Desserts that go with prime rib run the gamut from fresh, light offerings that counter the richness of the meat and usual accompaniments to just-as-rich creme brulee and hearty English trifle. Trifle, of course, is like a sweets meal itself, and its peasant origins belie its deliciousness. In the end it’s simply what you prefer.

Fresh Fruit

Perhaps nothing can be fresher and more satisfying than the sweetness of fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries can be served alone or in a sauce of fruit puree infused with a fruit liqueur. Apples and oranges also offer clean, refreshing flavors. The primary objective is to provide a complement to the substantial main meal without adding heaviness.


Sorbet has a light, clean and refreshing taste that can satisfy the sweet palate. Sorbets use sweetened water or fruit juice rather than the milk or cream used in ice cream, so they’re ideal following a sumptuous prime-rib main course. They’re a more impressive than fresh fruit, and can convey intense fresh fruit flavor with icy cold texture. Sorbet is an ideal finish to a prime rib dinner because it doesn’t contain fat.

Creme Brulee

As rich as the meal itself, the creamy texture of creme brulee can help settle a full stomach. It’s interesting because, while rich with cream, it is satisfying like any custard when eaten in moderate amounts. Creme brulee is also known as acrema catalana, burnt cream or Trinity, with a signature touch of caramelized sugar atop the rich custard base.


The amalgamation of everything above is also the most traditional English dessert following a prime rib meal. A melange of sponge or pound cake, custard, fruit, liqueur and whipped cream, trifle’s beginnings were humble, but evolved in the mid-18th century to the substantial and satiating dessert we have today. Trifle, unlike its name, is an event befitting the heartiness of the main meal.