Summer Berry Trifle with Cornmeal Cake

By Yankee Magazine

Oct 15 2008

This simple recipe comes from the kitchens of Sterling College in Vermont, where chef Anne Obelnicki and her team source most of their ingredients from Sterling’s own farm and others in the Northeast Kingdom. It’s beautiful arranged in a single 8- or 9-inch glass trifle bowl or in individual serving glasses, and it’s so delicious you’ll want to make trifles a regular part of your dessert repertoire. Feel free to use any combination of raspberries, blueberries, currants, and/or gooseberries.


12 servings

For the cake and trifle:


1 stick (8 tablespoons) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt (whole or low-fat)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2/3 cup yellow or blue cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup honey


Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9×5-inch bread loaf pan. With a standing or hand-held mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth and light, about 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Add yogurt and blend.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached but no wet batter, about 1 hour. Cool completely on a rack, about 45 minutes. The cake may be made a day in advance.

Reserve 1 cup of raspberries and place the rest of the berries in a bowl; add the honey, folding gently just to combine. Set the mixture aside to macerate for 10 minutes.

For the whipped cream:


3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey


Make the whipped cream: Put heavy cream in a chilled bowl and beat until very loose peaks form. Add honey and continue beating until medium peaks form. Set aside.

To assemble the trifle, cut cornmeal pound cake into 1/2-inch thick slices. Line bottom of a 9-inch glass bowl with slices of cake, breaking pieces as necessary to fill in the gaps. Spoon half the berry mixture over the cake, being sure to spoon the juices evenly. Cover with half the whipped cream, spreading to the edge. Repeat with another layer of cake, berries, and cream. Sprinkle the fresh, reserved whole raspberries over the top layer of whipped cream.

Serve right away or refrigerate, covered, for up to two hours.