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…