• It’s right there in the name. Show-stopping stars and floating berries trifle is all you need for a truly sensational dinner finale. The best thing about this trifle is that while it looks like it took hours of meticulous planning, it’s actually very easy. Master in the glory of making each individual layer of this trifle yourself. Not only does this dessert look fabulous, it tastes the part too.

    Recipe and styling by Thulisa Martins

    Trifle bowl: stylist’s own


    Show-stopping stars and floating berries trifle

    Serves: Makes 1 large trifle
    Cooking Time: 2 hrs + 1 hr, to set


    • Raspberry jelly

    • 25 gelatine leaves
    • 150ml water, just boiled
    • 100g SPAR Brown Sugar
    • 650ml Olive Brook Mirabilis MCC/SPAR Cocopine Flavoured Carbonated Soft Drink
    • 100g FRESHLINE Raspberries
    • Vanilla sponge

    • 230g SPAR Castor Sugar, sifted
    • 90ml SPAR Sunflower Oil
    • 6 SPAR Eggs, beaten
    • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
    • 300g SPAR Cake Wheat Flour, sifted
    • 5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
    • pinch salt
    • 150ml SPAR Full
    • Cream Milk
    • Custard

    • 600ml SPAR Full Cream Milk
    • 6 SPAR Egg yolks
    • 55g SPAR Castor Sugar
    • 30g cornflour
    • 200g FRESHLINE Raspberries
    • Cream cheese layer

    • 250g SPAR Low Fat Plain Cream Cheese
    • 50ml SPAR Castor Sugar
    • To serve

    • large handful FRESHLINE Cherries/SPAR Maraschino Cherries, to garnish
    • 5ml (1 tsp) edible gold powder, to brush



    For the raspberry jelly, stir the gelatine leaves into the water until fully dissolved. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. If the mixture cools too quickly, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds. When the sugar has dissolved, add the sparkling wine or carbonated soft drink. Pour the mixture into a large trifle dish and set aside until partially set but still soft, 30 – 45 minutes. Test by dropping a fresh raspberry into the jelly – if it slowly seeps into the jelly, it is ready. Add the raspberries to the jelly and use a wooden skewer to push them into position. Refrigerate to set completely, 20 minutes.


    Preheat the oven to 180°C. For the vanilla sponge, blitz the castor sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla essence together in a free-standing blender on high speed, 5 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and blend for a further 5 minutes. Add the milk and mix for a final 5 minutes until combined. Pour into a greased cake tin and bake in the oven until cooked, 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.


    For the custard, place the milk in a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat just before it boils and strain. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and castor sugar until it reaches ribbon stage. Whisk in the cornflour, then slowly add the warm milk to the egg mixture. Once fully combined, place the mixture in a pot over medium heat and stir continuously until it has reached the desired thick-custard consistency. Remove from heat and refrigerate to cool, about 20 minutes.


    Once the cake has cooled completely, cut the sponge into star shapes, or any desired festive shapes, using cookie cutters. Place on the set jelly layer along the surface and up the sides of the dish.


    Once the custard has cooled, transfer to a piping bag and pipe over the jelly and star layers. Carefully scatter the fresh raspberries over the custard.


     For the cream cheese layer, blitz the cream cheese in a free-standing blending together with the castor sugar, 10 minutes. Place in a piping bag with a large star nozzle and pipe over the custard and raspberry layers. Brush the fresh or maraschino cherries with the edible gold powder and decorate the top of the trifle before serving. 


    Cook’s tip: Make the vanilla sponge a day or 2 in advance and store in the fridge so that it’s matured and stable when used. Besides the jelly layer, all the other layers can be prepared a day in advance.

    More Christmas recipes for you to enjoy:

    10 Trifle recipes your guests will love this Christmas

    15 Christmas roasts you must make this festive season

    5 ways with Christmas leftovers