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Gingerbread Trifle- Perfect dessert for entertaining over the Holiday Season

Holiday Gingerbread Trifle (Irish Recipe)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

I’m sharing my favorite Irish Gingerbread recipe and I’ll show you how to make it into a BIG & BOLD Holiday Trifle with gorgeous layers of whipped orange cream cheese filling and cranberry orange sauce. My Holiday Gingerbread Trifle is definitely a crowd pleaser!


4.24 from 13 votes
Gingerbread Trifle- Perfect dessert for entertaining over the Holiday Season
Holiday Gingerbread Trifle (Irish Recipe)
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 10 portions
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 1 Cup (8oz/225g)) light brown sugar
  • ¾ Cup (8oz/225g) Treacle/molasses
  • 2 sticks ( 8oz/225g) Butter
  • 3 Cups (16oz/450g) Ap flour
  • 2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups (10floz/300ml) Whole milk
  • 2 level tsp Baking soda
  • Cream Cheese Orange Cream :
  • 8 oz cream cheese , room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2oz/55g) sugar
  • 1 orange , zested and juiced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Cranberry and Orange Sauce :
  • 2 bags (12 oz each) cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups (400g/14oz) sugar
  • 1 orange , zested and juiced
  • 2 cups (16oz/45ofloz ) water
  1. Preheat the oven to 150oC/300oF.
  2. Grease and line 2 loaf tins (9x5”)
  3. In a pot, gently heat the sugar, butter and treacle until melted. Set aside to cool once melted.
  4. Sift the flour and spices over the mix and stir in. Then whisk in the eggs.
  5. Whisk the eggs together and then pour them into the treacle mix.
  6. Whisk Warm the milk in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Whisk the bicarbonate (baking soda) into the milk . You will see it bubble and activate.
  7. Whisk the milk straight into the treacle mix until well combined. You will notice this is a thin batter, that's ok.
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared tin.
  9. Bake at 300oF (150oC) for 45 minutes. Then gently cover the tins with aluminium foil and continue baking for a further 15 minutes. This step is very important as it creates a lovely sticky, moist gingerbread.

  10. Once the hour is up take them out of the oven, leaving the foil on.
  11. Now let them sit on a wire rack in the tins until they are totally cold. The warmth of the cakes steams the cake and you get a beautifully sticky top and a soft moist cake.

  12. Store your gingerbread well wrapped in parchment paper and cling wrap. The bread will stay fresh for 3-4 days. Also freezes well.
  13. For the Cream cheese orange filling : In the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), whisk cream cheese until smooth. Then add sugar, orange zest, juice and cream. Beat until the mix thickens and doubles in size. Store in the fridge until needed.

  14. Cranberry and Orange Sauce :In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and juice and water. Bring to a simmer over low; cook until cranberries begin to burst, 10-12 minutes until it resembles jam and is thick. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  15. To build your trifle: In your presentation bowl, lay in cubes of gingerbread. Top with a thick layer of the orange cream filling. Then generously spoon over your cranberry sauce. Repeat layers again for a BIG and BOLD trifle.



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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Deby Brownd on December 16, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Love your recipes Gemma! Quick question: if you only have 1 loaf pan, can this recipe be baked in a 9×13 pan?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Hi Deby,
      The capacity of your pan will be about 15 cups. I think this should take the batter for this gingerbread recipe in one lot. Your pan is a little larger, so the baking time may be a bit shorter, you will need to keep an eye on it. I would say check it at 30 minutes, press the top, if it feels firm to the touch it is baked.
      I hope this works well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Leone on December 3, 2018 at 6:17 am

    I’m in Australia & have not been able to find fresh or frozen cranberries – only dried. Any suggestions or substitution?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 4, 2018 at 10:46 am

      You can use another dried fruit like raisins or dried cherries if you’re able to find those. If you cant find those perhaps fresh berries! Enjoy!

  3. Lisa Almy on November 21, 2018 at 3:10 am

    Hello Gemma, thank you for this lovely recipe. Just a note to say,…
    Steps 4 and 5 are a bit confusing. You’re putting eggs in after the flour here in step 4 and then again in step 5. In the video, you whisk them into the wet ingredients only.
    I am making this dessert for our family gathering this Thanksgiving day. I have owned s trifle dish for 3 or 4 years now and have never used it . I hope this recipe will be a show stopper. Thank you for your heart to help bakers everywhere. Lisa Almy

    • Gemma Stafford on November 21, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for your kind words, I know this trifle will be a show stopper for your family Thanksgiving.
      This is the part of the recipe, and I can see why it confuses.
      In a pot, gently heat the sugar, butter and treacle until melted. Set aside to cool once melted.
      Sift the flour and spices over the mix and stir in.
      Whisk the eggs together and then pour them into the treacle mix.
      I have changed the instruction here for you, and wil lgo back to edit the recipe. Thank you for bringing this to my attention,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Shruthi Achut on December 10, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Greetings of the day !
    I have a question. Can I make this like a mousse cake ? By baking the gingerbread in a 9 inch round pan and cutting the cake into 3 layers ? Its that I find it so hard to make a mousse. What alterations do I have to make, to the ‘cream cheese orange cream’ to get a mousse like texture when refrigerated ?

    Thanks and love,

    • Gemma Stafford on December 11, 2017 at 3:47 am

      Hi Shruthi,
      This is a big question for me as I am not sure what you are trying to achieve.
      ( does this one help? I would need to develop a recipe for what you are suggesting, and I cannot do this in a short time.
      A mousse cake is usually a chocolate cake filled with a mousse, or topped with a mousse. Ganache, when whipped, will also do this for you, whipped cream with melted chocolate, delicious!
      Gemma 🙂

  5. diana on December 29, 2016 at 8:53 am

    are you sure that it is 1 cup of brown sugar? it seems that is very little for three cups of flour. I halved the recipe and used half a cup, and when I tried it, it was extremely bitter.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 30, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Diana,

      Yup it is 1 cup because there is also treacle. I have made this multiple time so it really surprises me that it was bitter. I double check the recipe and it correct.

      I’m sure you did it right but I suggest double checking you halved all of the ingredients when you made 1/2 the recipe. The reason I say that is I often miss calculate myself.

      I hope you try it again because it is an amazing recipe.

  6. Emma on December 20, 2016 at 3:43 am

    How far in advance can you assemble this or do you normally assemble close (same day) to the time you serve it? It looks delicious!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 21, 2016 at 2:14 am

      Hi Emma,
      All trifles are best assembled the day before they are eaten, this allows the ingredients and flavors to blend, and the dish to settle to be served easily.
      This is a great one, it will go a long way too!
      Happy Christmas to you and your family,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Winifred on September 20, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Hi Gemma

    I am from Ireland, love your recipes.
    just want to know what is Ap flour is


    • Gemma Stafford on September 21, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Hi Winifred,
      Thank you for your kind comment, I am happy to have you with us.
      AP flour, means All Purpose flour, and is the name for what we call Plain flour, and sometimes Cream flour. Believe it or not these can all absorb liquids differently, so be cautious when using these for the Bread type recipes in particular. A little too much liquid can make the dough unmanageable! Gemma 🙂

  8. Kesia on September 4, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Hi gemma,
    Could we use honey instead of treacle?

    • Gemma Stafford on September 5, 2016 at 7:26 am

      Well!! gingerbread relies on treacle, but you could try it! I am not sure about this suggestion 🙂

  9. Darlene Clevenger on March 28, 2016 at 8:03 am

    On your video you said that you were adding salt to the gingerbread recipe, but I don’t see salt listed on the recipe. How much should be added? Also, what is Ap flour?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 30, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Darlene,
      I usually add a little ‘pinch’ of salt to recipes. I will check this out to add it to the written recipe. It is not essential, it is a chef thing, a little salt to everything for flavor,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Norm on December 26, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Hi, Love your website and have tried several of your mug cakes with great success. As a vegetarian who does not generally eat eggs, I have tried the recipes with a “flax/Chia seed” egg replacer. They turned out very good also. In this recipe,what concerns me is the use of 2 sticks of butter. I am always trying to balance my love of great baking and recipes and my waistline. Have you ever tried substituted plain applesauce for half the fat as some recipes suggest. I have tried that in brownies , but you cut those up and a cake needs to keep its shape. Can you share anything? And I really enjoy your videos and your charming accent. ( American here ) Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 29, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks so much for visiting my website, Norm. Glad to hear the flax/chia seed method worked. I haven’t tried using applesauce for butter. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  11. Sonja Matzkanin on September 30, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Gemma on the Instructions under ingredients numbers 14,15,16 and 17
    have no amounts. Could you please help me out with that
    Thank You

    • Gemma Stafford on October 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Sonja,

      My apologies. i just saw your message. I have edited the recipe and it is good to go. let me know if you have any more questions.


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