Old Fashioned English Port Wine Jelly Trifle Recipe

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Go retro with this classic port wine jelly trifle recipe. Or try the Australian summer variation.

Old Fashioned English Trifle

The classic trifle dessert is always a favourite at Christmas time.

With layers of cake, custard, fruit and jelly, every spoonful is layers of yumminess.

The traditional English trifle uses Maderia cake and port wine jelly. You can make the Maderia cake yourself or you can just buy a sponge from the supermarket.

The great thing about this dessert, however, is that it’s endlessly variable.

Switch out the custard for mascarpone (which is cheap and easy to make at home) and the peaches for morello cherries soaked in kirsch for a delicious twist.

Or for an Australian summer variation, swap the port wine jelly with passionfruit jelly and the peaches with slices of fresh mango. Drizzle the cake with orange juice for a non-alcoholic version or Cointreau for an adult version.

Make this one day ahead to allow for the liquid to be absorbed by the cake.

Yield: 8 serves

Old-Fashioned English Port Wine Trifle Recipe

Old Fashioned English Trifle

Go retro with this classic dessert that uses port wine jelly. Or try the Australian summer variation.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 85g (3oz) packet of port wine jelly crystals
  • 500mls of vanilla custard (purchased or make your own)
  • 250g Madeira cake, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup sherry
  • 425g can of peach slices in syrup, drained reserve syrup
  • whipped cream
  • fresh seasonal fruit to garnish
  • grated chocolate to serve


  1. Make jelly according to packet directions and pour into a shallow dish and refrigerate until set. Cut into bite-sized cubes.
  2. Line a 1ltr glass bowl with cake. Sprinkle cake with sherry (or whatever you have on hand – orange juice is fine) and brush with peach syrup.
  3. Pour half the custard over the cake, top with the jelly and then about 2/3 of the peaches and then the remaining custard.
  4. Top with remaining peaches, whipped cream and grated chocolate. Refrigerate overnight.


Switch the port jelly with passionfruit jelly and the peaches with mangoes for a decidedly Australian summer variation.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 36gProtein: 3g

Nutritional information is calculated automatically using the Nutritionix database. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, serving size or the source of nutrition data. We strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Yum yum! I love trifle.
    I also make a Choc Cherry version which goes down really well.
    Substitute the port wine jelly with cherry flavoured jelly, the custard with chocolate instant pudding, the madeira cake with chocolate cake, the sherry with cherry brandy, and the peaches with a tin/jar of morello cherries, make it up the same as this trifle.
    This is making me hungry!

  2. I can’t wait to make this! Making one for this Sunday for my son’s 1st birthday party for all my family! Thanks for sharing!