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Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle Recipe

Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle Recipe

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. YIELD: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).

Reviews for Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle

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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."

Reviewed Aug. 10, 2012

"I have made this 2-3 times, and I love it, except for the cake, I made it diabetic friendly, and no one knows I have used sugar free ingredients. Getting ready to make it again for a food/games night tomorrow night. Plan to make it for our church homecoming again, too!"

Reviewed Apr. 9, 2012

"I've made this a few times and it's excellent. I usually make only half or in two separate bowls."

Reviewed Sep. 29, 2011

"It was a lot but it all disappeared fast."

Reviewed Jul. 21, 2011

"I make this for our church Homecoming in September, using no sugar added ingredients, it is awesome!!!"

Reviewed Jul. 13, 2011

"I had a hard time finding a punch bowl with the bottom even half as large for the cake. Decided to cut recipe in half and baked the cake in a 13x9 inch cake pan. Eyeballed the portion for layering and it fit perfectly. Got rave reviews for a summer BBQ. Personally I would make this in the fall. It's taste reminds me cool crisp days, not hot July. It was very good though and I would definitely make this again. Super easy!"

Reviewed Jun. 7, 2011

"This is one of my most asked for desserts. I made it for a Thanksgiving get-together and everyone raved about it. Everyone demanded the recipe. Even the youngest kids asked for a second helping."

Reviewed Feb. 24, 2011

"This was so easy to make,it was very good."

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2011

"This was a hit for a large cookout. Be prepared for requests for this recipe!!"

Reviewed Nov. 20, 2010

"This recipe is wonderful. It's easy but it makes too much for us. I split the recipe and it was plenty. It would be enough for a very large gathering otherwise. Try it, it's great!"

Reviewed Oct. 28, 2010

"Looks as good as it tastes. They licked the bowl clean - no need to worry about left-overs."

Reviewed Sep. 15, 2010

"I made this for a party and everyone asked for the recipe! It made a huge bowl. Make sure to serve to a lot of people- once it is dug into, it becomes a bit of a mess and leftovers are no good."

Reviewed Sep. 8, 2010

"I'm going to make this for our family gathering on Sunday..I'm going to use 2 pkgs french van and 1- cheesecake for the puddings..and probably add 8oz of cream cheese to it (always better with cream cheese :) also add some cool whip to it so it looks fluffier..I'll probably also be adding a candy bar of some type, instead of pecans..I'm sure with the changes i"ll be giving it a 5* rating :)"

Reviewed Sep. 6, 2010

"I was so dissapointed with this recipe. It tasted like cake, cool whip and cold apple pie filling. Boring. Couldn't taste the caramel and the nuts were not that noticable. I was looking for a caramel apple flavor and the dessert fell short of my expectations. I took it to a Labor day picnic with my family, who are not shy about voicing their opinions of food, and not one of the 8 who tried it gave it a thumbs up. Best response was "it's edible". I love taste of home and brag about it and the recipes all the time but this is not one I would suggest. (I did cut the recipe in half but did so with all ingredients so that shouldn't affect its outcome)"

Reviewed Sep. 1, 2010

"DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm making it this Labor Day for a neighborhood barbecue-I know they will love it (I've made it previously, but not for this crowd!)"

Reviewed Jul. 18, 2010

"Why not share the 'secret' changes???"

Reviewed Apr. 29, 2010

"this looks good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Reviewed Apr. 16, 2010

"I made this for a block party and everyone loved it! I bought a punch bowl at Goodwill to put it in and left it with the hostess so she could make her own."

Reviewed Nov. 19, 2009

"Love it...though I did make a couple ingredient changes, I use Heath bits in place of the pecans and a couple other secret changes. Everyone LOVES it though!"

Reviewed Oct. 20, 2009

"So good! Never have left overs. Hve cut the recipe in half and it's just as good."

Reviewed Jul. 9, 2009

"This recipe makes alot! Was very easy to substitute sugar free ingredients as well with a great flavor. Would make again but cut in half."

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