This easy Christmas trifle recipe makes a Christmas themed chocolate trifle with a taste of the tropics – layers of rum-soaked chocolate brownies, lychee jelly, fresh dragon fruit, fluffy pandan pudding, crunchy chocolate biscuit, and whipped cream. While they may look elegant presented in individual glasses, these are the easiest Christmas trifles you’ll make.
If you enjoyed my tropical trifle recipe, then you should also like my easy Christmas trifle recipe, which makes one of the easiest trifle recipes you’ll ever make. If you’re new to trifles, it also shows you how versatile these old-fashioned desserts can be and what a breeze they are to prepare.
For me, a Christmas trifle recipe involves chocolate, booze-soaked sponge, summer fruits, custard, and whipped cream, and it should be Christmas themed – red and green. As we live in Southeast Asia, my red and green mean red dragon fruit and pandan. Your red and green might mean strawberries and green jelly.
Before I tell you all about my this Christmas trifle recipe, I have a favour to ask.
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Now let me tell you all about my easy Christmas trifle recipe.
Easy Christmas Trifle Recipe with Chocolate Brownies, Dragon Fruit Jelly and Fluffy Pandan Pudding
This Christmas trifle recipe is very versatile – and elements can be substituted – and it’s such a cinch to make that it’s probably the easiest Christmas trifle recipe you’ll ever make. Make it once and you’ll never look at the recipe again.
As a child, a traditional Christmas trifle recipe made what I’d now consider a retro trifle – the kind of trifle my Australian grandmother made.
A country girl at heart, even after moving to the city, Nanna’s cooking was straight out of the Country Women’s Association cookbooks or her beloved Australian Women’s Weekly magazines, which she never threw away.
Nanna made everything from scratch, from her steamed Christmas puddings to the gravy for her roasts, and all the elements of her Christmas trifle, from the sponge cake to the custard.
Terence and I usually prefer to make everything from scratch too. As regular readers know, we pound our spice pastes in a mortar and pestle, and will always recommend a mortar and pestle over a blender.
So it might seem strange that I’m suggesting store-bought custard or pudding and that you buy brownies or sponge cakes from a bakery or supermarket, but it’s Christmas, after all. We’ve survived almost two years of the pandemic and we all deserve a break.
Tips to Making this Christmas Trifle Recipe
I only have a few tips to making my Christmas trifle recipe super easy to make. Historically, traditional trifles only included 3-4 layers, but adding extra layers really doesn’t require much effort, just a few more minutes of your time.
Trifles can be made the night before you want to serve them to allow the flavours to meld together, but I think this particular trifle tastes best made the same day, so prepare the jelly and custard or pudding the night before and refrigerate overnight.
If you don’t want to use rum, use brandy or even a chocolate liqueur. If children are going to be tucking into your trifle, you may wish to replace the liquor with juice instead.
We’re in Cambodia, so products are limited. We can’t get store-bought custard, but can source a pudding that is light and fluffy, to which I add a little pandan flavouring for aroma and colour. For me, a Christmas theme means red and green.
The only jelly I can get that’s close to red is a pale pink lychee jelly to which I add a little red strawberry flavouring and then set the red dragon fruit in the top of the jelly. I could make jelly from scratch using gelatin, however, this is my easy trifle recipe.
We naturally use locally-grown tropical fruits. The only red fruit we have is red dragon fruit which, thankfully, we love. But you might wish to use strawberries or other red berries instead.
This Christmas trifle recipe is very versatile, so don’t hesitate to substitute sponges, fruits, jellies, custards or puddings, and cream. For instance, I often use Greek-style yoghurt instead of cream.
We’ve used Oreo biscuits to make the chocolate crumb layer as they’re hugely popular here in Cambodia. But feel free to use your favourite store-bought biscuit or bake your own chocolate biscuits, although that would probably defeat the whole purpose of this easy Christmas trifle recipe.
Easy Christmas Trifle Recipe
- 1 100 g packet jelly crystals
- 400 ml vanilla custard/pudding
- ½ tsp pandan flavouring
- 120 g chocolate brownies broken by hand into small pieces
- 177 ml Havana Club rum or another dark rum
- 400 g fresh red dragon fruit finely diced
- 125 g Oreo biscuits or other chocolate biscuits
- 400 ml thickened cream whipped, or creamy Greek-style yoghurt
- 1 tbsp chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp sprinkles
- The night before you plan to make the trifle, prepare the jelly following the directions on the packet and refrigerate, and prepare the vanilla custard or pudding if you’re not using store-bought, mixing in one teaspoon of pandan flavouring before refrigerating.
- The next morning, bake the chocolate brownies if not using store-bought brownies.
- With a mortar and pestle, pound the Oreos or other chocolate biscuits into a crumbly dirt-like texture.
- To assemble the trifle, evenly distribute the small pieces of the chocolate brownies between four glasses, and drizzle the rum over the brownies.
- Next, to each glass, spoon on a layer of broken jelly pieces, a layer of finely diced fresh red dragonfruit (or fresh strawberries or other berries), a layer of pandan custard/pudding, and a layer of chocolate biscuit crumbs.
- Refrigerate for a few hours, then just before serving, whip cream and pipe whipped cream on top of each glass, then sprinkle on chocolate chips and sprinkles.
Please do let us know if you make this easy Christmas trifle recipe as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.