Spiced Pumpkin & Caramel Trifle

Layers of creamy pumpkin mousse, crushed gingersnap cookies, fresh cream & caramel.

When it comes to the holidays I’m all about tradition.

Like the fact that we ALWAYS serve a big ole’ turkey and lots of mashed potatoes and gravy.

And of course pumpkin pie.

Except for this year.

Because this year I decided to change things up just a wee bit.

Oh, don’t worry. We are still having that big ole’ turkey. And Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without those mashed potatoes and gravy. And stuffing, and cranberry fluff, and lefse.

But instead of pumpkin in a pie, I decided to whip it up in a creamy mousse and layer it between gingersnap cookies and cream and drizzle it all with rich and creamy caramel!


These trifles are SERIOUSLY so delicious that I really don’t think my family is going to miss the pie.

They are also SUPER easy to whip up so let’s get started!

The first thing we need is, of course, the pumpkin. But not just pumpkin. Oh no. We need pumpkin mousse. Which is basically whipping up pumpkin puree, cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, and lots of spices until they are super light and fluffy. I call this ‘deconstructed’ mousse. Because I do leave one key ingredient out. That’s the whipping cream. It may not be IN the mousse-but it is IN the trifle!

Speaking of whipped cream. You’ll need to whip up some fresh whipping cream, vanilla, and a wee bit of powdered sugar. That will be another layer ready to go!

Puffy Lux

Then you take a bunch of gingersnap cookies and you put them in your food processor and pulse them down to crumbs. (You can also put them in a plastic bag and pound them into crumbs using a rolling pin.)

Then you’re going to want to grab some pretty glasses so you can start layering in all that yumminess. I found these tall, wide-mouthed glasses at a local thrift store a while back for just $1.00 each!  They’re perfect for any cocktail and of course, these individual trifles!

I like to start with a layer of the crushed gingersnaps, then whipped cream, and then… a drizzle of caramel. And don’t worry about being neat. Is anyone really going to mind an extra drizzle here and there of caramel?

Not my family!

Last but certainly not least, I add a layer of that creamy pumpkin mousse. And then I start all over again!

Then to top it all off I stick a gingersnap cookie in the center of all that delicious cream and caramel and call it good!

No. I call it SCRUMPTIOUS!!

You will too. I promise.

Here’s the full recipe!

Spiced Pumpkin & Caramel Trifle

Layers of spiced pumpkin mousse, whipped cream, crushed gingersnap cookies, and caramel.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


Pumpkin Mousse

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Remaining ingredients

  • 1/2 pkg gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping


  1. Place gingersnap cookies in a food processor. Pulse until a crumb-like mixture. Combine ingredients for pumpkin mousse in a large mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy. Set aside. Beat heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Layer ingredients, starting with crumbs into tall dessert glasses. After crumbs, add in a scoop of whipped cream, then drizzle in about a Tablespoon of caramel. Top with pumpkin mousse. Repeat layer-ending with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve with a whole gingersnap.

TIP: The trifles can be assembled the night before so you don’t have to worry about them on the big day!

Can you use store-bought whipping cream?  

Yes, you absolutely can if you’re short on time!

What if I’m not a fan of gingersnap cookies?

No problem. I’ve made this dessert using a store-bought spice cake, Nilla wafers, and just plain ole’ graham crackers!!


You can also layer this dessert in a big trifle bowl and bring it along if you’re traveling to someone else’s home for Thanksgiving!

Either way, no will mind that there isn’t any pumpkin pie this year!

I guarantee it!

If you like this recipe, check out all our other desserts here!



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I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe for Spiced Pumpkin & Caramel Trifle!

You may also like these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes!

Thank you so much for stopping by!





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4 thoughts on “Spiced Pumpkin & Caramel Trifle”

  1. Love the idea of changing up the dessert for Thanksgiving. This is going to taste amazing and I’ll just have to enjoy from the screen. I think we’ll be doing fresh berries with whip cream for dessert after our turkey… We have less than three weeks and we’ll be back and I’m looking forward to it.

    1. Change is always good, sweet friend! Berries and whip cream sound awesome for turkey day dessert. I plan on serving a couple of different desserts for a bit of variety and for those that don’t like pumpkin. I’m thinking maybe pears. They are in abundance around here this year!

  2. I’m going to have to try this!! I want to try it with spice cake, too. It looks so good! I can almost smell the spices through my screen. 😀 My husband makes pumpkin pie every year for Thanksgiving while I make side dishes for the family dinner. I think I’m going to sneak this in, too. 😊

    1. You had me at your husband makes pumpkin pie, Michelle!!! WOW!! That’s so awesome!! I hope you enjoy this recipe and the spice cake substitute is awesome!!!

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