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Mini Trifles

These lovely layered mini trifles will wow your guests and can be made up a day ahead.
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or scroll for handy tips and a little nostalgia.

individual mini christmas trifles

The Christmas table isn’t quite complete without a Christmas Trifle.

These layered, individual Mini Trifles can be made up a day ahead and are always a huge hit.

And the best thing about a Mini Christmas Trifle is that you can have it all to yourself.

No battling with the family member who takes too much of the jelly!

mini christmas trifles

The magic of flummery

This recipe has all the key ingredients you’d expect in a trifle, including custard, sponge, alcohol and jelly.

I’ve also added another layer of loveliness to make these individual desserts extra special.

The special secret ingredient in these Mini Trifles is… flummery!

What is Flummery?

It has a long history but the jelly version we know today was a product of World War II thriftiness.

It’s a creamy and sweet dessert that is affordable, using just two simple ingredients.

The recipe I’ve used here is Nana Ling’s handwritten recipe from the early 1940s. 


Mini Trifles: the other ingredients

The other ingredients are the usual ingredients, and it’s the combination of these that make trifles so special.

So, what are these ingredients?

You’ll need:

  • raspberry jelly crystals (or your preferred flavour)
  • cream
  • sponge
  • port, sherry or muscat (or juice for a non-alcoholic version)
  • custard (bought or home-made)
  • strawberries, raspberries and blackberries (or whatever berries or fruit are in season)
  • custard powder
  • mint leaves (or another green edible) for decorating.

For the sponge layer, I used Italian sponge fingers from the supermarket (the ones that are used to make Tiramisu).

This makes the recipe perfect for the busy Christmas rush.

However, you can substitute these for real Sponge Cake.

I made custard from custard powder, but again you could substitute with store-bought custard or go all out with your own egg custard.

For the alcohol, I used a Hunter Valley Muscat.

Go ahead and experiment here too, though, with traditional port, sherry or another favourite liqueur.

Secrets for trifle-making success

Here are my not-so-secret tips for making a truly wonderful trifle:

1. Fresh Berries

This trifle recipe uses fresh berries, and they truly make the other layers taste even better.

Wash and dry the fruit before using it in the recipe.

fresh berries for trifle

2. Get your timing right

You can make up this recipe a day ahead.

However, for it to be at its best in terms of both looks and taste, a few hours in the fridge before serving is ideal. This gives your trifle enough time for the flavours to settle in while still retaining its fresh appearance.

3. Even layers

Take care constructing your trifle so you get consistent and even layers.

You might need to press down on the sponge a little or use a spoon to even out the custard.

4. Contrasting colours

If you opt for a different flavour jelly or different fruit, think about how the colours and flavours will work together.

The beauty of this dessert is definitely found in the layers and contrast!

5. Your serving glasses

Presentation is everything.

Use your fanciest glasses for this dessert and make sure you clean them to sparkling beforehand.

If you’re making the non-alcoholic version for kids, you could use clear plastic glasses. 

Looking for more festive favourites?

Check out these other popular Christmas desserts:

individual mini christmas trifles

Mini Trifles

These lovely layered mini trifles will wow your guests and can be made up a day ahead.
4.83 from 39 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian, British
Keyword: mini trifles, trifle
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Setting time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 339kcal


  • 85 grams jelly crystals (1 packet Aeroplane jelly if you're in Australia)
  • 125 mls cream (tinned cream, thickened cream or heavy cream)
  • 12 pieces Tiramisu sponge fingers (about 1 cup fresh sponge chopped in small squares)
  • 1/2 cup port, sherry or muscat (or juice for a non-alcoholic version)
  • 1 1/2 cups custard (bought or home-made)
  • 400 grams berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and blackberries)
  • 200 mls thickened cream (known as heavy cream in US)
  • 1 teaspoon custard powder
  • mint leaves for decorating


  • Make up jelly following the instructions. This should make about 2 cups of jelly.
  • Use 1 1/4 cups of the liquid jelly mixture to fill the bottoms of 6 small dessert dishes or wine glasses.
  • Put the 6 glasses and remaining mixture into the fridge.
  • When the remaining mixture is close to setting (but still able to be poured (this may take 1-2 hours), combine the mixture with cream and beat on high for 4 minutes.
  • The jelly in the cups should almost be set by this stage. Carefully pour the jelly and cream mixture (flummery) to add another layer to each of the glasses.
  • Allow to set.
  • Crush sponge fingers in a tray and then pour over port, sherry or muscat. Substitute juice if you'd prefer a kids or non-alcoholic version of the trifle.
  • Add sponge fingers as the next layer and then pour a layer of custard in each glass.
  • Add chopped berries as another layer, reserving 6 berries for decorating.
  • Whip thickened cream and custard powder until the cream forms stiff peaks.
  • Pipe cream onto top of layers and decorate each trifle with a berry and mint leaf.



This recipe can be made up to a day ahead.


Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 955IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating

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Anja Rauch

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

Hey which jelly flavor would you recommend

Libby Hakim

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

Hi Anja. I always prefer strawberry or raspberry - but it's really up to you :) Happy cooking!


Monday 27th of December 2021

Did Nana Ling know after she will be gone her legacy would live through her GGD Libby and who will share with people across globe and some one sitting in New Zealand would be admiring this dessert with family and friends on Christmas Day in 2021! I was looking for a lighter trifle and I landed here! My first paragraph says all… Nana Ling who I am to write a review for such a yummy dessert! Thank you GGD Libby sharing her recipes with us. It’s a keeper ✅!

Libby Hakim

Monday 27th of December 2021

Hi Vandana. Thanks for your lovely review and rating and so pleased you were able to enjoy this trifle at Christmas. I love keeping Nana Ling's collection of good old fashioned recipes alive and it makes me so happy to hear from people who are still enjoying the recipes today. I'm sure it would be absolutely mind-blowing to Nana Ling if I could tell her about the internet, the website and sharing her recipes! x


Saturday 25th of December 2021

It's Christmas today and we are in isolation. Making these with the kids last night was so much fun!!! They came out beautifully. Thanks for a nice fresh summery trifle. In SA we have really hot Christmas' so always looking for light desserts.

Libby Hakim

Monday 27th of December 2021

Hi Lynn - let's hope this is the last Covid Christmas! So pleased you had fun making them and enjoyed the results. Happy cooking x

Michelle Daly

Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Hi Libby I intend to make these for Christmas Day I need them to be non alcoholic what juice do you suggest I use or maybe apple cider vinegar The recipe looks amazing Looking forward to hearing from you Michelle


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Hi Michelle. I'd suggest orange juice or apple juice. You could also use cranberry juice. I think the vinegar would be too strong, I'd avoid that. Enjoy making up the trifles :) Libby x


Tuesday 1st of December 2020

Hello :) I’m planning on making these this weekend! I hope they turn out good!! I’m just wondering when you made the thicken whip cream did you just combine the heavy cream and custard powder to get the thickness?


Tuesday 1st of December 2020

Hi there! I combined the thickened cream (which I think is called heavy cream in the US) with the custard powder and then whipped them together until the mixture is thick and can be piped onto the top of the trifles. Good luck! I'm sure they'll be wonderful :)

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