Super-Easy, Super-Speedy Raspberry Trifles

May 30, 2023

The recipe for these English trifles is taken from one of our most popular cookbooksJane Austen’s Table. Inspired by Lydia Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, they’re quick, easy, and positively scrumptious. Check out Jane Austen’s Table for more Austen-inspired recipes—now 36% off on Amazon!

See below for the recipe and the story behind its inspiration.

Lydia’s Whim-Wham

These super-speedy, super-easy trifles use store-bought cake and custard, but you could use any pound cake recipe and make your own custard instead. If you are making these for children, replace the sherry with orange juice.

The dramatic climax of Pride and Prejudice occurs offstage, so to speak—Lydia Bennet and George Wickham’s scandalous elopement to Gretna Green, across the Scottish border, is reported to her father in a letter written by Colonel Forster, with whom the youngest of the Bennet sisters has been staying in Brighton. Lydia is rather proud of her adventures than otherwise, and we can imagine her telling her
sisters about her indelicate trip to Scotland with some glee.

And what might have the newlyweds have dined upon on their wedding night? Perhaps a dish of haggis and neeps and tatties and the whiskey-flavored trifle known as a whim-wham, a term applied in the eighteenth century to any fanciful thing. What more perfect concoction for the Lydia Bennets of this world?



  • 3 1/2 oz. white chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup whiskey 1 store-bought pound cake, about 10 oz., cut into 6 slices
  • generous 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cup store-bought fresh thick custard
  • 2½ cups raspberries
  • white chocolate curls or shavings, to decorate
  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water, then leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the whiskey into a shallow bowl and dip in each of the cake slices to just dampen. Place in six serving dishes and set aside.
  3. Place the mascarpone, cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with a handheld electric whisk until thick. Fold in the cooled chocolate and custard.
  4. Sprinkle half of the raspberries over the soaked cake slices, then spoon over the custard cream.
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining raspberries and serve decorated with white chocolate curls or shavings.

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