Tiramisu Trifle with Pumpkin Spice is a creamy, eggless tiramisu with impressive layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and whipped mascarpone cream. This show-stopping easy tiramisu trifle showcases the warm fall flavors of coffee, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon sugar. Make this tiramisu recipe in a trifle bowl or in a traditional baking dish.
Tiramisu Trifle with Pumpkin Spice is a rich and delicious dessert that is perfect for fall gatherings, and can also be made all year long. It only calls for pumpkin spice and not actual pumpkin, so you are not bound to the availability of canned or fresh pumpkin.
Tiramisu means "pick me up" in Italian, and this caffeinated cake lives up to its name. The espresso-soaked ladyfingers have a deep coffee flavor that packs a flavorful punch in every bite. It's a pumpkin spice twist on a traditional tiramisu. Each slice is full of warm fall flavors, like cinnamon sugar, pumpkin syrup, and pumpkin pie spices.
This tiramisu recipe is the perfect dessert for a Thanksgiving Menu and for entertaining! It is seemingly difficult to make because of its many layers, yet it is incredibly easy to assemble. It will quickly become one of your favorite desserts to make and your guests will love it. The height is impressive and the clear trifle dish displays the exquisite tiramisu layers. Serve it with coffee or tea for a rich and decadent dessert.
- Ladyfingers - Ladyfingers, or savoiardi in Italian, are light and airy sweet sponge cake biscuits. They are long and resemble fingers. They quickly absorb liquid and are the traditional base for tiramisu. Find ladyfingers at your local grocery store or Italian specialty store.
- Brewed espresso - Coffee adds the classic tiramisu flavor to the recipe. Use a dark roast or classic Italian espresso roast made in an espresso machine or Moka espresso maker. You can use an instant espresso too. A dark roast has a deeper, more concentrated coffee flavor than an instant or light roast coffee.
- Pumpkin spice - Pumpkin spice is a mix of ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. It is the traditional mix of spices that are commonly used in pumpkin pie.
- Rum or brandy - Rum or brandy add a depth of flavor to the coffee mixture.
- Heavy whipping cream - Heavy whipping cream is the base for whipped cream. The whipped cream is folded into the mascarpone cheese and is layered between the ladyfingers.
- Mascarpone cheese - Mascarpone cheese is Italian cream cheese. It is made from cream and contains 60-75% milk fat. Mascarpone becomes light and fluffy once whipped. The mascarpone cream mixture has a pudding-like texture.
- Pumpkin syrup - Pumpkin syrup is a pumpkin pie-flavored simple syrup consisting of pumpkin puree, sugar, and pumpkin pie spices. It adds a sweet fall flavor to coffee and desserts. Make your own or purchase a pre-made store-bought option.
- Sugar - Sugar adds a sweetness to the mascarpone and is the base for the cinnamon sugar mixture.
See recipe card for quantities.
Make whipped cream - First, place a glass or metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. This technique keeps the cream cold and allows the fat in cream trap the air bubbles and make the whipped cream light and airy. Place the heavy whipping cream in the bowl and whisk by hand or using an electric stand mixer or handheld mixer until the cream forms stiff peaks, about 3-4 minutes. Do not over mix or the cream will become lumpy.
Make mascarpone mixture - In a separate large bowl, mix mascarpone, pumpkin syrup, and sugar. Gently fold in the whipped cream into the mascarpone using a spatula. Do not over mix or the cream will become grainy.
Layer ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture - In a separate medium bowl, stir together coffee, pumpkin spice, and rum. Quickly dip the ladyfingers one at a time to lightly wet the cookies, not soak them. Place in a single layer in the bottom of the trifle. Add a dollop of cream and smooth over with a spoon or offset spatula. Add another layer of coffee-dipped lady fingers, then another layer or mascarpone cream until you have 4-5 layers of ladyfingers and cream.
Dust with cinnamon sugar - In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Dust cinnamon sugar on top of tiramisu. Lastly, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Hint: make the tiramisu trifle the night before you want to serve to allow the cake to chill and to save time the day of serving. See the recipe card for details on how to make tiramisu in a trifle bowl.
- Pumpkin spice coffee - use a pumpkin spice dark roast blend instead of regular coffee. This will add even more pumpkin spice fall flavors to the dessert.
- Decaf - use decaf espresso instead of a caffeinated roast.
- Caramel - add caramel sauce to the mascarpone instead of pumpkin pie syrup if caramel sauce is more easily accessible.
- Gluten-free - use gluten-free ladyfingers to make the dessert gluten free-friendly.
- Whipped cream - use a high-quality store-bought whipped cream instead of making your own to save time.
- Baking dish - use a baking dish instead of a trifle to make a standard size tiramisu.
- Chocolate - add cocoa powder and sweet chocolate shavings to make the tiramisu chocolatey. To achieve chocolate shavings, use a microplane grater.
- Kid friendly - omit alcohol and use decaf coffee to make this tiramisu trifle kid-friendly. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to add depth to the coffee.
- Sponge cake - use sliced sponge cake instead of ladyfingers for a sturdier tiramisu with a spongey texture.
- Berries - add fresh berries between each layer of mascarpone and lady fingers for a fresh, fruity flavor.
- Egg yolks - add 2 pasture-raised egg yolks to the mascarpone cream for an even richer consistency.
Trifle tiramisu requires common kitchen essentials used for other recipes. To make this recipe, you need a measuring cup, measuring spoon, silicone baking spatula, mixing bowls, offset spatula or spoon, and a trifle bowl.
To make this recipe as a standard 2-3 layer tiramisu, use a 9x13 baking dish instead of a trifle bowl.
Use a cover or wrap to cover the top of the trifle and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The ladyfingers will get mushy and break down after a few days. Make the tiramisu up to 2 days in advance of serving. As a result, the ladyfingers will become extra flavorful and the additional time will allow the biscuits to soak up all of the coffee and mascarpone cream.
Freeze the tiramisu in an air-tight baking dish or divided into slices in smaller air-tight containers for up to 4 months. Remove and thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Do not freeze the trifle dish, as it is difficult to get an air-tight seal on the serving dish.
First, chill your mixing bowl before you make the whipped cream. This keeps the heavy whipped cream fat cold and prevents the fat from melting.
Second, don't soak the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture for too long! Quickly dip the ladyfingers to wet them and do not soak them through. They will get too soggy and the tiramisu will not hold its shape upon serving if the biscuits are soaked through.
Last, use an offset spatula or a spoon to evenly smooth out the mascarpone mixture between layers. The offset spatula is thin enough to create precise swoops with minimal mess.
Tiramisu Trifle with Pumpkin Spice
- 300 grams Ladyfingers 36 cookies
- 2 cups brewed espresso or dark roast coffee
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 3 tbsp rum or brandy optional
- 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup Torani pumpkin sauce
- ¼ cup sugar
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Place a glass or metal mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. Place the heavy whipping cream in the bowl and whisk by hand or using an electric mixer until the cream forms stiff peaks, about 3-4 minutes. Do not over mix or the cream will become lumpy.
- In a separate large bowl, mix mascarpone, Torani pumpkin sauce, and sugar. Gently fold in the whipped cream into the mascarpone using a spatula. Do not over mix or the cream will become grainy.
- In a separate medium bowl, stir together coffee, pumpkin spice, and rum. Quickly dip the ladyfingers one at a time just until the cookies are wet, not soaked. Place in a single layer in the bottom of the trifle. Add a dollop of cream and smooth over with a spoon or offset spatula. Add another layer of coffee-dipped lady fingers, then another layer or mascarpone cream until you have 4-5 layers of ladyfingers and cream.
- In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Dust cinnamon sugar on top of tiramisu. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove