Tipsy Parson was traditionally a cake that was soaked in alcohol, and then served with toppings of custard, whipped cream and almonds. Now, it has evolved into a layered dessert that is basically a trifle by another name, though trifle will have fruit added to it and Tipsy Parson won’t.
Specifically a Tipsy Parson is a sponge cake soaked in an alcohol such as wine, sherry, Madeira or brandy, then layered with whipped cream or custard in between layers, and sprinkled with blanched almonds.
Despite feeling “English”, Tipsy Parson is actually American. It is made in the south, but as far north as Maryland.
The name Tipsy Parson comes from all the booze.