Photo by Mary Britton

From Savannah’s Back in the Day Bakery, this trifle is layers of sweet whipped cream, macerated berries, and a zesty orange loaf for a citrus and decadent holiday dessert for you winter festivities.

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16 servings

    Orange zest loaf
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (about 2 oranges)
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup cream cheese (5 ounces), room temperature
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • Soaking Syrup
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Macerated berries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 cups berries and sliced fruit (it’s okay to use frozen—just be sure to thaw it first)
  • ¼ cup Grand Marnier, kirsch, sweet sherry, or Chambord
  • Whipped cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners sugar

Orange Zest Loaf

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×4×3-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix together orange zest and sugar and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until well blended and smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add in the sugar mixture and vanilla and continue to beat on medium-high speed about 3−4 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time until completely mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are completely mixed.
  5. Gradually add in the flour mixture in thirds and mix just until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Tap the loaf firmly on the counter top to make sure any air bubbles are removed from the batter.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes before unmolding.
  7. Meanwhile, to make the soaking syrup, combine ¼ cup sugar and orange juice in a small non-reactive saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring often. Once the sugar dissolves, continue cooking for about 5 minutes until the syrup deepens in color and starts to reduce.
  8. When the loaf is cool enough to handle, transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Poke hole in the cake with a skewer and pour the soaking syrup generously on top. Repeat until completely moistened. Set aside for at least 10 minutes until the syrup completely absorbed.

Macerated Berries

  1. Toss your choice of fruit together with sugar and liquor until well combined and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Whipped Cream

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken.
  2. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until the cream holds nice soft peaks.


To Assemble

  1. Slice the cake into ½-inch-thick slices. Layer the cake pieces on the bottom of a 2½−3-quart trifle bowl. Add a layer of fruit followed by whipped cream and repeat previous steps creating multiple layers.
  2. Top with whipped cream and your choice of fresh berries and fruit.


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