Tipsy Parson (aka Tipsy Cake, Tipsy Pudding) descends from Renaissance-era English Trifle. This particular multi-layered sponge cake and cream dessert is soaked in alcohol (brandy, sherry, etc.). The “tipsy” refers to what might happen to the diner who eats too much of it! None of our sources offer an explanation regarding the “parson” portion of the name. About English trifle.