Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

      Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle
      Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle


      2 boxes (3.4 ounces each) instant cheesecake pudding
      3 cups cold milk
      2 teaspoons lemon zest
      1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
      1 large (16 ounces) pound cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
      6 cups sliced fresh sliced strawberries, saving a few whole berries for garnish
      2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
      Sprig of fresh mint (optional)
      Graham Cracker Crust Topping (optional)
      1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
      2 tablespoons sugar
      3 tablespoons melted butter


      Toss together sliced strawberries with a few tablespoons of sugar and let sit for at least a half hour.

      If making the optional graham cracker crust topping, combine graham crackers, sugar and butter in small bowl. Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 to 8 minutes or until toasted. Let cool and when cool, crumble a bit.

      In a large bowl beat together milk and pudding mixes until it starts to thicken. Fold in the lemon zest and half of the whipped topping. In a trifle bowl or pretty clear glass bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, a third of the strawberries, and a third of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers twice ending with the pudding mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

      Right before serving, spoon a “cloud” of the remaining whipped topping on top. Sprinkle graham cracker crust topping over the top and decorate the top with a few fresh whole or sliced strawberries and a mint sprig.

      You can also make mini individual desserts by layering the ingredients in clean canning jars, clear glasses, parfait dishes, martini or wine glasses.