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Eton Mess (Strawberry, Cream, and Meringue Trifle)

February 16, 2015

This quick and easy traditional English dessert is made from a mixture of whipped cream, strawberries, and meringue – either layered as a trifle or mixed together into a delicious mess. 

Eton Mess (mixture of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream) | prettysimplesweet.com

Until just recently, meringues haven’t exactly been my cup of tea since they were too sweet for my taste as a standalone dessert. Every time I get a box of meringues as a gift (it’s quite a thing around here), I break them into pieces, and serve them (mostly to myself) with some strawberries and whipped cream. I had been doing this long before I had even heard of Eton mess because it just felt like the perfect combination. Apparently they thought the same thing back in the 1930s, when this dessert originated at the famous Eton school in England.

Eton Mess (mixture of strawberries, meringue and cream) | prettysimplesweet.com

Sometimes, if I plan to make the dessert ahead of time, I’ll prepare my homemade meringues from scratch. But when I want to whip up a quick dessert for guests that are about to arrive, I’ll just go (i.e., send Erez) to my favorite bakery near my house and buy their beautiful meringues instead.

You can either serve this dessert in individual serving dishes or glasses, or in one large trifle bowl for anyone to take as much as they want. Just make sure that, in the case of the latter, you don’t invite me to your party. “As much as I want” usually means all of it.

Eton Mess (mixture of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream) | prettysimplesweet.com

You have two options in assembling this dessert. The first is to layer the ingredients, placing strawberries, broken meringue pieces, and whipped cream one on top of the other, then repeat the layering once more. The other option is to make it the more traditional way, which is folding the pieces of strawberry and meringue into the whipped cream. I already told you about the ‘Eton’ part of the name, so now you get the ‘mess’ part, too.

Eton Mess (mixture of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream) | prettysimplesweet.com

This dessert needs to be put together close to serving time, when the meringues are still crispy. You can prepare each of the dessert components in advance: whipping the cream, cutting the strawberries, and breaking the meringues. Store the whipped cream and strawberries in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. Once ready to serve, simply mix all of it together.

If you prefer adding more meringues or strawberries (or less, but… really?), then you are welcome to do so. You know I’ll be the last person to stop you.

Eton Mess (mixture of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream) | prettysimplesweet.com

If you want, you can make a simple strawberry sauce by processing about 150g of additional strawberries in a food processor with a bit of powdered sugar until pureed. Then, either mix it with the strawberries, swirl it into the cream, or pour it on top of the dish.

To dress up this dessert, I top each serving dish with freshly sliced strawberries, meringue pieces, or mini meringue kisses.

Eton Mess (mixture of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream) | prettysimplesweet.com

Eton Mess (mixture of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream) | prettysimplesweet.com
Eton Mess (Strawberry, Cream, and Meringue Trifle)
YIELD: 4 -6 servings

  • 500 g (3-4 cups) fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 100 g store-bought or homemade meringues
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Cut the strawberries into bite-size pieces, then place in a small bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons sugar.
  2. Break the meringues into different sizes for texture – large chunks, bite-size pieces, and dust.
  3. For the whipped cream: In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together cream, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Avoid overbeating.
  4. To serve, choose one of the following options:
  5. Layer meringues, strawberries, and cream in a large trifle bowl or 4-6 individual serving dishes.
  6. Gently fold strawberries and meringues into the whipped cream and place mixture in serving dishes. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

* The ratio between the strawberries, meringues, and cream can be changed according to your own personal taste. Use as many strawberries or meringues as you like.


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  • Reply
    February 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    This looks beautiful. I can’t wait for strawberry season!

    • Reply
      February 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Thank you Debs!

  • Reply
    February 16, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    מה איכפת לי אם זה מסודר בשכבות או לא, זה כל כך טעים וזה גם מתערבל יופי בבטן, העיקר לאכול את זה 🙂
    קינוח משגע! ואני דווקא תמיד אהבתי נשיקות 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole - Coking for Keeps
    February 16, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    These are gorrrrrgeous!! And I’m obsessed with that backdrop. I want it!

    • Reply
      February 17, 2015 at 6:42 am

      Thank you so much Nicole! I found it on the street!

  • Reply
    February 26, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Meringues are also too sweet for my taste,but i want to have a try following this recipe because i love strawberry&raspberry&blueberry with all my heart! p.s. Speaking of Eton,the best new actor Eddie spent his middle school time in Eton college,ha-ha,and his fashion style is for my taste!

    • Reply
      February 27, 2015 at 4:30 am

      Hi Sophie! You can add as many meringue kisses as you want to this dessert, so don’t worry about it being too sweet. The whipped cream and strawberries balances the sweetness.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Can you add chocolate shavings?

    • Reply
      March 5, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Yes, of course you can!

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