Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps

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This fall I’ve been experimenting with trifle recipes and this Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps won my vote for delicious taste and ease of putting together. If you’re looking for a yummy, crowd-friendly dessert for your next family gathering or potluck dinner, be sure to give this recipe a try!

Trifles are such fun to put together and they always look so pretty and fancy, as though you’ve spent hours making them. But this recipe is super simple to prepare. And it tastes great, too!

Serving Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps in a Pretty Trifle Dish

If possible, you will need a pretty trifle dish to serve this dessert. Trifle dishes are tall and usually made with clear glass so you can view the layers easily. I actually found my trifle dish recently at an antique thrift store, where I bought it for $5. This was a terrific buy, as you might pay $15-20 for a new one. So, I encourage you to shop thrift stores for serving dishes. You never know what treasures you’ll find! Shop Trifle Dessert Dishes Here.

Many trifle recipes use some sort of cake, and indeed, the definition of trifle is a dessert with sponge cake, fruit, custard and cream. The traditional trifle originated in England in the 18th century and consisted of 3 or 4 layers, with the sponge cake usually soaked in brandy, sherry, or wine.

For simplicity, this recipe uses gingersnaps instead of cake, which I found to be quite yummy, despite being untraditional. I also added praline pecans to the dish, which adds yet another yummy layer to it. However, you could skip that step and just use chopped pecans. I’m sure that would be delicious as well.

 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • cream cheese, room temperature
  • instant French vanilla pudding
  • whole milk
  • pumpkin puree
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • ground cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip, thawed)
  • gingersnap cookies
  • praline pecans (or chopped pecans)

 

A Few Notes About Ingredients

When making this dessert, feel free to use generic brands. When it all comes together, no one will know you didn’t use Cool Whip or Libby Pumpkin.

Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice

Be sure to buy pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix. You may also use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if you have that in your pantry. I usually don’t keep that on hand, so I just made my own spice mix, which you may do as well!

I used instant French vanilla pudding, but you may use regular vanilla pudding instead. Use what you have in your pantry! But it DOES need to be an instant pudding. If you use a cooked version, which will add to your preparation time, be sure to follow the box instructions.

When it comes to Gingersnaps, I didn’t have many options from our local grocery store. I encourage you to use your favorite brand or go with what you can find. And folks, this trifle recipe is so delicious the day after you make it. The gingersnap cookies become soft and so delicious when serving. Really yummy!

If you’re unable to find gingersnap cookies in the store, try making my Spiced Speculaas Cookies, which are just as crunchy and quite similar. 

Homemade Praline Pecans

I’ve already mentioned using chopped pecans instead of praline pecans. If you have the time, I encourage you to make them, even if you make them days or weeks ahead! I keep a stash in a covered container and use them in ice cream and other desserts. They’re pretty delicious just snacking on, as well! Watch for my recipe for Homemade Praline Pecans, coming soon!

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Crumble the gingersnaps into small pieces, leaving some cookies whole for layering and garnishing. Place the crumbled cookies in a bowl. Set aside for use later.

 

Prepare the Main Layer – Pumpkin Cheesecake Pudding

First you’ll want to prepare the main layer for this dessert. In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened cream cheese.

Be sure to allow time for your cream cheese to soften to room temperature. However, if you are crunched for time, it’s okay to place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on low for 15-20 seconds at time until the cream cheese has softened. Just be sure not to cook or melt the cream cheese. 

Add in the instant French vanilla pudding and milk. Mix until creamy.

Add Sugar and Spices to the Pumpkin Puree

In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix well.

Stir Pumpkin Mixture into Pudding Mixture

Stir the pumpkin into the pudding mixture until combined.

Add Whipped Topping to the Pumpkin Pudding Mixture

Last, with a rubber spatula, fold in 8 oz. whipped topping until everything is mixed together.

 

Assemble the Trifle Dessert

Place 1/3 Cookie Crumbs and Praline Pecans on Bottom of Trifle Dish

Once you have the pumpkin pudding prepared, you are ready to assemble the trifle. Begin by placing one-third of the crumbled cookies on the bottom of the trifle dish, followed by 1/3 of the praline pecans.

I chose to add whole cookies tipped upright along the bottom edge of the trifle dish, but this is not necessary. If desired, simply place a third of the crushed cookies on the bottom for the first layer.  

Next, spoon half of the pumpkin pudding on top of the gingersnaps. Carefully spread the pudding to the edge of the dish.

Top the pumpkin pudding with half of the remaining whipped topping. Again, carefully spread to the edge of the dish.

Repeat Layers - Crumbled Cookies, Pumpkin Pudding, and Whipped Topping

Repeat these layers, with 1/3 of the gingersnaps and pecans, the remaining pumpkin pudding, and the remaining whipped topping.

Top Dessert with Remaining Cookie Crumbs and Praline Pecans

Finish by sprinkling the remaining crumbled gingersnaps and praline pecans on the top of the dessert. By this time, you should be almost to the top of the dish.

The Top of the Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Overnight is better as the flavors will meld even more, giving the mixture time to soak into the gingersnaps.

Serve Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle in Dessert Cups or Small Bowls

To serve this Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps, place large spoonfuls into small bowls or dessert cups. Garnish with extra cookie halves, if desired. This recipe will serve 12-16 people.

Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container for up to 4 days.

See more Pumpkin Recipes Here. Browse Pudding Desserts Here. View all Dessert Recipes Here.

 

Recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps

Trifles are such fun to put together and they always look so pretty and fancy, as though you spent hours making them. This Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle with Gingersnaps recipe is super simple to make. And it tastes great, too!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: England
Keyword: Cream Cheese, French Vanilla Pudding, Gingersnap Cookies, Praline Pecans, Pumpkin Puree, Whipped Topping
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16

Equipment

KitchenAid Mixer
Measuring Tools
Rubber Spatula
Trifle Dish

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 5.1 oz instant French vanilla pudding
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 16 oz frozen whipped topping like Cool Whip, thawed
  • 12 oz gingersnap cookies crumbled
  • 1/2 cup praline pecans or chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
  • Crumble the gingersnaps into small pieces, leaving some cookies whole for layering and garnishing. Place the crumbled cookies in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the Pumpkin Cheesecake Pudding

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened cream cheese.
  • Add in the instant French vanilla pudding and whole milk. Mix until creamy.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix well. Stir into the pudding mixture until combined.
  • Last, with a rubber spatula, fold in 8 oz whipped topping until everything is mixed together.

Assemble the Trifle Dessert

  • Once you have the pumpkin pudding prepared, you are ready to assemble the trifle. Begin by sprinkling one-third of the crumbled cookies and praline pecans on the bottom of the trifle dish.
    - I chose to add whole cookies tipped upright along the bottom edge of the trifle dish, but this is not necessary. If desired, simply place a third of the crushed cookies on the bottom for the first layer.
  • Next, spoon half of the pumpkin pudding on top of the gingersnaps. Carefully spread the pudding to the edge of the dish.
  • Top the pumpkin pudding with half of the remaining whipped topping. Again, carefully spread to the edge of the dish.
  • Repeat these layers - 1/3 of the gingersnaps and praline pecans, the remaining pumpkin pudding, and the remaining whipped topping.
  • Finish by sprinkling the remaining gingersnaps and praline pecans on the top of the dessert. At this point, you should be near the top of the dish.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better as the flavors will meld even more, giving the mixture time to soak into the gingersnaps.
  • Serve large spoonfuls into small bowls or dishes. Garnish with extra cookie halves, if desired. This recipe will serve 16-18 people.
  • Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 4385IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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