For us in this hemisphere, it is difficult for us to imagine Christmas in the Summer. But in South Africa December marks the beginning of the summer season. This traditional South African dessert, called the Summer Christmas Trifle is one of the favourites during this festive season.

Christmas Trifle.jpg

Trifle is a dessert typically consisting of plain or sponge cake soaked in sherry, rum, or brandy and topped with layers of jam or jelly, custard and whipped cream. In South Africa it is typically enjoyed over the Christmas season but is also a great anytime treat. We love this delicious recipe.


  • 1 large jam Swiss Roll | trifle sponge cake 
  • 75ml sweet or medium sherry | rum | brandy | liquor
  • any type of fruit, peeled and sliced (banana is a great choice)
  • home-made custard 
  • chopped nuts
  • whipped cream
  • flake | grated chocolate


  1. Make the jelly and allow to set.
  2. Make custard and allow to cool.
  3. Slice the Swiss Roll or sponge cake and place at the bottom of a glass bowl (round and deep is normally the best).
  4. Moisten with alcohol.
  5. Chop up the jelly and cover cake.
  6. Add fruit and then custard.
  7. Sprinkle nuts on top.
  8. Cover with whipped cream.
  9. Decorate with the flake, nuts or grated chocolate.
  10. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Courtesy Amanda Agulhas