Pumpkin Butterscotch Mini Trifles

by Jillian

Pillowy cubes of delicious butterscotch cake, fluffy pumpkin mousse, and creamy butterscotch filling all layered together in one cute mini trifle!

Once September hits, I’m in full-on pumpkin mode!

Ok, let’s be honest. Once February hits, I’m in full-on pumpkin mode. Although pumpkin is usually reserved for the fall months of the year, I can’t help but crave it AT LEAST nine months out of the year. It’s a flavor that’s just so versatile and the possibilities are literally endless.

Even though I have a pretty good repertoire of pumpkin-inspired recipes on this blog, I was actually shocked to discover that I still hadn’t done a pumpkin trifle recipe. Seriously, guys. How is that even possible??

So to make up for the embarrassment of taking FOREVER to combine two of my loves–pumpkin and trifles–today, I’m sharing one of the most heavenly creations you just HAVE to try.

These Pumpkin Butterscotch Mini Trifles have it all, people. With divine layers of supremely moist butterscotch cake, fluffy pumpkin mousse, dreamy butterscotch filling, whipped cream, crunchy toffee bits, and golden butterscotch sauce, these mini trifles are LOADED with deliciousness.

While these little guys might look like a lot of work with all the layers involved, don’t worry! I got you covered with some simple shortcuts that’ll make the process a lot easier. And trust me, after you get that first euphoric spoonful of pumpkin butterscotchy toffee goodness, your taste buds will be thanking me.

The first shortcut I like to use is cake mix. However, instead of simply preparing it according to the instructions on the back of the box, I like to add a few extra ingredients to make it extra tasty!

To infuse the cake with butterscotch, a package of instant butterscotch pudding is mixed into the batter. Not only does it add flavor, but it also keeps the cake nice and moist. Oh, and speaking of moist (sorry for those who can’t stand that word), vegetable oil AND sour cream are also added to achieve that moist crumb. (I promise that’s the last time I use that word…)

Now let’s move on to the butterscotch filling! All you have to do is combine a box of instant butterscotch pudding and milk, stir it until smooth, and allow it to sit a few minutes as it thickens. Fold in some whipped topping until light and fluffy, and you have your butterscotch filling!

The pumpkin mousse comes together rather quickly as well! You’ll start off by combining some cream cheese, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Then you’ll mix in a splash of vanilla, some pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. To lighten things up, you’ll fold in some whipped topping. 

Side Note: For those of you who prefer to use freshly-whipped cream instead of whipped topping, I’ve included the heavy cream conversions for you in the recipe card notes.

Ok! Now that we’ve got our cake, our pumpkin mousse, and our butterscotch filling, it’s time for the fun part–ASSEMBLING THE TRIFLES!!!

You’ll need nine pint-sized mason jars. Not only do the mason jars add to the cuteness factor of these trifles, but they also make it so much easier to store them. If you don’t feel like eating the entire trifle (which I highly doubt will happen), simply screw on the lid, and toss it in the refrigerator for later. The trifles also freeze incredibly well!

To assemble these bad boys, you’ll start off with a layer of cake. Try to make it as even as possible, using a long utensil like a butter knife or a chopstick to help push the cake cubes into the open spaces of the jar.

You’ll then add a layer of pumpkin mousse. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to put the mousse in a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (or a gallon ziplock bag with the corner cut off), and piping the filling on top of the cake. Not only does this make things go a lot quicker, but it also makes for a neater appearance.

Once a layer of whipped topping is added on top of the pumpkin mousse, the butterscotch filling is piped on top. After a second layer of cake cubes are evenly layered into the jars, the rest of the pumpkin mousse is piped on top. To garnish, a final dollop of whipped topping is added along with a sprinkle of buttery toffee bits and silky butterscotch sauce!

Tell me you haven’t seen a more beautiful spoonful…

Pumpkin Butterscotch Mini Trifles

Pillowy cubes of delicious butterscotch cake, fluffy pumpkin mousse, and creamy butterscotch filling all layered together in one cute mini trifle!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 32 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours 32 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 Mini Trifles

Ingredients
  

Cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Butterscotch Filling:

  • 1 (3.4 oz) box instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • 1 ⅓ cup whipped topping**

Pumpkin Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups whipped topping**

For Assembly:

  • 1 ½ cup whipped topping**
  • Butterscotch sauce
  • Toffee Bits

Instructions
 

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF; spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir all of the cake ingredients together until smooth; batter will be thick.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely, then cut into cubes.

Make the Butterscotch Filling:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the pudding mix and milk together until smooth and thickened.
  • Fold the whipped topping into the pudding, then chill in the refrigerator for an hour to allow it to firm up.
  • Transfer filling to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized ziploc bag with the tip of the corner cut off.

Make the Pumpkin Filling:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and both sugars together until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla, pumpkin puree, spices, and salt, and continue beating until completely incorporated.
  • Fold the whipped topping into the pumpkin mixture. Transfer filling to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized ziploc bag with the tip of the corner cut off.

To Assemble:

  • Place a layer of cake cubes in the bottom of each jar, then pipe half of the pumpkin filling on top. Pipe the butterscotch filling evenly among the jars, using all of it up. Spread a layer of whipped topping on top of the butterscotch filling. Add another layer of cake cubes*, followed by the rest of the pumpkin filling.
  • Garnish each trifle with a dollop of whipped topping, a drizzle of butterscotch sauce, and a sprinkle of toffee bits. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Mini trifles also freeze really well and will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months!

Notes

*You'll have some cake leftover.
**If using heavy cream instead of whipped topping, start by pouring 2 1/2 cup heavy cream in the chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and whip until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to use in place of where whipped topping is called for. 2/3 +1+3/4 = 2.5 cups
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