I will tell you a secret. The bulk of this dish was prepared in a giant round cake-carrier turned upside down (in lieu of a picnic-safe trifle dish). And it looks messy. Like my 6-year old made it with help from her 4-year old brother. Except they weren't involved.
The four pretty-looking dishes in the photo were wedding gifts from (ahem) years ago, and I tried really hard to make them look less gloppy than the big batch.Oh well, it was tasty, which is far more important than pretty.
- 1 box angel food cake mix
- 1 large box sugar-free strawberry-flavored Jello (the 8-serving version)
- Approximately 16 oz strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 12-oz tub of lite Cool Whip
- Bake the angel food cake according to box directions. Or, you could buy a pre-made one. Or go all Martha Stewart and bake from scratch. For me, I'll spend the $1.25 for the mix plus 1 1/4 cups water rather than $6 for the bakery version or $3 for a dozen eggs when all you need are the whites. Score one for being frugal and lazy at the same time.
- Mix the jello according to the speed-set directions (Boiling water followed by ice water. Sure I could repeat it, but its printed right on the box....).
- Pour half of the un-set Jello into a large bowl and stir in about 3 cups of strawberries, unfrozen*. Reserve some strawberries for the top of the cake. You can slice them or leave them whole--I left mine whole (and frozen..see my note at the bottom about that).
- Gently stir about half of the Cool Whip into the remaining Jello. The Cool Whip totally deflated for me, but I got a tasty strawberry-flavored cream out of it. Place both Jello bowls into the fridge to set for about 15 minutes.
- Break the cake into about 1" cubes. Note I say break and not cut. Go ahead and try to slice an angel food cake. I failed even with slow slices and a sharp serrated knife, so I just tore it to bits with my bare hands.
- In the bottom of your trifle dish, spread an even layer of cake pieces. Top with about half of the Jello/Cool Whip and then about half of the Jello/Fruit. Layer on more cake, pink Cool-Whip, and Jello. Top with your reserved strawberries. Top again with the remaining un-adulterated Cool Whip.
- Chill (or freeze) and serve.
*Note about frozen strawberries. If you pour un-set Jello over frozen strawberries, the Jello will set. Like immediately. Handy tip if you're making Jello for dessert in a jiffy. Not so handy when you want it to be a soft-set saucy layer for your trifle. Luckily, my strawberry Cool Whip layer was extra saucy.