Trifle Desserts We Love For Christmas

Three Days Ahead: Cherry-Spice Cake Trifle
Photo: Photo: Helen Norman

No holiday spread is complete without at least one dessert on the table, and in the South that dish is likely a trifle. They've been a Southern staple for as long as we can remember and are a great way to use up leftover cake or fruit that is especially in abundance around the holidays. One of the best things about trifles is how quickly you can create a delicious and picture-worthy dessert display—thanks in part to the iconic glass dishes in which they are assembled. With the primary base components consisting of cake, custard, and fruit layers, there is plenty of room for creativity when it comes to flavors, toppings, and composition. From a classic Brownie Trifle to a festive Ambrosia Trifle, these impressive (and impressively easy!) treats are ready for any celebration. Serve up a bowlful of cheer with one of our delicious and decadent holiday trifle recipes that are sure to be the start of the show.

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Chocolate Trifle

Chocolate Trifle Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Chocolate Trifle

Don't be intimidated by this decadent dessert; even the novice baker can pull it off. With its rich flavors and elegant presentation, your guests will have no idea you didn't labor over the pudding and brownies all day. Kahlua adds a fresh flavor to a traditional chocolate trifle; however, if you prefer, 4 tablespoons of strong brewed coffee and 1 teaspoon of sugar may be substituted.

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Cherry-Spice Cake Trifle

Cherry-Spice Cake Trifle
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Cherry-Spice Cake Trifle

While we love the homemade custard and spice cake in this recipe, you can save time by opting for a vanilla custard mix and boxed spice cake mix instead.

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Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle

Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle

This one is shockingly easy: You can make it in just 30 minutes and up to four days before your guests arrive.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle

Hot Chocolate Trifle
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle

Our traditional chocolate trifle just got an upgrade. Just like a cup of hot cocoa, we're layering in marshmallow topping. Complete this dessert by sprinkling delicate chocolate curls on top.

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Ambrosia Trifle

Ambrosia Trifle
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Giulietta Pinna; Food Styling: Ali Ramee

Recipe: Ambrosia Trifle

We'd be remiss not to include ambrosia, a classic Southern holiday dish. And the best part—it looks very impressive but is a cinch to come together.

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Red Velvet-Raspberry Tiramisù Trifle

Red Velvet-Raspberry Tiramisu Trifle
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Red Velvet-Raspberry Tiramisu Trifle

Easily dress up this red velvet dessert by creating snowflakes with royal icing. Simply draw the desired shapes on wax paper with icing and let them dry.

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Tipsy Parson

Tipsy Parson Dessert
Joy Howard

Recipe: Tipsy Parson

Skip the hassle of assembling the picture-perfect dessert (and serving it) by treating your guests to their own mini trifles. This Southern dish still uses all the traditional components of a large trifle, just individually portioned.

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Old-Fashioned Trifle

Old-Fashioned Trifle
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Trifle

We're talking the boozy kind of old-fashioned here. We turned a classic cocktail into a fun dessert that is made for the holidays.

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Banana Pudding Trifle

Banana Pudding Trifle

Recipe: Banana Pudding Trifle

You can never grow wrong with banana pudding, so we brought two classic Southern desserts together to create one easy, crowd-pleasing recipe.

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Butterscotch-Spice Trifle

Butterscotch-Spice Trifle
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Butterscotch-Spice Trifle

This flavor-packed trifle brings together the rich flavors of butterscotch, winter spices, and vanilla for a show-stopping dessert that is as delicious as it is pretty.

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Strawberry-Orange Trifle

Strawberry-Orange Trifle
Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

Recipe: Strawberry-Orange Trifle

Fresh strawberries and oranges give this trifle a light and refreshing flavor.

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Brownie Trifle

Groom's Chocolate Table: 1
William Dickey; Styling: Cari South

Recipe: Brownie Trifle

You're just five ingredients away from enjoying this beloved Southern dessert.

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Strawberry-Sugar Biscuit Trifle

Strawberry Sugar Biscuit Trifle
Southern Living

Recipe: Strawberry-Sugar Biscuit Trifle

This red and white dessert will add a festive touch to any holiday celebration. Garish with fresh mint leaves for a celebratory Christmassy treat.

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Turtle Trifle

Turtle Trifle
John O'Hagan; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey

Recipe: Turtle Trifle

Inspired by classic turtle candy, this dessert includes pecan pie, caramel, and chocolate fudge.

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Nutter Butter®-Banana Pudding Trifle

Nutter Butter-Banana Pudding Trifle
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Nutter Butter-Banana Pudding Trifle

We just took the standard banana pudding trifle to a whole new level by incorporating these nostalgic peanut butter sandwich cookies.

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