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Pumpkin Cream Trifle

“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


  • 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


  • In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 333 calories, 19g fat (5g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 406mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Jogeng09
    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.

  • beloit3
    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.

  • skooter941
    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!

  • momtomatt
    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!

  • Rhondarae
    Nov 25, 2009

    No comment left

  • odensesol
    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!

  • melissagrollins
    Nov 3, 2009

    I made this last Thanksgiving. One guest commented that it was the best thing he ever put in his mouth. It is a delicious and beautiful dessert. I will be serving it again this Thanksgiving.

  • JennyMortrud
    Oct 25, 2009

    People were licking the bowl - REALLY licking the bowl.

  • gayle holdman
    Nov 19, 2007

    No comment left

  • Barbara Erdmann
    Nov 10, 2006

    No comment left