Gingerbread Trifle with Pears Recipe

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I originally developed this recipe for a friend's baby shower, but now it's a holiday favorite. The flavored cream cheese filling pairs well with the fruit and gingerbread.—Nancy Cupp, Larkspur, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES:14-16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling
MAKES: 14-16 servings


  • 1 package (14-1/2 ounces) gingerbread cake mix
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 10 medium ripe pears
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, divided
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 411 calories, 21g fat (12g saturated fat), 59mg cholesterol, 283mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 4g fiber), 4g protein.


  1. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. In a large bowl, combine water and lemon juice. Peel pears, one at a time, quarter and cut into 1 to 1-1/2-in. chunks. Place in water mixture to prevent browning.
  3. Drain pears. In a large skillet, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and ginger. Add half the pears. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until syrup is golden brown. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Repeat with remaining sugar, butter, cinnamon, ginger and pears. Cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, for trifle cream, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, orange juice, orange peel and extract until blended. Gently fold in whipped cream.
  6. To assemble, cut cake into 1/4-in. slices. Place a third in a 3-qt. trifle dish or glass serving bowl; top with a third of pears and a third of cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Yield: 14-16 servings.
Originally published as Gingerbread Trifle with Pears in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2010, p142

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dvgrl User ID: 7491403 260792
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2017

"This is delicious!!!!"

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