03 December 2010

pumpkin carmel pecan trifle

I was assigned to bring a trifle to a church function this week. I'm not a huge trifle person, mostly because I can't stand pudding. So I set out to create the perfect trifle recipe that would include some fall flavors without the pudding. After much thought, I came up with this recipe. I think it's the perfect combination of spices, carmel, and creaminess. And the pecans add that perfect crunch.

Pumpkin Spice Cake (adapted from taste of home)
1 pkg spice cake mix
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix (added dry...makes a very moist cake)
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
rounded 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Combine ingredients in a stand mixer and blend until lumps disappear. Pour into greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool and cut into cubes.

Whipped Cream
2 1/2 cups heavy cream - beat to stiff peaks
12 ounces (1 1/2 bars) softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 -2 teaspoons vanilla (depending on the strength of your vanilla)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt until creamy and smooth and sugar has dissolved. Fold into beaten whipped cream. Chill until ready to use.

Candied Pecans
2 cups pecans (chopped, then roasted in oven under broiler until brown and fragrant)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water in a saucepan. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Boil to soft ball stage on a candy thermometer (or 236 degrees). Remove from heat, blend in vanilla. Add pecans and stir until mixture is creamy. Turn out onto greased pan and use fork to separate pieces.

Carmel Sauce
So I will admit it...I bought a jar of carmel! Gasp! I just didn't have any time to make it, so I bought it! But I would highly recommend making your own carmel sauce. It's easy, and it's delicious. In this case, I used Hershey's carmel ice cream topping.

Assemble Trifle:
In a large trifle bowl, place cubed cake in one layer. Drizzle carmel sauce over cake. Spread half of the whipped cream mixture over carmel. Sprinkle pecans. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Top with sprinkled candied pecans and drizzled carmel.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe Laura! It was sooooooo fabulously delicious! In fact I called and told my mom and I'm going to bring it to our family Christmas party! Yay for Pumpkin, creamy, caramely, pecan goodness!