Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia Pursell
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 35 Mins
Makes 8 to 12 servings

Layers of pumpkin, mascarpone, crushed cookies, and a coffee mixture create this show-stopping holiday trifle. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Whisk together half-and-half, pumpkin, 1 cup sugar, and next 4 ingredients in a large saucepan until smooth. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture is thick and bubbly. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl. Let mixture cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Step 2

Scrape seeds from vanilla beans; combine seeds and mascarpone in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping.

Step 3

Whisk together coffee, hot water, rum, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl until sugar and coffee dissolve.

Step 4

To assemble trifle, spoon half of the pumpkin mixture into the bottom of a trifle dish or glass bowl; smooth top. Arrange 3 cups chopped cookies over pumpkin. Drizzle half of coffee mixture over cookies. Top with half of mascarpone mixture. Repeat with remaining pumpkin mixture, cookies, coffee mixture, and mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons cookie crumbs and candied ginger. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Ratings & Reviews


December 24, 2015
I made this trifle for Christmas Eve. The only problem I had with the recipe, although a significant one, was the mascarpone. The mascarpone curdled with the expensive vanilla bean seeds in it! It curdled as it was being beaten by the mixer. Not wanting to pay another ten dollars for the vanilla beans and face the pre-Christmas Eve crowd, I went on-line and was able to fix it by heating the mascarpone mixture on a double-boiler. Apparently, mascarpone curdles easily. So big note...only beat the mascarpone until it turns creamy. Don't do it for the two minutes as indicated in the recipe. Though the completed trifle hasn't been eaten yet, I did enjoy tasting the whipped topping and pumpkin filling.