Wild Black Raspberry Mini Trifles

We had a family get-together the day before Independence Day and dessert fell to me! I had lots of ideas, but, in the end, a productive berry gathering tipped the scales in favor of some lovely little mini-trifles.


I have TINY little jars, my friends. They are each only 4 oz.– a half cup. That’s literally half the size of most “cake in a jar” recipes you’ll see that typically call for the “half pint” size. I bought them in a twelve-pack from Walmart. I love them for little desserts. I don’t feel the need for a giant portion of something after a full meal. However, if you’re only serving, say, coffee and dessert at a gathering, you may choose to use a larger jar size. (Just know that this recipe won’t fill twelve of the bigger variety!)


Trifles, typically, are a lovely layering of cake, pudding, and fruit. They are innumerable combinations thereof and they are both easy and tasty. I wanted the wild berries to shine in this version, so I opted for a simple golden vanilla cake and homemade vanilla pudding.


Ready? Here we go…


Wild Black Raspberry Mini Trifles


  • 1 pint wild black raspberries*
  • 1 large box vanilla pudding, prepared (OR, much better, make up a batch of Lynn’s Homemade Vanilla Pudding. That’s what I did. Don’t be scared– it’s super easy.)
  • 1 9″ round vanilla cake (ingredients and directions follow)**


Line up twelve clean 4 oz jars. Cut HALF of cooled cake into 1/2″ strips. Cut strips into small half-inch cubes. Add a layer of these little cubes at the bottom of each jar. Spoon a layer of pudding over cake cubes. (It may be helpful to gently tap the jar on the counter to help the pudding settle in a thin, even layer.) Scatter berries over the pudding. Place another layer of cake cubes on top of the berries. Spoon on a second layer of pudding. Finally, garnish the top of the trifle with berries.


*If you aren’t lucky enough to have access to wild black raspberries, you can substitute wild blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or raspberries. If you simply cannot get your hands on any wild berries, the store bought (or PYO) ones will do fine. (But, personally, I would use any kind of wild ones I could get my hands on before choosing the tame variety.)


**Vanilla Cake Recipe! (this will yield one 9″ cake which is twice as much as you’ll actually need– feel free to freeze the rest or eat it up for a snack)


  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk


Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9″ round pan. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg and mix until blended. Add salt and baking powder. Alternate adding flour and milk until all ingredients are incorporated and batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool before attempting to cut for trifles.

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