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Happy gingerbread season! As much as I love gingerbread men and gingersnap cookies, this gingerbread trifle recipe with caramel and bourbon cream is, hands down, my favorite gingerbread recipe.
What is a trifle?
The trifle originated in Great Britain. The options with trifles are endless, but they all contain the same basic components: spongey cake, fruit and some sort of jelly or cream.
A trifle is guaranteed to garner some oohs and ahhs when you bring it to the table. It’s just so pretty!
I love when I get a chance to use my trifle dish. And don’t just use a trifle dish for trifles. I use mine to layer salads, dips, desserts… you could even layer a main meal. Visually, it’s just so pleasing.
And using a trifle dish means you can usually make whatever you’re making in advance, which is good for nights like Christmas.
What’s in this Gingerbread Trifle
Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious dessert:
- All-purpose flour
- Brown Sugar
- Fresh ginger
- Vegetable oil
- Sour cream
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Gingerbread spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves
The Bourbon Cream
How to Make this Gingerbread Trifle
Make the homemade gingerbread
First things first, let’s make a big batch of gingerbread!
Combine the flour, both sugars, salt and gingerbread spices in one bowl.
In the other bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sour cream, molasses, ginger and vanilla.
Mix the two bowls together to make the gingerbread batter. Pour the cake batter into two loaf pans and bake.
Once the gingerbread has cooled, cut it into cubes.
Make the bourbon cream
Use a handheld electric mixer to blend heavy cream, sour cream, sugar and bourbon.
My advice for making homemade whipped cream is always the same: find a bowl bigger than you think you need, and put the bowl into the sink before you start whipping the cream.
This will help reduce some of the inevitable splatter that happens when you start whipping cream with a handheld mixer on high speed.
Assemble the trifle
Divide the cubes of gingerbread into 3 equal piles to make the layers of cake. Now, put the first layer of cubes at the bottom of a large trifle bowl.
Then, place dollops of the homemade cool whip on top of the first layer of gingerbread cubes.
Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds and pecans over the first layer of gingerbread and whipped cream.
Then, just repeat that process two more times.
The final touch is pouring the caramel sauce over your trifle.
How to serve this gingerbread trifle
This delicious trifle is the perfect dessert for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! It also makes a beautiful addition to a holiday dessert table.
Use a large spoon for serving. Don’t worry about keeping it pretty once you start eating, just dig in and enjoy!
What if you don’t have a trifle dish?
If you don’t have a trifle dish, use a large glass bowl where you’ll be able to see the layers of cake.
Another idea is to use individual glasses to show case your trifle. This has an added bonus of providing personal servings for each of your guests!
Can you make a trifle in advance?
You can assemble the cubes of gingerbread and layer them with the whipped cream in advance. Store your trifle, uncovered, in the fridge.
Wait until you’re ready to serve it, then put the caramel and garnishes on top.
In the event that you have leftovers, you can cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. It will keep until the next day and up to a few days after.
Shortcuts for making this Gingerbread Trifle
The holiday season is busy, and sometimes we need to take advantage of as many shortcuts as we can, am I right?
If you’re in a pinch for time, here are some ways to pull of this elegant dessert in half the time:
1. Buy a boxed gingerbread mix. They’re easy to find at most grocery stores during the holiday season and will definitely save you the time of baking from scratch. Simply follow the package directions on the cake mix, cut it into cubes, and use as instructed in the recipe card below.
2. Use premade whipped topping. Add your favorite bourbon to store bought whipped cream or cool whip.
3. Opt for purchased caramel sauce. This is actually less of a shortcut and more of a rule for me. It is always easier to buy it from the store!
When you make this gingerbread trifle for the first time, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more holiday dessert recipes, try these:
For more gingerbread recipes, try these:
- Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies
- Gingerbread Monkey Bread Using Grands Biscuits
- Mini Gingerbread Cakes with Lemon Glaze
Gingerbread Trifle Recipe (The Best Holiday Dessert)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. of baking soda dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
The Bourbon Cream
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 Tbsp. bourbon
- 1 1/2 cups crushed pecans
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour, both sugars, spices and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, oil, sour cream, molasses, ginger and vanilla together.
- Dissolve the baking soda in 1 cup of boiling water. Whisk the hot water mixture into the wet ingredients. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined.
- Spray two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Divide batter evenly between the pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool before turning out onto a plate. Cut into cubes.
- To make the bourbon cream, combine the heavy cream, sour cream, sugar and bourbon in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- To assemble: Place a layer of gingerbread cubes on the bottom of a trifle dish. Top with 1/3 of the bourbon cream. Sprinkle some pecans and pomegranate arils. Repeat two more times, finishing with cream on top. Before serving, drizzle with caramel topping and garnish with the remaining pecans and pomegranate.