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Flashback Friday ~ Pumpkin Praline Trifle

I found this recipe in a magazine and have made it for two very special gatherings. It's a great trifle for our fall and winter celebrations.

The most time consuming part of the recipe is making the praline. The praline recipe yields enough to make 2 trifles. The creamy layers and pumpkin layers are very simple to make and assemble. If you have a large gathering with lots of preparations I would suggest making the praline up to a week ahead and then preparing the trifle a day or two ahead of your gathering.

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2/3 cups pecan halves or pieces (about 6 oz.)

Mascarpone Cream:
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1- 8 oz. container chilled mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 - 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I used already ground)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 - 3 oz. packages of soft ladyfingers. (I bought a 4.75 oz. box of soft lady fingers at Trader Joe’s and it was enough for 1 trifle)
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons of dark rum, divided
  1. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. 
  2. Bring both sugars and half and half to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium high heat, whisking to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, whisking constantly. 
  3. Add butter, vanilla, and salt. 
  4. Attach candy thermometer to pan. Simmer without stirring until temperature registers 260 degrees F, about 8 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat; immediately mix in pecans. 
  6. Transfer to prepared sheet, spreading in a single layer. 
  7. Cool completely. Chop into 1/4 inch pieces.
 Mascarpone Cream:
  1. Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in large bowl until firm peaks form. 
  2. Set aside 1/2 cup mascarpone cream for pumpkin filling.
  1. Whisk pumpkin, brown sugar, whipping cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt to blend.
  2. Whisk in reserved 1/2 cup mascarpone cream.

Assembling the Trifle:
  1. Spread 1/3 cup mascarpone cream over bottom of 8×5 inch trifle dish (12-14 cup capacity). 
  2. Place layer of lady fingers over cream. Sprinkle 1-1/2 Tablespoons of rum over. 
  3. Spread 1/2 cup pumpkin filling over ladyfingers, spreading to edges. 
  4. Sprinkle 1/3 cup praline over. 
  5. Spread 1 cup mascarpone cream over. 
  6. Cover with another layer of lady fingers. 
  7. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 tablespoons rum, then spread 1 cup pumpkin filling over. 
  8. Sprinkle 1/2 cup praline over.
  9. Repeat 1 more time with 1 cup mascarpone cream, lady fingers, rum, 1 cup pumpkin filling and 1/2 cup praline. 
  10. Spread remaining mascarpone cream on top. 
  11. Cover and chill overnight.
  12. DO AHEAD. Can be made 2 days ahead.
Uncover trifle. Sprinkle 1 cup praline decoratively over top (reserving any remaining praline for another use)
 You can omit the Rum if you prefer...


  1. Oh my Ellen..this looks delicious!

  2. My Mom (Anneliese) and I are drooling!!!

  3. Unbelievable! That looks soooo good! more pumpkin pie for my home again!

  4. Now doesn't that just look like the best way to enjoy pumpkin? It does to me! Thanks, Ellen!

  5. Ellen, thank you for posting this wonderful dessert on this site. . .it looks just so wonderful. You did such a fantastic job of the photography, I'm drooling along with the others.

  6. I don't even care for pumpkin but if someone set this in front of me..I would quickly change my mind! It looks yummy delicious!

  7. drooling seems to be the main concensus here and that is the looks wonderful.

  8. Ellen, this trifle is a show stopper! Beautiful photo. Thanks for the recipe. Kathleen

  9. Does anyone have any actual reviews of this recipe? I am interested in making it but love to read the reviews first.

    1. Anonymous, I served this at an open house and at a bridal shower and everyone enjoyed it. That's the best review I can give...

  10. Oh Ellen - that looks and sound delicious! Beautiful.

  11. Oh Ellen, that does look delicious. Irene k

  12. Awesome! I never have that big of a group though so I may have to see if I can scale it down. Beautiful presentation!


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