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Easy Tiramisu Trifle

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This no bake tiramisu trifle is a quick and easy take on a classic tiramisu recipe. The dessert has angel food cake soaked with coffee and rum, topped with a creamy Mascarpone layer and whipped topping. Perfect for the holidays or anytime you want a spectacular, crowd pleasing dessert!

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, because it combines cake with coffee and whipped cream, all some of the best flavors imaginable! But a classic tiramisu is kind of complicated to make – from baking ladyfingers to creating a creamy egg rich custard to letting it rest in the refrigerator for hours.

In contrast my no bake tiramisu trifle is a semi-homemade recipe that will be ready to eat in half an hour. I love quick and easy no bake recipes like this one!

no bake tiramisu trifle in a dessert dish

Looking for more no-bake dessert ideas? Check out my peanut butter chocolate lasagna or frozen lemonade pie!

Why you will love this easy Tiramisu Trifle

  • There is no baking, which means no heating up the house and fewer dishes to wash.
  • It has only a few simple steps and takes less than half an hour from start to finish.
  • You can enjoy it right away, it doesn’t need to chill for hours.
  • Making the trifle in individual containers makes it easier to fit the dessert in the refrigerator and means you know exactly how many the dessert will serve.

So if you want a classic Italian tiramisu recipe try this one from the New York Times. If you want a quick and easy dessert keep reading!

two trifles next to each other

Key Ingredients

This trifle uses a few key ingredients that make it both simple and delicious. In addition to the key ingredients described below the dessert also includes instant vanilla pudding, milk, coffee and whipped topping. Rum is optional.

Angel Food Cake

Traditionally tiramisu is made with lady fingers. I used a store bought angel food cake as a short cut, because it is easier to find than store bought ladyfingers.

cutting the angel food cake

Of course you could be a little more authentic and use ladyfingers if you like. Pound cake also works – you just need some kind of spongy cake to absorb the coffee and rum.

Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone cheese is similar to cream cheese, but it is smoother and not as thick. It also has a richer taste than cream cheese.

But this is such a rich dessert anyway with all the layers that the taste difference between the two probably won’t even be noticed, so substituting cream cheese will work fine.

At my grocery store Mascarpone costs about twice what regular cream cheese costs, so I’ve used regular cream cheese before and it still tastes delicious.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Make the Pudding

The first step is to take some instant vanilla pudding and mix it with milk and a little bit of the coffee. Don’t use hot coffee or the pudding won’t set!

making the pudding

Then put the mixture in the freezer or refrigerator for 10 minutes so it can thicken.

2. Prepare all the remaining ingredients

While the pudding sets cut the store bought angel food cake into small squares. Set them aside in a large bowl.

cubes of angel food cake

Once the pudding has soft set use a mixer to stir room temperature Mascarpone cheese into the mixture to make a coffee flavored cheesecake pudding filling.

If you are using rum add it to the coffee and stir to mix. Get the whipped topping out of the refrigerator and line up the trifle bowls or mason jars so you can quickly layer the dessert.

3. Layer the trifle

Once everything is ready it is just a matter of layering the dessert into trifle cups. First, add a layer of angel food cake.

adding cake pieces to the trifle dish

Then sprinkle about a tablespoon of the coffee-rum mixture on top of the cake cubes in each dish. You don’t want to soak the cubes, just get them a little wet.

adding the coffee rum mixture

Follow that with a layer of the cheesecake pudding mixture. Then repeat the layers of cake – coffee – cheesecake pudding until the trifle dish is full.

layers of cake and pudding in trifle dish

Finish the dessert off with a dollop of whipped topping and dusted it with cocoa powder.

top view of trifle

How to Serve

If you don’t have trifle cups then pint sized mason jars are excellent for serving trifle. I have also used large wine glasses or martini glasses, which make a pretty presentation.

Basically you just want something glass – to show off the delicious layers – that has a wide enough mouth to make layering easy. You can also use a large full size trifle bowl or punch bowl if you are serving a crowd.

easy tiramisu trifle in a cut

Does Tiramisu Have Alcohol?

Traditionally tiramisu does have a little bit of alcohol in the ingredients. Marasala wine is commonly used, but many people use Bailey’s, rum, brandy or kahlua. I usually use rum just because we almost always have some on hand.

But if you don’t like alcohol or are serving the dessert to children you can leave it out. One of the advantages to making this in individual cups is you can make some with alcohol and some without, keeping everyone happy.

How to Store

You can eat this tasty dessert right away, or keep it in the refrigerator until dinner time. It should keep well in the refrigerator for two days.

I specified using whipped topping in the recipe because it keeps better that way. But if you prefer real whipped cream just wait until serving time to add it to the dessert.

These Tiramisu trifle dessert cups are super easy to throw together and are sure to be appreciated, even by non-coffee fans. They look elegant, so guests and family will think you spent more time an effort making them than you really did!

side view of the trifle showing layers

Variations and Tips

  • Made as pictured (in dessert cups) this recipe makes two large desserts. If you serve it in pint sized mason jars it would serve four, and be a more reasonable serving size. If you want to make a large full sized trifle bowl you would need to double the recipe.
  • While this recipe doesn’t take long to make you do have to do a little planning ahead of time. The Mascarpone (or cream cheese) needs to be room temperature and the coffee shouldn’t be hot. So in the morning make an extra cup of coffee and take the Mascarpone cheese out of the refrigerator.

Find More Trifle Desserts

Yield: 4

Easy Tiramisu Trifle

easy tiramisu trifle in a cut

This no bake tiramisu trifle is a quick and easy take on a classic tiramisu recipe.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 box instant Vanilla pudding
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 ounces Marscapone cheese
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons rum, optional
  • 1 Angel Food Cake
  • 1 cup whipped topping
  • cocoa powder


  1. Add the pudding to a bowl along with the milk and whisk until combined.
  2. Add 4 T of the coffee to the pudding mix and stir. Refrigerate the coffee flavored pudding for 10 minutes or so until it is soft set.
  3. Add the Marscapone cheese to the pudding mix and use a mixer to combine the ingredients. 
  4. Cut the Angel Food cake into small squares about 1/2 inch sized.
  5. Mix the 2 T of rum into the remaining coffee and stir.
  6. Cover the bottom of a trifle cup with cake pieces. 
  7. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the coffee mixture over the cake pieces. Make sure not to drench them, just get them wet.
  8. Cover the cake pieces with a layer of the coffee cheesecake filling.
  9. Repeat the layers one more time, filling the dish.
  10. Top the trifle with some whipped topping and sprinkle with cocoa powder.
  11. Store the trifles in the refrigerator until time to serve.


Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 562Saturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 663mgCarbohydrates: 82gSugar: 54gProtein: 11g

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trifle with layers of cake, pudding and whipped cream
This no bake tiramisu trifle is a quick and easy take on a classic tiramisu recipe. Angel food cake is soaked with coffee and rum, topped with a creamy Mascarpone layer and whipped topping. Perfect for the holidays or anytime you want a spectacular, crowd pleasing dessert!
By on December 18th, 2018

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