Yummy Cranberry Trifle for Your Christmas Holiday Party

Earlier today I posted the recipe for the Champagne Punch I always make when I have a Christmas Party. A couple of folks e-mailed and asked for the trifle recipe, too…so here ya go.

Cranberry Trifle, Great for a Christmas Dessert

The recipe cames from the December 2008 issue of Everyday Food.

Cranberry Trifle Recipe

 

Cranberry Trifle

2 bags (12 oz each) cranberries, fresh or frozen (I used fresh)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger (if using ground ginger, use much less or will be too strong)
1 bar (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
2 homemade or store-bought all-butter pound cakes, 12 oz. each, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
Candied Orange Zest (recipe follows for zest)

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 2 cups granulated sugar, ginger and 2 cups water. The ginger is the yellow looking stuff in this pic. At first I was worried that 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger would be overpowering, since ginger is pretty strong. It wasn’t though…it was just right!

Cranberry Trifle Recipe for a Holiday Party

Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until cranberries begin to burst…8-10 minutes. They were just starting to burst when I took this pic.

Cranberry Trifle Recipe for a Holiday Party

Let compote cool completely. To speed up the cooling time, I poured the compote into a large bowl and stuck it in the refrigerator…otherwise it would have taken a really long time to cool because it is really thick and syrup like.

Make cream filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and vanilla on high until well combined. With mixer on medium, gradually add heavy cream; continue beating until soft peaks form.

Arrange 1/3 of cake in a 3 quart serving dish. I bought the boxed Duncan Hines pound cake mix when I made it…to save some time.

Cranberry Trifle Recipe for a Holiday Party

Spoon 1/3 of compote over cake; spread to sides of dish. Dollop 1/3 of cream filling over compote; spread to sides of dish. Repeat twice more, ending with cream filling. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day). Garnish with Candied Orange Zest, if desired. (I highly recommend making and garnishing with the Candied Orange Zest…it was one of the best parts of the trifle!)

Recipe for Candied Orange Zest:
In a medium saucepan, bring 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add zest of 1 orange (peeled into long strips with a vegetable peeler); simmer, swirling occasionally, until zest is tender…8-10 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a plate. Dredge zest in sugar, and thinly slice.

I found it tricky to cut the zest after dredging…felt like I was knocking some of the sugar off. Might be better to cut it first and then dredge it through the sugar. Or, better yet…cut it, put it back into the syrupy water you just drained off and then dredge it…that way the sugar will really stick well.

Here’s the finished product on the sidebar.  I barely snap a pic before we dove in.

Cranberry Trifle

 

When I made this for my last party, it was a big hit and began disappearing quickly.  This pic gives you an idea of how the layers look.

Cranberry Trifle Recipe for a Holiday Party

 

Below you’ll find a printable copy, along with the candied orange zest recipe right below.

Cranberry Trifle
 
Shared by: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cranberry Trifle is a wonderful dessert to serve for a holiday dinner or party. It's as festive looking as it is beautiful!
Ingredients
  • 2 bags (12 oz each) cranberries, fresh or frozen (I used fresh)
  • 2¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger (if using ground ginger, use much less or will be too strong)
  • 1 bar (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 homemade or store-bought all-butter pound cakes, 12 oz. each, cut into ¾-inch-thick slices
  • Candied Orange Zest (recipe follows for zest)
Instructions
Compote:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 2 cups granulated sugar, ginger and 2 cups water.
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until cranberries begin to burst…8-10 minutes.
  3. Let compote cool completely.
Cream filling:
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar and vanilla on high until well combined. With mixer on medium, gradually add heavy cream; continue beating until soft peaks form.
Assemble Trifle:
  1. Arrange ⅓ of cake in a 3 quart trifle dish or any dish you wish to use.
  2. Spoon ⅓ of compote over cake; spread to sides of dish.
  3. Dollop ⅓ of cream filling over compote; spread to sides of dish.
  4. Repeat twice more, ending with cream filling.
  5. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day).
  6. Garnish with Candied Orange Zest, if desired. (I highly recommend making and garnishing with the Candied Orange Zest. It was one of the best parts of the trifle!)
Notes
To speed up the cooling time for the compote, I poured it into a large bowl and stuck it in the refrigerator. Otherwise it would have taken a really long time to cool because it's really thick.

Candied Orange Zest
 
Shared by: 
Recipe type: Dessert Topping
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Candied orange zest make an excellent topping for desserts. I used this recipe to top a Cranberry Trifle and it was beautiful and delicious.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • Zest of 1 orange, peeled into long strips with a vegetable peeler
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  2. Add zest of 1 orange
  3. Simmer, swirling occasionally, until zest is tender…8-10 minutes.
  4. Drain, and transfer to a plate.
  5. Dredge zest in sugar, and thinly slice.
Notes
I found it tricky to cut the zest after dredging…felt like I was knocking some of the sugar off. It might be better to cut it first and then dredge it through the sugar. Or, better yet, cut it, put it back into the syrupy water you just drained off and then dredge it. That way the sugar will really stick well.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!




Comments

  1. Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top says:

    YUM! It looks delicious! I might just have to try this.

  2. That looks delicious! Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful ideas, Susan. I am getting so excited about hosting my party now!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

  3. Vintage Linen Treasures says:

    This looks absolutely fabu-licious! Yours is even prettier than the one in the magazine.
    Patricia :o)

  4. ~Tablescapes By Diane~ says:

    Hi lvely lady. This looks so YUMMY ! Do have a link for making this I hope so ~~~!

  5. Brushed By An Angel says:

    I am not very fond of cranberries but I would like to try this out at my Christmas party along with the champagne punch. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
    Brenda

  6. My dear Susan, how have you been and do you love your self imposed retirement? :) I hope you do and that you are enjoying every moment!

    Carol

  7. Deb {Confessions of an Ugly Mom} says:

    Oh, yum! I'm hosting a home candle party on Friday and this will be so fun. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Yours looks much better than the picture. I wanna try it, too.

    D

  9. Red Couch Recipes says:

    Susan — what a fun and festive twist on a trifle — this just might make it to my holiday table this year. Thanks for posting it. Joni

  10. Patricia Torres says:

    that looks yumm yumm!!

  11. This looks too pretty to eat! Very festive. Is it tart? Thanks for sharing the recipe!~Ames

  12. Hi Susan,
    you share always such nice recipes and tipps with us. Thank you so much. Your trifle looks phantastic. The color is perfect for Christmas time.
    Greetings, Johanna

  13. Witch of Stitches says:

    I love old fashioned desserts like trifle, Christmas puddings, etc. I'm going to try this version, but I like my cake a bit drunk so I'll sprinkle the pound cake with rum after poking a few holes through so it can soak in a bit, then cut it up and put in all together.

  14. Absolutely beautiful. Very festive too!

    :)
    ButterYum

  15. ♥ Sonny ♥ says:

    That looks almost too pretty to eat, but I would:)
    I love cranberries and they are so good for you too..
    Thanks for the pretty visual and the recipe.. looking forward to trying that.

  16. Wow…that looks amazing! I'm thinking that could really work for my Thanksgiving dessert table this year.

  17. This looks out of this world delicious Susan. I will definitely save this recipe for the holidays.

    Rene

  18. Abramyan Avenue says:

    Oh my goodness that looks so good!!

  19. Hi Susan, Oh my gosh…it looks beautiful.

    Evelyn

  20. Hi, I hopped over from Pink Saturday to wish you a great day! Yummy post.

  21. Vintage French Hen says:

    That looks so yummy! The presentation alone is gorgeous, leave to Martha! Marcia

  22. fitty's pinky rose cottage says:

    my fave sweet treat! yummmm is all i can see and say!

  23. I am going to offer to take dessert to our next dinner group and take THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! It looks terrific! Thanks for sharing this!!! XO

  24. Jacalyn @ rmebathproducts.com says:

    Oh that looks so pretty and yummy too! I am off to find that champagne recipe!

    Happy PS,
    Jacalyn

  25. Smocking with Gwen says:

    Thank you Susan!!! Now have BNOTP Cranberry Triffle in my recipes!!! Love your beautiful photos too!!!

  26. Oh YUM!

  27. That looks beautiful and sounds delicious! I have to take a dessert to a church party in a few weeks and this will be perfect! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
    Vanessa

  28. From one Cranberry Lover- I am printing this out and yes it looks wonderful!
    Bernideen

  29. Kaye Swain - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation says:

    Looks incredibly yummy and gorgeous. I bet making these would also be fun activities for grandparents and their older grandchildren. Very fun!

  30. Maison Mutt says:

    Opps! Looked at your post before I ate…my stomach is not happy with me 8 )
    Never thought of using cranberries in trifle, thanks for the Thanksgiving dessert idea!
    Licks & Wags, Niki

  31. Gosh I'm drooling on my keyboard….I love trifle!

  32. Gosh I'm drooling on my keyboard….I love trifle!

  33. Oh my goodness that looks so yummy Susan!!

    Happy Pink Saturday!!

    Thank you for the recipe:))

    Kay Ellen

  34. Pattie @ Olla-Podrida says:

    BEAUTIFUL! I'm sure it's delicious. My husband is quite a fan of trifle, in fact, our trifle bowl is his!

  35. Looks super beautiful and yummy I'm sure. I love your site, always have… but I'm not so happy about your new pop up ads. Oh well, you have such a following, I guess the advertisers want in on the fun too.

  36. Thanks for sharing your yummy cranberry recipies~ I have been looking all over for our favorite lemon cranberry trifle recipe and don't know where it has gone so I might try this one instead. Im trying the champaign punch one for sure. It looks so pretty and festive!

  37. The Tablescaper says:

    This looks delicious and oh so seasonal. Why don't you link up with Seasonal Sundays?

    - The Tablescaper

  38. Atelier de Charo says:

    Yummy, yummy!

    Hugs
    Charo

  39. Yum! This looks like the perfect dessert after a big feast. Thanks for posting it.

  40. This does look like a hit but I am required by the laws of tradition to make the same trifle I have always made.
    A recipe shown to me by my ex-boyfriends Scottish mother. It is then eaten for days straight. Even for breakfast. No variations, no updates. Tradition.

  41. The Dragonfly On Iron Gate says:

    Looks great. I've seen these at events but didn't think to try one. I am going to make two and sit them outside with a candle for Christmas. They can melt down as the evening winds down. ♥

  42. Lori @ Projects Plenty says:

    That looks gorgeous and delicious all at the same time! Thanks for sharing and hosting another great Metamorphosis Monday.

    Lori

  43. This dessert looks so great. I decided to try it for New Year's Eve dessert. I made it tonight and realized I put in too much ginger. I used ground ginger instead of the fresh ginger. I only put in 1 tablespoon and the cranberry sauce tastes way too gingery. So I am warning others to make sure if they use gound ginger to use less than a tablespoon. Maybe 1/2 tablespoon would work well. Otherwise, this is an awesome dessert. Thanks for posting this!!

  44. Pamela Krugman says:

    What absolutely beautiful beverages and dishes. I will try these. Love you!
    Pamela

  45. What a beautiful holiday treat your triffle is–gorgeous to look at, and looks very delicious!

  46. Looks absolutely delicious, Susan! Will definitely add it to my make-a-head recipe file as am a hostess who not only believes in mingling with her guests but also believes not running around like a chicken without a head at the last minute prior to their arrival, so thank you. hugs, -Brenda-

  47. I too make trifles….and one similar to this using brownies. For the Heath candy bars, I buy the Heath bits (packaged like choc chips). I also will criss-cross Hersey’s Choc Syrup and Butterscotch on top with a sprinkling of the Heath bits. Plan to check out your other posts. Berta

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