Sometimes, you have some leftover cake; sometimes, the cake you cooked failed. But in either case, if you have some cake, and want to make a nice dessert, think about a trifle. And of course, you could always just cook a cake planning to make it into a trifle.
I was first introduced to trifles when we were making a birthday cake for Jeff. It was an angel food cake, and for some reason, it didn’t cook right and we had what I thought was a mess, and time to start over. But Marlys said NO. She proceeded to cut the cake up into pieces and make a trifle from cake, whipped cream, and strawberries.
More recently, I have been experimenting with making Ding Dongs. After cutting out the cake circles, there is a lot of cake left over. So I decided to make a trifle. It is chocolate cake, vanilla pudding, strawberries and whip cream.
Basic Trifle Recipe
- 1 pre-made cake
- 2 packages of instant pudding (3.4 oz each)
- 2 lbs fresh fruit or thawed frozen fruit
- 3/4 cup whipped cream (see Creme Chantilly)
- 1/3 cup liquid (sherry wine or fruit juice or water)
- Prepare the pudding according to its directions.
- Mix the drained, prepared fruit with the liquid. Save a few pieces as garnish
- Cut the cake into cubes about 1 inch on a side.
- Place half the cake in the bottom of the trifle bowl.
- Drain and layer half the fruit on top of the cake layer.
- Top with half of the pudding mixture.
- Repeat layering with the rest of the cake, fruit, and pudding
- Top with the whipped cream, and garnish with the saved fruit.
- Chill well before serving
There are lots of combinations of cake flavors, pudding flavors and fruit that go together well. I have already mentioned angel food cake and strawberries; in that case, Marlys used more whipped cream for the pudding layer. And this trifle is chocolate cake, vanilla pudding and strawberries. Other ideas:
- Angel Food cake, mixed pineapple, mangoes, papaya, vanilla or lemon pudding and maybe shredded coconut as a garnish.
- Spice cake, apple pie filling and custard.
- white or chocolate cake, sliced bananas, vanilla or custard.
I am certain there are some cake and pudding flavors that would go well with blueberries; if you have a suggestion, please send a reply to this posting so others can see it.
This salad seems like a rich kin to the Dump Salad; it has a wider variety of textures and flavors, but is still based on cottage cheese and Cool Whip. And of course, you have to work harder to get all the ingredients mixed together. There is even some chopping to do.
- 4 oz Coolwhip
- 16 oz. cottage cheese, small curd
- 16 oz. canned fruit cocktail, drained
- 3.5 oz. pistachio instant pudding, dry
- 1 cup coconut
- 1/4 package miniature marshmallows
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Mix together in the order listed. Chill well before serving.
Luckily, Pistachio Jello is one of the flavors that still is in favor, and you should have no problem finding it.
The coconut I use is the Angel Flakes; I have it available for other recipes I cook. I am not certain why the salad has to be mixed in the order the ingredients are given, but it does stiffen up substantially by the time you add the coconut.
Dump Salad is really a framework in which several different tasting salads can be made. These salads are based on cottage cheese and Cool Whip. There are only two more ingredients; a jello flavor, and a fruit to go with the jello. Once you have the ingredients, they mix up in just a matter of minutes, and then go into the refrigerator to cool.
I have made three versions of the Dump Salad, and so the pictures below will reflect those three choices of flavor that I made. The recipe comes from Marlys’s Step Mother. And I do have some suggestions following the recipe.
I think that if you are going with Dump Salad on your menu, then you might need to plan on another dish. If you are having hamburgers on buns with all the fixings, then you probably have enough flavors and textures in your menu. But if you are cooking steaks, I would also plan on a vegetable in your menu- maybe a baked potato with the fixings, or asparagus, beans, peas, sliced tomatoes or even succotash – something to add a different flavor and texture.
Margaret W. McBryde 1976
- 3 1/2 oz. package jello, dry (see flavor in table below).
- 16 oz. cottage cheese, small curd
- 4 oz. Coolwhip
- 8 to 10 oz. drained canned fruit (see type in table below).
Mix ingredients together, chill well before serving.
I have discovered that Jello is no longer available in all the flavors it once was. For that reason, I suggest that you NOT lock in a flavor for your menu until after you have shopped. For example, I could not find peach Jello in any of the three stores where I looked, and I found the strawberry Jello only in the third store. Today’s tastes seem to include the lime and orange flavors; there are also a lot of new flavors such as mango. It would be interesting to hear back from someone who is brave and tries to make a new combination of Jello flavor and fruit.
The three combinations I have made and are shown here are Strawberry with frozen strawberries, Orange with mandarin oranges and Lime with pears. I bought the mandarin oranges and pears in those little 4 ounce serving packages, and used 3 packages each for the salads. I cheated and did not stir all of the fruit into the salad, but saved a few pieces out to put on top of the salad; I think that gives the salad a nicer look to show what is hidden below the surface.