Sunday, April 27, 2014

Carrot Cake Trifle

For our Easter supper this year I made this huge trifle out of carrot cake and cream cheese mousse. 
I love the way trifles look - all those pretty layers with different delicious flavors. 
This went over very well. I thought for sure I would have a ton left over that I would be eating for a week. 
It all disappeared. 
Never underestimate the power of a trifle. 
Those layers just do something to transform cake into something magical. 
FYI - Trifles are also a great way to use up a cake that has had "an accident" coming out of the pan. You know, broken into pieces or is really crumbly for some reason. Trifle layers hide all mistakes!

Carrot Cake Trifle

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
  pinch salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, with juice
(The pineapple I buy is a little bigger than 8 oz but I still use the entire can and it turns out fine. )
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Cream Cheese Mousse
8 oz (1 pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup pecans, toasted & finely chopped

Cake - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 3 - 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper cut out to fit the bottom, lightly spray with cooking spray. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a bowl, and set aside.
Cream together the sugar, mayonnaise, eggs, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until blended, scraping the bowl occasionally. Stir in the flour mixture, then fold in the carrots, pineapple, pecans, and cranberries. Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  
You will need 1 1/2 cakes to make the trifle - you can freeze the remaining 1 1/2 cakes for another use.
Cream Cheese Mousse - in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla until smooth.
In another bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.

Scrape the cream cheese into the whipped cream and beat briefly, until just combined.
Prepare trifle - Cut the 1 1/2 carrot cakes into 1 - 2 inch cubes.

Place one layer of cubes into a glass trifle dish (or flat bottomed salad bowl), covering the bottom of the dish.

Cover with 1/3rd of the mousse.

Then layer another layer of cubes, another 1/3 of the mouse, and the remaining cubes.

Top with remaining mousse and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.

Chill, covered, until ready to serve.

Aaaawwwww yeaaaaaah!
Look at all that carrot cake-y mousse-y goodness. 
A couple of things - I used our Carrot Cake With Pecans And Cranberries for the cake base. It makes 3 cakes - thus we use half and freeze half. You could use any carrot cake recipe but you want it to be moist and dense like this one!
Definitely toast the pecans - it adds to the flavors.
Don't be tempted to use a "regular" cream cheese frosting instead of the mousse - it will be too sweet. The mousse is light and fluffy and not terribly sweet, which goes wonderfully with the dense and moist carrot cake. 
Great for Easter or anytime you want to fancy up your dessert. 

Be sure to visit these great sites for tons of fun and tasty links: Carole's Chatter, The Mandatory Mooch, The Chicken Chick, Ms. enPlace, Hungry Happenings, Jam Hands


  1. What a lovely Easter food. Hope you add it to the Food on Friday Easter Foods collection! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

    1. I'll be sure to do that Carole! Thank you :)

  2. Carrot cake in any form is delicious to me!!! Sounds wonderful. Have a great Sunday. Blessings dear .Catherine xo

  3. do know a little bit about trifles coming in handy when a cake accident occurs. Trifles can hide mistakes in such a fancy way! Great idea for an Easter dessert. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Can I assemble this a day ahead and keep in the fridge or should I assemble an hour befote?