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Pumpkin Trifle

Pumpkin Trifle made with a three-ingredient pumpkin spice cake and rich cream cheese frosting.  An impressive and delicious dessert that’s made in the slow cooker!

two glass jars filled with pumpkin trifle

Every year we all gather at my Mom’s house to prepare the Thanksgiving meal and, of course, sneak samples of my grandmother’s Southern-Style Cornbread Dressing.

Last year I brought a pumpkin dump cake along with me to bake while we cooked. It is a great recipe for an occasion like that (when the oven is already being used) because it actually bakes up in the slow cooker!

We served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which melted down on the hot cake and was SO good.  The pumpkin adds a nice richness to the spice cake without being overwhelming.  It was the perfect reward after our long afternoon spent cooking up the delicious holiday meal.  

close up of cream cheese frosting atop pumpkin cake sprinkled with cinnamon

This cake was so good, in fact, that we decided to add it to our holiday dessert table.  Baking it in the slow cooker makes it super easy and keeps the oven free, but it also makes serving a little tricky. I decided serving it as a Pumpkin Trifle made the most sense. 

Trifles have a way of looking elegant and like they took more effort than they did while also allowing grace for imperfections.  

two bowls with pumpkin cake topped with cream cheese frosting next to a pair of forks and cinnamon sticks

What’s Needed for This Pumpkin Trifle? 

Here’s the thing, this pumpkin trifle dessert is not pretty. Not even a little bit. But what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in ease (SO EASY!) and flavor. Just three ingredients dumped in the slow cooker + three hours time is all you need.

For the cake you will need:

  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Spice Cake Mix
  • Butter

For the trifle filling you will need:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
pumpkin dump cake in a slow cooker

How to Assemble the Pumpkin Trifle

  1. Dump the pumpkin cake ingredients into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. 
  2. After 2 hours, stir everything together until mixed well. 
  3. Re-cover and cook for an additional 1 hour.
  4. Scoop the cake into the bottom of a small glass (I used a soup ladle to get uniform scoops).  
  5. Next, add a layer of the cream cheese filling, and repeat! 
cream cheese frosting

Can I Prep This Trifle Dessert in Advance? 

Yes, you can assemble the pumpkin trifles up to 24 hours before serving them. Just note that they’ll need to be stored in the fridge since the frosting contains cream cheese. 

spooning cream cheese frosting on top of a pumpkin trifle

Tips for Making This Easy Pumpkin Dessert

  • Make sure that the cake is cool or it will melt all of the frosting. It will still taste delicious but it might look more like a soupy mess.  
  • You can also add a splash of brandy or rum to the cake layers for a boozy treat.  
  • You could also make one big Pumpkin Trifle instead of the individual servings if you prefer.
pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting in a glass jar

More Pumpkin Recipes:

two glass jars filled with pumpkin trifle

Pumpkin Trifle

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 808kcal
Author: Emily Grace

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

Pumpkin Dump Cake

  • 2 cans pumpkin puree (15oz cans)
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 cup unsalted butter

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Instructions

For the Pumpkin Dump Cake

  • Add the two cans of pumpkin to the bottom of the slow cooker and spread evenly. Cover the pumpkin with the box of cake mix evenly. Add the butter on top. Cover and cook on high for two hours. After two hours, stir everything together until mixed well. Recover and cook for an additional one hour.

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until blended. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth.

To Assemble the Pumpkin Trifle

  • Add a scoop of the cooled cake into a glass or serving dish. Spoon cream cheese frosting on top of the cake. Repeat. Sprinkle final layer of cream cheese with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.

Notes

  • Make sure the cake is cooled before adding the filling or it will melt into a soupy mess.
  • You can serve this Pumpkin Trifle as one big trifle or in individual glasses.
  • Add brandy or rum to the cake layers for a boozy treat.
  • This dessert needs to be refrigerated because of the cream cheese filling.

Nutrition

Calories: 808kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 752mg | Potassium: 475mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 17708IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 5mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @GraceGoodEats or tag #graceandgoodeats!
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