Macadamia gingerbread and raspberry trifle

A modern Australian take on the popular retro dessert, this classic trifle is perfect for the holiday season.

Roasted macadamia butter imparts a delicate nuttiness to tender portions of gingerbread cake, which are then drizzled with spiced orange syrup and complemented by the pleasing crunch of roasted macadamia nuts. These fragrant flavours mingle with sweet raspberry jelly, lashings of vanilla ginger custard and tart fresh raspberries to create a delicious twist on a classic dessert that stimulates all the senses.

This recipe was created for Australian Macadamias by Salma Sabdia @thepolkadotter.


6 people


  • Dessert


  • Celebrations




Raspberry jelly

  • 235 g fresh raspberries 
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 320 ml water
  • 4 gelatine leaves

Vanilla ginger custard

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks large
  • 90 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/3 tsp fine sea salt

Macadamia gingerbread cake

  • 50 g roasted macadamia butter
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g brown sugar
  • 20 g honey
  • 100 ml milk
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 egg large, room temperature
  • 125 g plain flour sifted
  • 1.5 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Spiced orange syrup

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

To serve

  • 200 g fresh raspberries to decorate
  • 60 g roasted macadamia nuts chopped coarsely
  • Icing sugar to sift

Raspberry jelly

  • For the raspberry jelly, divide 160g of fresh raspberries between 6 glasses to keep whole in the jelly.

    Simmer the remaining 75g fresh raspberries, sugar, salt and water in a small saucepan over low heat for 8-10 minutes until sugar is dissolved and raspberries have disintegrated, pressing on the raspberries to break them up completely. The resultant liquid will have a crimson hue with pale grey raspberry seeds floating on top. Allow raspberry syrup to steep for 5 minutes, then pour through a sieve into a medium bowl. Avoid pressing the seeds through the sieve as this will result in a cloudier jelly. Bloom the gelatine leaves according with manufacturer’s recommendations, then stir through the warm raspberry syrup to yield approximately 420ml of raspberry jelly. Pour jelly over whole raspberries in each glass, dividing equally between glasses. Refrigerate overnight to set.

Vanilla ginger custard

  • For the vanilla ginger custard, cut vanilla pod in half lengthways, scraping seeds into milk in a large saucepan. Place the pod in with the milk and heat gently until hot and steamy, stirring continuously. Mix cornflour, ginger and salt in a small bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of water to make a smooth paste, then gently whisk into warm milk. Remove milk from heat and allow to cool slightly while whisking yolks and sugar together in a large bowl for 2-3 minutes until pale. Slowly pour or ladle warm milk over egg mixture while whisking continuously to avoid eggs scrambling. Return mixture to saucepan and continue to cook over low-medium heat while whisking until thickened, then remove from heat. This recipe yields 500ml of custard. Set it aside in an airtight container to serve, keeping refrigerated for up to 72 hours if required.

Macadamia gingerbread cake

  • For the macadamia gingerbread cake, preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced), set oven rack in lower third of the oven and grease or line a 20cm x 20cm square baking pan with baking paper. Mix macadamia butter, melted butter, sugar, honey, milk and zest in a large bowl until smooth. Gently whisk in egg, then sifted flour, spices and salt until smooth. Take care not to overmix.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on cooling rack, then set aside in an airtight container at room temperature to serve. The cake will keep for up to 24-48 hours if required.

Spiced orange syrup

  • For the spiced orange syrup, simmer juice, zest, sugar, spices and salt in a medium saucepan for 5-10 minutes until the ingredients thicken into a syrup. Remove from heat and set aside to serve. The syrup will keep refrigerated for a week in an airtight container (or for months if a sterilised glass jar or bottle is used for storage).

To serve

  • To serve, set all prepared elements out on a bench, along with glasses of prepared jelly. Set aside half the quantity of custard. Spoon the other half of the custard over the jelly, dividing equally between each glass. Trim the sides of the cake (to enjoy yourself while preparing the trifles!) then cut the cake into small cubes, dividing the cake cubes equally between glasses. Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of syrup over the cake cubes in each glass. If a small amount remains, this can be served on the side for guests wanting a little more spice, or reserved to enjoy with fresh fruit, yoghurt or porridge. Spoon remaining custard over each glass equally. Divide raspberries between each glass, then sprinkle with roasted macadamia nuts and dust with sifted icing sugar. The layers look best served immediately, however the trifle will still be delicious if kept in the fridge for a few hours prior to serving.


Tip: The flavour of each element in this delicious trifle has been carefully balanced to achieve a glorious dessert, and it is well worth the effort of making each component from scratch. If, however, time does not permit this labour of love in its entirety, I recommend making the cake and syrup, and pairing them with the best quality jelly and custard you can source.
  • Calories: 761 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 112 grams
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Fat: 32 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 12 grams
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 grams
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 16 grams
  • Trans Fat: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: 196 mg
  • Sodium: 254 mg
  • Potassium: 429 mg
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 86 grams
  • Vitamin A: 718 IU
  • Vitamin C: 19 mg
  • Calcium: 243 mg
  • Iron: 3 mg