Serve up individual servings of this stunning Cranberry Pomegranate Christmas Trifle at your next holiday gathering. This no fuss, no bake dessert features store bought pound cake, instant vanilla pudding, and leftover cranberry sauce. Whip it up in no time right after the main course is over.
Individual dessert servings are an excellent way to finish a meal. Prepare them ahead of time for an easy and sweet ending to any special holiday meal or dinner party. Check out these Lemon Curd Cheesecakes for a sweet n tart treat or Mini Berry Cheesecakes for a tiny light après dinner bite.
Cranberry Pomegranate Christmas Trifle
These Cranberry Pomegranate Christmas Trifles are the holiday dessert you’ve been looking for. They feature easy to find store bought ingredients such as pound cake, instant vanilla pudding, and your leftover cranberry sauce!
That’s right. Leftover cranberry sauce. Furthermore, if you want to serve these fun little trifles immediately following the Christmas dinner turkey course, you can! Simply head back to the kitchen with the cranberry sauce and you can have the trifles assembled and ready to go before anyone notices you’re gone.
The light and fluffy pound cake soaks up the tart cranberry sauce while the pomegranate seeds add a little texture. Then, there’s the vanilla pudding which I recommend you make with eggnog instead of milk as per the package instructions. The creamy pudding rounds out the holiday trifle in flavour and texture. It’s a creamy, dreamy dessert with a tart little attitude!
What is a Trifle?
If you aren’t British (or a part of the Commonwealth) you may not have run across this lovely layered dessert before. However, one taste of how easy this fun dessert is and you’ll be hooked.
Originally, the term ‘trifle’ represented a dessert featuring fruit and creamy custard. The modern layered version with sponge fingers soaked in alcohol, custard, and fruit appeared sometime in the 18th century. It is beloved amongst Brits who attended boarding school, even though the school’s intention was to use up old cakes, fruit, and custard.
Currently, the contents of trifles have a wide range of variations. However the one constant is that the ingredients are present in layers. For this trifle recipe, I have swapped the custard with vanilla pudding and left out the alcohol to make it more family friendly.
The beauty of this show stopping Christmas Trifle recipe is that each ingredient is premade and readily available at any grocery store.
- Pound Cake
- Instant Vanilla Pudding
- Whipping Cream
- Vanilla Extract
- Cranberry Sauce
You can find premade Pound Cake in either the bakery section or frozen foods section of any grocery store. Alternatively you can use any white cake, sponge, or angel food cake, if in a pinch.
Please note that the Instant Vanilla Pudding will require its own ingredients, most notably additional milk that I have not included in the recipe. Substitute eggnog for the milk for an extra festive Christmas Trifle. If you have access to ready made custard, feel free to use that instead of the pudding.
Christmas is also Pomegranate season so you should be able to source fresh pomegranates at your local grocery store. If not, many stores also carry packages of pomegranate arils. What a world of convenience we live in!
You can choose to whip the Cream with Sugar and Vanilla Extract, then stabilize it with a bit of Cornstarch. Or, you can buy a can of whipped cream, for convenience. Leave it out altogether, and simply top the trifles with pomegranate arils.
I always have leftover Cranberry Sauce which is why I’ve developed a delicious way to use it up. You can also use a tart jam or only pomegranate seeds, if you prefer.
How To Make Cranberry Sauce
I much prefer the fresh taste and texture of homemade Cranberry Sauce to the canned jelly version. However, I don’t spend a lot of time making cranberry sauce or use a recipe. I usually just dump a bag of fresh cranberries in a saucepan, then add about 3/4 cup sugar.
While the cranberries are simmering, add 2 tablespoons of water, some grated lemon or orange zest and maybe some vanilla caviar. Let it simmer on low until it thickens, then remove from heat and add some Grand Marnier or other booze (or don’t).
Let it cool before serving, or serve slightly warmed. By the way, I also developed these Cranberry Bars to use up leftover cranberry sauce and they have been the most popular blog recipe for years!
How to Make Christmas Trifle
This recipe makes four individual Christmas trifles. You will need four clean glass half pint jars or stemless wine glasses (instead of a large trifle bowl) to build and serve them.
Begin by mixing up the instant vanilla pudding with the milk or eggnog according to package directions. Set it aside to thicken while you segment the pomegranate to remove the seeds. Set them aside.
Next, slice the pound cake into 1 cm wide slices, then cut off the golden crusts so only the light cake remains. Dice remaining white slices so they are roughly 1 cm x 1 cm.
To build the trifles, place a layer of diced pound cake in the bottom of each jar or glass.Next, spoon a few tablespoons of vanilla pudding over the pound cake layer, then follow with a few tablespoons of cranberry sauce and some pomegranate seeds, if desired.
Repeat the layers one more time (cake, pudding, sauce), then top with vanilla pudding.
Just before serving, whip the cream with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the cream reaches soft peak stage, add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch. Whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with desired tip.
Finally, top each trifle with stabilized whipped cream and/or pomegranate seeds.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions
You can make these Christmas Trifles up to a day before you intend to serve them. However, I recommend that the whipped cream and garnish be left off until just before serving.
The beauty of this holiday dessert is that each component can be prepared ahead of time. You can then pop away from the feast and quickly assemble them. I love how easy and effortless these individual trifles are. I hope you do too. Merry Christmas!
If you make this Cranberry Pomegranate Christmas Trifle recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.