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Cranberry Trifle

Cranberry Trifle is a wonderful dessert to serve for a holiday dinner or party. It's as festive looking as it is beautiful!
Course: Dessert


  • 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.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until cranberries begin to burst…8-10 minutes.
  • Let compote cool completely.

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.

Assemble Trifle:

  • Arrange 1/3 of cake in a 3 quart trifle dish or any dish you wish to use.
  • 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!)


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.