Pumpkin pie trifle is a cool and creamy spin on a classic Fall dessert. With alternating layers of thick pumpkin pudding and fluffy whipped cream, this pie-inspired dessert is easier to make than a traditional pie but is just as tasty and comforting!
Why I Love this Easy Pumpkin Cream Trifle
Who doesn’t love a good holiday pie?! There’s something so cozy and nostalgic about ending a fantastic meal with cinnamony and a rich slice of homemade pumpkin pie.
However, by your fourth or fifth slice of the season, you might find yourself wishing for something a little different.
This is where my pumpkin pie trifle comes in! It’s a simple, unique dessert that features all the best flavors of pumpkin pie in a smooth, cool, and sweet little package.
Real pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, heavy whipping cream, and a few pantry staples come together to create this gorgeous, layered dessert.
It’s so easy to whip up this show-stopping trifle that you could practically do it in your sleep!
Even better—make it a day or two in advance and serve it at your next dinner party or holiday get-together.
You can even make this pie-inspired dessert your own by mixing in some custom layers like sponge cake or crushed graham crackers—the sky’s the limit!
Why don’t you try something new? This really the best, easy trifle recipe for Thanksgiving!
- Pumpkin Purée—Adds a sense of earthy sweetness and of course tons of pumpkin flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice—A blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves adds warmth and depth of flavor.
- Heavy Whipping Cream—Is used to add fluffy richness to both layers of this dessert.
- Whole Milk—Acts as the creamy base of your homemade pumpkin pudding.
- Eggs—Helps to thicken and emulsify the pumpkin pudding mixture.
- Sugar—Because what’s a dessert without a little sweetness?!
- Vanilla Extract—Just a splash will tie together all the other pie-inspired flavors.
- Corn Starch—The ultimate pudding thickener.
What is a Trifle?
A trifle is a British dessert typically made of layers of sponge cake, fruit, custard, jelly, and whipped cream. Trifles are best served cold and are usually presented in a large cylindrical glass dish called a trifle bowl.
Over the years, different flavors of trifles have become popular. Nowadays, you can find recipes for everything from peanut butter brownie trifles to lemon blueberry trifles to pumpkin pie trifles!
Trifles are a popular party dessert due to their beauty and impressive presentation.
Equipment You’ll Need
It is surprisingly simple to make your own pumpkin pie trifle from scratch! You likely already have all the equipment you’ll need to get started.
Be sure to grab a large saucepan, a whisk, some measuring cups and spoons, an electric mixer, and a trifle dish.
How to Make Rich and Creamy Pumpkin Pie Trifle
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook half of the heavy whipping cream with the whole milk until slightly bubbly. Remove from the heat.
- Add the sugar, vanilla, eggs, and pumpkin purée and whisk to combine.
- Place the pot back on the burner before adding the cornstarch and pumpkin pie spice.
- Continue to heat this mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens.
- Allow this pudding mixture to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- In the meantime, whip the remaining heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks.
- Assemble your pumpkin pie trifle by alternating layers of pumpkin pudding and whipped cream.
- Top the finished trifle with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, serve, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
It absolutely can be! The pumpkin pudding is especially tasty if it’s given plenty of time to chill in the fridge.
You can even assemble the trifle entirely and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. However, this pumpkin pie trifle is also delicious when made the day of.
If you don’t have a trifle bowl, a large glass mixing bowl is the next best option. In a pinch, any large glass container that allows you to see the individual layers of the trifle will work.
Yes! I used a can of 100% pumpkin purée in the pudding layers of this trifle, but you can also use a homemade purée! Just be sure to use a pie pumpkin if making your own pumpkin purée.
How to Store and Serve Pumpkin Pie Trifle
Any leftover pumpkin pie trifle can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can be eaten straight from the fridge—no reheating required!
This pie-inspired trifle is delicious when dished up into bowls or wide glasses and is best eaten with a spoon.
Additionally, you can take this dessert to the next level by serving it on top of some sponge cake or cinnamon rolls, or with graham crackers or baked pie crust for dipping.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Ditch the whipped cream and use this recipe to make a thick and creamy pumpkin pie pudding instead! On its own, this pudding will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You can easily make your own pumpkin pie spice mix by combining equal parts cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom.
- Make this trifle a bit more texturally interesting by layering the pudding and whipped cream with shards baked pie crust or cubes of spiced sponge cake.
Hungry for More Thanksgiving Day Ideas?
If you haven’t had enough of my alternative Thanksgiving Day desserts then check out my awesome Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake for a real show-stopping center piece!
Or maybe you would prefer my Pumpkin and Chocolate Cheesecake Bars – rich, cool and creamy, great if you will be spending Thanksgiving Day in the sun.
Did you arrive here being a trifle fanatic? If so my Peanut Butter Trifle is a must for you, full of peanut butter cake, buttercream, chocolate and other yummy decadence.
Don’t forget Leave a comment below and let me know if you enjoyed making (and eating) this Pumpkin Pie Trifle as much as me! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to keep up to date with all things JavaCupcake!
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tsp pumpkin spice
- 5 Tbsp corn starch
- Place a large pot on the stove and stir the milk and 2 cups of heavy cream over medium heat until it starts to bubble slightly.
- Remove the pot from the burner and whisk in the granulated sugar, vanilla, eggs, and pumpkin puree until the egg yolks are completely broken up.
- Place the pot back on the burner and stir in the corn starch and pumpkin spice mix.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until the pudding begins to thicken. This usually takes 5-10 minutes.
- Once the mixture has thickened, pour it into a large bowl and allow it to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Remove the pudding from the fridge and whip the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks have formed.
- Alternate pouring pudding and whipped cream into a large trifle dish.
- Top with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon, serve, and enjoy!
- This trifle can be stored in the fridge for 3 days before it will go bad.
- The pudding portion of this dish can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to five days, but the whipped cream will not last that long once assembled in the trifle dish.
- If you do not have a premade pumpkin spice mix, simply combine equal parts ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.