Pumpkin Cream Trifle

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Oh my goodness–this dessert is amazing! Seriously, it is one of my all time favorite fall desserts! Whenever I serve this, without fail people ask me for the recipe. I have to admit that this recipe beat me at a pumpkin themed recipe contest I was involved in at Thanksgiving Point years ago. I got second, but I had to completely agree with the judges choice. We got to sample all the entries and this was hands down the best (darn it:) I of course asked my fellow contestant for a copy of her winning recipe and she sweetly gave it to me. I have been making it ever since! This is perfect for fall and all of the holiday season. It is perfect for parties, looking very impressive and feeding lots (15-20). If you are not a pecan fan, like my husband you can use toasted almonds instead.

PS My weekly menu with recipe links here. What is on your menu?

Pumpkin Cream Trifle

submitted by Melanie courtesy of Gayle Holdman
Printable recipe here

First Layer:
1 pkg spice cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup vegtable oil (can do ¼ cup applesauce, and ¼ cup oil instead)
½ cup water
3 large eggs
1tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger

Preaheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 baking pan with vegtable oil spray. Place all cake ingredients in large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer on low speed from 1 minute. Scrape down sides and then increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more. Batter should look think and well blended. Pour into prepared pan and backe 32-39 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool completely. (cake can be frozen at this point. Thaw at room temperature before assembling trifle.) When ready to prepare trifle, cut or tear into approx. 1 inch cubes.

Second Layer (cream):
2 pkgs. (3.4 oz) cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
2 cups freshly whipped cream (unsweetened)

Combine pudding mixes with milk and blend with whisk until it starts to thicken. Fold in whipped cream, then quickly assemble trifle.

Third Layer (toppings):
½ cup chopped, toasted pecans or almonds
½ cup Skor toffee bits

To assemble trifle:
Place 1/3 of cake cubes into trifle bowl. Top with 1/3 of cream mixture and sprinkle with 1/3 of nuts and toffee bits. Repeat layers two more times, ending with nuts and toffee on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered no longer that 24 hours.


  1. Becky says

    I know this has to be good. 1. Because it is on your blog. and 2. Because Gayle's sister Kari gave me Gayle's cookbook 7 years ago and my life has never been the same. I will have to make this!

  2. Mindy says

    Yum! I have been wondering why no one has posted this yet. I LOVE it. Thanks for giving me the recipe in the cookbook you gave me when I got married.

  3. Liz says

    This looks so good! Would you mind sharing what cookbook the previous comment were refering too? It sounds like one I would love to have.

  4. Jana says

    I agree – this definetly looks divine. I, too, would like to know what cookbook previous blogger was referring to. Also, what did you make that got second place?

  5. Becky says

    Gayle Holdman's cookbook is called:
    Only the Best. It is the kind of cookbook that she published herself. In the back it shows her phone number if you want to order: (801)763-9790. All of the recipes I have tried of hers are delicious. Her sister Kari Mason was also an amazing woman!

  6. Gayle says

    Hey Melanie,
    This is Gayle Holdman who created the trifle recipe. I stumbled across this post as I was browsing your blog, which is so fun, BTW. Not only am I flattered that you love the recipe, but what a delight to come across Becky's comment about knowing, and loving, my awesome sister, Kari. What an incredibly small world it is. Thank you, Becky, for putting that positive energy and love out into the web universe. I'm sure Kari thought very highly of you as well. And thank you, also, for loving my cookbook. So Melanie, would you like to give one of them away? I'd be happy to send one somewhere for you. All the best to you and Happy New Year!

  7. Melanie Anne says

    Hi Gayle,
    I am so happy to hear from you! I sent you a message on facebook with a link to this post to let you know! I would love to order one of your cookbooks myself and I am sure our readers would be thrilled to have the opportunity to win a giveaway for one. Please email me at and we will set it up:) Thanks Gayle!!

  8. Mlb says

    i would like to know what size trifle bowl you used for this recipe? a small 12 oz or a large?
    thanks, i enjoy your blog!


    • Melanie says

      Hi Mlb,
      My trifle bowl is the standard size–I am not exactly sure the oz it holds–but definetly more much more than 12oz:) Good luck!

  9. Roxie says

    I am making the Pumpkin Trifle for dessert tomorrow. I am wondering about the second layer. 2 cups freshly whipped cream. Do you beat cream until peaks form? Thanks

    • Melanie says

      Hi Roxie,
      Yes–simply beat the whipped cream until peaks form. It should be fluffy and light like a cloud:) Good luck and happy Thanksgiving:)

  10. Roxie says

    Thanks Melanie, I thought that was how but making this to share with friends and didn’t want to mess it up. Also making the Sweet Potato Cresents. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving:)!

  11. Megan says

    Made this for after my daughters blessing and everyone loved it. I wished for more of the cream mixture, but not worth adding another box of pudding….maybe I will just add more whipped cream next time. Fantastic recipe, thanks for sharing!

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