Gingerbread Trifle

Tis the season for trifles…and gingerbread!  What better way to celebrate the holidays by combining these two gems together?  Exactly my thoughts as well.  After making the upside down apple gingerbread cake, I decided to utilize it in a trifle recipe.  My husband and I were just discussing last night how neither one of us really grew up eating gingerbread type desserts.  Last year when I made the soft gingerbread cookies for the first time, I fell hard for them.  Such a warm flavor all rolled in with the moist yumminess of it all.

gingerbread trifle

After making one round of this trifle experimentation, I decided to change a couple of things about the recipe.  Originally, I had double the amount of cream cheese, and only 16 oz. of cool whip.  After using my family as guinea pigs, we all agreed that it needed more of a creamy texture.  So, in place of the extra 8 ounces of cream cheese, I changed it to an extra amount of cool whip.  The caramel sauce added even more moisture to the cake, along with some added flavor.

For the Gingerbread Cake:

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 cup molasses

1/2 cup applesauce

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.  Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Blend into the creamed mixture.  Stir in the hot water, pour into greased 9×13 inch cake pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes in oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and cake is slightly pulling away from edges of pan.  Cool for 10-15 minutes in pan before turning out onto cooling rack to cool completely before putting together in trifle dish.

For the Filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

24 oz. cool whip

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup caramel sauce, divided (you can use homemade sauce or ice cream topping)

Divide gingerbread cake into three sections, reserving a very small amount of crumbs for topping.  In large bowl using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cinnamon until well blended.  Gradually add cool whip, continue mixing until smooth.  Crumble first section into a trifle bowl, then drizzle with 1/3 cup caramel sauce.  Spoon 1/3 of cream cheese and cool whip mixture on top of cake and caramel sauce.  Repeat layering two more times, then top with a small amount of cream cheese/cool whip mixture, gingerbread cake crumbs, and drizzle with a little bit of caramel sauce.  Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight, store in refrigerator.

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

Lately, I’ve been thinking about different trifles to make.  Several years ago when I couldn’t find a recipe for an Oreo Trifle, I made one up myself…and it was amazing.  So, I’ve been brainstorming about different types of trifles to put together.  As I was thinking about strawberries and cheesecake, the though of having these two together in a trifle sounded delicious.  As the brainstorming process continued, I did a search on other recipes with a similar name or style as this one.  Although they all sounded great, they didn’t sound exactly like what I was looking for.  And honestly, to me the biggest difference of the trifle is the homemade strawberry sauce that is layered on top of the angel food cake and freshly cut strawberries.

strawberry cheesecake trifle (2)

In my Tiramisu Trifle, the angel food cake and the Nilla wafers soak up the coffee, holding in all of that flavor and putting it together so well, and that’s what I wanted for this one as well.  But, since the strawberry sauce is a lot thicker than coffee, there needed to be more of it, right?  Right!  I went to a post-Christmas gathering with some childhood friends that were in town visiting family, and showing up empty-handed just wasn’t an option.  So, here was my chance.  When I showed up with the dessert, I honestly didn’t think anyone was more excited about trying it out than me…until my friend’s fiancé saw it.  Next thing I know, he’s sneaking off to the fridge in the garage where it was stored, and showed up with it in his hands, saying, “I just want to look at it.”  He set it down on the counter in the kitchen and proceeded to stare at it.  I laughed and said, “Do you want to go ahead and try it?”  He smiled and whispered, “Can you serve it so I don’t get into trouble?”  It was my pleasure.  As we dug in, I sat there, shaking my head after each bite.  I really do think that strawberry sauce made such a big difference with it…and even made it for a family gathering the very next day.

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle Recipe:

1 angel food cake

5 cups strawberries, cut up into bite size pieces

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

16 oz. cool whip

Prepare the strawberry sauce:

Bring 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to boil in saucepan on medium heat.  Add two cups of strawberries, cook for about ten minutes or until strawberries are soft and mushy.  Puree mixture, set aside to cool.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups of sauce.

Putting the trifle together:

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Set aside 1 cup of Cool Whip for topping, add remaining Cool Whip to cream cheese mixture.  Continue beating at medium speed until well blended.

Divide angel food cake into three sections.  Crumble one section into bottom of trifle dish.  Sprinkle 1 cup of strawberries on top of crumbled cake, then drizzle 1/3 of strawberry sauce (about 1/2 cup) on top of strawberries and cake.  Spread 1/3 of cream cheese mixture on top, repeat layering two more times.  Spread reserved Cool Whip on top, store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

**Make it light!  Use sugar free angel food cake, reduced fat cream cheese and lite whipped topping.  You’ll never notice the difference!  Amazing!

Tiramisu Trifle

As I’ve mentioned before, I love trifles.  They look elegant sitting in that trifle dish all layered and put together, and there hasn’t been one yet that didn’t taste delicious that I’ve come across.  While I was talking to my mother-in-law on Friday, we were planning the menu out for Mother’s Day on Sunday.  She asked me if I could make dessert and asked what we would be having…and this was the perfect opportunity to try this recipe out.  I’ve been toying with what ingredients to use in this to make it taste similar to the Tiramisu, yet keep it really simple to throw together.  The end result was bliss.  My husband went back for seconds, and my mother-in-law packaged some up before we left.


While I was putting this together, the thought pondered in my head, wondering if there was too much coffee drizzled on the cake and cookie layers…but the distribution was perfect.  You could definitely taste the coffee in the dessert, but it wasn’t overpowering…and that mascarpone layer was so rich and creamy.  You can use regular coffee or coffee liquor, but that depends on how much of a “kick” you want.  Since my daughter ate some of this batch, regular coffee was used…but I would still love to throw some of the liquor in there as well.  You could always use half coffee and half liquor, or however else you’d like to make it.  This dessert has definitely been added to the “Heck yes, I’ll make it again” list for the future!

Tiramisu Trifle Recipe:

1 angel food cake (I just picked one up from the bakery at the grocery store)

1 box Nilla wafers

1 cup powdered sugar

8 oz. mascarpone cheese

1 cup coffee or coffee liquor

2 (8 oz.) containers whipped topping

4 teaspoons cocoa, divided

Beat mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar with electric mixer until creamy and blended.  Add 1 container of whipped topping, continue mixing until well-blended.  Break up half of cake and place on bottom of trifle dish.  Drizzle 1/4 cup of coffee over cake.  Spread half of mascarpone mixture on top of cake.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cocoa on top.  Place half of cookies on top, drizzle with 1/4 cup coffee.  Spread half of remaining container of whipped topping on top of cookie layer, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cocoa.  Repeat layering.  Cover tightly and set in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight, so the flavors can set.  Store in refrigerator.

Oreo Trifle



Have you ever seen a bunch of people flock around a dessert like a bunch of wolves ready to pounce on a deer?  Well, that perfectly describes what happens every time I pull this trifle out to serve.  It is by far the most popular trifle I’ve created, but it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with Oreos.

This layer is my favorite part…look at all of those Oreos!  I dipped the Oreos in milk and broke them up into pieces while layering them in the trifle dish so they’re soft when it’s time to eat.  And the best part?  There are TWO layers, just like this.

This recipe is also in my second cookbook, What’s for Dinner?

Trifles are so easy to make and so delicious.  Since most trifles have pudding and whipped topping in them, they always hang out in the fridge with all of the other cool food items…probably making them gawk at its beauty.  Shoot, I do.

Oreo Trifle Recipe:

1 box brownie mix (plus oil, water and eggs to bake)

1 package Oreo cookies

2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding mix

4 cups milk (extra for dunking Oreos)

1 (8 oz.) container whipped topping

Following directions on brownie box, bake brownies in oven.  Cool completely.  Combine pudding mix and milk, whisk until blended.  Take half of brownies and crumble into bottom of trifle bowl.  Spoon half of pudding mixture on top of brownies.  Dip half of Oreos in milk (to soften) and place on top of pudding mixture in bowl.  Spoon half of remaining whipped topping on top of Oreo layer.  Repeat layering.  Top with crumbled Oreos, put plastic wrap on top and store in refrigerator.


Like this?  Try these!

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

Oreo Truffles

Chocolate Chip Cookie Trifle

Oreo Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Trifle

I love trifles.  They’re easy, pretty and very yummy.  This trifle consists of chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate pudding and whipped topping.  Oh my.  Oh my, indeed.


1 batch of brownies, baked and cooled

1 package chocolate chip cookies

2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding

3 cups milk

16 oz. whipped topping

Take half of the brownie batch and crumble into bottom of trifle dish.  Mix both boxes of instant pudding with 2 cups of milk, whisk well…it will be thick.  Fold in 8 oz. of the whipped topping and stir together well, spread half of pudding mixture on top of brownies.  Dip half of the chocolate chip cookies in milk, break up and put in dish on top of the pudding mixture.  Spoon half of remaining whipped topping on top of cookie layer.  Repeat layering.  Make sure to reserve 1 cookie and small amount of brownie for a garnish.  Cover and store in refrigerator.

As if the recipe and pictures weren’t enough, here I’ll show you how to make it!