Sheet Pan Trifle

This trifle is impressive for so many reasons, starting with how easy it is. You just bake our basic sheet pan cake and then cut out the rounds to layer; the scraps become your crumble topping. Once assembled, you can see each distinctive layer of lemon pudding, whipped cream, cake and bold-colored berries. The berries also release a sweet liquid as they sit in the lemon-sugar mixture that soaks into the cake and brings the whole thing together in one bright and creamy, tart-sweet dessert.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Cake:

Nonstick baking spray, for the baking sheet

4 large eggs, cold (see Cook's Note) 

1 cup sugar  

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1 teaspoon kosher salt  

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature  

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract  

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (see Cook's Note)  

Assembly:

2 cups blackberries

2 cups blueberries 

2 cups raspberries  

2 cups strawberries, trimmed and quartered   

2 tablespoons sugar  

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 lemon) 

4 cups prepared instant lemon pudding  

2 cups whipped cream  

Directions

Special equipment:
a 4-quart round trifle dish
  1. For the cake: Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat an 18-by-13-inch sheet pan with nonstick baking spray. Line the bottom with parchment. Set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs, sugar, baking powder and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until the mixture is pale and very thick (enough to hold a wake from whisk), about 10 minutes (see Cook's Note). Reduce the speed to medium-high and drizzle in the butter and vanilla until just combined, about 10 seconds. Reduce the speed to low and add the sifted flour all at once. Beat until just combined, about 5 seconds. Gently fold the batter once or twice using a rubber spatula, then scrape it into the prepared sheet pan. Spread it evenly with the spatula, using broad, gentle strokes to keep the batter airy.  
  3. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the top is lightly golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool in the sheet pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely. 
  4. For the assembly: Combine the blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries with the sugar and lemon zest and juice in a large bowl and lightly toss with a spoon to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the berries to release some juice. 
  5. Use a sharp paring knife to cut out 2 rounds and 2 half-rounds from the sheet cake, using the top of the trifle dish as a guide. The 2 half-circles can be combined to create 1 whole circle. This gives you 3 layers of cake. Reserve all the cake scraps.  
  6. Spread about 1 1/3 cups of the lemon pudding in the bottom of a 4-quart round trifle dish, then top with a cake round, about 2 cups of berries (including some of the juices) and about 1/2 cup of the whipped cream. Repeat the layers 2 more times. Pile the remaining berries on top in the center and spread the remaining whipped cream around the edges. Crumble there rerved scraps of cake with your fingers and sprinkle over the whipped cream.  
  7. Keep cold in the refrigerator until ready to serve, up to 12 hours.  

Cook’s Note

The eggs should be very cold; preferably keep them in the refrigerator until they are ready to be whisked. Cold eggs help minimize the risk of over-whipping and ensure that the cake is airy yet stable. Make sure to beat the egg mixture the full 10 minutes. Aerating the eggs until they are foamy and hold their shape helps leaven this cake and gives it structure. When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measurement cup and level off excess. Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.