This fluffy gingerbread trifle recipe makes a wonderful holiday dessert! It’s homemade gingerbread cake that is layered with creamy molasses whipped cream. It’s the perfect dessert for any winter gathering and the holiday season. Plus, it’s not overly sweet so you can really enjoy the flavor of the gingerbread.
This dessert has a pretty presentation and is a showstopper! It’s truly so beautiful when layered in a gorgeous glass trifle dish! However, the best part about this dish is the flavor.
A tender, fluffy gingerbread cake that has all of the holiday flavors you love, layered with a creamy whipped molasses whipped cream. The whipped cream is so good and not overly sweet. Together they make a perfect combination!
How to Make a Gingerbread Trifle
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store.
Supplies You’ll Need
- 9×9 baking dish
- Electric Mixer
- Trifle Dish
- Large Bowl
The full gingerbread trifle recipe and measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Buttermilk – This adds a delicious flavor to the cake and also keeps the texture tender. If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own.
Eggs – Use organic whole eggs when possible.
Unsalted Butter – This adds flavor and moisture to the cake, creating a super tender, fluffy texture.
Light Brown Sugar – This adds depth of flavor to the gingerbread and sweetens the cake.
Molasses – I use Grandma’s Molasses for this recipe. It’s used in cake and also in homemade whipped cream.
Ground Spices – Ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg are all used to add flavor to the cake.
Vanilla Extract – Use a pure vanilla extract. Vanilla adds flavor and also helps enhance the flavors in the recipe.
All-Purpose Flour – Make sure to measure your flour properly when baking. I like to use king Arthur flour when making cakes.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder – Both are used as leavening agents for the cake.
Heavy Whipping Cream – This is used to make delicious whipped cream.
Powdered Sugar – Uses to sweeten the whipped cream.
- This recipe is really easy to make. Here are some of my favorite tips to help you get the best results:
- Use room temperature ingredients to make it easier to mix everything together.
- Always check the dates on your ingredients for freshness.
- Use good quality ingredients and organic when possible.
- Baking times always vary depending on location, true oven temperatures, and more. So make sure to set your timer for less and then add on time as you need. Also, bake in a preheated oven too.
- Make these mini trifles by using individual trifle dishes, similar to our mini ghost trifles. This recipe will make 6 small trifles.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
To make this recipe even easier, you can use a boxed gingerbread cake or gingerbread mix.
Make an eggnog whipped cream or a gingerbread whipped cream.
Make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free flour.
Using store-bought whipped cream is also fine.
Substitute light brown sugar for dark brown sugar.
If you don’t want to use gingerbread cake, a good substitution is a spice cake mix.
Substitute the whipped cream for butterscotch pudding or fluffy gingerbread buttercream.
How to Store Gingerbread Trifle
This trifle can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Make sure it’s tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. After that, the whipped cream starts to change the texture of the cake.
Make Ahead Instructions
If you want to make this dessert the day before you can! Make the gingerbread cake and tightly cover it. Then, make the whipped cream and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The next day you can assemble the trifle and serve.
You can also assemble it completely the day before and store it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This is different from a traditional sponge trifle, so there is no need to let the whipped cream soak into the cake.
Garnishes for a Gingerbread Trifle
To garnish your trifle you can use:
- Chocolate shavings
- Chopped pecans or walnuts
- Candy canes
- English toffee bits
- Drizzle with caramel sauce
- Ground cinnamon
When to Serve Christmas Gingerbread Trifle
This gingerbread trifle recipe is the perfect holiday dessert, but it is also great for other occasions:
- Holiday Birthday parties
- Holiday Baby showers
- Christmas Party
- Sunday dinners in December
Charming Trifle Dishes
A trifle dish is a tall, clear glass bowl that is used to make and serve a trifle. It’s usually round or oval in shape and can be found in most kitchen stores. Here are a few that I love:
Frequently Asked Questions
A trifle does not have to be made the night before but you certainly can. When you make it the night before it allows the flavors to the mixture and for the whipped cream to set. This trifle in particular can be made ahead of time, up to 24 hours before serving.
No, this particular trifle cannot be frozen. The whipped cream does not freeze well, so it will change the texture of the cake and whipped cream once thawed.
Trifle is an English dessert that gets its name from the French word “trufe” meaning a piece of cake soaked in syrup or liqueur. The traditional English trifle was layered with custard, cake, and fruit and topped with whipped cream.
More Holiday Desserts
This trifle is one of my holiday favorites, but I also love making this dessert each year too!
Let us know if you make this gingerbread trifle recipe by leaving a comment and review below! We’d love to know your thoughts!
Gingerbread Trifle Recipe
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, 12 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
Molasses Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then prepare an 8×8 or 9×9 cake pan, either size will work. Grease the bottom and sides with butter and cut a slice of parchment paper to lay inside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat brown sugar and eggs for at least 3 minutes.
- Add in buttermilk, molasses, melted butter and vanilla extract.
- Beat for 5 minutes until all of the ingredients are combined and have a fluffier texture. Scape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Combine the flour, ground spices, baking soda and baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and using a spatula, fold it all together.
- Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
- Let the cake cool and then cut it into 1" cubes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the molasses.
- Continue to beat until medium peaks form. Use a spatula to fold in the molasses if needed.
- Add a layer of gingerbread cubes at the bottom of the trifle dish.
- Cover it with whipped cream.
- Add another layer and continue until you reach the top.
- Leave extra whipped cream for the top of the trifle.