Peach Shortcake Trifle

This showstopping trifle is the ultimate peach dessert. With its layers of juicy peaches, mascarpone whipped cream, and tender vanilla cake, this trifle can be served immediately or prepared a day ahead – the tender cake deliciously absorbs some of the sweetened peach syrup. We love the convenience of make-ahead desserts and you can even bake and freeze the cake layer until you are ready to assemble the trifle. Simply wait for it to completely cook after baking, then wrap in plastic wrap and again in aluminum foil, and freeze. Mascarpone, a thick, rich Italian cheese made from cow's milk, gives the whipped cream a slight tang and extra-smooth texture. Look for it in the supermarket's deli or dairy section or substitute the same amount of softened full-fat cream cheese. Be sure not to over-whisk the mascarpone because it curdles easily. You just want to incorporate the sugar and vanilla to loosen it a bit before folding in the whipped cream.

Peach Shortcake Trifle
Photo: Pam Lolley; Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
30 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 35 mins
12 serves


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened, plus more for greasing pan

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 large eggs, separated

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/8 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

  • 8 cups sliced ripe peaches (about 2 1/2 lb.)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

  • 2 (8-oz.) containers mascarpone cheese

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract.

  3. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Spoon batter into 1 greased (with butter) and floured 9-inch square baking pan.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan, and cool completely on wire rack, about 1 hour.

  5. Stir together peaches and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir in mint.

  6. Gently whisk together mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla in a large bowl. Beat heavy cream with a heavy-duty stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.

  7. To assemble trifle: Cut cooled cake into 1-inch cubes. Layer one-third of the cake cubes in bottom of a 4-quart trifle dish. Top with one-third each of peach slices with juice and whipped cream mixture. Repeat layers twice. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 24 hours.

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