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Gingerbread Christmas Trifle

This gingerbread Christmas trifle recipe will be sure to impress your guests; with layers of gingerbread cake, brown butter cream cheese frosting, chocolate caramel sauce, bourbon whipped cream and gingerbread cookies it’s a beautifully festive holiday dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword christmasdessert, gingerbread, holidaydesserts, triflerecipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Assembly 10 minutes


Gingerbread Cake (Recipe from Liv for Cake)

  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter room temp
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar lightly packed
  • 2 Eggs room temp
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Exract
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk room temp

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter room temp
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese room temp
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • pinch Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1 Batch of Homemade Chocolate Caramel Sauce (see recipe notes)

    Bourbon Whipped Cream

    • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
    • 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
    • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
    • 1 tbsp Bourbon Whiskey

    1 cup crushed Gingerbread Cookies, plus more for decorating (can use store bought or homemade)


      Gingerbread Cake

      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2, 8" round cake pans.
      • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices.  Set aside
      • In your stand mixer with paddle attachment (or hand blender), cream the butter and sugars on medium high until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  
      • Turn speed down to low and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add in molasses and vanilla and blend well.
      • Alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour, in 3 additions.  Mix just until fully incorporated.
      • Pour batter evenly into cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove and place on cooling rack for 10 minutes, then release from cake pans.
      • Cakes can be made ahead up to 1 week and stored in the freezer, a half hour before assembling the trifle, remove from freezer to defrost.

      Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

      • Divide stick of butter in half.  Place one half in a small saucepan and melt until foamy and browned.  Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.
      • Place remaining half of butter in mixer with whisk attachment along with cream cheese.  Whip until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
      • Add in cooled brown butter, vanilla and cinnamon.  Whip until combined.
      • Slowly and gradually add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time.  Mix until incorporate and frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
      • Frosting can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container.

      Bourbon Whipped Cream

      • Place cold heavy cream in mixer with whisk attachment.  Add in sugar, salt, cinnamon and bourbon and whip to soft peaks, about 5 minutes.  Use right away.

      To Assemble

      • Layer the bottom of your trifle bowl with 1 layer of gingerbread cake, breaking it up into pieces.  Next, spread with cream cheese frosting, then bourbon cream, then drizzle with caramel and top with crushed gingerbread cookies
      • Repeat with second layer.
      • Decorate with mini gingerbread men if desired.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  


      *Original Gingerbread Cake Recipe-click here
      *Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe-click here (see recipe notes for chocolate variation)
      *All components of the trifle can be made ahead and assembled a day before.  If you plan on making it the day before, add the mini gingerbread cookies once ready to serve to avoid getting soggy.
      *I recommend taking it out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes in advance of serving to come to room temp.