Pumpkin Trifle

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First of all, I want to apologize. I know that the word “trifle” conjures up an image of an elegantly layered dessert in a glass dish. However, in my scurrying about before our Halloween party, I forgot to take a photo of the pristine, untouched trifle before it was too late. Well, I didn’t exactly forget. It was a conscious decision. More of a throwing up of my hands and saying “to heck with it, time to enjoy the party.” I did manage to take the above pic the day after the party when I was enjoying the leftovers. So, that ^ will have to suffice. 🙂

Here’s what it looked like the second day. Yeah… hehe.  Just so you can get the idea of the layers.

Anyway — to make a trifle with approximately 12 servings, you will need:

  • 1 13″x9″ spice cake (gingerbread would be good, as well) – made from scratch or made from a box
  • For the pumpkin mousse:
  • .25 ounces unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1c cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the whipped cream:
  • 1.5c cold heavy cream
  • 3 tbs sugar (granulated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

First, bake and cool the cake. If you have a “from scratch” recipe you want to use, that’s great; however, I was crunched for time and used a boxed spice cake mix. It worked just as well.

Now, make the pumpkin mousse: Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small saucepan. Let stand for 1 minute. Bring water to a simmer, and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

In a large bowl, mix together the gelatin mixture, pumpkin, brown sugar, spice, cream cheese, and salt.

Whip the cream and vanilla until it holds soft peaks.

Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.

Now, make the extra whipped cream. Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks hold.

Now, to assemble the trifle: Cut the cake up into 1″ cubes.

First, make a layer using half of the cake cubes. Second, a layer of half of the pumpkin mousse. Third, a layer of whipped cream. Repeat the layers of cake and mousse. Top with a final layer of whipped cream just before serving.

Make-ahead note: The cake can be made 2 days in advance (uncut). The trifle can be assembled one day in advance and refrigerated (minus the final layer of whipped cream).

Mmm. Hope you enjoy! This trifle would be great topped with chopped crystallized ginger. I didn’t have any on hand at the time, so I just sprinkled on some extra pumpkin pie spice.

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