Tipsy Laird, It’s a Trifle

Tipsy Laird is the fourth and final preview recipe from my companion cookbook to Love Inherited. Made with fresh raspberries and loads of custard and whipped cream over cubes of delicious pound cake, this dessert won’t disappoint.

fresh raspberries for dessertTIPSY LAIRD

Tipsy *Laird is often served as the dessert course at a *Burn’s Night Supper or on Hogmanay. This Scottish version of the English Trifle is both a visual treat and easy to make.

Make Tipsy Laird in one large glass trifle bowl to show off the pretty layers or divided into individual glass compote dishes.


10 ounces (285g) pound cake, halved, cut into thick slices

10 ounces (285g) fresh raspberries

6 tablespoons (90ml) Scotch (whisky) or Drambuie (juice for a nonalcoholic version)

2 cups (472ml) thick custard sauce

2 cups (472ml) whipping cream (double cream), softly whipped

Handful toasted slivered (flaked) almonds

optional—grated chocolate over the top


Arrange cake slices in bottom of the dish.

Layer raspberries, reserving a few to decorate the top.

Drizzle liquor or juice over raspberries.

Spoon custard over in thick layer.

Spoon whipped cream over.

Decorate the top with a few raspberries and toasted slivered almonds.

NOTES: I recommend Bird’s Custard Powder. It’s a great egg-free custard shortcut that has been a staple for UK cooks since 1844. But the trick to getting the custard thick enough is to add seriously heaping tablespoons (US) of the powder. And, Americans, remember the UK pint is 20 ounces, so adjust the milk. Use a twig whisk to prevent lumps.

Scotch is what makes this dessert Scottish. But if you’re not a fan of Scotch, I recommend you go with Drambuie, a sweet Scotch-based liqueur, and you can still call it Scottish. Of course, a trifle by any name, or with any flavored liquid soaking into the cake and raspberries, will taste as sweet.

Don’t make the trifle too far ahead.

*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, readers meet Sir Duncan Eideard Armstrong Sinclair, 10th Baronet, Laird of Fionnloch, owner of Glengorm House and a 65,000-acre estate in the western Highlands of Scotland.

*What’s a Burn’s Night Supper? The Scots revere Robert Burns, and January 25th, the poet’s birthday, is a night of revelry and ritual like only the Scots can do. It involves bagpipes, haggis, and whisky. There’s quite the Burn’s Night Supper in Love Inherited.

Adapted from recipe at The Spruce Eats.

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