Easy yet elegant, this combination of two of my favorite cakes - chocolate and pumpkin - is a perfect pairing of two classic flavors which combine to develop a sophisticated and nuanced holiday dessert. Those who have never had chocolate and pumpkin together are often delightfully surprised at how delicious the two are combined. Accented with a sprinkling of Grand Marnier and layered with ginger and cinnamon spiced cream this is not only a beautiful dessert, but a very popular one perfect for the crowd at your next holiday party.
I recommend making the cakes the evening before you want to serve the trifle and letting them cool overnight.
Chocolate Pumpkin Trifle ~ serves 12+
One recipe chocolate cake
One recipe pumpkin cake
Grand Marnier or similar orange liqueur, about 1/2 cup
2 pints whipping cream
sugar, to taste
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger powder
orange zest, for decorating top ~ optional
bittersweet chocolate, for grating ~ optional
Cut the cooled cakes into bite size pieces and combine. Set aside.
Combine the whipping cream with the vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. Sweeten to taste with the sugar. Whip to soft peaks.
Begin to create layers of trifle by first adding cake, sprinkling with the Grand Marnier, and then covering with a layer of cream. Repeat until trifle bowl is filled, ending with a layer of cream. Refrigerate until served. Before serving, sprinkle with grated orange zest and chocolate shavings or combine a little powdered sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and sift on top with orange zest.