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This colourful and delicious tropical trifle with mango jelly and passionfruit curd is bursting with all the flavour goodness, from juicy mangoes to tangy passion fruits. Layered with light sponge cake, strawberry mousse, and a mouth-watering mango jelly, this dessert is not only a feast for the eyes but a delight for the taste buds.

OK. I think by now you know me. I take a classic dessert and add a Kristina spin. Like I did with my Bakewell tart with kiwi jam or tiramisu with a Genovese sponge. Now I know, not everyone likes that (My Fussy Eater told me one day to ‘stop changing the classics!’) but this is what makes me excited. And I think there’s a fair few of you on my side too!

So, having said all this, of course, I couldn’t just make a trifle. Where would the Kristina spin be? I needed to make it spectacular and interesting. And what could be better than sunshine tropical flavours added to this classic dessert? Mangos, passionfruit and a touch of sweet strawberries wake-up every single one of your taste buds and evoke sunnier days just around the corner.

I made this tropical trifle for my family’s visit to London and the comments I received were amazing. My Fussy Eater said that as a dessert it’s amazing, but don’t call it trifle because it’s not. Well, I’ll let you decide what you want to call it, but in my books, it stays the most delicious and fresh tropical trifle I’ve ever had…

Tropical Trifle with Mango and Passionfruit

Tropical Trifle with Mango and Passionfruit: Tips

I’ll admit it, this is quite a strange dessert. You make a lot of different components and hope that somehow, someway, they’ll work together and create a cohesive dessert.

But somehow, it works every time…

Here are some top tips to make the most delicious and wonderful tropical trifle:

  • Chill the components. I like to make all the components a day before arranging the trifle. The reason is you need to be sure every single component is completely cooled. You can’t rush this process and even just one warm element can completely ruin the dessert.
  • Layer the trifle carefully. The beauty and fascination of this dessert is in the layers. So don’t make them so thin you can’t identify them. Also, don’t be afraid to press down on your sponge a little bit. This way you won’t have any air gaps.
  • Chill the trifle. After you arrange your dessert, don’t rush to eat it. Leave it in the fridge for at least an hour, or even better – overnight.
  • Decorations. This delicious tropical trifle really celebrates fruits, so showcase them on top of your dessert. Before you serve, add some slices of mangos, strawberries and passionfruit pulp on top of the dessert.
Tropical Trifle with Mango and Passionfruit

Tropical Trifle with Mango and Passionfruit: Components

To make this dessert, you need to create several individual components and add them together. Each plays a very important role…

  • Genovese sponge – the key to a light and fluffy sponge is beating the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale in colour. Also, once the sponge is baked, cool it upside down on a wire rack to prevent it from collapsing. This will also help the sponge retain its light and fluffy texture.
  • Passionfruit curd – after your curd is done, pour it through a sieve to remove any lumps. This way you’ll end up with the silkiest and smoothest curd ever.
  • Strawberry mousse – always use fresh and ripe strawberries. This is the most important thing for making a delicious mousse. Secondly, puree the berries really well. You don’t want any lumps in your mousse.    
  • Mango jelly – I took a shortcut and used shop-bought jelly. Just pour over hot water and let it set. However, you can also use mango pulp and add gelatine. 

Here are a few more delicious and fresh desserts:

Lemon Swiss Roll with Citrus Curd
No-Bake Mango Cheesecake
Tiramisu with Lemon Curd and Limoncello
Lemon and Pistachio Cake with Lemon Curd

Tropical Trifle with Mango and Passionfruit



3 eggs
80g caster sugar
20g melted butter
90g plain flour

Passionfruit Curd:
100ml strained passionfruit juice
1 lime (juice and zest)
100g butter
100g caster sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
20g cornstarch

Strawberry Mousse:
300g strawberries
1 lime
50g icing sugar
400ml double cream

½ mango
100g strawberries
1 pack of mango jelly (you can use this one)
Whipped cream


Prepare the sponge:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a rectangular baking tray (the one you’d use to make a swiss roll) with baking paper.
  2. Whisk the egg with the caster sugar in a bowl above some boiling water, until you get a thick and pale mixture (you should be able to draw an ‘8’ and see it until it dissolves).
  3. Add the melted cooled butter to the mixture. Mix everything.
  4. Add the sifted plain flour and gently mix.
  5. After your batter is ready, spoon it onto the baking tray.
  6. Bake the sponge in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

Prepare the passionfruit curd:

  1. Prepare the passionfruit pulp – remove the seeds from the passionfruit and add them into a saucepan together with the lime (juice and zest).
  2. Add the sugar and butter. Heat the mixture until the butter melts.
  3. Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  4. Take the juice mixture off the heat and very slowly, always whisking, pour this mixture into the eggs (this way you’ll avoid scrambled eggs).
  5. Pour the curd back into a saucepan and add the cornstarch.
  6. Heat the curd for 5 minutes, always mixing until it starts firming up.
  7. Take it from the heat and pour the curd through a sieve to remove any lumps.
  8. Let it cool completely.

Prepare the strawberry mousse:

  1. Puree the strawberries in a blender and whizz them up until smooth.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the strawberry puree, sugar, lime zest and juice. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the double cream.
  5. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled strawberry mixture.

Arrange the tropical trifle:

  1. Make the mango jelly per pack instructions. After the jelly sets, cut it into same size rectangular pieces.
  2. Slice the mango and strawberries.
  3. Cut the sponge into same size small rectangular pieces.
  4. Add a layer of passionfruit curd, sponge and jelly. Neatly add the mangos and fresh strawberries on top, followed by the strawberry mousse and whipped cream.
  5. Repeat the process.
  6. Finish the trifle with some fruit decoration on top.
Tropical Trifle with Mango and Passionfruit