Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Desserts: Pumpkin Spice Trifle
This recipe is from guest blogger Sarah De la Cruz
There are many components to a trifle, but none are too difficult. Pace yourself by spreading it out over a few days. The end result will be well worth it!
Day 1—Pumpkin Cream & Pumpkin Cake
- 2 cans coconut milk (not low fat), refrigerated overnight
- 1 c pumpkin puree
- ½ c maple syrup
- 2 T cornstarch mixed with 2 T water
- Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight. Once chilled, carefully remove can from fridge without shaking it. Carefully turn the can upside down and open. Drain the liquid off of the top and reserve. Scoop out the coconut cream and place into your mixer (or in a bowl if you use a hand mixer) and begin to whip, slowly raising the speed to the highest setting. The cream will quickly start to thicken. When it is thickened to whipped cream consistency, seal in a container and refrigerate. The cream firms up as it chills.
- In the meantime, place 1 c of pumpkin puree in a small saucepan with ½ cup of maple syrup. Heat until starting to bubble. Mix in slurry of cornstarch and whisk well to combine. Continue to stir occasionally over low heat for about 10 more minutes while the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator.
- The next day, gently fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin until combined. Don’t over mix.
- 2 cup flour (I used 1 c whole wheat pastry flour, 1 c all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup coconut milk (used the liquid drained off when you made the coconut whipped cream)
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. In your mixer (or in a separate bowl—the batter is easy to mix!) whisk together pumpkin, coconut milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Set aside to cool completely. Cake can be cut into smaller pieces and frozen for up to a month, well covered. Once cooled, cover until time to use. Cut into small squares before using.
Day 2—Prepare garnish, make date caramel, assemble trifle
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
- 6 T dried date pieces
- ½ c maple syrup
- 3 T water
- ½ t cinnamon
- Place dates in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Place dates in a blender with the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth, stopping several times to scrape down sides.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Cake Soaking Mixture
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup Dark spiced rum
Mix together and set aside.
It helps to divide your ingredients before hand so that you have balanced layers. It will still be delicious if they are unbalanced, but it will look prettier if it’s even. If you don’t have a trifle dish, this can be assembled in a rectangular baking dish. However, the trifle dish makes this dish centerpiece worthy!
Place scant ¼ of your pumpkin cream mixture on the bottom of your trifle dish. Drizzle with date caramel and sprinkle with pecans and ginger. Place 1/3 of cake on top of cream, overlapping and squishing to make a solid layer. Drizzle 1/3 of the cider/rum mixture over cake, or brush with a pastry brush. It may seem like it is too much liquid, but the cake will absorb it as it sets up.
Repeat above steps, alternating with cream and cake, ending with a final layer of cream. As you layer, you may want to press the cream towards the side for a prettier presentation. It’s the outside edges that count with this dessert. You may also want to be a tiny bit skimpy on the cream in the middle layers so that you have plenty for the top layer. However, with the caramel, nuts, and ginger on the top, any spots of cake showing through the cream will be hidden.
Allow to set up in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, covered tightly with plastic wrap. The flavors will meld together and be even more delicious.
Time for all of your hard work to pay off—Enjoy!
Sarah De la Cruz lives in the Seattle area with her husband and almost 2 year old son. She is a busy mom, a former art teacher, and loves to show her creativity in the kitchen. She and her son are vegan, and she makes family-friendly recipes that keeps her whole family—even her non-veg husband—satisfied! She loves seeing the surprise on her friends’ and family’s faces when she tell them that the dish they are enjoying is vegan! Check out more of her recipes at FriedDandelions.com.