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Norma's Colorful Mai Tai Trifle Cake

  • Yield: About 12 servings


  • 2 frozen pound cake loaves
  • 1 can (20 ounces) of crushed pineapple
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of Mandarin oranges
  • 3 jiggers of dark rum (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 4 tablespoons pineapple preserves
  • 12 ounces custard or instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 carton (12 ounces) whipped topping
  • 1 bag (2.25 ounces) sliced almonds


  • Split a pound cake lengthwise in half. Spread the orange marmalade generously on the lower half and replace the top. Cut the cake into one-inch slices. Place the pound cake slices into the bottom of a large, clear-glass serving bowl (a straight-sided trifle cake bowl is preferable). Press the slices firmly against the side of the bowl, forming a firm, evenlayer.
  • Strain the juice from the canned fruits, mixing half a cup of Mandarin orange juice and half a cup of pineapple juice with 3 jiggers of dark rum (optional) to make the Mai Tai flavoring. Pour half of the mixture (about half a cup) over the pound cake. Spread crushed pineapple over the pound cake. (For the best decorative effect, be sure this layer, and all additional layers are pressing smoothly against the side of the glass bowl).
  • Pour the vanilla pudding or custard into the bowl and spread in an even layer. Cut the remaining pound cake lengthwise, spread generously with pineapple preserves, slice in one-inch pieces and layer into the bowl. Pour the remaining Mai Tai mixture over this layer of pound cake, soaking thoroughly.
  • Place an even layer of Mandarin oranges over the cake slices.
  • Empty the carton of whipped topping into a mixing bowl. Add a tablespoon of orange marmalade and a tablespoon of pineapple preserves. Beat with a whisk until smoothly blended and frothy. Spoon the topping mixture onto the cake, forming decorative peaks. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Serving tip: Traditionally, portions of trifle cake is dipped from the bowl with a long-handled serving spoon. However, after being properly chilled, a trifle can be sliced and served in a more attractive manner. Cut only one slice at a time. Lay the trifle bowl on its side and, using large spatula, ease a slice out and onto plate. The first slice may crumble when removed but the rest should come out easily.