Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Recipe Serves 8-10

Ingredients for Gingerbread:

  • Butter for baking dish
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch springform pan. Stir together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Mix sugar with oil, juice, molasses, eggs and fresh ginger in a large bowl. Mix in crystallized ginger. Stir in flour mixture.

Pour into prepared pan. Then bake for 1 hour.

Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.

Pumpkin Custard:

  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups puréed pumpkin, or about 1 1/2 cans

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Scald the half-and-half in a heavy saucepan (which means take it to the edge of boiling, then remove from heat).

Beat eggs, sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix in pumpkin and half-and-half. When it is smooth, put it in buttered baking dish, which you then put into a bain-marie: put dish into larger baking dish, and fill larger dish with hot water to about 1” below the rim of the custard dish. Bake for 50 minutes and start to check it. You want a set, firm custard, so that a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and refrigerate overnight.

To make whipped cream, whip heavy cream with vanilla extract, then fold in crystallized ginger, and set aside.

To assemble your trifle, spoon half the pumpkin custard into a trifle bowl and layer the gingerbread over that and then half the whipped cream. Do it again. Top the final layer of whipped cream with gingersnaps, or gingersnap crumbs, and if you like, drizzle with Calvados.

Recipe reprinted with permission from GOOD TASTE, NAL Books, 2016.

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