“Canned” Pumpkin-Gingerbread Trifles | Kids Out and About Philadelphia <

“Canned” Pumpkin-Gingerbread Trifles

by Victoria Shearer

What says November more than pumpkin pie and gingerbread? You and your kids will have fun creating these tasty “canned” trifles. Gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and cream cheese layered in wide-mouthed canning jars, create a surprising, quirky presentation for your Thanksgiving dessert.  So easy to make and so yummy to eat, you may not want to wait for Turkey Day to try them. My grandkids gave these Pumpkin-Gingerbread Trifles two-thumbs-up!


1 (14.5-ounce) box Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cake Mix

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons plus 1 cup milk, divided

2 tablespoons sugar

1 (8-ounce) container frozen Cool Whip thawed to refrigerator temperature

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

2 (3.4-ounce) packages vanilla instant pudding mix

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup finely ground Heath bars

6 wide-mouth, 1-pint or 12 wide-mouth 1/2-pint Ball canning jars with lids


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix gingerbread batter according to package instructions. Pour batter into an ungreased 8-x-8-inch or 9-x-9-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending upon size of pan, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

With an electric mixer, mix cream cheese, 2 tablespoons skim milk, and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Whisk in Cool Whip. Transfer to a gallon-size zipper bag and set aside. 

Wash and dry mixer bowl and mix together pumpkin, 1 cup milk, pudding mixes, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Transfer to a gallon-size zipper bag.

Remove gingerbread from baking pan. Tear gingerbread into small pieces and place a 1-inch layer in the bottom of each jar. Cut a corner off the zipper bag containing the cream cheese mixture. Squeeze bag, placing about a 3-inch log of cream cheese mixture in each jar. (It will look like a large Tootsie Roll.) Using a small spoon, spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the gingerbread.  Cut a corner off the zipper bag containing the pumpkin mixture. Squeeze bag, placing about a 3-inch log of pumpkin mixture in each jar. Using a small spoon, spread pumpkin mixture evenly over the cream cheese mixture. (If using 1-pint jars, repeat the 3 layers in that order.) Sprinkle ground Heath bars on top of the trifles. Screw on lids and refrigerate the trifle for 4 hours or overnight or freeze until needed. Defrost in refrigerator before serving.

Victoria Shearer is the author of Leftover Makeovers: Great New Meals from Last Night's Dinner, Slow Cooker Classics from Around the World: Fresh Ideas for Slow Cooking, Quick, Cheap Comfort Food: 100+ Fresh Recipes for Meals in a Hurry, and other cookbooks that contain recipes your kids will love to cook with you... and eat!