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!
24ozblackberries12 oz can be frozen, but at least 12 oz should be fresh berries
10large mint leavesfinely chopped (optional)
To Make the Lemon Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x13-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 vanilla 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.
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?