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Partial close-up view of pumpkin trifle with whipped cream in a glass

Easiest Pumpkin Trifle Recipe

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 individual servingss 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Layering
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Meet your new favorite, super easy to make pumpkin dessert! This trifle screams fall with layers of pumpkin cookies, cheesecake, and whipped cream. It comes together in no time and the different components can be made ahead. I love to make it with a few homemade ingredients, but you can use store-bought ones and have a last-minute pudding that will delight everyone.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

All components can be made up to 2 days ahead and keep refrigerated (cream and cheesecake) or in jars or tins (crumbs). 

Make the crumbs: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Tear apart in chunks 8 of the whoopies or 2 of the bread slices. 
  3. Put in a clean cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until they're  crisp and darkened in color. The time depends a lot on the size of the pieces so check it regularly and move them around so they toast better. 
  4. Let cool while making the rest of the dessert. 

For the pumpkin cheesecake:

  1. Mix the pumpkin puree with the cream cheese until smooth. 
  2. Add half the powdered sugar (1/4 cup), the spices, and integrate well. 
  3. Taste and adjust sugar or spices to your own palate. Reserve. 

For the whipped cream:

  1. Beat cold cream with the rest of the powdered sugar (1/4 cup) until medium peaks form. 
  2. If making ahead keep refrigerated, covered. 

To assemble:

  1. Have ready 4 individual glasses. Mine are 
  2. Put a layer of crumbs in the bottom of each glass.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of cream but don't spread it the sides.
  4. Top with 1/4 of the pumpkin cheesecake mixture. 
  5. Top with a whole whoopie (or 1/2 slice of pumpkin bread) and gently press down. 
  6. Top with the rest of the cream and crumbs, dividing evenly among glasses.
  7. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving. (Freezing it is not recommended).

Notes

  • Cream - choose a whipping or double cream (sometimes called heavy I believe, depending on the country) that is fresh and good for whipping. I know that sounds obvious, but dairy products vary in the percentage of water, content among other things. My experience is that the more water the less they hold and the easier they curdle.
  • Spices - use your favorite pumpkin spice mix, homemade or store-bought. I make my own with (all ground) 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Occasionally, I add a pinch of ground cloves.
  • Whoopie cookies - this dessert is the result of leftover whoopie pies. They are like soft pumpkin cookies and I use them in 2 ways here: soft as they are originally made (without the filling), and also a crunchier version by tearing them up and drying them in the oven, like bread crumbs. You can also make it with this Pumpkin Bread recipe.
  • Shortcut:
    Store-bought pumpkin bread use it instead of the whoopie cookies.  
    Gingersnaps, use them crushed instead of the crumbs. 
    Pumpkin pie filling, canned, use it alone instead of the cheesecake pumpkin mixture that goes in the middle of the trifle. 
    Cream, I know there are canned creams that can be used, such as Cool Whip.
  • Crumbs: what we need to do to make crumbs is to dry out the pieces of cake or whoopies rather than toast them. So that they stay crunchier longer. So it's as easy as tearing the soft cookies or cake pieces, putting them in a clean, dry cookie sheet, and baking at a low temperature. How toasted and crunchy you want the crumbs is up to you. Keep in mind that unless you evenly cut the pieces, they will toast differently. I actually like that.

Keywords: pumpkin trifle