Melon Ball Trifle Recipe

Much like the Rum Runner Trifle I posted recently, this was one of the first recipes slated for The Spirited Baker. Also like that recipe, managed to forget to include this one as well! Whoops! You’ll have to buy the book for the other 160+ awesome recipes!

This recipe seems involved, but it comes together quite easily! The cake should be made at least a day before serving, but can be made even further ahead than that! Feel free to tightly wrap the slab of cake in plastic wrap and freeze for a couple of weeks, allowing it to defrost for an hour or two before cutting it up.

While I like to make up my trifles fresh RIGHT before serving them, many people find that they get better by aging a day or two in the fridge – making them an excellent dessert for entertaining. This is a fun, pretty, and tasty dessert – always a hit to bring to potlucks and special events!

Melon Ball Trifle


3 cups Cake flour
2 1/4 cups Sugar
2 Tbsp Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 1/2 oz Instant vanilla pudding mix**
6 Eggs
1/2 cup vodka
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups Butter, melted
2 Tbsp Pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Liberally a 9x 13? cake pan with vegetable shortening, and/or spray with baking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a large mixing bowl. Add in eggs, vodka, and orange juice, beating until smooth. Carefully add melted butter, vanilla, and orange zest to the mix, mixing on medium speed until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake until golden and knife inserted into center of batter comes out clean – about 45 minutes. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes before turning cake out onto baking rack to cool fully. Ideally, allow to cool to room temperature, wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

Allow cake to sit overnight, assemble trifle the following day.

Melon Soak
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Midori melon liqueur
½ cup sugar

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside. (Alternatively: Substitute 1/4 cup reserved water/syrup from the canned mandarin orange slices for the plain water.)

Pudding Mixture**
2 small boxes vanilla instant pudding
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Midori melon liqueur

Whisk together pudding mix, milk, melon liqueur, and food coloring – if desired. Allow to set up slightly before assembling trifle.

2-3 cans mandarin orange segments, drained
1-2 honeydew melons

To Assemble Trifle

Cut cake into 1- 1.5″ cubes.

Cut melons in half, scoop out and discard seeds. Slice, remove rind, and chop into bite sized pieces. (You can use a melon baller if you want to get fancy with it!)

In a large trifle-type bowl, arrange 1/3 of the cake cubes (or whatever percentage it takes to get a good solid layer down) on the bottom. Drizzle with Melon soak, spoon 1/3 of the pudding mixture evenly over top. Arrange orange segments and melon pieces on top of pudding layer.

Repeat twice with remaining cake, pudding, and fruit. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

* To make your own Melon Ball cocktails at home:

Melon Ball Cocktail Recipe

In a tall glass filled with ice, pour:

1 oz vodka
6 oz orange juice

“Float” 1 oz Midori melon liqueur on top.

** Feel free to substitute homemade custard. That’s how I tend to do it, but have utilized instant pudding mix in this recipe to keep things a bit more simple! There are some great custard recipes in The Spirited Baker cookbook… just sayin! 🙂

Interested in boozy culinary experiments? You’ll LOVE my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker!

Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

To further add to your creative possibilities, the first chapter teaches how to infuse spirits to make both basic and cream liqueurs, as well as home made flavor extracts! This book contains over 160 easy to make recipes, with variation suggestions to help create hundreds more! Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

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