banana bread trifle

banana bread trifle... layers of banana bread, creamy custard, fresh berries & bananas. deceptively simple, very impressive and delicious - the perfect special occasion treat!

recipe inspiration can come from anywhere...   a beautiful photo on instagram, cookbooks, pinterest - you name it.  a random conversation about classic but (sadly) uncommon desserts with my sister hilary was the inspiration for this particular  - insanely delicious, ridiculously simple - banana bread trifle.  the components?  banana bread - that dense, slightly sweet quick bread laced with vanilla and heavy on the bananas.  vanilla custard - made of two ingredients that come together in a snap. banana & berries - a fresh pop of texture and color to tie the whole thing together.  

once you have the components ready, a trifle is super easy to make. it is, after all, simply layers of cake, fruit & custard/cream.  that said, you can get as complicated as you want when it comes to those components.  for this banana bread trifle, we opted to scratch-make the banana bread and use boxed pudding mix in the custard to make our lives easier.  i know, i know, there are pudding purists out there who would never venture near a box of pudding mix, but when that pudding is folded into clouds of fluffy whipped cream, who will ever notice (or care) that it wasn't homemade? (and if they do, perhaps it's time to reevaluate that friendship... just sayin')!

banana bread is a bit of an unusual choice for the cake component of a trifle, but trust us, it works, cutting the richness of the vanilla custard and providing a solid base for the layers of fruit and cream.  as the custard sits - if it isn't devoured the day it's made, that is - the banana bread is sturdy enough to absorb the flavors of the custard without getting soggy. when it comes to entertaining that is a definite plus - this trifle can be made a day or two ahead of time & stored in the fridge  (just leave off the top layer of fruit until you're ready to serve).

let's talk custard for a minute.  creamy & smooth, our custard is made of freshly whipped cream and vanilla pudding.  basic  enough for the kids to help with or make entirely on their own - case in point,  helena made the custard for this banana bread trifle entirely by herself while i was prepping the other ingredients! 

trifles are traditionally served in a trifle bowl, which we've used for this recipe.  that said, trifle bowls are one of those types of specialized kitchen equipment that many people just don't have.  so if that's the case - or even if you do have a trifle bowl and just want to get crazy and switch things up! - trifles can be made in any glass bowl or individually, in glasses or mason jars. whatever container you use,  make sure it's glass - you want to show off all of those delicious layers!

this banana bread trifle truly is a decadent, impressive & very tasty way to cap off any meal. banana, vanilla & berries combined to create an out of this world flavor combination, and layered into taste perfection - and the best part? no one will ever guess just how easy it was to prepare!  banana bread trifle for the win! 


recipe: banana bread trifle


  • 1 loaf banana bread, cut into cubes - we love the low-fat banana bread from bon appetit (just cut the sugar down to a scant 1/2 c & add an extra banana)
  • 1 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 lg box vanilla pudding mix, prepared according to package directions 
  • 4 - 5 bananas, thinly sliced
  • generous 1/2 c blueberries


  1. using a hand mixer, stand mixer or whisk, whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks
  2. gently fold the whipped cream into the prepared pudding 1/3 at a time
  3. in a trifle dish or glass bowl, layer banana bread, then custard, then banana slices & a sprinkle of blueberries. repeat, ending with a custard layer on top.
  4. cover & chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until ready to serve 
  5. when ready to serve, cover the top with banana slices & blueberries
  6. scoop into bowls & enjoy!


s & h