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Luke Mangan’s Mum’s Trifle

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Luke Mangan’s mum’s trifle recipe is definitely one to try. Layered with sponge, jelly and a sweet crème pâtissière, this dessert is a show stopper.

  • Serves6
  • Cook time20 minutes
  • Prep time30 minutes, + cooling & 15 mins standing time
A jelly, sponge and cream trifle in a glass container


  • 125g strawberries, halved
  • 125g raspberries
  • 125g blueberries
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) strawberry liqueur
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) thickened cream, whipped
  • Grated dark chocolate, to decorate


  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 4 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs
  • 2/3 cup (100g) plain flour
  • 25g butter, melted

Crème pâtissière

  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 6 Coles Australian Free Range Egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 2 tbs cornflour
  • 2 tsp icing sugar mixture


  • 400ml sugar syrup (see note below)
  • 3 gelatine leaves

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan and line with baking paper. To make the sponge, use an electric mixer to whisk the sugar and eggs in a bowl until the mixture doubles in size and is light and fluffy. Sift over the flour, in batches, and gently fold with a metal spoon to combine. Gently fold in the butter. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 8-10 mins or until the sponge is golden brown and springy to touch. Set aside in the pan for 5 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. Step 2

    To make the crème patissiere, place the milk and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan. Place over medium-high heat. Bring almost to the boil, then set aside for 10 mins to infuse. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale and smooth. Sift over the cornflour and stir to combine. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk mixture and discard. Whisking constantly, gradually add the milk to the egg mixture in a steady stream until well combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring, until mixture bubbles. Cook for a further 4 mins or until mixture thickens. Pour into a clean heatproof bowl and sprinkle with icing sugar. Cover and place in the fridge to chill.
  3. Step 3

    To make the jelly, place the sugar syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl. Pour over enough cold water to cover. Set aside for 5 mins to soften. Drain and squeeze out excess water, then add to the hot sugar syrup and stir until the sugar dissolves. Place in the fridge to cool slightly.
  4. Step 4

    Arrange strawberry, raspberries and blueberries over the base of an 8-cup (2L) glass bowl or dish. Pour the cooled gelatine mixture over the berries. Cut the sponge cake to fit the dish and place over the jelly. Brush with the strawberry liqueur until the sponge is soaked. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or until the jelly is set.
  5. Step 5

    Place the crème patissiere and whipped cream in a bowl and stir until well combined. Spoon over the sponge in the bowl or dish. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate to serve.

    Note: You can buy sugar syrup from Liquorland stores. Alternatively, to make your own, place 2 cups (500ml) water and 500g caster sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens slightly. Set aside to cool completely, then pour into sterilised jars and store in the fridge.

Lessons my mother taught me

Coles ambassador and leading chef Luke Mangan was one of seven boys sharing their mum’s simple, hearty home cooking.
A photo of Luke Mangan with his mother
Luke Mangan and mum Marie: “To this day mum’s pavlova and trifle are my favorite recipes.”

"Simple has to be done well and that’s what she did best"

“My mum was and still is a great cook. Coming from a family with six older brothers, mum had to be creative to feed the family and watch the dollars at the same time. This is where I learnt a lot from mum in the kitchen.

“There was never any wastage. I’ll never forget waking up in the morning to chicken stock being strained after it had simmered overnight, and it was then used to make vegetable soup for dinner.

“Our food was mostly shared soups, stews, casseroles, pies and trifles. The food was put in the middle of the table and we all dug in."

“I have many memories of mum as a kid but one was of us making cakes and bread after school or on the weekends. To this day mum’s pavlova and trifle are my favorite recipes.

“Food for us at home was simple, healthy and hearty and that’s something I’ve stuck by with my home cooking.

“Mum was always cooking to feed such a large family but even going off to the footy on a Saturday mum would make the best toasted sandwiches with ham, mustard and cheese. Sounds so simple but simple has to be done well and that’s what she did best.” 

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