Chill out! Build this pumpkin trifle before holiday dinner guests arrive, then refrigerate it until the turkey is done. This is the ultimate make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. In a large bowl stir together 3 cups granulated sugar, the pumpkin, oil, 2/3 cup water, and eggs until combined. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pans.

  • Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, for pecans, lightly grease a baking sheet. Place pecans close together in a single layer on prepared sheet. In a small saucepan bring 3 tablespoons water and remaining 3/4 cup sugar to boiling over medium; do not stir. Continue cooking over medium, without stirring, until mixture turns golden, about 6 minutes. As mixture cooks, use a pastry brush to brush sides of the pan with water to prevent crystals from forming. Remove from heat and pour over pecans. Let stand until cool, then break into pieces.

  • In a large bowl beat heavy cream, sour cream, powdered sugar, and bourbon with a mixer just until stiff peaks form.

  • To assemble, cut one bread loaf into 1-inch cubes. (Wrap and store remaining bread at room temperature up to 3 days or label and freeze up to 1 month.) In a 4-quart trifle dish make three layers of bread cubes, pecans, cream, and if desired, pomegranate seeds and caramel topping.


Assemble, cover and chill up to 8 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

685 calories; 39 g total fat; 13 g saturated fat; 12 g polyunsaturated fat; 11 g monounsaturated fat; 97 mg cholesterol; 338 mg sodium. 198 mg potassium; 80 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 57 g sugar; 7 g protein; 1 g trans fatty acid; 4825 IU vitamin a; 2 mg vitamin c; 0 mg thiamin; 0 mg riboflavin; 2 mg niacin equivalents; 0 mg vitamin b6; 61 mcg folate; 0 mcg vitamin b12; 66 mg calcium; 2 mg iron;

Reviews (9)

27 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 16
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
The water is for the 3/4 cup sugar to boil in a sauce pan and pour over the pecans to candy.. not in the cake. Anyway, I made it and everyone loved it. Very beautiful and delicious
Rating: 5 stars
I made this for Thanksgiving using pumpkin muffins (I ran out of time to make the pumpking bread from scratch) and it was a HIT! Then at Christmas it was requested by my family. I was not able to find pumpkin muffins, so used orange cranberry muffins insead. I also added a little bit of fresh orange juice between the whipped topping and the pecans. Once more, it was just a delicious! You can't go wrong with this trifle!
Rating: 5 stars
I made this for Book Club a few weeks before Thanksgiving and got such rave reviews I made it for Thanksgiving as well! Definitely make the day/night before and refrigerate it always tastes better after sitting. Also don¿t add the caramel and nuts to the top until you¿re ready to serve (they get stuck to the cling wrap¿¿)
Rating: 5 stars
This was my first attempt at a trifle - and it turned out really well. I wish I had read the review a bit more carefully to begin with - I made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, but only 1 is needed for the recipe (so plan ahead to freeze half, or only make half the recipe).
Rating: 4 stars
Did anyone use the Pomegranates? Should they be caramelized or anything?
Rating: 3 stars
Be careful this recipe is wrong. It calls for water in the directions but doesn¿t call for it in the ingredient list.
Rating: 1 stars
I loved making this and we all loved eating it!! I don't know why but the bread took about 2 hours to bake rather than the one hour stated in the recipe (my oven is working properly). The whip cream was so delicious, I used brandy instead of bourbon... I'm not sure why some reviewers were confused about the water in the recipe... The recipe clearly states to use the water to make the candied pecans. Anyway.. fun to make and fun to eat!!
Rating: Unrated
I making this tomorrow, but I purchased 2 loaves of pumpkin bread from fresh market, and I substituting the pomegranate for bourbon soaked raisins.
Rating: Unrated
Used the water called for in the directions. 2 loaves = complete failure. So disappointed!