Pumpkin Cream Trifle Recipe

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“This showstopper dessert relies on convenience foods for speed, but the taste says: ‘I slaved’,” says Gayle Holdman of Highland, Utah. “It’s perfect for entertaining because it’s quick, make-ahead, so delicious and feeds a crowd. I’m always being asked for the recipe.” GAYLE’S TIP: Try changing the cake, pudding or topping flavors for endless variations. Examples? Chocolate cake with white chocolate pudding and crushed peppermint candy. Or white cake with lemon pudding and blueberries. Or chocolate cake with butterscotch pudding and toasted coconut and pecans…see what I mean?
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
MAKES:15-20 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
MAKES: 15-20 servings


  • 1 package spice cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3/4 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (3/4 cup) equals 333 calories, 19 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 45 mg cholesterol, 406 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping.
  3. Cut cake into 1-in. cubes. In a 3-qt. glass serving bowl or trifle bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, pudding mixture, pecans and toffee bits. Repeat layers twice. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 15-20 servings.
Originally published as Pumpkin Cream Trifle in Simple & Delicious September/October 2006, p48

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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Reviewed Nov. 27, 2014

"Outstanding! I wanted a Thanksgiving dessert that was a little different but still had a seasonal flavor, and this fits the bill perfectly. It's yummy, and not too heavy to serve after a big meal. I made it a day ahead of time for the sake of convenience, and I followed the recipe exactly, including toasting the pecans. I wouldn't change a thing ... except maybe to try some of the variations that Gayle suggests above."

Reviewed Feb. 18, 2012

"um.. YUM!! The flavors are delicious, I didn't even add the toffee bits. Makes a nice presentation in a trifle bowl and so easy."

Reviewed Apr. 18, 2010

"Just found this recipe and can't wait to try it. I am an absolute pumpkin fanatic and between the spice cake with pumpkin and cream cheese pudding, I'm pretty sure I'd be in Heaven with this one! Thanks for the recipe!"

Reviewed Nov. 29, 2009

"This is the best dessert recipe! It looks so impressive in a trifle bowl but is very simple to make. I have made this several times during the past three years and I get rave reviews every time. I took it to a potluck last week and I can't tell you how many times I have been asked for the recipe!"

Reviewed Nov. 19, 2009

"This is a great dessert and a hit with both adults and kids at any party. It's very easy to put together, but looks and tastes fancy. Wonderful!"

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