Cherry Spice Cake Trifle


Make Ahead: Thaw Holiday Spice Cake layers, and prepare the recipe through Step 3. Assemble trifle the morning of Thanksgiving, and refrigerate. Remove 1 hour before serving.

Cherry Spice Cake Trifle
Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Hands On Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 15 mins
15 to 20 servings



  • 1 (13-oz.) jar cherry preserves

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, divided


  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 3 1/2 cups milk

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • CAKE

  • Holiday Spice Cake, cut into 1-inch cubes


  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar


  1. Prepare Filling: Bring first 3 ingredients and 3 cups cranberries to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and boil, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes or until berries begin to pop. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1 cup cranberries. Transfer mixture to a bowl; cool completely (about 30 minutes). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare Custard. Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large heavy saucepan; whisk in milk and 1 1/2 cups cream. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.

  3. Whisk in butter and next 3 ingredients. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl, and place plastic wrap directly on mixture (to prevent a film from forming). Cool completely (about 30 minutes). Chill 8 to 24 hours.

  4. Assemble trifle. Layer about one-third of cake cubes in a 4-qt. bowl. Top with one-third each cranberry filling and custard. Repeat layers twice.

  5. Prepare Topping: Beat vanilla extract and 2 cups heavy cream at medium-high speed until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Dollop over trifle. Serve immediately, or chill up to 8 hours.

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