Cranberry Trifle

As promised, here’s the recipe for the Cranberry Trifle I made for my neighborhood cookie party. The recipe comes from the current (December 2008) issue of Everyday Food. If you want a copy of the magazine, I found it in the check-out isle at Publix…it’s about the size of a Reader’s Digest.

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
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!

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.

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 syrupy.

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. This would probably be “slap your Mama good” if you used pound cake made from scratch…I just didn’t have that kind of time.)
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. You try it and tell me what works best.

Here’s the finished product…

It was a hit at the party and began disappearing fast…you can see the layers in this photo…

Merry Christmas…from my kitchen to yours! πŸ™‚

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  1. Lady of the Mote says

    that looks sooooo good!


  3. Lilly's Life says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so going to make this. It looks positvely delicious and I love the bowl too!

  4. imjacobsmom says

    Thanks! Problem solved for my office Potluck dessert! It looks delicious. I have that issue (I am a subscriber)…I am just glad that it got raving reviews. ~ Robyn

  5. texasdaisey says

    That looks & sounds soooooo good. It almost too pretty to eat, but I would definitely eat it.

  6. Uh….YUM!

  7. That look delicious and so festive! Thanks for sharing….

  8. Hi Susan! Yummy, this looks so delicious! I’m sure it was a big hit! I would have been hitting that bowl of yumminess too!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  9. Lady Katherine says

    How wonderful! I will have to copy this. Its looks so wonderful! Thanks so much, Susan.

  10. momstheword says

    Oh.My.Goodness! That looks so yummy!!!!

  11. Melissa Miller says

    Yummy! I love cranberry and it’s so pretty to look at as well. Thanks for posting it for us. πŸ™‚

  12. Dang…it looks so good. But it's a "college" recipe & I'm still in "high school" in the cooking dept.! Think I'd definitely have to use the bought cake. :O) Thanks for the recipe. I'll still probably attempt it!

  13. This looks delicious along with being pretty. I’m going to have to try this one.Thanks for sharing. hugs ~lynne~

  14. Oh YUMMMM! I can hardly wait to try it! I just saved a copy of the recipe too. β™₯ Diane

  15. Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey says

    That sounds yummy !

  16. Thank you so much Susan…. I was looking forward to this post and will be trying this recipe out as soon as I can… It sounds so good… That darn Martha she just does it all, doesn’t she… Thanks again…


  17. Suzann @ Lavender and Roses says

    that looks delicious!

  18. Thanks so much for the recipe Susan!!

  19. Raggedy Girl says

    That is a beautiful dessert, so festive. Thank you for the indepth recipe.
    Roberta Anne

  20. profenretraite says

    Hi Susan…I am smiling because I can personally vouch for your trifle! It was just as yummy as it looks! Thanks for the recipe! I will have to try it out on my family. If you get a chance to post the champagne punch, please do because it was so good! Thanks again for the invite. I am still enjoying the cookies! hugs…Debbie

  21. Susan! Thank you so much…we just got an invitation to a friends for Christmas Eve dinner and I can do this to take!!!! I am sure it will be a big hit as it was for your party!!!! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks again, you are a dear!!! Merry, merry! Hugs, Pinky

  22. vintagewindow says

    ohhhhhh’ yummy!! I think I’ll try the recipe and go buy the book.

    Have a wonderful day,


  23. Linda/ "Mom..." says

    Dearest SS~ Something is "terribly wrong" w/ me & I'm rather scared & so is DH…. and the Drs. at the specialty clinic (called "The Betty Crocker Institute", I believe) don't know WHAT it "IS"~~~ all of the sudden, tho, I have this URGE to "create" (as in "COOKING/BAKING", N-O-T "pro-creating"!)… I mean, I only got our STOVE because I liked the cute, chunky red knobs, & I didn't even NEED those "self-cleaning ovens"~~~ they seldom get turned on ANYWAY!!! BUUUUT, THIS got me so "pumped up" yesterday that I went out n' bought a TRIFLE BOWL! Yes! Me!!!! ~ I own a TRIFLE BOWL!!! (Is that "EXCITING NEWS" or WHAT???). Never mind allll the new DISHES around here~~~ it's the TRIFLE BOWL that's got me goin'!!! So, THANKS! (Heck I'll probably photo "the finished product/trifle" MORE than a table setting! Grins!). Thanks mucho, dahhhhlin'! This is gonna be fun!!!Hugs, Linda

  24. Can I just jump into that bowl and make a pig of myself? πŸ™‚ How beautiful of a presentation too!

  25. That looks really yummy! I have to try it. Sally

  26. For any kind of party that looks divine… Your outdoor decorations are so pretty… It just makes me happy all over to visit your pretty blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  27. Don’t know how I missed making a comment, must be the OTC Robitussin and Mucinex I was taking. I did copy the recipe when I was here last. Thanks for posting it.

  28. I made this for our family Christmas dinner 12/25/2012. It was so good & a nice change from the typical holiday dessert.The orange zest really brought all the flavors together so well! Thank you very much for sharing/posting the recipe.

    • Maureen, you are so welcome! I love that recipe, too and made it again this year for a Christmas party. When I made it this time, I made a fair amount more of the orange zest than it calls for since I remembered how much I liked that part. So glad you liked it! πŸ™‚

  29. I don’t see where it says to print

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