Mulled Berry Trifle

Every Christmas, my Mother would make a trifle to offer as an alternative to plum pudding on Christmas day. This trifle recipe may not be traditional but has become a real favourite in our house. Welcoming winter scents fill the kitchen as the berries are being mulled, ones so pungent that I’m often tempted to bypass the trifle idea and pour it straight into a tumbler as a rather fruity hot toddy. The alcohol will naturally be burnt off in the simmering of the wine but for a more child-friendly version, apple juice would substitute the wine nicely, with a little less sugar added to the liquid. To keep some kind of tradition a little madeira cake is a must for my trifles. As much as I love cream, and generously add significant amounts of it to dishes, here I am choosing a healthier alternative. No need for apologies as this creamy yogurt topping of thick Greek yogurt, icing sugar and vanilla, makes a viable substitute. Finally, a generous sprinkling of grated white chocolate completes the layering process for a decedent and irresistibly delicious trifle.

Mulled Berry Trifle

Mulled Berries:
150g (6oz) caster sugar
300ml (11fl oz) red wine
1 tsp vanilla extract or reserved pod from creamy topping
½ tsp mixed spice
½ stick of cinnamon
600g berries of choice, fresh or frozen

Creamy Topping:
750g Greek yogurt
½ vanilla pod, seeds only
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g icing sugar, sieved

200g Madeira cake, homemade or shop-bought, sliced

To Serve:
50g white chocolate, grated
Fresh raspberries


  1. To prepare the fruit, place the sugar in a heavy-based pan with the red wine, vanilla extract, cinnamon stick and pinch/grate of nutmeg.
  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened and syrup-like.
  3. Stir in the fruit and then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. To make the creamy topping, in a bowl combine the Greek yogurt, vanilla seeds & extract and icing sugar. Taste and add more icing sugar if necessary.
  5. To assemble the trifle, place the slices of Madeira cake at the bottom of four individual glasses or one large bowl pour in the mulled berry mixture. Add the creamy topping and if not serving immediately the trifles can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
  6. Before serving sprinkle generously with the grated white chocolate and scatter over a few fresh raspberries.