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Food & Recipes

Forget Fireworks — These Fourth of July Trifles Are the Real Showstoppers: Easy + Quick

Choose between layers of patriotic colors or campfire nostalgia

I’ll admit every year, I struggle with the dessert for my family’s Fourth of July party. Do I go with a traditional fruit salad? Boring. Should I bake a pie? It’s already a million degrees outside. So, this year I decided to go classic with two incredible Fourth of July trifles. We’re talking a patriotic red, white and blue version, plus a decadent s’mores option that’s heating up social media and will transport you straight to a cozy campfire. The best part? They’re so easy to make ahead (no oven needed) in 1 hour. Here’s how to make the best Fourth of July trifles.

What is a trifle?

A trifle is a classic British dessert that layers sponge cake (typically soaked in sherry or fruit juice), custard, fruit and whipped cream. The layers are often repeated to create a visually appealing dessert served in a glass bowl. Trifles are known for their versatility, as you’ll see below with my two favorites.

How to make Fourth of July trifles

The perfect fourth of July trifles all come down to making sure the right flavors are set and the cake is super moist. Follow these essential tips below for success:

1. Use quality ingredients

Opt for fresh, seasonal fruits, high-quality custard and flavorful cake. Quality ingredients elevate the taste and texture of the trifle.

2. Balance the flavors

Achieve a harmonious blend of flavors by varying the sweetness of the custard and whipped cream layers and choosing fruits that complement each other.

3. Soak the cake

Lightly soak the cake with fruit juice or a flavored syrup to add moisture and flavor. This step prevents the cake from becoming dry.

4. Chill your Fourth of July trifles before serving

Refrigerate the assembled trifle for several hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld together and the dessert to set. This ensures the layers hold together when served.

Classic red, white and blue trifle recipe

"Happy Birthday, USA" Fourth of July trifle
Food & Photo

It wouldn’t be a celebration without a tried-and-true recipe from the Woman’s World test kitchen. And this “Happy Birthday, USA” Berry Trifle does the trick. It’s an easy from-scratch cake layered with cream cheese frosting and juicy berries. But if you’re short on time, you can also use pre-made cake.

Decadent s’mores trifle recipe


S’mores Trifle! 🍫 Layer 1: Brownies. Layer 2: chocolate pudding. (2 boxes) Layer 3: Crushed graham crackers. Layer 4: 8 oz cream cheese, small jar marshmallow cream, tub cool whip. (Use half of each layer and repeat to have 2 tiers) I broiled marshmallows and added them to the top for garnish. #smores #trifle #triflerecipe #summerdessert

♬ DJ Eric Rhodes WarrenWallen Mashup – Eric Rhodes

My family couldn’t get enough of this s’mores trifle when I made it. It takes just like a s’more but better with added brownie chunks, chocolate pudding and cream cheese whipped topping. Make it below with this recipe from Macy Blackwell.


  • 1 box brownies (+ ingredients on box)
  • 2 boxes instant chocolate pudding (+ milk)
  • 2 sleeves graham crackers
  • 1 8-oz. tub cream cheese
  • 1 small jar marshmallow cream
  • 1 tub cool whip
  • Marshmallows & Hershey bar for garnish


  • Total time: 1 hour
  1. Bake brownies according to box directions, let cool, then cut into bit size pieces.
  2. Make pudding according to box directions.
  3. Beat together cream cheese and marshmallow cream, then fold in cool whip.
  4. Crush 2 sleeves graham crackers in a gallon Ziplock bag.
  5. To assemble: Add half of the brownies to the bottom of a glass trifle jar, then half of the pudding, half of the graham cracker crumbs and half of the marshmallow cream mixture. Repeat until filled.
  6. For the topping: Put some marshmallows under the broiler until nice and toasty. Add them on top of the last marshmallow whip layer, and then add an assembled s’more and Hershey bar pieces for garnish.

Storing your Fourth of July trifles

Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap or a lid to prevent it from absorbing other odors in the refrigerator. Additionally, keep it refrigerated at all times. Trifles are best enjoyed within 1-2 days of preparation.

Try some of our other layered desserts:

No-Bake Triple Berry Trifle Recipe Is a Fruity Summer Sensation

Banana Pudding Parfaits Are a Fun, Speedy Version of the Potluck Favorite — 2 Recipes

This Mini Fruity Yogurt Trifles Recipe Is Our Favorite Refreshing Bite-Sized Treat

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