Thursday, May 23, 2013

Trifle Cupcakes

I have been seeing these trifle cupcakes everywhere the last few weeks.
They have been taunting me with all of their fruit and custard and whipping cream tastiness.
I decided to give them a try.
Want to know something?
Trifle. Is. Awesome.
I forgot just how awesome.
I haven't had trifle forever. I can remember my mom making a trifle waaaaay waaaay back when for a dessert after a family dinner. I wasn't impressed. After all, I was a teenager and a layered fancy schmancy dessert like trifle just wasn't going to do it. I mean - fruit - I don't think so.
(I was all about chocolate, ice cream, and more chocolate.)
Now that I am *ahem* more mature....trifle may just be my new best friend.
This is a little more time consuming than your average cupcake because of the many different layers BUT the end result is amazing.
Totally worth it.
Don't take my word for it...go, quick, hurry, and give it a try yourself!
Trifle Cupcakes
White Cake
5 egg whites
1 egg
1 cup milk (divided)
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into Tbsp size pieces
Fruit Layer
1 1/2 cup smashed fruit (I used strawberries and blueberries)
Vanilla Bean Custard
2 cups half & half
2 cups whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Jam Layer
1/4 cup strawberry jam
Whipping Cream
2 cups whipping cream
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
sprinkle of baking cocoa
White Cake: Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together egg whites, egg, 1/4 cup of the milk, and vanilla until combined - about 1 minute. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. While mixer is on low speed, add the cold butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Continue to mix until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Add remaining 3/4 cup milk and mix on low until dough forms.
Add egg mixture, a little at a time, until mixture is well combined. Scrape sides/bottom of bowl as necessary.
Scoop batter into each of the 24 paper liners.
Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 - 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool completely on wire racks.
Vanilla Bean Custard: Place half & half, whipping cream, and vanilla pod with scrapings into a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth and pale.
Pour the hot cream into the egg yolks VERY slowly, beating the whole time. (If you go to fast you will curdle your eggs!)
Once they are combined, return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over a medium-low heat to thicken. Stir constantly until the custard coats the back of a spoon. DO NOT bring to a boil! (If it looks like it is curdling, immediately remove it from the heat and whisk firmly)
Strain through a fine strainer into a medium bowl. Chill, stirring every once in a while, until completely cool.
Jam Layer: heat jam in a microwave safe bowl for about 20 - 30 seconds to thin out.
Whipping Cream: Beat together whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to use.
Assemble your cupcakes:Cut a cone shaped shape out of the center of each cupcake. Use a knife to widen the cone at the bottom. Keep the top of the cut-out cone to use as a lid.
Place a spoonful of smashed fruit into the bottom of the hole in the cupcake. Smash down a bit more with the back of a spoon.
Top the fruit with a Tbsp of the custard - enough so the custard fills the remaining space in the cupcake.
Replace the top of the cupcake on the custard. Using a basting or pastry brush, brush the warm, melted jam onto the top of the cupcakes.
Top with a generous spoonful of whipping cream.
Sprinkle with a little cocoa to decorate.
So...yeah...I now have a trifle addiction.
Anyway, I have a few notes on this --
1. If, for some reason, your custard did not thicken up you can save it by beating in a package of instant vanilla pudding powder. It won't affect the flavor that much and it will definitely thicken up a runny custard.
2. You can use whichever fruit you like. Just remember to smash it up really good and use the matching fruit flavored jam to brush on top.
3. Don't want to make a "from scratch" cake? Use a vanilla cake mix.
4. You can sprinkle these with some chocolate curls if you don't want to use cocoa, or leave it off entirely.
5. You are going to have some custard left over. You can either half the recipe OR use the leftovers in another recipe (like pie...mmmm...pie...). know...just eat it.
Be sure to visit Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons and My Turn (for us) and Easy Life and Or So She Says for some fantastic links.


  1. Oh YUM!!! These look incredible and are so pretty! This would be great to link-up to my Create It Thursday's live now!

  2. These are just beautiful plus the combination of fruits, custard and whipping cream sound incredibly good. Can't wait to try these out!

  3. Wow, so many delicious layers,this must be really delicious. I've featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don't mind, but if you do, please contact me and I'll remove it. All the best.

  4. They look very nice - I wonder where you got the inspiration for these?

    1. Thank you Stuart. I had been seeing different variations of trifle cupcakes all over Pinterest and the web and decided to try out my own version. There are so many different options for trifle (and trifle cupcakes) one could have a lot of fun trying out so many different combinations of flavors!