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4th of July Trifle

Celebrate patriotic holidays with this no bake dessert, a 4th of July Trifle. This easy red, white and blue dessert made with fresh berries, cake, pudding, and Cool Whip will be one of the highlights of the dessert table and is perfect for a summer party.

4th of July Trifle

Summer’s officially starting and fresh berries are in order, which also means it’s the perfect time of year for an optional no bake summer dessert.

Even if you aren’t going to have a party with a red, white, and blue theme, this twist on a traditional English trifle needs to be added to your menu.
It will be an easy dessert for a busy weeknight and is perfect for entertaining, too.


4th of July Trifle

What is a trifle?

A trifle is a layered dessert which is of British origin. It is traditionally made with sponge fingers soaked in an alcohol, pudding, fruit, and topped with heavy whipping cream or syllabub – an old English dessert made with cream and alcohol.
However, there are now many variations on the trifle and it has become quite a popular dessert. It is so easy to make with pound cake, and a pudding mixture and/or cream cheese mixture, making it the perfect dessert when entertaining. It can feed a lot of people and can be served as a last minute dessert when company’s coming.

What can I use if I don’t have a trifle bowl?

This fourth of July Trifle can be put into a large clear glass bowl will do or even a punch bowl. You’ll want to use a deep glass dish for this easy recipe to display the pretty layers. Be creative!
You can even use mason jars or small bowls to make individual servings and just divide the ingredients evenly among them.

Equipment needed

  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring Cups
  • Two 8-inch Round Cake Pans
  • Cooling Rack
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Trifle Bowl or Large Bowl
  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Spatula
  • offset spatula
Ingredients for a 4th of July Trifle.

What do I need to make this recipe?

  • Vanilla Cake Mix (plus box ingredients), or Angel Food Cake
  • Instant Vanilla Pudding 
  • Whole Milk
  • Cool Whip or Stabilized Whipped Cream
  • Fresh Strawberries 
  • Fresh Blueberries 
A patriotic trifle with fresh berries.

How do I make this easy trifle recipe?

  1. Begin by baking the cake following the instructions listed on the box. This can be done in advance to save time.
  2. Mix the milk and the pudding together in a large bowl. Fold in half of the Cool Whip, and refrigerate to set, about 10 minutes.
  3. Begin layering the trifle starting with the cake. You can either leave it intact, cutting the edges to fit it into the trifle dish, or cut it into cubes and arrange them on the bottom of the trifle dish.
  4. Add half of the pudding, about 1 ½ cups, and smooth with an offset spatula.
  5. Evenly distribute the chopped strawberries onto the pudding.
    Cover with the second cake or again, cut into cubes.
    Spread the remaining pudding over the cake.
    Add the blueberries.
    Spread the rest of the Cool Whip on top of the trifle, and decorate with additional remaining strawberries, blue berries, sprinkles, or other toppings, if desired.
  6. Place into refrigerator until ready to serve.
Process photos for a no bake berry trifle.

Could I prepare the pudding in advance? 

Yes! You could definitely make the pudding ahead of time. I wouldn’t recommend making it more than a day in advance. Keep the pudding in the fridge and feel free to assemble the cake layers and barriers the next day or just before serving.

Can I use frozen fruit instead of fresh? 

I do not recommend using frozen fruit as it is a lot harder to decorate with. Frozen fruit tends to bleed and will color the pudding layers. Frozen fruit also doesn’t keep as long as fresh fruit. Your trifle would have to be enjoyed the same day.

A trifle with berries and cake.

What substitutes could I use for the cake layers? 

This trifle recipe is very versatile and a real crowd pleaser. You could use white cake or any other cake flavor. You can also use any other cake-like dessert. Some fun options to try would be premade cupcakes (frosted or not), or even Twinkies! Have fun with it!

What can I use in place of Cool Whip?

This Stabilized Whipped Cream is a great substitution for Cool Whip and is made without gelatin. It works very well in all recipes that call for Cool Whip and can also be used by itself to cover pies, cakes, fresh fruit, and more.

A red, white, and blue trifle.

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Easy Dessert Recipes

Cookies are a great option for a party!
We love these Maple Shortbread and Peanut and Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Both of them have always been a hit with my family.

No dessert table should be without my Millionaire Shortbread aka Twix Bars. One bite and I promise you’ll fall in love. I think they’re even better than the candy bar.
Another bar that’s perfect for entertaining are my Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars. They’ve got all the flavor of summer.

Try the twist on the classic Oatmeal Cookie and add some butterscotch to them. They’re hard to resist!
And speaking of butterscotch, these Salted Butterscotch Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies have so much flavor in every bite that you might not be able to eat just one.

Make this patriotic trifle for your Memorial Day and fourth of July celebration. With layers of cake, pudding and whipped cream, and extra berries on top, it’s a fabulous recipe for the perfect summer dessert!

4th of July Trifle

A little twist on the traditional English trifle, this dessert is easy to make and so much fun to eat. It's very easily customized with any cake or pudding flavors, and packed with your favorite or seasonal fruits, this trifle is assembled in minutes.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword 4th of July Trifle, Trifle
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 330kcal


  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • 2 8-inch round cake pans
  • cooling rack
  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • Trifle Bowl or large deep bowl
  • hand or stand mixer or whisk
  • silicone spatula
  • medium bowl
  • offset spatula


  • 16.25 ounces white cake mix or flavor of your choice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 egg whites or whole eggs
  • 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip divided
  • 2 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries plus additional whole or sliced berries for top
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries plus additional for top


  • Prepare two 8-inch round cakes per the instructions on the box and allow them to cool completely. This can be done in advance. If your cakes have a rounded top, you can cut them to level, but it is not necessary.
  • Place the pudding into the medium bowl and add the milk. Using a mixer, beat for two minutes or mix together with a whisk for same amount of time.
  • Fold in half of the cool whip, and place into the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.


  • Begin by placing one of the cooled cakes into the bottom of the trifle dish. If needed, trim the edges to fit into the bowl or cut the cake into cubes.
  • With an offset spatula, spread half of the pudding, about 1 ½ cups over the cake.
  • Cover the pudding with all of the diced strawberries.
  • Gently place the second cake into the dish.
  • Spread the remaining pudding on top of the second cake.
  • Evenly distribute the blueberries.
  • Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the blueberries and top with additional fresh berries or other toppings.


Note: if using a cake that is pre-made, the amount of time needed to make this dessert will decrease. Also, for accurate nutritional information, I have added the ingredients needed to bake the cake. Please follow the ingredients listed on the box as there may be differences.


Serving: 1person | Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 1mg