Holidays are a great excuse to make a yummy dessert, and Independence Day this year was no different.  This blueberry trifle is one of my favorite desserts because it is airy and delicious, and I am crazy for cream cheese.

I have been making this dessert for a couple of years after someone special shared this recipe with me.  I adapted it slightly by increasing the amount of blueberries, and I usually top it with sliced almonds.  This time, I used strawberries instead to give it a festive touch.

Prepwork

Before you begin assembling the trifle, you will need an angel food cake.  I used a Betty Crocker angel food cake mixed and baked it a few hours before I put together the rest of the dessert.  If you have never baked angel food cake from a mix before, be careful!  It nearly doubles in size because it is so airy, so I always use several cake pans.  After the cake cools, cut it up into cubes using a serrated knife.

I recommend you put the mixing bowl and whisk you will use for the whipped cream in the freezer for a few hours to get them nice and cold before starting the recipe.  This trick makes whipping cream much easier!

Ingredients

Blueberry Filling Layer
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
Cake and Cream Layer
  • baked, cooled, cubed angel food cake
  • 16 ounces light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
Whipped Cream Layer
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

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To make the blueberry filling, stir together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes, stirring often.  It is better to cook the filling too long than not long enough – it is done when the blueberries have burst and the consistency is like a thin jelly.  Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.  It will thicken a bit as it cools.

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For the cake and cream layer, whip together cream cheese, half-and-half, and sugar until smooth and creamy.  Gently fold in the angel food cake cubes.  Only add cake cubes until they are all saturated in cream – you may not use all the cubes.  Extra cake cubes make a good snack.

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To make the whipped cream, take your mixing bowl and whisk out of the freezer.  Then, beat together the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until peaks form.

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Assemble the layers in a large glass bowl or trifle dish.  Spread half of the angel food cake mixture across the bottom of dish.  Top with half of the blueberry filling, and then spread  on half of the whipped cream.  Repeat so that there are two layers of each mixture.  Top with sliced strawberries or almond slivers.

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Cover and refrigerate for up to a day.  Serve chilled.  Enjoy!

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The only downside to this recipe: Lots and lots of dishes!  I promise this delectable dessert is worth the effort!