Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle Recipe
Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle Recipe

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As a pastor's wife and state auxiliary leader, I host many large gatherings. Whenever I make this "punch bowl cake", it makes a big impression, I return with an empty bowl every time!" -Deborah Randall Abbeville, Louisiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min.
MAKES:42 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min.
MAKES: 42 servings


  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 6 cups cold milk
  • 3 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1 jar (12-1/4 ounces) caramel ice cream topping
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 cans (21 ounces each) apple pie filling
  • 2 cartons (16 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk milk, pudding mixes and apple pie spice for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.
  3. Cut one cake layer if necessary to fit evenly in an 8-qt. punch bowl. Poke holes in cake with a long wooden skewer; gradually pour a third of the caramel topping over cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and spread with half of the pudding mixture.
  4. Spoon one can of pie filling over pudding; spread with one carton of whipped topping.
  5. Top with remaining cake and repeat layers. Drizzle with remaining caramel topping and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 42 servings (3/4 cup each).
Originally published as Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle in Taste of Home February/March 2004, p39

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Reviewed Feb. 13, 2016

"I made this for my niece's bridal shower and it was a hit with all of the ladies. I love to make it for company because not only does it look pretty but tastes just as good."

Reviewed Nov. 20, 2012

"OMG this was so huge.. but i used cherry pie filling instead of apple and didnt use the spice. it litterally filled my bowl to the top.. made this for thanksgiving desert. which is weds for us since i work the holiday and i used a white cake mix instead of yellow pretty contrast with the cherry pie filling but yes use a BIG bowl.."

Reviewed Nov. 1, 2012

"This was a huge hit at work. made it for a coworker for her birthday. and every one just loved it. only problem i had is that it is huge I have a 9" trifle bowl and after the first layer i put the second cake and it was at the top. so after some creative thinking i make a makeshift extention and was able to add rest of layers."

Reviewed Sep. 26, 2012

"Look delicious"

Reviewed Sep. 3, 2012

"It was alot of work and alot of product and I just felt it didnt have enough bang to it. Don't get me wrong it had a great taste to it but just felt like I was expecting more."

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