Creamy Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Here's the Dish

For Thanksgiving last year, I wanted to make something different than the ‘usual’ pumpkin or pecan pie! I knew my Strawberries ‘n’ Cream Trifle was always a hit during the summer holidays, so I decided to make a ‘fall’ version using pumpkin, cinnamon, and spice cake mix! It turned out even better than I could have imagined, and was gone before many of the pies were even touched! The creamy ‘pumpkin pudding’ pairs perfectly with the spice cake…and the gingersnap topping adds the perfect crunch. My relatives could not believe this was a light dessert, and many of them asked for the recipe!


The estimated total time to make this recipe is 2 Hours.


To make the cake layer, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Combine cake mix, pumpkin puree, and water in a large bowl. Mix until well combined, and transfer into the baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When completely cooled, crumble the cake  (or cut into small squares depending on the look you want) and set aside.


While cake is baking, in a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix together for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 1 container of cool whip, and 1/2 cup of pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices until well blended. (Note: Leave the other whipped topping as is for the whipped cream layer).


In a trifle bowl or (a large pretty glass serving bowl), layer half of the cake, half of the pudding/pumpkin mixture, and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers until the trifle glass is filled to the top. (I like to end with the whip cream layer!)


Garnish with cinnamon or crushed gingersnaps if desired, (you may also layer the gingersnaps throughout the layers. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to serve. (Also tastes great when made the night before!)


Note: *You may also use wineglasses or individual dessert glasses for individual trifles!


Cake Layer:
1 (18.25 oz) Box spice-style cake mix1
1 cupPumpkin
1 cupWater
Pudding Layer:
1 (1 oz) Box no sugar added instant vanilla (or butterscotch) pudding mix
1 cup Fat free milk (or milk substitute of choice)
1/2 cup Pumpkin
1 tbs Brown sugar (or sweetener of choice to taste)
1 tsp Cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
2 (12 oz) Containers light cool whip topping
OptionalTopping: 1/3 cup gingersnaps, crushed

1 You could also use reduced sugar cake mix for even lower sugar/calories!

Nutrition Breakdown

16 Servings (1 cup)
175 Calories Per Serving
7 g Fat
37 g Carbohydrate
17 g Sugar
1 g Protein
6 WWP+*

*Weight Watchers Points per serving


Courtney @ Ice Cream & Wine said:

This looks so delicious!

October 6th, 2010 — 8:18am  |  Reply

Joyce Baker said:

This is Amazing! I made this and the family could not believe it was low fat:) I used yellow cake mix instead of spice bc I could not find any spice cake mix, but it was soooooooooooooo good!

September 19th, 2012 — 3:08pm  | 

Dayna Hanson said:

OHH! You amaze me! I should have mom make this for the shower!! :) Can’t wait to try it!

October 6th, 2010 — 8:26am  |  Reply

Whozyerdanny said:

Looks amazing! Very nice blog, great recipes and pics.

October 6th, 2010 — 8:28am  |  Reply

Sami said:

this is brilliant, my dear! i’m going to a friends’ dinner saturday night as part of a church get together and i tihnk i’ll bring this! thanks so much for the wonderful recipe! :)

October 6th, 2010 — 9:34am  |  Reply

Lisa said:

You have the best recipes ever! Im going to make this for Thanksgiving! =)

October 6th, 2010 — 10:39am  |  Reply

Courtney said:

oh wow. this looks amazing. what pudding do you recommend, the vanilla or butterscotch?

October 6th, 2010 — 12:36pm  |  Reply

Abby said:

This looks amaaaazing! I will need to make it ASAP! And it also reminds me of the Friends episode when Rachel tries to make a trifle… “beef sauteed with peas and onions…” :)

October 6th, 2010 — 6:29pm  |  Reply

Katie said:

Yum, yum!I’m saving this recipe for a dinner I’m having at my house in a few weeks – what a perfect fall dessert! Thank you!

October 9th, 2010 — 7:20am  |  Reply

Stephanie said:

There are no words to describe how amazing this dessert looks!! I will be trying this recipe this weekend! I read your blog a lot, I didn’t know there was someone else that loved pumpkin recipes as much as me. I have to say, not many blogs impress me, but I really look forward to reading yours. I also love that you live for our Lord and Saviour as well! God Bless you!

October 11th, 2010 — 10:24am  |  Reply

Frannie said:

This dessert was a HUGE hit at a Virginia Tech tailgate last weekend!!! My sister brought a bunch of her college dorm buddies to the tailgate – and they DEVOURED this trifle within minutes. I cannot tell you how much I love your website. Your posts are truly encouraging and your recipes are a blessing to me. Thank you Katie – and Thank you Lord :)

October 25th, 2010 — 8:42pm  |  Reply

Carla said:

I have made this now twice within 4 days. Once for a church potluck and once for a birthday party. Even people who aren’t fond of pumpkin liked this dessert. Very tasty! Thank you

November 10th, 2010 — 6:22pm  |  Reply

Jennifer said:

I have made this before and everyone has LOVED it! I use gingerbread for the cake. No one even knows that I use sugar free pudding and fat free cool whip.

November 24th, 2010 — 8:03am  |  Reply

Andrea said:

I made this on Thanksgiving and everyone LOVED it. It was the hit the next day for leftovers! Thanks so much.

November 27th, 2010 — 7:36pm  |  Reply

Ana Maria said:

i love trifles, i wonder if peanut butter could somehow be an alternative in this mix, since you’re a fellow peanut butter lover

March 17th, 2011 — 12:20pm  |  Reply

Hannah (mindrunningwild) said:

oh my. I love trifle!! I made one once, but this one just looks so great with the trifle dish!

March 17th, 2011 — 6:10pm  |  Reply

Missy said:

I love love love this one! It was a hit at my party!

March 21st, 2011 — 5:18pm  |  Reply

Katie said:

So you just add the pumpkin to the mix, you don’t add the ingredients that the cake box says to, correct?

June 17th, 2011 — 1:39pm  |  Reply

Amy said:

I live overseas and love how this looks, but don’t have cake mix, cans of pumpkin, or pudding mix. I can do the pumpkin fresh — how many cups would that be? I can make vanilla pudding from scratch – no problem. BUT what are the ingredients in a boxed spice cake mix? Should I just use dry ingredients from a spice cake recipe?

September 29th, 2011 — 6:48am  |  Reply

Bobbie said:

Katie – Thank you SO much for this wonderful recipe! I have a trifle bowl I had never used, but when I saw this I couldn’t wait to make it! Brought it to work today for an office luncheon, and it was a HUGE hit! :o) Delish! Thank you!!

October 28th, 2011 — 11:29am  |  Reply

Susan said:

This looks amazing. Having Thanksgiving at my house this year so I’m definitely going to try this. Can I make it the day before or will it get soggy?


November 8th, 2011 — 6:59am  |  Reply

Kim said:

Does it taste soggy at all if made a day ahead of time? I thought about making the cake ahead of time then putting the other items together on Thanksgiving day. I was not sure how the ingredients would mix after refrigerated for a while. SO excited to try this recipe! Can’t wait to see how my family likes it!

November 17th, 2011 — 7:34am  |  Reply

Kim said:

Great thanks! So excited to try this one and then tell my mom what the WW points are!

November 18th, 2011 — 10:44am  |  Reply

Kendall said:

Do I just use one ounce of a standard 3.4 ounce box of pudding?

November 23rd, 2011 — 11:11am  |  Reply

Jen@foodfamilyfitness said:

This will be the second thanksgiving this is featured!! A huge success, my fave dessert :)

November 23rd, 2011 — 6:19pm  |  Reply

Maggie said:

This is also my second Thanksgiving with the Pumpkin Trifle! In fact, it was my first dish I ever tried of yours (of course now I have tried tons!)… It is always such a hit!

November 23rd, 2011 — 9:13pm  |  Reply

Meg said:

I made this for my Thanksgiving dinner. (I made this and the cauliflower /squash dish) Both were fantastic! I’ve never made dishes for the whole family before, so I was a bit nervous, but it was a HUGE hit. I gave out your website to lots of my guests because this trifle was so good! I was hoping to have leftovers, but every last drop went! Thanks again! I love reading this blog and making your recipes. Can’t wait for the cookbook!

November 26th, 2011 — 9:33am  |  Reply

Aleisha said:

I made this for the whole family and friends this year, everyone loved it! Delicious!

November 26th, 2011 — 3:50pm  |  Reply

Gini said:

You make all these tummy treats and who eats them if you look fit? :-)

September 9th, 2012 — 11:31pm  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

i do! :) they are all healthy and food i eat! :)

September 10th, 2012 — 6:22am  | 

Gini said:

You make so many tummy treats…who eats them all since u look fit? :-)

September 9th, 2012 — 11:32pm  |  Reply

Lucy Bergey said:

I made the peppermint chocolate truffle last year, but this year going to a friends for Thanksgiving that lives 10hrs away in TN and can’t wait to share your recipes and website, so this one it is! I know it will be delicious even before making it because everything I make from your recipes are always a hit. Thank you Katie as always and Happy Thanksgiving:) **Getting Alexa your book for Christmas since she is on her own now.

November 23rd, 2014 — 11:50am  |  Reply

Dashing Dish said:

so awesome! tell her i say hello! :) happy thanksgiving to you guys! xo

November 23rd, 2014 — 4:07pm  | 

Katie Farrell said:

i will gladly make it dayna! :) xoxo

October 6th, 2010 — 8:31am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

aww what a blessing and encouragement to me! thanks frannie! :)

October 25th, 2010 — 8:50pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

Thanks for sharing Carla! :)

November 11th, 2010 — 5:46am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

correct katie! :)

June 17th, 2011 — 8:53pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

your so welcome bobby! :) sooo glad you stopped by to let me know you and your co-workers liked it! :)

October 28th, 2011 — 1:08pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

hi susan! great ?….actually it will just taste even better the next day! :)

November 8th, 2011 — 10:10am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

honestly kim…i have made it 2-3 days early, and the longer it sits the better it tastes! :)

November 17th, 2011 — 12:29pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

just a small box vs the big! :) so yes, the 1 oz

November 23rd, 2011 — 2:54pm  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

awww this made my day maggie! :) Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 24th, 2011 — 7:23am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

awww thank you sooo much meg! :) ox

November 26th, 2011 — 10:02am  |  Reply

Katie Farrell said:

aww…so awesome aleisha! thanks for coming over to tell me about it!

November 26th, 2011 — 4:25pm  |  Reply

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