Fat: 218g | Cholesterol: 2072mg | Sodium: 2338mg | Potassium: 3694mg | Fiber: 43g | Sugar: 550g | Vitamin A: 14945IU | Vitamin C: 227.4mg | Calcium: 1524mg | Iron: 18.5mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.

Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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  1. Made it for camping this weekend. It tasted awesome and looked really good in my new Trifle bowl!

  2. I made this yesterday for a BBQ I was attending, and it was *amazing*! The trifle was a big hit.

    I can’t wait to experiment with different flavor combinations. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. That is awesome! It’s definitely the perfect dish to experiment with–different cake flavors, different curd flavors (try lime juice or passion fruit pulp!) and different berries all work super well. Thanks for the feedback, Sara!

  3. This looks so fantastic its all I can do to not go make it right now. Like you, I’m trying to lose baby weight so I’ll hold off for now. It is going to be my next special occasion dessert though. I’m also linking to it in a post on fruit desserts I’m posting in a few days…

    1. Ugh, why is baby weight so impossible to lose?! I’m still fighting the good fight over here. (Note to self: eat fewer desserts.) Thanks so much for stopping by, Rebecca, and for the link love! P.S. Your blog name is cracking me up, I love it!

    1. Hi Amy! Great catch on the vanilla reference in the directions! That should say lemon extract. I will update the instructions right now! Sorry for the confusion.