The Weekend Dish – Trifle

We gather, gab, nosh and fête frequently. The backyard sisters take our celebrations seriously. Yes,truly, getting the extended family together and feasting are not activities to be trifled with.

photo credit: @1ofmykind

photo credit: @1ofmykind

The backyard sisters, their spouses, parents, children and often in-laws and a friend or two celebrate birthdays and holidays on a regular basis. A backyard cousin, home from college for a spring break visit, spurs us to man the party stations. Just so happens one of his favorite desserts is Trifle and lucky for him his Oma makes an impressive one. Lucky for me, I was privileged to indulge in this light and creamy delicacy that night. Not only is the layered presentation special and elegant but also


it tastes luscious. Now I know why he loves it so; it is a perfect mix of sweet, fruity flavors and creamy, airy textures. It sure impressed this guest and I daresay it would impress yours too, and that’s no trifling matter!

~ Susan


  • Angel Food cake torn into bite size pieces
  • vanilla pudding (recipe follows)
  • strawberry sauce (recipe follows)
  • whipped cream
  • sliced fresh strawberries

A trifle dish is the optimum container but if you don’t have one don’t let that stop you, any tall glass bowl or tall glass individual dishes can work also. Begin with a layer of the angel food cake, then spoon pudding over, next the strawberry sauce and then repeat topping it with whipped cream and sliced fresh strawberries.

Vanilla Pudding

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3+ tsp vanilla extract (to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Mix sugar, flour and salt in a saucepan. Mix milk and egg yolks together and add to dry ingredients. Cook over low to medium heat until thickened stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool and chill.

Strawberry Sauce

  • 4 cups frozen strawberries mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine mashed strawberries sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan. Cook until thickened stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla and stir until butter incorporated. Cool.

Whipping Cream

To a pint of whipping cream add either powdered sugar or agave and vanilla to taste. Then whip with an electric mixer on high speed until it holds its own shape. If you beat too long you will end up with butter.

Sugar and Spice Sure are Nice

Pop a cookie sheet of these cookies in the oven and the house will fill with the scent of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. cookie doughAs the cookies progress from this:

to this:

cookies on cookies sheet

Molasses Crinkles are another one of the cookies which make an appearance on the Big Platter. The cookbook containing the original recipe is one the Backyard Sisters have turned to many times over the years.

Betty Crocker boys and girls cookbookWhen younger, and the baking urge would strike, we usually pulled out this book and flipped through the pages for just the right confection to satisfy that urge. I don’t remember what prompted the first attempt at Molasses Crinkles. Perhaps it was the exotic sounding ingredients molasses,

molassesand the spices cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Whatever it was, once mixed and baked, they have beckoned with their spicy aroma.

picking up a ccokie

Spices which boast health benefits by the way, and can evoke feelings of comfort and joy.

cookies on plateSo, bake a batch and watch them disappear.

Christmas cookies- Molasses CrinklesThe recipe:

Molasses Crinkles

Mix thoroughly in a large bowl:

3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses

In another bowl sift together:
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsps. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture until blended well.
Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 375°.
Roll teaspoonfuls of chilled dough into balls the size of large walnuts.
Dip the tops in granulated sugar. Place the cookies, sugar side up on a lightly greased or parchment paper covered cookie sheet, 3 inches apart.
Bake 10 minutes or just until set but not hard.
Cool on wire rack.

Makes 4 dozen.

Or bake some and share with friends and family.

~ Sue