This decadent Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle will be the star of your holiday dessert table. Although trifles look intricate, they’re actually great recipes for new cooks to try because they’re easy to make, and the ingredients are readily available or already assembled. This trifle is festive for Thanksgiving or Christmas because of the cranberry element, but the Dreamsicle custard portion has us thinking of summer, so you could really make this dessert any time of year.

To start, you’ll make the gorgeous cranberry mixture. Add frozen or fresh cranberries, sugar, and orange juice to a saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the saucepan from heat and cool for 15 minutes or until you’re ready to use if you’re making ahead (up to four days). Next, whisk together milk, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla in a saucepan until the sugar melts; then remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and orange juice together, and add half of the milk mixture from the saucepan, whisking constantly. Take your combined egg yolk-milk mixture, pour it into the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan, and cook on the stovetop, while whisking, until the mixture is thickened. That mixture is your orange Dreamsicle pastry cream, so you want the consistency to be just right.

Cover the mixture and chill for at least 30 minutes, but it can stay in the refrigerator for up to three days if you’re making ahead. Cut up a 16-oz. pound cake into cubes (we used Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake, thawed), and it’s time to start layering your trifle. On the bottom, add a layer of pound cake slices, followed by the orange pastry custard, the cranberry mixture, and whipping cream. Continue layering in this order until your dish is full, and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and white chocolate curls.

Your holiday guests will never know how easy this grandiose dessert was to make, and your secret is safe with us.

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