Tipsy Laird, a Trifle

Love Inherited, the first in the series A Highland Romance, is full of delicious Scottish cuisine from oatcakes to steak and ale pie to Atholl brose. Readers have clamored for recipes, so here’s the start of the wee cookbook I’ll be putting together: Tipsy Laird.

Tipsy Laird (Scottish Trifle)

Tipsy *Laird is often served as the dessert (pudding) course at a Burn’s Night Supper (as it is in Love Inherited) or on Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve). This Scottish version of the English Trifle is both a visual treat and easy to make.


  • 10oz (300g) pound/sponge cake, halved and cut into thick slices
  • 10oz (300g) fresh raspberries
  • 6 tablespoons (90ml or 0.75gi) Scotch (whisky) or Drambuie (orange juice for a nonalcoholic version)
  • 2 cups (500ml) thick custard sauce (I recommend Bird’s Custard Powder. Use heaping tablespoons)
  • 2 cups (500ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream), softly whipped
  • Handful toasted slivered (flaked) almonds
  • Grated chocolate over the top (optional)


Tipsy Laird can be made in one large glass bowl to show off the pretty layers or divided into individual glass compote dishes. Don’t make the trifle too far ahead.

  • Arrange cake slices in bottom of the dish
  • Layer raspberries, reserving a few to decorate the top
  • Drizzle liquor or juice over raspberries, making sure it soaks through to the cake
  • Spoon custard over in thick layer
  • Spoon whipped cream over
  • Decorate the top with a few raspberries and toasted slivered almonds

*What’s a laird? A laird is the owner of a large and long-established estate in Scotland. Laird is a description, not a title, dating to the fifteenth century, though many holders of the designation may have hereditary and conferred titles as well. In Love Inherited, the reader meets Sir Duncan Eideard Armstrong Sinclair, 10th Baronet, Laird of Fionnloch, owner of Glengorm House and a 65,000-acre estate on the west coast of the Highlands of Scotland.

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