Who doesn’t love a Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day garden party with good friends, cold drinks, a hot grill, and a festive dessert?

And there is no dessert more festive for the beginning, or end, of summers like the Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle.

What makes this new version of my old stand-by recipe even better is that it’s not only skinnier, it’s much easier! Instead of butter-rich homemade cake and custard and full fat whipped cream, this one uses store-bought angel food cake (they are always fat-free), twice the amount of fruit, and sugar-free and fat-free whipped cream. And rather than adding a cup of sugar to the fruit, the extra sweetness comes from marinating the strawberries in Grand Marnier orange liqueur and using some Sauternes sweet wine to soak the blueberries. (By the way, when in Maine, I couldn’t find Sauternes to save my life. I used Amaretto, a sweet almond liqueur, instead. It was still fantastic!)

So next time you need to celebrate, remember The (Skinny)  Red, White, and Blue!



3 lbs. fresh strawberries, sliced

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Juice and zest of one (very juicy) navel orange (use two if you need to!)

1 16 oz bag frozen blueberries (If you’re lucky enough to live in a place that has fresh local blueberries, use those…but because they won’t release as much juice as frozen blueberries, you’ll want to add a 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of sugar to make them juicier.)

1/2 to 3/4 cup Sauternes (or 1/4 c Amaretto liqueur)

1/2 t. almond extract (you can skip the extract if you use Amaretto)

Juice and zest of one lemon

1 large store-bought angel food cakes (sizes depend on stores…though I needed only 1 in L.A., I needed 3 in Maine because they were tiny!)

2-3 containers fat-free Cool Whip

Slice your strawberries into a bowl and marinate them in the Grand Marnier, orange juice, and orange zest for at least 24 hours…The longer they sit, the more juice they’ll release.

In a separate bowl, marinate the blueberries in the Sauterne, lemon juice, zest, and almond extract for 24 hours…

Slice the angel food cake into 4 horizontal pieces. (If your store sells tiny cakes, you may only get 3 slices per cake.)

The trifle will only have 3 layers of cake, but you’ll need the 4th piece to fill in the hole in the middle and any extra space you might have around the edges.

Once your fruits are juicy and the cake is sliced, begin the layering.

Put down one layer of cake, half of the strawberries, and a layer of whipping cream.

Add another layer of cake, all of the blueberries, and another layer of cream.

Add the 3rd layer of cake, and the rest of the strawberries.

Using your micro planer, shave a bit of dark chocolate on top.

Toast your almond slices in a dry pan, stirring so they won’t burn, for a few minutes until they’re golden. Add them on top.

Hold the dessert in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to a day. The longer it sits, the more the delicious fruit juices will soak into the cake.

Dig in and enjoy the fireworks!

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