Syllabub Trifle

Syllabub Trifle


A true summer trifle – one that is so simple but so light and delicious. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and redcurrants sit on a sponge base and are topped with a wine syllabub.

The syllabub originated in 16th century England. It was a drink of milk or cream curdled with a little wine or cider, sweetened and flavoured. In modern recipes a dessert syllabub is a thick or heavy cream curdled with wine or sherry, sweetened and flavoured, usually with lemon. It is whipped until thick and foamy.


Syllabub Trifle
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 5 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 340g (12 oz) a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and redcurrants (2 cups)
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster/white sugar (1½ tbsp)
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) dry white wine (¼ cup)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sponge cases
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup + 1 tsp)
  • 142 ml carton double/whipping cream (⅔ cup)

  • Equipment
  • 4 × squat glass tumblers or similar pretty glasses

  1. Method
  2. Wash and pat dry the fruit. Hull and slice the strawberries and strip the redcurrants from their stalks. Place all the fruit in a bowl and sprinkle over 40g (1½ oz) sugar. Toss to coat the fruit and set to one side for 2 hours to draw out the juices.

  3. Measure the wine into a small bowl. Pare a couple of slices of rind from the lemon, cut them in half and add to the wine, making sure they are covered. Put to one side for 2 hours.

  4. After the 2 hours, cut the sponge cases to fit the base of the four glasses. Divide the fruit and their juices between the four glasses, spooning over the sponge base.

  5. Remove the lemon rind from the wine. Squeeze one and half tablespoons of juice from the lemon and add to the wine, along with the remaining sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

  6. Pour the cream into a large bowl and stir in the wine mixture. Whisk until it is thick and frothy to form a syllabub. Because the wine dilutes the cream, it will take longer than usual to thicken but it will become thick and frothy. Spoon this equally over the fruit and swirl the top. Chill for 3 hours.

  7. Serve.