When you’re looking for sophisticated decadence, look no further than this orange raspberry trifle. The fact that a trifle is inherently English, just by origin alone, makes me associate this dessert with elegance and opulence. I feel like this is what the family at Downton Abbey would enjoy in their beautiful dining room. When you dissect this orange raspberry trifle and look at the individual components, it makes sense that this would be a dessert associated with high tea or some other fine dining experience as each ingredient is luscious in its own right.
Usually, if I were making a simple dessert to enjoy with my family and friends, I’d merely make the pound cake portion of this dessert. I’d top it with a glaze or fresh berries and call it a day. Because it was my dad’s birthday, I decided to go all out and do the entire trifle, complete with fresh raspberries, orange pastry cream, and whipped cream. The pound cake slices also get a nice smear of raspberry preserves so that they’re also dressed up before going into the trifle. Honestly, as amazing as this orange raspberry trifle is, I couldn’t finish the entire thing! Each trifle is pretty big, especially after you’ve had a full meal. If you’re going to be enjoying a big dinner, it’s best to probably do half the trifle I created here for each person.
I also made my pound cake in mini loaf pans. I like doing this because I can fit the slices into my glasses much more easily. Not to mention, the cakes bake a little bit faster too. The other great bonus of baking the pound cake batter in mini loaf pans is the fact that you don’t even have to cut into the second loaf. You can simply wrap up the untouched loaf for later use, without having sliced into the cake and compromising its moistness. Because you will love this pound cake. Personally, I feel as though it’s a little bit more on the cake-y side than the dense pound type, but that’s what I love about it. It’s also full of orange flavor, and when it’s paired with the tart raspberry jam and equally bright orange pasty cream, it’s honestly pure heaven. I promise you, this is a dessert you want to save and impress some family and friends with!
Orange Raspberry Trifle
for the orange pastry cream
- 1 1/2 c whole milk
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
for the orange pound cake
- 1/2 c unsalted butter 1 stick, room temperature
- 1 1/4 c sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 c + 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1/4 c + 2 tbsp buttermilk or plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
for the whipped cream and berries
- 1 c heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- 1/4 c raspberry preserves
Start by creating your pastry cream. Heat the milk and orange zest in a medium saucepan until the milk is almost boiling and is scalding hot. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they're pale yellow and thick. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined. Stream in about 1/4 c of the hot milk into the bowl with the egg mixture, whisking the egg mixture as you do. Then, transfer the egg mixture into the pot with the hot milk.
Lower the heat to low and continuously whisk until mixture thickens - about 2 minutes. To check if the cream is thick enough, stop whisking every 15 seconds or so to see if the cream bubbles in the saucepan. If it does, then remove the pan from the heat.
Stir in the vanilla extract and heavy cream into the pastry cream before pouring the cream through a mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Use a spoon to scrape as much cream as you can through the sieve, leaving the lumpy bits left behind in the sieve.
Cover the pastry cream with a sheet of plastic wrap, directly placing the plastic onto the cream. Refrigerate the cream for at least 2 hours, until chilled.
Meanwhile, get started on the pound cake. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing each in well. Add the orange zest and mix to combine.
Next, add the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until they're incorporated. Pour in the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla extract until they're also mixed into the batter. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Divide the pound cake batter among two greased mini loaf pans, or one greased 9-inch loaf pan. If using two mini loaf pans, bake the cakes at 350°F for approximately 40 minutes. If using a standard loaf pan, bake for approximately 1 hour. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes should come out clean.
Let the pound cakes cool on a wire rack until almost cool. Cut one of the mini pound cakes into 8 slices; reserve the second loaf to enjoy later. Let the 8 slices of cake cool completely before using. Before assembling, create the whipped cream by whisking the heavy whipping cream on high speed for 1 minute. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract before continuing to whisk on high speed for another 1 or 2, until soft peaks form.
To assemble, smear each slice of pound cake with raspberry preserves. Place 1 slice of pound cake in a tall and wide glass cup. Top with a heaping spoon full of pastry cream and a few fresh raspberries. Add a second slice of pound cake and again top with pastry cream and fresh raspberries. Add a large dollop of whipped cream to the very top. Repeat this step for the remaining servings.