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Dorothy Dean presents: Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle brings a light touch to your July 4th menu

This red, white and blue trifle, a mixture of glazed strawberries, blueberries and pound cake, is a fresh option for your July 4th table. (Audrey Alfaro/For The Spokesman-Review)
This red, white and blue trifle, a mixture of glazed strawberries, blueberries and pound cake, is a fresh option for your July 4th table. (Audrey Alfaro/For The Spokesman-Review)

This Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle is a delicious and vibrantly patriotic celebratory cake.

Layers of glazed strawberries, pound cake, sweetened cream cheese and plump blueberries are stacked in a trifle dish and chilled until ready to serve.

That means this can be made a day in advance, and that alone calls for fireworks.

This impressive dessert is light and creamy, sweet and tart, and ridiculously easy to make. By using store bought pound cake, there is no baking required. And while I do make my own strawberry glaze, you could always just buy that as well.

Besides being easy, trifles are endlessly customizable. Plus, this is a holiday celebrating independence, so feel free to swap out the pound cake for angel food cake or white or vanilla cake. Different berries can also be used or added. And you can use any instant pudding in place of the cream cheese layer.

Don’t have a trifle bowl? A glass baking dish would work. And you can even make individual servings by using little mason jars or clear plastic cups.

You can never have enough red, white and blue on the Fourth. So unleash that patriotic spirit – in the form of this dessert – and have a safe, fun and tasty holiday.

Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle

Adapted from Allrecipes.com and foodnetwork.com

For cake layer:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 (16-ounce) pound cake

For cream cheese layer:

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed

For strawberry glaze layer:

3 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 8 cups), divided

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon lime juice

For blueberry layer:

1 pint blueberries

Heat 1/4 cup sugar, the lemon juice and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract.

Brush all sides of pound cake with syrup. Slice into 1-inch slices and brush both sides of each slice with syrup. Cut the slices into 1-inch cubes.

Beat the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract. Fold in whipped topping.

For the strawberry layer, add half of the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and lime juice to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Let cool then stir in remaining strawberries.

To assemble trifle, arrange half of the cake cubes in the bottom of a trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Gently spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the blueberries. Dollop on half of the glazed strawberries and spread gently. Arrange the remaining cake cubes on top of the glaze, then sprinkle with more blueberries and slather on remaining cream cheese mixture. Finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a decorative pattern. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.