Serve angel cake strawberry shortcake in cups for single serving trifles perfect for baby showers, bridal showers, dinner parties and more! These mini desserts are so easy and delicious with fresh strawberries, angel food cake, cream cheese and whipped topping.
Best Angel Cake Strawberry Shortcake
These strawberry shortcakes in jars give you all the flavor of the traditional dessert with alternating layers of juicy strawberries, and a mixture of angel food cake, cream cheese and Cool Whip topping.
The cake pieces are stirred right in to the creamy ingredients so you get one big fluffy mixture to layer with the fruit. It’s a festive twist and the individual servings make it perfect for parties.
When to Serve Strawberry Shortcake in Cups
Strawberry shortcake parfaits are perfect for summertime when strawberries are at their peak of freshness. But the color also lends itself to other holidays and occasions.
- It’s a summer dessert that’s perfect for backyard bbq parties and 4th of July celebrations.
- The red and white layers make them awesome for Holidays like Valentines day and Christmas.
- Mini desserts are fantastic for special occasions like baby showers, bridal showers and birthdays.
- Individual jars look great on a dessert table for ladies luncheons, a Mother’s Day brunch, and tea parties.
- Add them to your dinner party menu for an easy make ahead dessert.
Why You’ll Love Them
A creamy filling eliminates the need for additional whipped cream on top. Bright red strawberries in their own juice are spooned over top giving this dessert its fresh seasonal appeal.
- It’s a party perfect recipe that can scale up for a larger crowd. It’s easy to double or triple!
- Mini desserts look so pretty served in glass jars where you can see the layers. They fit right in to a red and white theme party.
- These are quick, easy and make-ahead.
- They’re light and refreshing with seasonal berries.
- They mostly require assembly. No cooking involved!
Make-Ahead Party Recipe
Can you make these ahead? Yes! Make them up to 12 hours ahead for best results, however leftovers can be enjoyed for about 3 days.
To store, cover them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate.
The creamy filling keeps the cake from drying out. It’s also thick enough that it provides a barrier so the strawberry juice won’t make it soggy.
PARTY TIP: Here’s an easy way to take it to a potluck party. Just serve the cake mixture and the strawberry mixture in two separate bowls and let guests scoop it into small cups.
This easy recipe only needs 6 simple and inexpensive ingredients. See detailed quantities in recipe card.
Angel Food Cake. Get a prepared cake from the bakery department of any grocery store. Angel food cake holds up well next to the other ingredients so you can feel good about making it ahead. You can substitute with pound cake or sponge cake too.
Fresh strawberries. Dice them into small bite size pieces. Strawberries do not continue to ripen once they’re picked so choose the best looking berries you can.
Granulated Sugar. Sprinkle this on to bring out the natural juices in the fruit. The sugar will also help sweeten berries that aren’t’ quite as ripe as the others.
Powdered Sugar. The fine consistency blends into the cream cheese to create a lightly sweetened creamy filling.
Cool Whip. Use frozen whipped topping and let it thaw so it’s easy to work with. I don’t recommend using real whipped cream for this. You need the stability that the whipped topping offers.
Cream Cheese. Use a block of cream cheese (use 1/3 less fat if you like) and let it soften at room temperature or in the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds. It needs to be easy to stir but not warm.
Garnish. White chocolate shavings and fresh mint leaves.
PRO TIP: Make macerated strawberries any time to put over ice cream, cake, cheesecake, or just eat it with whipped cream. It’s simplicity at its best!
How to Make Them
The first thing you need to do is wash and dry the strawberries. Then remove stems and dice them into small cubes. Macerate the strawberries the day before you need them so you have plenty of time for the juice to develop.
Macerate is just a fancy word for softening fruit in liquid. The sugar draws out the natural juices making the strawberries softer and creating a light sweet syrup.
Add Sugar to Berries
Place strawberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle granulated sugar on top. Give them a good stir and cover and refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours. Overnight is best.
Combine Creamy Layer
Cut the angel food cake into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
Use a hand mixer to combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar together. Once it’s mixed, stir in the whipped topping. Once you have the creamy mixture, carefully fold in the cake pieces.
In each jar, layer creamy cake filling, strawberries with juice, and another layer of cake filling. Top with strawberries and juice.
Garnish with mint and white chocolate shavings.
PARTY TIP: Place mini trifles on a tray or sheet pan, cover with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Place a towel on the tray if needed to keep the jars from sliding around while transferring them to the table.
How to Serve Individual Trifles
contains affiliate links
You need 12 mini dessert cups that hold 4 to 6 ounces each. I used these 5-ounce jars that are actually upcycled from a brand of yogurt. Small 4-ounce mason jars also work great for layered trifles.
You can also use pretty tea cups for a ladies tea party or luncheon. No need to alternate layers since the cups aren’t made of glass.
Serve them with cute little dessert or demitasse spoons.
You can serve these in coupe glasses for a dinner party. For this you don’t need to create layers, just add the creamy cake mixture on the bottom and top with the macerated strawberries. Small compotes can also be used.
Small stemless wine glasses can also be use to hold the trifles.
PRO TIP: Chocolate cake would be a nice alternative to try, however I wouldn’t mix the cake into the cream cheese mixture. I would simply make 3 layers alternating the cubed cake, the creamy filling, and the strawberries.
- I like to top strawberry shortcake in cups with white chocolate shavings. Use a vegetable peeler to scrape across a bar of chocolate and get the shavings.
- This recipe is made for individual servings, but you can easily make one large trifle using a larger bowl.
- You could use other fruit instead but you won’t get the juices like you do with the strawberries. You can use blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries and simply layer them with the cake filling.
- You can add a little strawberry ice cream syrup topping, in a pinch, if you don’t have time to macerate the strawberries.
- For a less sweet treat, scale back the amount of powdered sugar in the cream cheese mixture, to about 3/4 cup.
The macerated strawberry topping is something I grew up eating every summer. We would always cut up fresh strawberries and sprinkle sugar on top. Then we would mix it up and let it sit for a while, and voilà! Just like magic, a delicious light syrup would appear after a few hours.
More Strawberry Recipes
Pick one of these other dessert ideas using fresh delicious strawberries.
- This red, white and blue trifle is everyone’s favorite for 4th of July and summer parties!
- These amazing bite size stuffed strawberries and cream treats are great for dessert tables, brunch, showers, ladies luncheons, and tea parties.
- Try this mixed berry galette for a warm dessert with strawberries inside.
- 1 – 8 ounce block light cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 – 8 ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 prepared angel food cake (about 9 ounces), cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed, dried, and diced
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- White chocolate bar and mint leaves for garnish
- Add diced strawberries to a medium bowls and sprinkle sugar over top. Mix well to coat all the strawberries.
- Cover and refrigerate for several hours or until sugar has drawn out the strawberries’ juice to create a light syrup.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth. Stir in whipped topping.
- Fold in cake cubes carefully so you don't break up the cake.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours so flavors can combine.
- To serve, scoop cake & cream cheese mixture into a small jar or compote and top with strawberries and juice. Add another layer of cake and top with strawberries.
- Use a vegetable peeler to make white chocolate shavings for garnish.
As an alternative to the strawberry juice here, you can use a purchased strawberry syrup (like pancake or ice cream topping) and just top with fresh strawberries.