Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Ambrosia Trifle

This coconut and fruit filled trifle would make a lovely dessert for Easter. The cake turns our light and airy and can also be used as a sheet cake, layer cake or jelly roll. Using the cream mixture as the filling and frosting.
I'll let you in on a little secret. I was to bring a dessert to a friends 60th birthday tea and thought a spring like jelly roll would be a perfect choice. I baked this cake in my jello roll pan and had all the fillings ready to go. It's turned out perfect other times...but on this occasion the cake began to really crumble and rolling became impossible. Whatever you do, don't panic when this happens. Grab your trifle bowl, or any pretty glass bowl and turn your crumbling cake into a trifle masterpiece. It's your secret...unless you I did.

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well. 
  2. Pour batter into greased and parchment lined 9x13 pan.
  3. Bake as directed on cake mix box.
  4. While cake is cooling make the following filling.
Filling and Cream:
  • 1 8 ounce tub cool whip dessert topping
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups fine sweetened coconut
  • 2 284ml cans mandarin orange segments, drained well
  • 1 398ml can crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract (or vanilla extract)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  1. Stir together cool whip, sour cream, coconut, oranges and pineapple. 
  2. Whip cream together with extract and sugar until stiff.
Assembling trifle:
  1. Cut cooled cake into cubes. 
  2. Layer the cake, filling and cream alternately into trifle bowl ending layers with the cream.
  3. Decorate with more sweetened whipped cream, a sprinkle of fancy coconut and mini coloured marshmallows, or decorate with fresh fruit. 
  4. Cover well and place in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or over night. 


  1. Hey, that's a baker's secret...and thanks for admitting that not everything always turns out in our kitchens. You know what's going to be on my Easter menu. It looks beautiful.

  2. This sounds so refreshing and delicious! Do you think this recipe would serve 12 ladies? I'm thinking of serving it to my Bible study group.

    1. Yes Elaine, this would give you 12 servings. Enjoy!

  3. Kathy, the name alone sounds heavenly and the trifle looks like one of those retro type desserts to "celebrates Spring!" I can also imagine my grandkids eyeing that one first on a buffet.

  4. So so pretty Kathy! My mother often made ambrosia and served it on a lettuce leaf. Using this in a trifle is such a great idea. Love how you turned your crumbled cake into something wonderful.


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