Easy Lemon Strawberry Trifle
This Easy Lemon Strawberry Trifle is quick to put together with layers of homemade lemon filling, fresh strawberries, mascarpone whipped cream and angel food cake! Such a light dessert that’s perfect for potlucks and parties all summer long!
Trifles are easily one of the greatest dessert inventions. When you need a quick dessert to put together, a trifle is definitely a go-to. You can also add so many great flavors with all the layers and it’s easy to serve – what isn’t to love? I have plenty of delicious trifles to choose from too, including this Triple Berry Trifle and Strawberry Shortcake Trifle.
Lemon Strawberry Trifle
Today we’re taking trifles to the next level and adding lemon flavor in with all our strawberries! Such a delicious flavor combination that just screams summer. And when you combine those flavors with mascarpone whipped cream (which I’m a little obsessed with) and angel food cake, you’ve got a light dessert thats delicious and easy to put together. Winner, winner.
The inspiration for this trifle actually came while making my No Bake Lemon Cheesecake. It took a little bit of testing before I got the filling to be as firm as I wanted it. One of my trials of the filling that didn’t end up firm enough got denied for the cheesecake filling, but ended up being the perfect consistency for a trifle. And since I hate wasting things, this trifle was born! So the lesson here is if you ever have a no bake cheesecake fail, make a trifle! 😉
How to make a Lemon Strawberry Trifle
To get started with this trifle, you’ll make the lemon filling. We’ll start with the lemon juice and zest, which gets combined with some sweetened condensed milk. When combined, the acid in lemon juice basically “spoils” the milk and thickens it. That allows us to add plenty of great lemon flavor to the filling without having it be too thin.
Next up is the mascarpone whipped cream. Let the mascarpone sit on the counter for roughly 15-20 minutes before using it. You want it to soften a bit, but not get too warm. When mascarpone gets too warm, it thins out too much and doesn’t do a great job of thickening back up. So when it’s ready, add the mascarpone cheese to your mixer bowl and beat it just until it’s smooth. Over mixing mascarpone can also cause problems.
Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to the mascarpone cheese and whip on high speed until it forms medium to stiff peaks. It won’t take long, so don’t walk away and leave it.
To layer everything together, start with a layer of angel food cake on the bottom, then add about half of the lemon filling. Add a layer of strawberries, then a layer of mascarpone whipped cream. You’ll repeat the layers one more time, but for the mascarpone whipped cream I piped it on top rather than just spreading in an even layer. You could really do it either way.
The final touch is a few strawberries and lemon slices for decorating and you’re all done!
Make Ahead Trifle
This trifle is perfect for making ahead! The filling and whipped cream are completely stable and will do well in the fridge for several days. With the fresh strawberries though, I’d suggest making this the night before serving for it to be best. And I always like to add the final fruit decorations shortly before serving, so that they don’t dry out.
I hope you love this trifle as much as we did! The flavors are amazing and it’ll be great for summer – or even for Easter later this weekend, if you need a last minute dessert idea!
More great trifle recipes
Easy Lemon Strawberry Trifle
This Easy Lemon Strawberry Trifle is quick and easy to put together with layers of homemade lemon filling, fresh strawberries, mascarpone whipped cream and angel food cake!
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 6 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (2–3 lemons)
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 16 oz (452g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (29g) sour cream
- 1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
- Yellow gel icing color, optional
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese*
- 1 1/4 cups (300ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lb strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced*
- 15 oz angel food cake
1. In a medium sized measuring cup, combine the sweetened condensed milk with the lemon juice and lemon zest. Set aside.
2. In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until well combined and smooth.
3. Add the sour cream and mix until well combined and smooth.
4. Add the lemon juice mixture and mix until well combined and smooth. Set mixture aside.
5. In another large mixer bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar for the filling. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
6. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture in two parts until well combined.
7. Add a little yellow gel icing color and gently fold to combine, if desired. Set aside.
8. To make the whipped cream, add the mascarpone cheese to a mixer bowl and beat just until to starts to smooth out. Don’t over beat it or it’ll thin out too much.
9. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to be sure the mascarpone cheese was all incorporated.
10. To layer the trifle, add a layer of angel food cake chunks, then add about half of the lemon filling.
11. Next, add about half of the strawberries in an even layer, then about half of the mascarpone cheese.
12. Add one more layer of angel food cake (you might not need the entire cake) and the other half of the lemon filling.
13. Top the trifle with the remainder of the sliced strawberries, then pipe the remainder of the whipped cream on top.
14. If using, add a few sliced strawberries to the top of the trifle and a few lemon slice halves.
1. I recommend set out the mascarpone cheese about 15-20 minutes before you are ready to use it. You want to take the chill off, but not get too warm. When mascarpone cheese gets too warm, it can get too soft and it doesn’t firm back up well.
2. I like to reserve a few strawberries to use on top of the trifle. If you want to decorate it similar to how I did, I’d suggest keeping about 4-5 strawberries aside to cut in half later. If your package of berries is full of large berries and that removes about half of your package, you might want another one to make sure you have enough.
Keywords: lemon strawberry trifle