Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Need a Delicious, Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dessert? Try this Pumpkin Pie Trifle!

Aaaaahh, Pumpkin Pie Season is finally here!  No doubt this time of year there is ample opportunity to get your fill of it, perhaps even to the point where it becomes, dare I say, passé?!

If you find yourself in this enviable position or you're just in the mood to try something new, you should give this delicious alternative a try. I made this Pumpkin Pie Trifle a few years ago and my family never even noticed the pumpkin pie was missing - it is THAT good!

I am a big fan of trifles since you can make them the day before your big event and the flavors and texture only improve overnight in the fridge. They also travel remarkably well if you are bringing one to a lucky friend or relative's house.

A trifle is a dessert dish made from thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or gelatin, and whipped cream. Research indicates it evolved from a similar dessert known as a fool or foole, and originally the two names were used interchangeably. The ingredients are usually arranged in layers with fruit and sponge on the bottom, and custard and cream on top.

According to Wikipedia, the earliest known use of the name trifle was for a thick cream flavoured with sugar, ginger and rosewater, the recipe for which was published in England, 1596, in a book called "The good huswife's Jewell" by Thomas Dawson. It wasn't until sixty years later when milk was added and the custard was poured over alcohol soaked bread. While some people consider the inclusion of gelatin to be a recent variation, the earliest known recipe to include jelly dates from 1747, and the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote of trifles containing jelly in 1861. Some trifles contain a small amount of alcohol such as port, or, most commonly, sweet sherry or madeira wine. Non-alcoholic versions may use sweet juices or soft drinks such as ginger ale instead, as the liquid is necessary to moisten the cake layers.

If you are in the market for a trifle bowl, the Miranda Trifle Bowl is available at Crate and Barrel and is a great basic to have, but there are plenty of options available depending on where you like to shop.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you are looking to kick it up a notch with a wine pairing, a Late Harvest Gewürztraminer or Ice Wine would work very nicely. Cheers and I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Bon Appétit,

Pumpkin Pie Trifle
• 2 (15-ounce) packages pumpkin bread mix
• 1 (4.6-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
• 2 (15-ounce) cans pure pumpkin
• 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp. ground ginger
• ½ tsp. ground cloves
• 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
• 1/2 cup gingersnaps
Bake the pumpkin bread according to the package directions and cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the canned pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices into the pudding. Cube 1 batch of the pumpkin bread and arrange in the bottom of a trifle bowl. Depending on the size of your bowl, you may have some leftover. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the pumpkin bread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining pumpkin bread, pudding, and whipped topping. If preparing the day before, simply cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Once ready to serve, sprinkle the top with the crushed gingersnaps. Enjoy!


  1. I don't generally like pie and it is usually one of my calorie saving strategies for Thanksgiving but this dessert may change everything! Looks amazing......I'll give thanks for Spanx! Great blog!
    XO, Syd

  2. This looks gorgeous and super delicious! I love making trifles! Thanks!

  3. Oh Stephanie, this is divine! I would love to have this served at Thanksgiving. Do you think it would be rude to show up with my own dessert? ;) Your trifle bowl is gorgeous as well. Happiest Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  4. Bridgett, personally I don't think you can ever have too many desserts! Hope you enjoy it and have a very Happy Thanksgiving:)

  5. Make ahead pudding, always welcome, specially at busy occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    This trifle looks absolutely fantastic, great presentation and flavours ♥

  6. I have been craving trifle for the last week! Your thanksgiving twist for it is so creative and delicious sounding :)

  7. Trifles are such a versatile dessert! I love making them. Super idea to make a pumpkin one, Stephanie.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  8. oh my I adore this and great history on it

    Happy thanksgiving

    Love Rebecca

  9. Oh, elle est étonnante, cette verrine !
    Et ultra graphique avec ses trois couleurs en harmonie... J'adore, je trouve les desserts si délicieux... et beaux, de vrais bijoux !

  10. Wonderful dessert. How lucky we are to have Savour the Moment in our cooking life!

  11. Your trifle is very chic Stephanie. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  12. That is just lovely! What a unique way to use pumpkin!


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