Skip to Content

Celebrating Christmas in England and Cranberry Trifle

Cranberry Trifle is one version of a Christmas trifle. It has great balance in flavor with the tart cranberries and the sweet custard. 

Jamie, Lucy and I all have ancestors from England. In researching how Christmas is celebrated, I discovered it is much like how we celebrate Christmas in the U.S. There are a few differences, however.

Most people in England have Christmas trees in their homes. This tradition actually came from Prince Albert. Prince Albert was from Germany and brought this tradition with him when he married Queen Victoria. Most towns and cities are decorated with Christmas lights and often a famous person turns them on. They also have Nativity plays and Caroling services.

Father Christmas or Santa Claus is also part of their celebration. The children write letters to Father Christmas with their list of what they would like for Christmas. Father Christmas fills stockings or pillow cases with presents on the night of Christmas Eve. The stockings are hung by the fireplace.  Mince pies and brandy are left for Father Christmas.

The main Christmas meal is eaten around lunch time on Christmas Day. They serve turkey, vegetables, stuffing, bacon and sausage. Dessert is often Christmas Pudding or a Christmas Trifle.

I chose to make the Christmas Trifle. The flavor I made is Cranberry Trifle.

Yield: 12 servings

Christmas Trifle

Christmas Trifle

Cranberry Trifle is one version of a Christmas trifle. It has great balance in flavor with the tart cranberries and the sweet custard. 

Cranberry Layer 15 minutes
Custard Layer 2 hours 45 minutes
Assembly 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes


Cranberry Layer

  • 24 oz cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon

Custard Layer

  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Cake Layer

  • 16 oz frozen pound cake


Cranberry Layer

  1. Add all cranberry layer ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes. 
  2. Allow to cool and remove cinnamon stick.

Custard Layer

  1. In large sauce pan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt with the heat turned off.
  2. Turn on heat to medium high, add milk and whisk together.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks.  Take a cup of the hot milk mixtures and whisk into the egg bowl.  Whisk the entire time you are adding the hot milk. This will temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling when adding to the milk mixture in the pan.
  5. Add egg mixture to the pan while whisking. Bring it back to a boil and boil for another 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Whisking occasionally.
  8. Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap on the surface of the custard. This will prevent a skin to form. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.


  1. Slice pound cake into 1 inch cubes. 
  2. Layer half the pound cake in the bottom of a trifle bowl.
  3. Layer half the cranberry mixture.
  4. Layer half the custard.
  5. Repeat the three layers.
  6. Top with whipped cream and sugared cranberries.
  7. Enjoy.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 255mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 2gSugar: 54gProtein: 7g

The nutritional information provided here is not guaranteed to be accurate and is provided for informational (and google) purposes only.

This post is part of our Christmas Around the World series.

Meet Kerry

Why not join us on Pinterest: Coffee With Us 3  or hangout with us on Facebook:  


Coffee With Us 3 will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

Don’t forget to pin!

Skip to Recipe