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Pumpkin gingerbread trifle

Posted by Jeanne on December 7, 2010

Holy dessert batman.

I saw Evil Shenanigans‘ (best blog name ever, btw) Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle on FoodGawker and had to try it.

Note:  This has to be made WELL in advance – don’t try to make this the same day you want to eat it unless you have a very open morning and don’t plan to eat it until very late at night.


For the chocolate gingerbread:
1 C lightly packed light brown sugar
1 C butter, at room temperature
0.5 C pumpkin puree
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
0.5 C molasses
0.5 C golden syrup
1 TB fresh grated ginger
2.25 C all-purpose flour
0.25 C Dutch-processed cocoa powder
0.5 tsp kosher salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
0.25 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp cloves
1 C hot water

This is the mise just for the cake.  None of the recipes are particularly complicated, but be ready to be in the kitchen for awhile.

Heat the oven to 350F and spray a 11″ x 17″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl cream together them sugar, butter, and pumpkin until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. 

Half molasses, half golden syrup.  A sweet, sticky mess – I wish I had been able to get a picture of the two combining.  It was beautiful. 

Add the molasses, golden syrup, vanilla, and fresh ginger and whisk to combine.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and spices.  Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the hot water and starting and ending with the flour.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and the edges are starting to come away from the sides of the pan.  Cool completely in the pan then cut into 1″ cubes.


1 C milk (I used 1%)
1 C heavy cream
0.5 C pumpkin puree
0.5 C  sugar
3 egg yolks
2 TB cornstarch

0.5 tsp cinnamon
0.25 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 TB dark rum
1 TB butter

While the cake cools, prepare the custard.  In a medium pot whisk together the milk, cream, pumpkin, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture just comes to the boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, butter, and rum.  Pour the custard through a fine strainer into a bowl and press cling film directly on the surface of the custard.  Chill for at least one hour.

Custard.  Chillaxing.


For the sticky toffee sauce:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup, or corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cream

In a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat combine the brown sugar, butter, and golden syrup.  Cook until it comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.  Carefully add the vanilla and cook for one minute more.  Remove the pot from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream.  Cool the sauce until it is just warm.

Whipped cream

For the whipped cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl combine the cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  Whip until the mixture forms firm peaks. 


Clockwise from left:  toffee sauce, bowl with first layer of cake, whipped cream, and custard.  Also, half the dishes in my house.

In a very large bowl, or in smaller individual bowls, add a layer of cake, drizzle over a third of the toffee sauce, and spread over half the pumpkin custard and a third of the whipped cream.  Make another layer the same way (this will use up the last of the custard).  The final layer will have just cake, tofee sauce, and whipped cream. 

Chill the assembled trifle for at least four hours, or overnight.

And then there was eating!  Actually then it rested in the fridge overnight on Sunday and we ate it on Monday evening.

It was RIDICULOUSLY good.  My pumpkin custard wasn’t as bright as the original, and I think the toffee was a bit thin because it all soaked into the cake.  But have I mentioned that it was ridiculously good?


2 Responses to “Pumpkin gingerbread trifle”

  1. I’m so glad you made this! I absolutely swooned when I saw it. Now that you’ve done it, though, I don’t have to 😉

  2. Looks wonderful! This reminds me that I haven’t yet made my pumpkin gingerbread with caramel sauce. Gingerbread is such an awesome winter treat.

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