September 12, 2009

a misnomer

A trifle is defined as an article or thing of very little value. I'd like to know who decided to apply that name to the elegant and tasty dessert that we all know and love--it's just wildly inappropriate.


Here's another thing about a trifle--while it's gorgeous in its untouched state, all perfectly-layered and colorful, it loses a bit of its luster once you spoon some out. That's not to say that its appearance has anything to do with its deliciousness, because it doesn't. Sometimes the messiest stuff is the most scrum-diddly-umptious, am I right?



The variations of the trifle are endless--you can change up the type of cake, the fruit filling, the pudding mix, the nuts, or all of the above. Three cheers for versatility!

Not-So-Trifling Trifle
1 box white cake mix, along with any ingredients required to make it
1 (5.1 oz) package vanilla instant pudding, along with the ingredients required to make it
1 (12 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup toasted coconut

Prepare the cake according to package directions for a 13x9-inch pan and cool completely. Prepare the pudding according to package directions. Gently fold in the Cool Whip.
To assemble the trifle, crumble a third of the cooled cake into the bottom of a serving bowl. Spread on a third of the pudding mixture, half of the pineapple, half the can of pie filling, and a third of the nuts. Repeat the layers. Top with the remainder of the cake and pudding, and sprinkle the coconut and the rest of the almonds on top.
Cover and refrigerate--it's much more tasty the next day, and even better after that. However, if you want your coconut and the almonds on top to be crunchy, add them just before serving.

66 comments:

oneordinaryday said...

Trifles are so pretty in their beautiful glass bowls. I've never had any luck keeping them looking that good once the spoon hits them though. Oh well. Looks aren't everything anyway. And this one sounds like it tasted great.
~Michelle

Donna-FFW said...

Trifles are one of my go to desserts for a crowd. Love the versatility, and the presentation. Love the combination you chose here .. sounds delicious!

maybelle's mom said...

I have always thought that about the name trifle. I love the use of pineapple. yum.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oh yes nothing like a trifle which bares it all in a see through glass dish! I must taste this Cool Whip stuff-I keep eharing about it on Family Guy (where Stewie emphasises the h in Whip) and I feel left out! lol

Lindsey said...

Trifle is so easy and delicious...and you get to break out the trifle bowl for it!

Bellini Valli said...

I never really thought of it that way related to the name...very clever...It also means "to play or toy with something" and "to waste" as in time or money which seem to fit the concept. You are definitely right that it is a dessert to be remembered!!!!!

shaz said...

That's a trifle cute. I'll eat cherry anytime. (We always had jelly(jell-o) in our trifles - strawberry though, not cherry)

kat said...

They always are so pretty. do you remember the friends episode where rachel made one & layered in mash potatoes & gravy?

Dawn said...

the reason coconut & pineapple go so well together is because of: A) trifle and B) pina colada.

muffinsareuglycupcakes said...

i second that on the messy stuff and deliciousness!
sounds awesome.
got to LOOOOVVVEEE trifles!

lisa said...

I never thought about that before, but you are quite right. That name is completely wrong for this pretty dessert!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love trifle! Your version looks delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

pigpigscorner said...

Love the layers of trifle but a bit too creamy for me. Love the pineapples and coconut!

Hungry Dog said...

I love trifle, but I agree, once you dig in, it starts to look a little beat up. But it still tastes good!

Danielle said...

how come I've never had or made this? whats WRONG with me!! LOL...looks wonderful and versatile-ness is awesome :)

Sophie said...

This looks so fun! I love saying trifle... and eating them too, of course :)!

Amy said...

Looks yum Grace! A favorite trifle in our house is chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, Cool whip, and crushed Heath bars! You'll have to try it!:~)

Kate said...

Oh wow, Grace. . .this sounds so good. I love cherries and I love trifles....thank you for sharing this recipe!

Cheryl said...

Wow, I have never made one of these, but I am going to now!

Gloria said...

This triffle look nice Grace, love the colour and thank you for sharing the recipe, xgloria

Abby said...

I've only ever made chocolate trifle(s)? I love the pink in yours!

Daniel B. said...

Triffles are really crowd pleasers. I am still sore that I lost a bake-off to a triffle.

It was clearly an inferior dish... but it was a triffle. No cookie, regardless how good, could compete.

Helene said...

What a beautiful triffle. So popular in big parties.

Jennifer said...

I love trifles, the simpicity, elegance and the way the flavours all swim together! yours is gorgeous!!!

Barbara said...

You're exactly right...trifles look lovely until you spoon into them. But then they TASTE lovely. Who cares how they look after that first mouthful? I've never made one with cool whip. Hmmmmm. I'll have to think about that one.

Cucinista said...

Don't trifle with the trifle, I say! Yours looks lovely -- I'm digging the pink and white creamy lusciousness.

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Looks wonderful. I've never made one but I can see now that I need to.

noble pig said...

The trifle is the best invention ever...I like mine with brownies!

WizzyTheStick said...

Who doesn't love trifle? Yummy or as you rightly said scrum-diddly-umptious (you should trademark that word - too cute) While I do love trifle I must confess to an aversion to Cool whip - cream for me please:-)

Ms Whit said...

This trifle looks absolutely devine. I can't wait to make it. My husband will adore it. Thanks and have a wonderful day

Southern Grace Gourmet said...

I love trifles! and this combo is terrific! delicious!

Baking Monster said...

Thank you Grace for posting this recipe. I have been made a trifle before and I think this is a good recipe to start with it looks really tasty.

Palidor said...

Heh, that's quite true. It's not a very good name for such a tasty dessert. Looks wonderful!

MaryBeth said...

OMG Girl...this is like heaven in a dish....

Hornsfan said...

Beautiful or not the flavor is what matters and that looks like a trifle not to be trifled with!

Ingrid said...

Amen!
~ingrid

haleysuzanne said...

Now, that right there is a TRIFLE. A serious, serious trifle of major importance and flavor. I love your inclusion of the nuts. My family typically served them up with strawberries, strawberry goo, angel food cake, and tons of Cool Whip. And now I am jonesing for trifle of any kind.

Amanda @ Mrs.W's Kitchen said...

Pretty, pretty! J'adore trifle!

Maria said...

Perfect to serve to a crowd!

5 Star Foodie said...

This trifle sounds just heavenly! I love the cherry, almonds & pineapple here, yum!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oh, I love, love, love trifle! This picture looks like I could just dive into the deliciousness.

Lisa said...

Oh, I think my aunt would have liked this! It looks very pretty and reminds me of home. I grew up with so much cool whip...

foodhoe said...

.. and it sounds so good for you with nuts and fruits! I would love a big bowl of that delicious fluff right now.

Pam said...

I've still never made a trifle...this recipe is calling my name. What a fantastic combination of flavors!!

Albany Jane said...

Delightfully refreshing. I'd say I'll make it, but I've had a trifle dish kicking around for months that has currently been put in the attic for storage... eh, one of these days ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

I have a trifle dish, but have never made a trifle. I shall remedy that.

Lynda said...

I hadn't ever thought about the name, but you're right, Grace...it just isn't fitting for such a wonderful dessert! Your trifle looks superb and the taste is what matters most here.Yum!

Vera said...

Grace, you are so right! The appearance has nothing to do with trifle's deliciousness. It's one of my favorite desserts!

Katie said...

I love trifles! You can take any ingredients you like and make a great one!

Jaime said...

mmmm you are making me crave one right now!!!!!

Chef Fresco said...

Haha that is so true - but they sure do taste delicious, despite their appearance!

Velva said...

Trifles are beautiful desserts. The white cake with the cherry pie filling woven through looks beautiful. This recipe is simple but presents elegantly

Lori said...

Gooey can be super delicious. So funny, My brief living arrangement in SC really introduced me to a Southerners love for trifle and frankly I can see why. Creamy, delicious- how can you go wrong. I make a pumpkin one for Thanksgiving every year. Dah-licious!

unconfidentialcook said...

This looks like a good one, and pretty easy. I have one on my site that's triple chocolate (from the NYT) that I love!

Rebeca @All Vegged Out said...

I love trifles... esp since you can make them for one and control the portion (or not lol)

Emily said...

I love trifle! I could eat a whole dish of this.

Teanna said...

This is definitely not a trifling dessert! It is gorgeous! Great job!

Bridgett said...

I always love how easy trifle is to make and yet it yields such delicious results. Your last photo makes this look mouthwatering.

Robin Sue said...

Super simple, pretty, and delicious- what more could ya want. Great recipe Grace!

Elra said...

Sounds delicious, and pretty manageable to make.
Cheers,
elra

Jessica said...

Looks delicious! Yum!

Chef Jeena said...

Utterly delicious Grace, I love the 'peek a boo'! :-)

Laura said...

You are so right--the minute you scoop elegant becomes rustic.

Nicisme said...

Like you need another person to tell you how wonderful this is!

Shelly W said...

Trifles are such a wonderful dessert, and yours looks great! I love playing around with the ingredients.

Jacque said...

Oh my... pudding? cherries? pineapple and coolwhip? YUM! I think the cake is the perfect vehicle to deliver all of that yummyness.

Your trifle is inspiring!

I have to tell you, by coincidence, I made my first trifle this week. But it was not intentionally, it tarted as a layer cake that went horribly bad. But the cool thing about trifle is it takes the worst of the worst and makes it look like you meant for it to be that way.

Hurray for trifle! Yours looks awesome.