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Gingerbread Trifle with Pears

I originally developed this recipe for a friend's baby shower, but now it's a holiday favorite. The flavored cream cheese filling pairs well with the fruit and gingerbread.—Nancy Cupp, Larkspur, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    14-16 servings


  • 1 package (14-1/2 ounces) gingerbread cake mix
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 10 medium ripe pears
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, divided
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped


  • Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, combine water and lemon juice. Peel pears, one at a time, quarter and cut into 1 to 1-1/2-in. chunks. Place in water mixture to prevent browning.
  • Drain pears. In a large skillet, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and ginger. Add half the pears. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until syrup is golden brown. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Repeat with remaining sugar, butter, cinnamon, ginger and pears. Cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, for trifle cream, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest and extract until blended. Gently fold in whipped cream.
  • To assemble, cut cake into 1/4-in. slices. Place a third in a 3-qt. trifle dish or glass serving bowl; top with a third of pears and a third of cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 411 calories, 21g fat (12g saturated fat), 59mg cholesterol, 283mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 4g fiber), 4g protein.

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