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.