Easy Pumpkin Trifle + Vegan Recipe

pumpkin trifle
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / cbaquiran

This easy pumpkin trifle is a sweet, fall twist on the classic British dessert. Layered with tasty cream, pumpkin custard and cake or gingersnap cookies, vegans can enjoy it too.

Trifle is a classic British dessert made of layers of cream, custard, sponge cake, jelly and fruit, with a dash of sherry. It is usually served in a large glass bowl so that all the beautiful layers can be seen; a delicious dessert to share with the family or at parties.

Pumpkin trifle is a fall twist on this dessert. The use of pumpkin puree in the custard makes it orange instead of yellow, and the use of gingersnap cookies (or pumpkin cake for vegans) for the cookie layer and topping adds to the seasonal colors. These layers, alongside the whipped cream layer complement each other perfectly to make a unique, tasty dessert.

Vegans will love our easy pumpkin trifle recipe, which uses vegan pumpkin cake, pumpkin puree and cornstarch for the custard and coconut whipping cream for the final layer. For a faster trifle, use vegan gingersnap cookies for the base layer instead of pumpkin cake, as in the first recipe.

Pumpkins are in season in the fall in the US, so that’s a great time to try this recipe – try to source local, organic pumpkins to reduce your carbon footprint. Alternatively, canned pumpkin puree should be easy to find in the store. Check out the fair trade aisle of your local supermarket for fair trade vanilla extract and sugar.

Let’s dive in and learn how to make two tasty pumpkin trifles.

Easy Pumpkin Trifle Recipe

Layer with ginger snap cookies first.
Layer with ginger snap cookies first.
(Foto: Lorna P)

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

Cookie layer:

  • 1 packet ginger snap cookies

Pumpkin custard:

  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
  • 1½ cups cream cheese
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar

Cream layer:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2½ cups whipping cream

Topping:

  • 1 cup broken gingersnap cookies

Instructions

  1. To make the cookie layer, break the ginger snap cookies into medium-sized pieces by placing them in a clean dishcloth and bashing with a rolling pin. Set aside.
  2. If making your own pumpkin puree, peel and dice two cups of pumpkin into one-inch cubes, removing the seeds and pulp. Don’t discard the leftovers: you can eat pumpkin seeds — in fact, you can even eat pumpkin skins.
  3. Place the pumpkin on a parchment paper substitute on a baking tray and cook in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until soft.
  4. Use a blender to puree the pumpkin. Add a little water if it is not liquid enough. Set aside.
  5. For the pumpkin custard, whisk the cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, pumpkin puree and sugar until well combined. Set aside.
  6. To make the cream layer, put the powdered sugar and whipping cream in a separate medium-sized bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
  7. To a large glass dessert bowl add one layer of ginger snap cookies first, then a layer of pumpkin cream cheese and then a layer of whipped cream. Repeat until the bowl is full, with a whipped cream layer at the top. Reserve some broken ginger snap cookies for the top.
  8. Chill for an hour.
  9. Top with ginger snap cookie crumbs and pieces.

      How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Trifle

      Top with broken gingersnap cookies.
      Top with broken gingersnap cookies.
      (Foto: Lorna P)

      Yield: 16 servings

      Ingredients

      Pumpkin cake:

      • 1½ cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
      • 1 cup plant-based milk
      • ½ vegetable oil
      • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
      • 1¼ cups brown sugar
      • 4 tsp. pumpkin spice
      • 2½ cups plain flour
      • 1 tsp. baking soda

      Pumpkin custard:

      • ⅔ cup cornstarch
      • 2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
      • 4 cups soy milk
      • ⅓ cup brown sugar
      • 2 tsp. pumpkin spice

      Cream layer: 

      • 3¾ cups coconut whipping cream

      Topping:

      • 1 cup broken vegan gingersnap cookies

      Instructions

      1. If making your own pumpkin puree, peel and dice four cups of pumpkin into one-inch cubes, removing the seeds and pulp. Don’t discard the leftovers: you can eat pumpkin seeds — in fact, you can even eat pumpkin skins.
      2. Place the pumpkin on a parchment paper substitute on a baking tray and cook in the oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until soft.
      3. Use a blender to puree the pumpkin. Add a little water if it is not liquid enough. Set aside.
      4. To make the pumpkin cake add the plant-based milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree to a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add the brown sugar, pumpkin spice, flour and baking soda and mix well.
      5. Line a 2 x 8-inch round cake tin with a parchment paper substitute and pour the cake batter into it. Bake at 350°F for thirty minutes, then allow to cool in the tin and cut into one inch cubes.
      6. To make the pumpkin custard whisk the corn starch, pumpkin puree, soy milk, brown sugar and pumpkin spice in a large pan. Then bring to a boil on a high heat and boil for one minute. Reduce the heat and simmer whilst stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
      7. For the cream layer, whip the coconut whipping cream until it thickens and forms peaks. Set aside.
      8. To a large glass dessert bowl add one layer of cake pieces first, then a layer of custard and then a layer of whipped cream. Repeat until the bowl is full, making sure there is a layer of whipped cream at the top. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
      9. Before serving, top with broken ginger snap cookies and crumbs.

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