Classic Scottish Tipsy Laird Trifle Recipe

Mini raspberry trifles
Joff Lee/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
Ratings (32)

The delightfully sounding Scottish trifle dessert of Tipsy Laird truly is, with a doubt, a thing of beauty. The light dessert is traditionally is served on Burns Night or at Hogmanay, but, having said that, this dessert is so delicious and so very easy to make, why save it for just one night a year? It is far too good for that.

The beauty of the dessert is not just the flavor, Tipsy Laird is pretty to look at too and unbelievably easy to make. What is not to like? 

A Tipsy Laird is essentially the same as a classic English Trifle, the pudding that has graced British tables for centuries but this Scottish one uses whisky, not sherry, and (where possible but not essential) uses Scottish raspberries. Scottish raspberries are renowned worldwide for being the best so if you are lucky enough to be able to use them, then great. However, good, fresh raspberries will do the job do not, however, ever use frozen, they do not work. 

Jelly may not always be used but no Trifle is complete without custard. This trifle though is so quick and easy to make, as it uses ready-made custard or you can make it with custard powder following the packet instructions. For an even richer dessert, finish the trifle by grating dark or white chocolate over.

A Tipsy Laird cannot be made too far in advance, but because it is so quick and easy that should not be a problem. 

What You'll Need

  • 10oz (300g) sponge/ pound cake, halved and cut into thick slices
  • 10oz (300g)  fresh raspberries, Scottish if you can but not essential
  • 6 tablespoon whisky or Drambuie
  •  2 cups (500ml) thick, ready-made, custard sauce
  • 2 cups (500ml) double (heavy) or whipping cream, softly whipped
  • Handful, toasted, flaked almonds

How to Make It

Serves 6
The trifle can be made in one large glass dish or into individual glasses

  • Line the bottom of the dish or glasses with the already cut thick cake slices. If you are using one large bowl use all the cake in one layer if you can. 
  • Reserve a few of the fresh raspberries for decoration, then layer the remaining evenly over the cake slices. Again in the large trifle, one thick layer is good. Sprinkle with the whisky making sure it soaks down to the cake. 
  • Spoon over the ready made custard, again in a thick layer.
  • Finish with a further thick layer of whipped cream either spooned over or piped using a piping bag.
  • Finish the Tipsy Laird by decorating with the reserved raspberries and a few toasted, flaked, almonds.

    Omit the whisky if you are serving the Tipsy Laird trifle to children. 


Alternative Versions of the Tipsy Laird

To be authentic and a trusted Tipsy Laird, you really should not mess with this classic recipe. All I would recommend is the omitting of the whisky for young people and perhaps the addition of grated chocolate instead.