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This Holiday Trifle is a Serious Stunner

By Cindy Rahe
Created January 10, 2017
Quintessential holiday flavors eggnog and cranberry are layered in this beautiful cake trifle that is both impressive and easy.
Winter Eggnog Trifle

When I see a beautiful holiday dessert, I swoon. I’m a total sucker for picture-perfect sweets, but I’ll admit that I also like when they turn out to be super easy to make (especially during the busy holiday season). That’s why I love this trifle; it’s pretty and simple! 

One of the best things about this recipe is that assembly is quick and—if you’re really pressed for time—it can be made up to a day in advance! Eggnog-spiked cake and pudding give the dessert decadence, and a jewel-toned cranberry sauce adds a punchy tartness that balances the richness of the cake and pudding layers wonderfully. I even added pomegranate arils dusted with powdered sugar on top for an extra festive touch. 

Let’s get started! First, gather your ingredients. You will need: Betty Crocker white cake mix (plus egg whites and oil called for on the box), eggnog, milk, instant vanilla pudding mix, cranberries, sugar, plus pomegranate arils, heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar for the topping.


Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking parchment paper. Prepare the cake by beating the cake mix, egg whites, oil and eggnog with an electric mixer until everything is well combined, or for about 2 minutes. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool completely, and then cut into cubes. Place enough cubes to cover the bottom of the trifle bowl.


While your cake is cooling, you can make the pudding and cranberry layers. To make the pudding, whisk the packaged pudding mix with eggnog and milk until well-combined. (You can store this in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble your trifle.) When assembling the trifle, spread some of the pudding mix on top of the cake layer.


To make the cranberry sauce, heat cranberries, water and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the berries have burst and sauce begins to thicken. Pour the sauce into a wider bowl to cool. (If you are making this ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.) Spread some of the cooled sauce on top of the pudding layer.


Repeat this layering process—cake, pudding, cranberry sauce—until the trifle bowl is full. Make some whipped cream by beating whipping cream and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar with an electric mixer in a medium bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form. Top off the trifle with a generous cloud of this yummy cream (don’t be shy!).


All that’s left is to add some pomegranate arils (aka pomegranate seeds) and sprinkle with some powdered sugar. Ta-da! Now you have a dessert that is a true stunner, but a total cinch to make.