This magnificently boozy gin & cherry trifle will wow your dinner guests!

If you’re looking for the ideal triumphant finish to your next dinner party, look no further!

This delicious gin-soaked trifle is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser - honestly, what’s not to like about a dreamy confection of proper custard, whipped cream, fluffy sponge, juicy cherries and gin (which marries perfectly with cherry, by the way)?

All the components are best made the day before and the trifle assembled just before serving. We’ve used the fabulous Nelson’s Gluggle Jug Gin that was created exclusively for Craft Gin Club members for our June ‘19 Gin of the Month box, but if you don’t have that, go for a good quality London Dry gin.

(Pssst: Don’t tell our resident gin chef, Carol, but If you wanted to, you could make life a little easier and cheat by buying the sponge part! You could also simply layer the jam and sponge of rolling it, but you won’t get the nice swirly effect on the side of the glass bowl.)


Gin & Cherry Trifle

Serves 6

For the Swiss roll:

2 large eggs
50g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
50g self-raising flour
1 jar black cherry jam

For the custard:

500ml full fat milk
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cornflour

For the cherry compote:

500g frozen sweet black cherries
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
Large measure Nelson’s Gluggle Jug Gin

To finish:

300ml whipping cream
Fresh cherries
Toasted flaked almonds


Swiss roll:

Set the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and butter and line a 16x28cm Swiss roll tin.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together for 5 mins until thick and pale in colour. Add the vanilla and carefully fold in the flour. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth into the corners. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden and springy to the touch.

Sprinkle a sheet of greaseproof paper with icing sugar and turn the sponge out onto the paper. Warm the jam gently in a microwave and spread onto the sponge, then roll up using the paper to help you. Leave to cool on a wire rack then wrap in cling film.


To make the custard, heat the milk and vanilla in a pan until just below boiling. Put the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour into a bowl and mix to a smooth paste. Add the hot milk, stirring constantly then return to the pan and heat gently over a low heat until thickened. If you overheat the custard and it ‘scrambles’ you can rescue it by blitzing with a stick blender.

Pour the custard into a clean bowl and cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool completely and refrigerate.


For the compote, pop the frozen cherries into a bowl and leave to completely defrost. Put the cherries, their juice and the sugar in a pan and heat until boiling and the sugar has dissolved.

Shake the cornflour with a little water and add to the cherries. Bring back to the boil then lower the heat and simmer until thick. Take off the heat, add the gin, mix well and leave to cool in the fridge.

To finish:

To serve, slice the Swiss roll and use to line the base of a straight sided trifle bowl. Top the sponge with the cherry compote, followed by the custard. Whip the cream until it forms peaks, then smooth over the custard. Finish with a sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds and fresh black cherries.