Browse by:

Irish Whiskey Trifle Recipe

The Irish Trifle is one of the most traditional desserts in Ireland; why not try making it for St. Patrick's Day?

Irish Whiskey Trifle

Trifle is said to have a ‘powerful stronghold’ in Ireland, with every family having its favourite recipe that is, of course, better than anyone else’s. This version contains the usual Irish whiskey and sherry, but you could use fruit juice for soaking if you prefer a ‘non-tipsy’ version.


10 sponge fingers or 1 stale sponge cake
raspberry jam, for spreading
2 macaroons, lightly crushed
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Irish whiskey
125 ml / 4 fl oz sherry
300 ml / 10 fl oz double cream
.5 tbsp sugar
150 g / 5.5 oz raspberries
candied violets or miniature macaroons, to decorate


5 medium egg yolks, lightly beaten
50 g / 1.75 oz caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
125 ml / 4 fl oz full-fat milk
250 ml / 9 fl oz double cream
.5 tsp vanilla extract


First make the custard. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in the cornflour and mix to a smooth paste, then whisk in the milk.
Heat the cream in a heavy-based saucepan until just starting to simmer but not boiling. Gradually whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture, then return the mixture to the pan. Whisk constantly over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until thickened. Immediately pour into a jug and stir in the vanilla extract. Cover with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool completely.
Meanwhile, thickly spread half of the sponge fingers with raspberry jam. Place the remaining sponge fingers on top to make a sandwich. If using sponge cake, slice horizontally into two or three layers and spread with jam. Arrange in a single layer in the base of a deep serving dish. Sprinkle with the crushed macaroons and the lemon zest.
Combine the whiskey and sherry and pour over the sponge finger mixture. Leave to soak for 1 hour.
Spoon the cooled custard over the sponge finger mixture.
Whip the cream with the sugar until it holds stiff peaks. Spread over the custard, levelling with a palette knife. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 1 hour, or until ready to serve.
Arrange the raspberries on top and decorate with candied violets or miniature macaroons.



Make Ahead

Trifle can be made up to a day in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Other biscuits to use

You could use vanilla wafers, chocolate wafers or amaretti biscuits instead of sponge fingers.

Love the recipe? Get the book!

Stay Connected

Sorry if this seems a bit nosy. By law we have to ask for your date of birth to check that you are over 12 years old. If you’re 12 or under please ask a parent or guardian to do this bit for you. Thanks very much.

/ /