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Can You Freeze Trifle? – What To Do Instead

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A large bowl of beautifully layered and elegant-looking trifle is always a good idea. It’s impressive, yet easy to put together especially when you have most of the layers ready at hand. But what to do with the leftovers?

Can you freeze trifle? Trifle is not a good dessert to freeze. None of the layers of trifle will freeze and defrost well without suffering significant changes. The best way to store leftover trifle is to cover the bowl with a layer of cling wrap and keep it in the fridge. It will last for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Trifle is not a dessert to be frozen. Being made of layers of alcohol-soaked cake (or biscuits), custard, jelly, fruits, and whipped cream, it will suffer major changes in every layer if stored in the freezer.

Keep reading if you want to learn all about this easy yet impactful dessert and why you should never freeze it. 

Can You Store Trifle in the Freezer?

Unfortunately, trifle is one of those desserts that you are not recommended to freeze. While there are numerous variations of this dessert, none of them will keep well in the freezer.

There are a lot of different ingredients and textures in a trifle. Freezing and defrosting them will lead to texture changes and make the overall dessert too soggy and messy. 

Additionally, the different ingredients in trifle take different periods of time to defrost.

Thus, if you try to defrost frozen trifle in the fridge, you will notice how the lighter and thinner layers have completely thawed, while thicker layers, including the sponge, are still half-icy. 

Even if you don’t mind your trifle not looking as elegant after freezing, you should keep in mind that none of the layers in trifle freezes well.

Here are some of the problems that arise when you try to freeze trifle:

  • The sponge soaked in alcohol will be soggier than ever once defrosted. 
  • Custard doesn’t freeze well. It separates and changes the texture. While there is a way of restoring the texture of separated custard with milk, doing it is impossible when you have it layered in a cake. 
  • As for whipped cream, while heavy whipped cream is said to freeze well, it only does when frozen in smaller portions. Additionally, whipped cream is typically the top layer of trifle cakes. The peaks of whipped cream make the dessert higher and beautiful. There is no way you can freeze trifle without ruining the cream layer. 
  • While fruits freeze well, they release water when thawed. This will create a mess in your trifle cake. 

Lastly, you can’t freeze trifle in the glass bowl you assemble it in. Drinking glasses can’t be frozen either as glass in general is not recommended to be frozen as it may crack. 

When freezing food, you should keep it in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn. You can’t transfer trifle into a plastic container as it will defeat the purpose of the desert and won’t improve the poor results either. 

Can You Freeze Jelly Trifle?

Jelly is not the best ingredient to be frozen either. It may turn to pure liquid once defrosted. Additionally, if you have a thick layer of jelly, it will take hours to defrost in the fridge. So, freezing a jelly trifle is not recommended. 

What Is the Best Way to Store Trifle?

The best way to store trifle is in the fridge. 

Cover the trifle bowl with a layer of plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. The trifle will keep well for 2 to 3 days.

You may eat it on the fourth day too but the biscuits will be too mushy as they will soak up all the liquids and cream as they sit in the fridge. Chopped fruits and berries won’t remain in their best condition after a few days either. 

Thus, store your leftover trifle in the fridge and eat it as soon as you can to be able to indulge in it while it still tastes fresh and has maintained all the different textures. 

How Far in Advance Can You Make Trifle?

If you have a fun gathering and want to have a beautifully assembled trifle without having to hustle on that day, you can make it up to 2 days ahead. However, don’t top it off with whipped cream in advance as it will drop while the trifle sits in the fridge. 

The best and the easiest part about trifles is that you can have all layers prepared in advance and it will take you minutes to assemble it on the day of the gathering.

Storing Trifle in a ‘Deconstructed’ Way

Storing trifle in a ‘deconstructed’ way is much easier. Preparing all layers of your trifle separately beforehand rather than making it a few days in advance is certainly more recommendable as your layered cake will look fresh and neat. 

You can make jelly around 10 days in advance and keep in an airtight container until you decide to use it.

Using pre-made jelly for trifle will be different from using a freshly made one. The latter is poured over a layer in trifle which is then transferred into the freezer to set. However, this is a good option is you want to prepare for your dessert in advance and want it with jelly. 

Homemade custard can be kept in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. 

You can even whip cream 24 hours in advance to have all your layers ready for the day you are planning to make a trifle. However, for whipped cream to hold its shape this long, it needs to be stabilized with plain unflavored gelatin. 

Instead, we recommend whipping cream right before assembling the dessert or 4 hours in advance at most.

Use a cream high in fat and keep it cold. This will make your whipped cream hold its shape for a couple of hours before you will use it to top your dessert. 

As for the sponge, this is the easiest ingredient to have ready at hand as you can use everything from store-bought ladyfinger biscuits to leftover brownies and gingerbread cookies. 

Tips for Storing Trifle

As we have already mentioned, you can make trifle in advance. However, assembling it, covering it with a food wrap, and storing it in the fridge may not be enough. While your trifle will taste good, it won’t have that look of a freshly made dessert. 

Here are some tips for storing trifle that you have made hours or a couple of days in advance. 

Tip #1 Hold off on the Whipped Cream

If you have made trifle in advance, don’t hurry to top it off with whipped cream and fruits. If you do so, you won’t be able to cover it properly with plastic wrap before putting it in the freezer. 

You can whip some cream in advance and put it on your trifle along with fresh fruits right before serving, as this process won’t take long.

Tip #2: Use Lemon Juice to Prevent Fruits from Browning 

Making trifle a few days in advance is a great way of getting prepared for a gathering. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice the appearance of your dessert for convenience. 

When it comes to trifles with fruits that turn brown in a short time, such as bananas and peaches, keeping them looking fresh in between the layers of custard and sponge is important. 

What you can do to keep the fruits looking crisp and as if they have been freshly cut is sprinkling some lemon juice on them before putting them in the dessert. 

Make sure you don’t get carried away with lemon juice as it can mess up with the sweetness and overall taste of your trifle with its acidity. A small amount of lemon juice goes a long way and will do the trick. 

Tip #3: Keep the Custard Fresh

If the top layer of your dessert is custard, refrigerate it with a cling wrap pressed on the custard. This will prevent it from forming a film and drying out. 

When serving the trifle, take the cling paper off carefully, use your favorite toppings as finishing touches and serve. 

Tip #4: Glaze It!

Fruits are one of the first components to give away the fact that you have made your trifle way before dinner. 

Thus, keeping the top layer of your trifle fresh-looking is important. The finishing layer is generally a ‘pile’ of beautifully arranged fruit. So what can you do to keep them looking nice and most importantly, prevent them from drying? Glaze them!

Have you ever seen tarts with meticulously arranged glossy fruits? Have you ever wondered why they do it?

Firstly, glaze makes the fruits on tarts look shiny and appealing. Secondly, it keeps them fresh and retains the moisture in fruits. 

The same glazing technique can be applied to trifles to keep the fruits not only looking fresh but also tasting fresh. 

Brush some kind of a fruit preserve or jelly on the fruits you have decorated your trifle with and expect the fruits to look flawless even if you have made your dessert in advance and it has been sitting in the fridge for quite some time. 

Up Next: Can You Freeze Lemon Curd?

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