The 3-Ingredient Summer Dessert My Kid Can’t Get Enough of

published Jun 26, 2021
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Growing up, my mother would make an intense, many-layered strawberry trifle for every summer event, held together by vanilla pudding. I still remember lounging by my cousin’s pool with a bowl of this sweet treat, fingers coated in whipped cream, that ineffable scent combination of coconut sunscreen, chlorine, and ripe berries drifting around us. It’s one of those pivotal food memories that will stay with me forever. And my mom got so good at making her trifle that all relatives (kids and adults!) requested it for every potluck. 

Now, I’m blessed with a dessert-loving preschooler who also has a predilection for all things berry. My mom’s strawberry trifle is delicious, of course, but I’ll be honest: it’s more work than I want to spend when sunshine calls. So I hacked my own lazy-summer version, which is frankly perfect for this busy season of my life. It’s not so much a recipe, as a suggestion for things to combine. And, as predicted, my daughter begs for it every weekend.

My version has three ingredients, all of which can be completely store-bought if you wish. Just layer cubes of frozen Sara Lee Pound Cake (or your pound cake of choice, but I’m telling you, this one is near-perfect; you can let it thaw for a couple minutes before slicing) with strawberries that have been lightly


whipped cream, because I’ll never
not find a use for homemade whipped cream in my fridge, but the pre-made version is just fine too. When you think there’s enough whipped cream, just dollop on another spoonful for good measure. You could even use blueberries or raspberries.

Strawberry Surprise. Strawberry Delight. Strawberries for the Summer. Call it whatever you like: your kids won’t stop asking for it.

The best part? This dessert is a cinch to put together when you have guests on the way — or an impromptu celebration to mark, like the first berry crop of the season. It’s also super-portable, if you want to keep the ingredients in separate containers, to be thrown together on location at the nearby pool or friend’s backyard. You can double or even triple the recipe, because why not?

It’s not strawberry shortcake, and it’s not a strawberry trifle. Strawberry Surprise. Strawberry Delight. Strawberries for the Summer. Call it whatever you like: your kids won’t stop asking for it.