Lime-oncello strawberry trifle

Lime-oncello strawberry trifle recipe! Slightly healthier greek yoghurt, maple syrup version and Rachel’s English trifle video! :)

Special everyday cakes and treats

This fresh and light fruity, tangy dessert is so delicious it’s my first British-style trifle on the blog.  Usually I just eat my messy hodpodge trifles and say ‘hmmm, nice!’.  This time it was ‘Wow!  That’s so good!’  The elements are lined up a bit more neatly for a change too.  So here it is.  And before telling you about the ingredients here’s a confession:  everything is shop-bought.  I baked absolutely nothing.  Here in Barcelona my local Mercadona supermarket sells great inexpensive thinnish cake layers, not too soft so they don’t disintegrate.  Then at the British shop I splurged on imported swiss rolls and absolutely delighful tinned custard so didn’t even have to add hot water and stir (yes, still had to use a can-opener).  In my defence, it’s hot and humid here in Barcelona and I’m not into air-conditioning.

But let’s focus on this dessert.  Lime-oncello is my invented word for a combination of lime and Limoncello, the famous Italian lemon liqueur (which you can substitute with lemon juice and a little sweetener).  The ingredients and quantities are super flexible so do adapt to create a lovely balance between freshness, tangy flavours and spongy or light textures with:  lime curd custard, sponge layers and swiss roll slices soaked with Limoncello and fresh lime juice, lots of strawberries macerated in lime juice, tangy lime curd, natural greek yoghurt and mascarpone sweetened with a little pure maple syrup.  They all went so well together!  More lime-oncello strawberry trifle please!  Would you like some?

Lime-oncello strawberry trifle

Let’s go straight to the recipe.  🙂

RECIPE – for 8 to 12 servings

This trifle is my invention inspired by various trifles and desserts eaten or seen over the years (all serious research), fine-tuned to include yummy things.  As Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes proclaimed,

“You know my method.  It is founded upon the observation of trifles.”

I have also read strawberries, lemons and limes do very well together.  It’s true.

Lime-oncello strawberry trifle

Lime-oncello strawberry trifle


Reduce quantities to make mini trifles in jars.  And trifles are so easy-going you can throw in almost anything, like the traditional ladyfingers (sponge fingers) instead of cake layers, raspberry jam, cream, jelly, sherry and all kinds of fruit.  But maybe not beef like Rachel did in Friends.  Check out the youtube clip.

This is everyone eating it… or not.

Joey enjoyed it, lol.  Love it.

So read the ingredients carefully and I guarantee your family and friends won’t be rushing off to feed the pigeons. 🙂

Ingredients – for a 20cm/8in diametre straight-sided glass bowl about 10cm/4in cm high (or a bit lower)

I’m not getting sponsored by any brands but recommend a good-quality custard and curd similar to those named in the recipe, so the custard holds well without turning watery and the curd is lovely and tangy (not too sweet like some cheaper ones).  Prepare the elements before starting to assemble.


  • 600-700g/21 to 24.7oz fresh strawberries, rinsed and patted dry
  • Juice of 1 to 1 and 1/2 limes (or lemons)
  • 20g/1tbsp pure maple syrup or sugar

Put aside 10-14 whole strawberries with green stems still attached.  Slice the remainder 3/4cm to 1cm thick and macerate in a bowl with lime juice and maple syrup.

Syrup soak

  • 24g/ml juice from 1 lime (or lemon)
  • 50g/ml Limoncello liqueur (alternatively replace with: 24g/ml lime or lemon juice,18g/ml water + 8g pure maple syrup, to taste)
  • 18g/scant 1 tbsp pure maple syrup or sugar/honey, to taste
  • 16g/ml water

Combine all ingredients in a jar and stir or cover and shake.  Taste to check and adjust if needed.  Don’t add too much maple syrup (your sponges are already sweet).

limoncello soaking syrup

Creamy lime or lemon custard

  • 110g/3.9oz natural unsweetened greek-style yoghurt
  • 85g/3oz mascarpone (or sieved ricotta/whipped cream)
  • 400g/14oz custard (I used 1 tin Ambrosia Devon custard)
  • 100g/3.5oz lime (or lemon) curd (I used Wilkin & Sons Ltd Tiptree lime curd)

Whisk all ingredients together until combined, creamy and fluffy.

creamy custard


  • 2 circles thinnish sponge (about 1cm thick, weighing about 200g/7oz in total): 1 circle x 20cm diametre and the other 16-18 cm diametre (cut to size when assembling trifle)
  • 1 lemon or strawberry jam swiss roll, cut with sharp knife into 9-10 slices about 1.5cm/0.6in thick

Lime curd layer

  • about 3-6 tbsp/1/4 – 1/3 jar lime curd, to taste

Yoghurt – Mascarpone topping

  • 400g/14oz natural unsweetened greek-style yoghurt
  • 150g/5.3oz mascarpone (or sieved ricotta/whipped cream)

If you don’t have mascarpone you can use just greek yoghurt – thicken by draining in a sieve 2-3 hours, in the fridge.  For 550g/19.4oz drain about 680g/24oz yoghurt.

Extra Greek Yoghurt topping

Add extra yoghurt on top to get height and fresh tanginess.

  • 150g/5.3oz – 250g/8.8oz natural unsweetened greek-style yoghurt

Printable illustration (click on image) – see written instructions below

Limoncello strawberry trifle

Assembling the trifle

  1. Spread 1/3 creamy lime custard as bottom layer.
  2. Place 20cm diametre sponge circle on top.
  3. Brush with a little over 1/3 limoncello syrup.  Repeat various times if needed so it soaks in.
  4. Arrange slices of swiss roll around the bowl.Lime-oncello Strawberry trifle - assembling 1
  5. Brush tops of swiss roll slices and sides facing inside with under 1/3 limoncello syrup.
  6. Spread other 1/3 creamy custard on top of sponge circle.  Add strawberry slices (including smaller cut tips) spread out evenly.  Keep 16 – 22 slices to go around bowl later.
  7. Cover strawberries with last 1/3 creamy custard.
  8. Cover with smaller sponge circle, fitted inside swiss roll slices.Lime-oncello Strawberry trifle - assembling 2
  9. Spread thin layer lime curd on sponge.
  10. Place strawberry slices around sides of bowl on top of swiss roll slices, sticking to the glass if possible, trying for similar sizes at similar heights.  If needed add a little creamy topping behind to hold them up.  Spoon creamy topping to cover curd-covered sponge.  Add extra natural Greek-style yoghurt on top.  Decorate with whole strawberries.
  11. Stand back, admire, take photo.  Place in fridge 1 or 2 hours to chill.
  12. Serve.  Yum yum.
    Lime-oncello Strawberry trifle - assembling 3

You can pile on more decorative strawberries.  Though honestly they’re more convenient to eat stemless.

Lime-oncello strawberry trifle

Storing and eating

This dessert is best the first few days but keeps up to 3 or 4 days in the fridge (cover with plastic lid or cling film).

If it’s too sweet add extra strawberries and yoghurt.  It depends on personal taste and the sponges or curds used.

Lime-oncello strawberry trifle

Lime-oncello strawberry trifle

Trifles apparently existed in England as early as the 16th century when they were also called fruit fools!  To find out more have a look at a Wikipedia Trifle article here.

Really enjoyed eating this heavenly Lime-oncello strawberry trifle, surprisingly not so messy and quite photogenic!  To quote Arthur Conan Doyle again,

“It is, of course, a trifle, but there is nothing so important as trifles.” (The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes)

Lime-oncello strawberry trifle

Bye for now dears!  Hope you’re enjoying your Summer (or Winter) as best you can, staying safe with some yummy treats.  Happy no-baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x

Posted by

Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

5 thoughts on “Lime-oncello strawberry trifle recipe! Slightly healthier greek yoghurt, maple syrup version and Rachel’s English trifle video! :)”

    • Thank you so much Mary, very kind.😍 Yes, ladyfingers are lovely in trifle and more traditional – maybe in my next one. 😁👍


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