Why not make a gingerbread trifle this holiday season? It’s an easy dessert to make with cake and pudding layers as well as vanilla and caramel flavours and an indulgent splash of brandy. The spices in this holiday trifle recipe are fun and festive and pair beautifully with the other flavours in this exciting take on traditional trifle.
Add an easy gingerbread trifle recipe to your Christmas menu this year. The layered dessert is a true holiday favorite and makes a change from the classic English dessert usually prepared with cake, jello and sprinkles-topped whipped cream. Christmas dessert fans will adore this delicious gingerbread trifle.
Gingerbread Trifle Ingredients
French vanilla pudding mix and milk also go into this festive trifle dish. The remaining ingredients are caramel sauce, brandy, salt, heavy whipping cream, marshmallow fluff, powdered sugar (icing sugar), vanilla, and some Heath Bits o’Brickle or similar english toffee bits.
You might want to sub another kind of liquor for the brandy in this holiday dessert, such as whiskey, cognac or dark rum. You can also choose to leave it out of the Christmas trifle bowl altogether.
The same applies to the Heath Bits o’Brickle and you can use any kind of broken toffee pieces in their place. No French vanilla pudding mix? Simply use regular vanilla pudding mix instead.
As for the caramel sauce, use something thicker than coffee syrup since you will want it to stay on top of the holiday trifle recipe, not just soak through immediately. Fudge sauce would be a yummy alternative if you have some of that on hand.
How to Make Gingerbread Cake Trifle
It’s well worth considering gingerbread trifle recipes if you’re all out to impress at Christmas. This is one of the nicest Christmas desserts and it’s sure to be a huge hit, whether you’re expecting a small gathering or doubling up your recipes to feed a large crowd.
The first step in this no-cook Christmas dessert is to cut the gingerbread cake into cubes (let it cool completely first). Next whip the pudding mix with the milk. Whisk the brandy and caramel sauce in a separate bowl.
Now you can whip the heavy cream with the marshmallow fluff, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Keep going until you have stiff peaks form. A stand mixer is useful for this part of making gingerbread trifle because it will take a while. Now fit a star tip to a piping bag and fill it with about 1½ cups of the whipped cream mixture.
Grab a large trifle dish or trifle bowl. Spread a layer of the prepared pudding over the bottom of the trifle bowl. Now add a third of the gingerbread cake cubes. Drizzle over about a third of the caramel mixture.
Add a third of the whipped cream on top and then about a third of the Heath Bits o’Brickle. Add a third of the pudding mixture on top of that.
Repeat these pudding, whipped topping and remaining gingerbread cake layers until you’ve used all the ingredients. Keep the trifle refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it. Pipe the whipped cream in the piping bag you made earlier on top of the trifle, around the edges. Add the sprinkles and serve.
Alternatives for this Christmas Dessert
Instead of using one big trifle bowl for this Christmas gingerbread trifle, you can make individual servings using mason jars for another version of this gingerbread trifle dish. If you are looking for a gluten free version, you will need to make a gluten free gingerbread cake. Fresh fruit such as cherries, strawberries or raspberries would be a nice festive addition.
This is one of the those trifle recipes that is easy to change up. I would suggest red velvet cake with candy canes would make one of the cutest holiday trifle recipes ever!
Crushed gingersnaps would be an alternative to the decorative sprinkles on top of this Christmas trifle recipe. Everyone loves gingersnap cookies! Pumpkin pie filling could be added to the cream layer for a pumpkin gingerbread trifle recipe. If you are a fan of eggnog, you can add some eggnog to the cream layer for a eggnog gingerbread trifle. It is easy to mix up variations with this type of dessert cuisine.
More Gingerbread Dessert Ideas
Gingerbread is such a wonderful flavour. Perhaps you’re curious what else you can make featuring this delicious taste. There are other recipes starring the unmistakable flavour of gingerbread.
Try gingerbread pizzelle if you want an Italian dessert, copycat Starbucks ginger molasses cookies or even gingersnap cookies dipped in white chocolate. Any of these would be a great addition to your Christmas dessert table spread and you can crumble gingerbread cookies over the top of your trifle in addition to, or as well as, the sprinkles. These mini tiramisu trifles also make a wonderful dessert. If you are a gingerbread fan, I know you will enjoy this gingerbread cookie trifle.
Christmas Trifle Recipes FAQs
Although you can make and serve Christmas trifle recipes right away, you will find Christmas desserts like this actually benefit from resting in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving. The flavours mellow out and the pieces of cake soften.
You can make trifle holiday desserts up to 24 hours ahead of time (refrigerate overnight) covered in plastic wrap, adding the whipped topping cream and sprinkles just before serving. If you have plenty of other things to make too, you’ll love this easy dessert for a Christmas party, as you can make it ahead and then forget about it.
A traditional trifle recipe is a classic English dessert that’s been around for a long time. Trifles usually include pieces of cake, pieces of fruit, jello, custard, and cream. However, there are different ways to prepare it.
This holiday trifle recipe includes the cake, jello and whipped cream, along with toffee pieces and a caramel sauce between the layers of cake and custard (or, in this case, pudding). It is such a pretty presentation!
The great thing about trifle recipes is you can tweak them however you like. With this one, you could even up the festive appeal by using eggnog-flavoured whipped cream, or choosing green and red sprinkles which are in keeping with the Christmas theme.
Gingerbread Trifle Recipe
Gingerbread Trifle – Christmas Dessert
- 1 cake gingerbread flavour, 9×13
- 4 Cups milk
- 2 Packages vanilla pudding mix 8 Ounce packages, I used French Vanilla
- ½ Cup caramel sauce
- 3 tablespoons brandy liquor
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ Cups heavy cream
- 1 Cup marshmallow fluff
- ½ Cup powdered sugar
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Cup toffee bits I used Heath Bits O Brickle
- 3 Tablespoons sprinkles Gingerbread themed for garnish
- Start by slicing your gingerbread cake into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
- Next in a large mixing bowl mix together the milk and pudding mixes. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the caramel sauce and the brandy, whisk until combined.
- Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, marshmallow fluff, and vanilla to stiff peaks. Fill a piping bag with a large open star tip with approximately 1 and 1/2 cups of the whipped cream. Set in the fridge for later, keeping the remaining whipped cream on the counter as you will use it momentarily.
- Spoon a very thin layer of the pudding into the bottom of a 4 quart trifle dish.
- On top of the pudding layer a third of the gingerbread cake pieces.
- Drizzle a third of the caramel mixture on top of the gingerbread cake pieces in the trifle dish.
- Spoon a third of the whipped cream onto the top of the cake pieces.
- Sprinkle a third of the toffee pieces onto the whipped cream.
- Spoon a third of the remaining pudding mixture onto the top of the toffee and whipped cream.
- Continue steps 6 through 10 until you have used all of the ingredients.
- At this point you can choose to serve right away however I recommend covering the trifle and letting it sit for at least 2 hours, but up to 24 hours.
- When ready to serve, take the trifle and piping bag of whipped cream out of the refrigerator. Pipe swirls of whipped cream around the outside edge of the trifle.
- Sprinkle the whipped cream with Christmas themed sprinkles.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
You can’t go wrong choosing this wonderful gingerbread trifle for your Christmas table or Thanksgiving dinner. It’s one of the best easy dessert ideas if you’re catering for a Christmas party or if you just want to make something deliciously different. And it’s too good only to make at Christmas, so whenever you want to indulge your sweet tooth, you can make this wonderful and unusual trifle.
Your whole family will love this delicious dessert with tasty layers of gingerbread. Make this easy Christmas trifle for Christmas Eve or anytime during the festive season.
Other Recipes to Try
Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.