Monday, November 24, 2008

In the Kitchen with Kat: Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

I never knew that I liked pumpkin. I knew that I didn't like pumpkin pie. So, I just made the leap that I did not like pumpkin in any form.

And then a few years ago, when I was doing Weight Watchers. For the millionth time. I got a recipe that included pumpkin. I was skeptical. But my deep desire for chocolate was rearing it's ugly head. You know. That desire for chocolate is strong. Only when I diet. Otherwise, I am all about the salt. The grease. And the crunch.

That Weight Watcher recipe was simple. A box of devil's food chocolate cake mix. And a can of pumpkin. That's it. Maybe a little water if you needed it. Mix, and pour into muffin pans. Bake. Each muffin was 1.5 points. And to me. That simply meant you eat two. Three points was much easier to deal with. And these muffins. Oh. My. Delish.

And thus began my great love affair with pumpkin. Pumpkin soup has to be one of the most devine culinary creations. There is Lula's pumpkin crisp. Debbie wrote about Paula Deen's gooey butter pumpkin cake. Brandy made pumpkin cake. With chocolate chips. And now, I want to add my recipe to the pumpkin hall of infamy fame. Or at least to your menu for Thanksgiving.

Here is our cast of characters.

First thing to do is to bake up those gingerbread cake mixes. Oh my. The scent of those cooking. Might be strong enough to wake children from sleep. Demanding to know why it smells like Christmas.

Next, make the vanilla pudding. Doing cook and serve pudding is much more time consuming than instant. You know what they say about a watch pot. It never boils. And a pot being stirred. doesn't boil either. I think that next time I am just going to do instant.

When it FINALLY is done. And cooled. Add your pumpkin and your brown sugar. And mix.

Are you ready to assemble our layers? This is where it gets pretty.

First you get out your trifle bowl. It's really hard to take a good picture of something that is clear.Then take one of the gingerbread cakes and crumble it up. Press down on the cake to make it somewhat smooth.Then add half of the pumpkin and pudding mixture. My layers are never pretty. Or even. But they will be really tasty.

Then add a layer of cool whip.

And repeat.I waited to add the final layer of cool whip till serving the trifle. Because it wouldn't have fit under the lid.

But look at that. It's a show stopper. The grand finale. The Pièce de résistance.And the taste? Sinful. Sinfully delicious.

Here is the easy recipe:

2 packages of gingerbread cake mix

1 package (4.6 ounces) of cook and serve vanilla pudding mix

3 cups of milk

1 can of pumpkin

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 8oz containers of cool whip

Prepare and bake gingerbread according to package directions. Use two round baking pans. Cool completely.

In a large saucepan, combine pudding mix and milk. Stir until smooth.

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Or until thickened.

Remove the pudding from the heat. Cool to room temperature.

Combine the pudding with the pumpkin and brown sugar.

In a glass serving bowl, crumble one of the gingerbread cakes. Gently press down on the cake.

Top with half of the pudding mixture.

And then add the cool whip.

Repeat the layers.

You could add nuts or caramel to the top. Or both.

Cover and refrigerate overnight. Makes 25 servings!

So...what about you? Do you have a favorite dessert? What do you like to have on your birthday? What is your favorite to have at Thanksgiving? Have you developed a love for something that you thought you wouldn't like? Have you entered THE CONTEST yet??

post signature

Theme song: Smashing Pumpkins - 1979. Because there wasn't a band named Gingerbread. And pumpkin is rather smashing now, isn't it?


LadyStyx said... Ok, to be honest if it was placed before me I would than likely try it and like it...but make it for myself? Not likely. Mostly because I'd have to eat the whole thing (hubby wont touch it)....and I suspect it's one of those desserts that ya want only once in a great while.

Karin said...

Great dessert to take to a Christmas potluck! Looks yummy!

Brandy said...

I think it looks delicious and if I don't make it for Thanksgiving, I will definitely do it before Thanksgiving.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

If I had gingerbread cake mix, I'd make it now. I swear I would.

Jen said...

that looks divine.

Rhea said...

I'm so glad Kori talked you into posting. That was beautiful to watch you make...such lovely colors.

I don't like pumpkin. There. I admit it. I'm ashamed. Wait, Obi-Wan told me not to be ashamed...I'm whipping out my pink light saber right now.

Wham, wham...action sequence in your comments...wham, wham.

Rhea said...

My favorite dessert is caramel cake. Our 100 yr old family recipe. I like to have it on my birthday.

I also really like flan.

Kelly said...

OMG!! That looks INCREDIBLE! I may just have to make it on Turkey Day!!

lynette355 said...

That looks so pretty. And I love pumpkin. But you had me on the first one. How easy cake mix and pumpkin. WOW
My fav dessert?????
Guess the one served to me at a restaurant with a cup of hot coffee.
I am all for the indulgences. LOL

Decor To Adore said...

Oh my yum!

ChicagoLady said...

I love pumpkin pie, so I would imagine that I'd like the trifle. It sure looks good! I probably wouldn't make it just for myself though.

My favorite dessert of all time is what I had for my birthday as a child, every year, without fail, even though my mom asked me, every year, without fail. Chocolate cake, with chocolate frosting. To this day, still my absolute favorite thing in the whole world.

And of course, it's not Thanksgiving without at least one slice of pumpkin pie with lots of Cool Whip on top for dessert.

Debbie said...

My mouth is watering....I must try this for Thanksgiving. Now I have a question, do you know how to use the inside of a pumpkin instead of the pumpkin in a can. I still have a ginormous pumpkin on my stoop that needs to leave the premises before all the Christmas decor comes out. And I love the "Smashing Pumpkins" touch...sooo funny.

Finding Normal said...

Thanks for the linky love!
I do love a trifle, but don't own a pretty bowl. Maybe I'll put that on my Christmas list of items I'll buy for myself while supposedly shopping for others. But I will say, if I do buy one, the first trifle I'll make will involve layers of brownie and chocolate pudding and Cool Whip. Because I'm all about the chocolate.

Michelle said...

This is going to be a post unto itself, sorry....

I'm with you. I thought I hated pumpkin because I don't like pumpkin pie. I'm slowly discovering that I don't. Have you tried pumpkin donuts? YUM! And really easy.

So the WW thing... I heard on the radio here recently that a single serving of something is X points, but two servings is not 2X points instead there's a whole rearranging of things in the item and recalculating of points and it may be 2.5 or 3 points instead of 2. Are you at all familiar with this?

That trifle looks DELISH. As in I may have to make that for Thanksgiving this year delish. Even though I'm only supposed to make the Marguerite Salad.

For birthdays, oh wait TODAY is MY birthday! - anyway, for birthdays I love a good carrot cake. Is that odd? But not from a restaurant and no nuts in it. Ok, so I have to make my own birthday cakes because no one else in my (extended) family is capable. BUT my dad made his VERY first cake EVER today for my birthday (thank you, Dad!). Ok, I'll go write my own post on my own blog now.

Gina said...

Oh. My. Yummyness.

Rhea said...

I don't have a trifle bowl. :o(

I LOVE Cool Whip. I eat it plain sometimes.

Lula! said...

This does not make 25 servings. It makes for tonight, and one for tomorrow...ALL FOR ME! know how I feel about pumpkin. I am so making this. Yes, I am.

p.s. My b-day is next week. I want tiramisu. Amen.

Alicia @ Oh2122 said...

Trifles are such a major staple of our family gatherings that I have no less than three trifle bowls.

Yes. Three. All were gifts. One is a combo trifle dish cake dome. Seriously.

I can not WAIT to try this one!!!

Elena said...

Alright, it's officially time to get myself a trifle bowl. That sounds SO yummy! My favorite dessert is just about anything with chocolate. And I love a slice of pecan pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving. Gets the day going just right. And I've been waiting for you to post a new post so that I could tell you that I'm not entering this weeks contest. I already have a flavicon and I like to change my blog up so much I thought I'd better leave my chance to win to someone else this time around. But seriously lady, you know how to do giveaways!

Swirl Girl said...

If I like pumpkin at all- I would love this because I love trifle.

Something about pumpkin is just wrong.

Shannon said...

Same here! I don't like pumpkin pie, either. But I love pumpkin bars and pumpkin spice cake. Not sure if I would give this a try, though... I'm not a big fan of cool whip or pudding.

Probably anything chocolate is my fave desert... chocolate cake, brownies, etc.

For my birthday, I like to have an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen... chocolate and vanilla ice cream with a layer of fudgey chocolate sauce and cookie crunchies,,, yum!

Linsey said...

We are fan's of Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes round these parts. The pictures of that trifle are so tempting I want to dive into the photo headfirst.

MsTypo said...

I grew up always having trifle at Christmas. :) I love pumpkin pie! I make one from a Cooking Light recipe that has a crumble top. Super tasty and not totally fattening! (Or so i tell myself when i have that 2nd and 3rd piece.)

Barely Domestic Mama said...

That looks and sounds yummy. I am going to have to give that a try.

Oh and I love that you put Smashing Pumpkins to go along with this blog. I love this song.

binks said...

That looks totally delish.

Have you ever tried cooking pudding in the microwave? Sooo much easier and takes about 7 minutes to make. There really is such a difference between cooked and instant.

Chanelle said...

Wow! That's looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Elsa Beauty

Mama Dawg said...

I LOVE spice cake. With cream cheese frosting.

Teri said...

Yum. E.

Skeller said...

Oooooh.... I love truffle cakey desserts for summer and this looks like a yummy spin for Fall/Winter. I'm totally taking notes.... :-)

But I won't be making this for T-day this year. I'm not on the bring-dessert list. My extended family were all horror stricken when I recently shared my love of Costco pumpkin pie. ;-)

Briya said...

That looks SOOOO good. Maybe I'll try it this weekend. If I do, I will definitely tell you how it works out

KimmyJ said...

I LOVE all things pumpkin and this looks devine! Thanks for sharing. I love chocolate and lots of it for my birthday!

Carrie said...

I made this same recipe a few years ago (with one small addition--crushed gingersnaps on top of both the whipped cream layers) and now my hubby's relatives ask for it EVERY Thanksgiving and if we're lucky enough to get to hang with them on Christmas!

I'll have to try the Weight Watchers recipe you posted! Yummm!

sassy stephanie said...

Oh my. Yum yum yum. I have a chocolate one with Heath bar pieces I make. I am going to have to try this pumpkin spin on it! Looks so pretty!!

Connie said...

I've come to the realization that anything in a Trffle Bowl with cool whip is fanTAstic! I love pumpkin ... mouth is already watering for that pumpkin pie on Thursday.

Susie said...


The Joye of Teaching said...

This is a Gorgeous! I may get brave and try it.

Tonya Staab said...

OMG that looks delish. I'm starving.