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Holiday Spirit Trifle

A boozy dessert that ticks all the boxes — creamy and rich with festive flavors. Make it ahead and just leave it in the fridge until you're ready to serve it!


The problem with testing boozy recipes is that — hiccup — they’re usually really good and we end up a little jolly in the end. No harm there, but it's very hard to write when you really need a nap to sleep off the testing phase! Today’s culprit was Grand Marnier Vanilla Pudding, it’s my new favorite dessert. I would stop right there, but it’s actually only one element of this show-stopping Holiday Spirit Trifle. And by ‘spirit’ we mean business. 🥃


With the holidays barreling towards us, gingerbread, oranges and Grand Marnier come together in one gorgeous bowl of, how shall we say it, “YUM.” It’s a riff off of a classic trifle with lady fingers and brandy, and the layering technique is from none other than the lovely @maryberry herself. You need to dig deep into the bowl to make sure you get all the good jingle juice at the bottom!


The puddings need to be prepared ahead of assembling the trifle, so please start early! This looks beautiful in a traditional trifle bowl, which has straight vertical sides, but any glass bowl will do at a pinch. xoxo Kirsty



Ingredients (serves 12)


Prepare a day in advance:

  • 1 pack of orange flavored gelatin pudding, prepared according to package instructions

  • 1 pack of vanilla custard (yielding 2 cups/ 475 ml pudding) prepared according to package instructions

For assembly:

  • 500g (17oz) Lebkuchen, ginger cake, or gingerbread cake (not cookies), cubed

  • 6 tablespoons Grand Marnier, divided

  • 6 oranges, zest and juice of 2, the other 4 without the skin and pith

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

  • Chocolate shavings


NOTE: You will need to make the puddings a day before you plan to assemble the trifle.

  1. Prepare the orange gelatin and vanilla custard according to package instructions.

  2. When the puddings have set, you can continue with the recipe. Cut the cake into cubes.

  3. Zest two of the oranges, then juice them, set aside.

  4. Peel the remaining 4 oranges with a paring knife, allowing your knife to follow the shape of the orange, slicing through the skin and pith, so you're left with 'naked' oranges. Slice one orange horizontally into 5-6 slices, slice the remaining 3 oranges into segments. To cut segments, use a sharp knife to cut the flesh out from between the membranes. Set aside.

  5. Add 4 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier to the orange juice.

  6. Place half of the cake cubes in the bottom of the trifle bowl, make sure they are packed tightly. Drizzle over half the Orange-Grand Marnier mixture.

  7. Cut the gelatin pudding into cubes or scoop out blobs with a teaspoon. Spoon half of the gelatin in one layer over the cake cubes.

  8. Nestle the round orange cross-sections evenly along the outside of the bowl, so that they show through the glass.

  9. Build another layer with the remaining cake, orange-Grand Marnier drizzle, and gelatin.

  10. Top the cake layers with the orange segments.

  11. Add the remaining two tablespoons of Grand Marnier and the orange zest to the vanilla custard. Combine well and layer this on top of the cake and gelatin.

  12. Whip the heavy cream to a soft peak and smooth this onto the top of the trifle.

  13. Decorate with chocolate shavings.

  14. Allow to chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Can be assembled hours ahead.



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