a donna hay christmas



Donna Hay's delicious Christmas trifle will be the star of your festive table!


  • 20 small store-bought sponge fingers

  • ½ cup (or 125ml) orange-flavoured liqueur

  • 250g fresh raspberries, to serve

  • Raspberry jelly:

  • 2 tablespoons gelatine powder

  • 1½ litres cranberry juice

  • 1 cup (or 220g) caster sugar

  • 500g frozen raspberries

  • White chocolate ganache:

  • 180g white chocolate, finely chopped

  • 1 cup (or 250ml) single (pouring) cream

  • Marscapone cream:

  • ½ cup (or 140g) mascarpone

  • ½ cup (or 80g) icing sugar, sifted

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 1½ cups (or375ml) single (pouring) cream


  • 1.

    To make the jelly, place the gelatine and ½ cup (125ml) of the cranberry juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine is absorbed.

  • 2.

    Place the remaining juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the gelatine mixture and stir to combine. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

  • 3.

    Pour the jelly mixture into the base of a 4-litre-capacity glass dish and top with the frozen berries. Refrigerate for 4–5 hours or overnight until set.

  • 4.

    To make the ganache, place the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and add ¼ cup (60ml) of the cream in a thin, steady stream, stirring constantly until well combined. Pour the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until just cold.

  • 5.

    Whisk the remaining cream until stiff peaks form, add the cooled chocolate mixture and fold through to combine.

  • 6.

    To assemble, spoon the ganache over the jelly and smooth with a palette knife. Dip the sponge fingers in the orange-flavoured liqueur and layer over the ganache.

  • 7.

    To make the mascarpone cream, place the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and cream in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Spoon the cream over the sponge fingers and top with the fresh raspberries to serve.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

  • Energy 1080kj
  • Fat Total 53g
  • Saturated Fat 31g
  • Protein 9g
  • Carbohydrate 131g
  • Sugar 113g
  • Sodium 245mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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donna hay magazine, NewsLifeMedia, $7.99 www.donnahay.com

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64 comments • 10 ratings
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Posted by Emma180Report
Has anyone made this in individual trifle bowls? I've made it as a single trifle but looking at changing it up this year
Posted by Pauline30Report
I consider myself (as do others) quite a capable cook. However, without fail, every single one of Donna Hay's recipes I have made by following her instructions, never turn out. Some "cooks" don't share well. I know for a fact I can make almost anything Gordon Ramsey, Curtis Stone, Jamie Oliver...etc publish and, judging by the amount of people who almost "failed" with Donna Hay's recipe, just goes to prove my point. I promised myself a while ago that I would never purchase her overpriced magazine nor would I look at her recipes or watch her show....that's all
Posted by Julie2030Report
Well, I followed all the instructions to the letter, I researched gelatine and white chocolate ganache because I really wanted a success. Used 3 tbsp (i.e. 3 x 20ml Australian tbsps) of Davis gelatine in Ocean Spray Classic juice drink. I only simmered for 1 min, enough to disolve the sugar. I cooled the jelly mix to room temp before adding the frozen berries (so that they didn't instantly thaw in the warm liquid & release their juices, thinning the jelly). Got a perfect wobbly jelly. Yay! Then the wheels fell off. Ganache hell. Luckily I found a few rescue options which worked...look here.... http://talesfromthechocolateshop.blogspot.com.au/2009/03/rescuing-split-ganache.html Tried the hot cream idea which worked after a lot of beating. The rest is a breeze after that. My only comment is the individual creamy components taste way too sweet for me, although I haven't tried it as a whole yet (taste before adding all the sugar). Hope the jelly (delicious) brings it back into balance. Using more fruit as an extra layer (on top of the biscuits) to counteract sweetness. Good luck everyone if you give this a go and Merry Christmas.
Posted by Julie2030Report
Oh, and thank you to all those who posted their hints & tips. God knows what distaster I would have on my hands without them!
Posted by Allyson30Report
My mother in law and I tried this recipe today. We were really looking forward to it as it looks so lovely. We have gotten as far as getting the "jelly" in the fridge to set, which it hopefully will by tomorrow (Christmas day). Only after reading the comments below, unfortunately AFTER we had made the jelly, did we add in 1 extra sachet of gelatine and 4 gelatine sheets. With any sort of luck it will set overnight and we'll be able to make the rest tomorrow.

I am very disappointed that after all of the comments below, the recipe hasn't been reviewed and updated by the test kitchens. Trouble with the jelly from the amount of gelatine to the type of cranberry juice to use is a serious flaw with the recipe. Given that Donna has put her name to this I'd think she would want it put right.
Posted by Richard462Report
Hi Laura - you should be fine with Orange Juice - have fun
Posted by Laura1138Report
Hi can somebody help me please...I was wondering if you can use orange juice instead if liqueur as im pregnant? Thanks
Posted by Sharon1554Report
I also used the Ocean Spray juice drink, 3 x 10g sachets of Davis gelatine and let the jelly set overnight .......... and the result was a beautiful looking dessert that everyone raved about (and that was surprising light and refreshing on a very hot day). Thanks for all the constructive hints and comments posted. My only additional hint/suggestion - next time I make this I'll add 2 - 3 tablespoons of orange juice to the liqueur - found that I was a bit short on liquid by the last few biscuits and taste was just a fraction strong (but this is a personal taste issue).

Thanks Donna Hay for an impressive dessert that tastes as good as it looks!
Posted by Richard462Report
I used 4 sachets of Davis Gelatine and ocean spray juice /drink (classic 27% juice) after boiling sugar and juice I took it off the heat for 8 mins before adding the gelatine mixture as boiling liquid destroys the gelling agent. Needed all of the 5 hours to get to a wobbly jelly so overnight might have been a better idea. An excellent recipe easy to follow thank you Cathie47 for the hint on the temperature for the gelatin and tania3 for the brand
Posted by Ashley350Report
Well worth the time and effort. Just divine!