Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Every time I hear the word “trifle” I automatically think about the Friends episode when Rachel tries to make an English Trifle and fails spectacularly because the pages of two recipes were stuck together.

“First there’s a layer of ladyfingers, then a layer of jam.  

Then custard, which, I made from scratch.  

Then raspberries, more ladyfingers.  Then beef sautéed with peas and onions.  

More custard, then bananas, then I just put whipped cream on top!”

Sounds abominable, yes?  Not according to Joey!

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Today was our annual office Thanksgiving feast.  Last year I brought a Kugel because it was Thanksgivukkah.  I guess Kugel is weird to anyone who hasn’t grown up with it and I think my coworkers were afraid of the concept of sweet noodles.  This year, I initially signed up to bring pies.  Too many people wanted to bring pies so I quickly scanned Pinterest for other ideas.  I found this Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle recipe and decided to channel my inner Paula Deen.

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My first questions was, “how much butter is in this”?  Surprisingly, there was none (or so I thought) so I went for it.  My coworker told me that she wanted nothing to do with that Cool Whip garbage and suggested I make homemade whipped cream.  Brown sugar whipped cream to be specific.  I had never made whipped cream before nor had I heard of it being made with brown sugar.  I went back to Pinterest and found this Brown Sugar Whipped Cream recipe.

This recipe is to be presented in a Trifle Dish.  It would seem that a Trifle Dish would be an easy item to find.  The most difficult part of this recipe was finding a dang Trifle Dish.  I dragged my boyfriend to Walmart, Home Goods, and TJ Maxx to no avail.  I almost caved and bought a $30 Ralph Lauren bowl to just get it over with so we could go to dinner.  The following day, I checked Marshall’s on my lunch break and STILL nothing!  I almost just caved and bought a vase.  I finally found one on Target’s website.  Of course, none of the nearby locations had them in stock, so I used the Pick Up In Store option to retrieve one from a land far, far away.  The one they reserved for me had a defect, so they sent me on a wild good chase to hunt down another one.  Wasn’t the whole point of reserving it online to not have to search for it in the store?  Anyway, my search is now over and I am the proud owner of a Trifle Dish.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

1/2 cup Brown Sugar (packed)

1/3 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 (30 oz.) can Pumpkin Pie Filling

1 package Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

1/2 cup Gingersnaps

For the Whipped Cream

1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream

4 tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

  • Bake the gingerbread according to package instructions and cool completely.
    • Let me just say that Target does not sell Gingerbread mix.  They sell Gingerbread House kits with pre-made cardboard gingerbread, but not the mix itself.  They did have Gingerbread Cookie with Holiday Spice mix, so I bought two packages of those.  Surely, my coworkers would appreciate a little “Holiday Spice” or whatever.  This is why I don’t purchase groceries and Target, but I was already there to pick up my treasured Trifle Dish.
    • I FOUND THE HIDDEN BUTTER.  It was in the gingerbread!  Two sticks between both packages, if you must know.
  • Prepare the pudding.  Stir the pumpkin pie filling, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and cinnamon into the pudding.
    • Apparently the whisk attachment on my mixer doesn’t touch the very bottom of the bowl, so I had some powdery pudding mix left in the bottom by the end.  This may explain why the texture of my pumpkin gunk didn’t look like Paula Deen’s pumpkin gunk.
    • To prepare the whipped cream, briskly whisk the heavy whipping cream, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
      • This was SUPER FUN to watch!  From now on I will make homemade whipped cream always.  Additionally, it tastes like heaven.
      • Don’t over-whisk because that is how butter is made.  Mine turned out somewhere in between and I was satisfied with that.
  • Crumble one batch of the gingerbread into the bottom of the trifle.  Pour one half of the pumpkin mixture on top then layer one half of the whipped cream.  Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pumpkin mixture, and whipped cream.
    • I personally feel like this recipe made way too much pumpkin gunk.  It drowned my gingerbread and destroyed my “layered look”.  I would almost venture to say that the river of pumpkin gunk nearly turned this into a Pinterest Fail.  I chose not to use all of it by the last layer.
    • I would suggest doubling the whipped cream recipe because it is delicious and looks pretty
  • Refrigerate overnight
  • Top with crumbled gingersnaps before serving.
    • This step was optional, but I am glad I did it.  It covered up the parts where the pumpkin gunk and whipped cream mixed because I have sub par spatulas.
    • I also garnished the top with an arrangement of gingersnaps.  By this time, finding perfectly round ones was difficult because the non-broken ones live at the top of the box and I already ate those.  Luckily, I found enough to create something that resembled whatever was going on in Paula Deen’s trifle.

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The trifle was a hit along with the bazillion other delicious desserts at our Thanksgiving feast.  This dessert is so rich that it could surely feed an army, but it was scrumptious.  This may be my new go-to fall dessert!  Partially because it is delightful and partially because you should not eat this more than once a year.  Just a fair warning.

Thanks for stopping by!  See y’all next time…


Oy With the Poodles Already!

First blog posts always seem to carry the obligation of being profound, so I am just going to discuss what all “basic” girls love, Fall.

Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year. Unfortunately for us Austinites, fall is not something we experience until February-ish. Even then, it only lasts a couple of weeks before the summer temperatures come creeping back in (I kid, I kid… sort of).

I am the kind of girl who purchased Torani Pumpkin Pie Syrup from Amazon on August 1st.  I have had to distance myself from it for a few weeks so I do not get sick of the flavor before fall ends.  I have transitioned to my Starbucks Gingerbread syrup, which I will also have to stop using so I do not burn out on it before the holidays.  I just can’t win with the seasonal flavors here.


Yes, I bought the big one. Thank you, Amazon.

Everyone knows that the month of August is considered “pre-fall”. I am also guilty of busting out the boots and scarves the second the temperatures drop below 75 degrees. Here in the South, that is considered frigid.

I have weird fall-ish rituals that I must do in the fall. And no, I am not just talking about Pumpkin Spice everything (because that is a given).

First of all, Halloween doesn’t even seem real to me unless I have carved a pumpkin. My impatience for actually producing a fully carved pumpkin stems way back from my childhood. I had an extensive collection of coloring books with halfway colored pictures. I would pick the easy ones, color half of them, and move onto anything number related  (aka connect the dots).   My affinity for playing cash register absolutely translates to the fact that I ended up working in the financial industry.  Creativity does not run through these veins.  Anyhoo, I always pick the easiest stencil to use and it is a miracle if I get past the digging out mushy, gooey, pumpkin gunk with my bare hands stage.

I also always feel the need to spend a chilly, cloudy day sitting down and watching Gone with the Wind. By tradition, I always have to have something in the Crock Pot simmering first. Typically, the Crock Pot concoction is done before the movie itself since Gone with the Wind is possibly the longest movie in existence.  It is a classic, so if you have not seen it, please carefully follow my steps for a perfect Gone with the Wind experience:

1. Get on Pinterest and find the most scrumptious looking Crock Pot recipe you can find.

2. Get your Crock Pot brewing with that comfort food-y goodness.

3. Start the movie.

4. Salivate and listen to your stomach growl while you torturously smell your food cooking.

5. Enjoy that bowl of whatever it is you made and gawk at how dramatic and ridiculous Scarlett O’Hara is.

6. Thank your lucky stars that you, nor anyone you know, is as bad at dating/keeping men around as Scarlett is.


Whatever you have in that Crock Pot smells DELISH, Scarlett.

Finally, I have to watch at least SOME episodes of Gilmore Girls.  Every couple of years I have to binge watch the entire series.   A few years ago, I gave up hope that this show would ever grace Netflix with its presence and purchased every season (again, thank you Amazon). Gilmore Girls is one of my all time favs.


Where you leeeead, I will folloooow…

I wish I could uproot my life to move to Stars Hollow to live their seemingly perfect and charming small-town lives. I want to eat at Luke’s Diner, shop at Doose’s, attend Kirk’s movie nights, go to every festival, and stay at the Dragonfly Inn. Most importantly, I want to experience their magical, Connecticut fall season. Plus I want to have a bottle or two of wine with Lorelai, because who wouldn’t. Even though I cannot stand that theme song and fast forward through it whenever possible, it makes me want to live in Stars Hollow.  I will always associate my love for the Gilmore clan with my love for fall.  I really could go on and on about how much I love fall, Crock Pots, and Stars Hollow, but I won’t bore you today.  Thanks for stopping by!  See y’all next time…