Blackberry Lime Mini Trifles

by Jillian

Layers of deliciously moist vanilla cake, fluffy lime cream filling, Golden Oreos, and sweet homemade blackberry sauce!

When it comes to citrusy flavors, I feel like lime tends to get overshadowed. Lemon seems to dominate the dessertscape from classic lemon meringue pie and luscious lemon curd, to delectable lemon bars and lemon blueberry everything.

Although I do love me a fluffy lemon poppyseed muffin or a generous slice of homemade lemon meringue pie, it’s important to give lime its much-deserved LIMElight…get it?

I’m such a nerd…

So without further ado, I present to you these extraordinarily divine Blackberry Lime Mini Trifles!

With fluffy cubes of vanilla cake layered between creamy, cloud-like lime filling, sweet blackberry sauce, AND chopped golden Oreos, these trifles contain FOUR TIMES the deliciousness!

It’s definitely been a hot minute since I’ve released one of my “mini” trifle recipes. I say “mini” because they’re really not so mini. One trifle is probably more like two servings to a fun-killing dietician. To me, however, it’s the PERFECT portion size.

As with most of my trifle recipes, I like to take a few shortcuts since there are so many layers involved. The first shortcut is to use a box of cake mix for the cake layer. However, I do like to doctor the cake mix up a little by adding a small box of pudding mix powder (vanilla or white chocolate), sour cream, vanilla, almond extract, and a tiny bit of salt. With all of these wonderful flavor enhancements, people won’t have a clue that you used a store-bought cake mix. Never mind the fact that the cake is layered between so much deliciousness!

Moving on to the luscious lime filling…

To make it, you’ll beat some cream cheese, milk, and a large box of vanilla pudding mix powder together. To infuse as much lime flavor into this filling as possible, a tablespoon of lime zest and a half cup of lime juice are mixed in. You’re definitely welcome to use key limes! I just wasn’t in the mood to zest and juice about a baJillian limes…

After some vanilla and almond extract are mixed into the filling, about 3 cups of freshly-whipped cream are folded in. If you want a nice voluminous filling, I always recommend mixing about a quarter of the whipped cream into the mixture, before gently folding in the rest of the whipped cream. This will prevent your filling from deflating.

Now let’s talk about the sweet SWEET blackberry sauce…

Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I think I’ve come up with the perfect formula for creating the BEST berry fillings/sauces. I’ve used it for blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries with delicious results every single time. Moreover, there’s really no comparison to the overpriced canned berry pie fillings you get at the store, and it’s insanely easy to make at home. 

All you have to do is place some blackberries into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the juices begin to release. You can use either frozen or fresh berries. As the berries are cooking on the stove, combine some granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a separate bowl. Combining the cornstarch with the sugar first prevents it from clumping up when added to the berries.

Once you see the berry juices in the saucepan, add the sugar mixture and stir everything together. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, and stir constantly until the mixture thickens. Once it’s reached the right thickness, immediately pour the blackberry sauce into a shallow bowl. This will allow it to cool much faster. Chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour, or until it’s cooled completely.

To assemble these tantalizing trifles, you’ll need nine pint-sized (2-cup) mason jars. Not only do the mason jars add to the cuteness factor of these trifles, but they also make it so much easier to store these trifles. If you don’t feel like eating the entire trifle (which I highly doubt will happen), simply screw on the lid, and toss it in the refrigerator for later.

As for the layering process, you’ll start off with a layer of cake. Slice the cake into bite-sized cubes, then place them into the bottom of each jar. You’ll use up half of the cake for the bottom layer. To make things easier, I recommend using a long utensil like a butter knife or a chopstick to help push the cake cubes into the open spaces of the jar.

You’ll then add a layer of lime filling. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to put the filling into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (or a gallon ziplock bag with the corner cut off), and piping the filling into the jars. Not only does this make things go a lot quicker, but it also makes for a neater appearance.

Once a layer of blackberry sauce is added on top of the lime filling, chopped golden Oreos are sprinkled on top. After a second layer of cake cubes are evenly layered into the jars, the rest of the lime filling is piped on top, followed by the rest of the blackberry sauce. To garnish, I piped each trifle with a little rosette of whipped cream and topped each one with a slice of fresh lime.

Oh, and FYI, these trifles freeze incredibly well! So if you don’t exactly have a party or get-together coming up, I wouldn’t judge you for making up 9 mini trifles just so that you can freeze them for yourself and eat them throughout the coming months…

Blackberry Lime Mini Trifles

Layers of deliciously moist vanilla cake, fluffy lime cream filling, Golden Oreos, and sweet homemade blackberry sauce!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 32 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Mini Trifles

Ingredients
  

Cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of salt

Blackberry Sauce:

  • 4 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • teaspoon of salt

Key Lime Filling:

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ½ cup freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 (14.3 oz) package Golden Oreos (36 cookies)

To Garnish:

  • Freshly-whipped cream
  • Fresh lime wedges

Instructions
 

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir all of the cake ingredients together until smooth; batter will be thick.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely, then cut into cubes.

Make the Blackberry Sauce:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the blackberries over medium heat until they soften and their juices start to release, about 3-4 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add mixture to the blackberries and continue cooking until it begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Pour into a shallow bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Make the Lime Filling:

  • In the well-chilled bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar together until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to another bowl and place in refrigerator to keep chilled.
  • Return bowl to mixer. Switch whisk attachment out and replace with paddle attachment. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually stir in the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once all the milk has been added, switch back to whisk attachment and add pudding mix, lime juice, zest, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat on high for 2 minutes until mixture is smooth and thickened.
  • Add 1/4 of the whipped cream to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove bowl from mixer and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the rest of the whipped cream into the lime filling. Transfer filling to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized ziploc bag with the tip of the corner cut off.

To Layer:

  • Place a layer of cake cubes into the bottom of each jar. You'll use half of the cake. Then pipe half of the filling into each jar. Crumble or chop three Oreos into each jar. Spoon half of the berry sauce evenly among the jars. Add another layer of cake cubes (using up the last half of the cake), followed by the rest of the filling and the rest of the berry sauce. If desired, garnish each jar with a whipped cream and a fresh lime wedge.
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