Homemade Carrot Cake Trifle with Cream Cheese Whip

A trifle dish filled with homemade carrot cake, cream cheese whip and vanilla pudding topped with more whipped cream and dipped strawberries

A fun way to change up your Easter dessert recipes with a layered carrot cake trifle with homemade carrot cake, cream cheese frosting whip and vanilla pudding. It’s a holiday show stopper.

A trifle dish filled with homemade carrot cake, cream cheese whip and vanilla pudding topped with more whipped cream and dipped strawberries

Everyone Loves a Trifle

One of my favorite desserts for holiday entertaining is a trifle.  I get to pull out my trifle bowl and the decadent layered dessert is always met with a few “oooohhhhs” and “ahhhhhs”. It’s a conversation piece!

This Carrot Cake Trifle is layered with a super moist homemade carrot cake, a cream cheese whip, vanilla pudding and walnuts.

I like trifles because they look so pretty but you don’t have to fuss with any cake decorating.

A trifle dish filled with homemade carrot cake, cream cheese whip and vanilla pudding topped with more whipped cream and dipped strawberries

Made with Homemade Carrot Cake –  Super Moist!

The cake is a homemade carrot cake recipe that went through a lot of testing. I wanted it to be fluffy and light, but rich and super moist. You’ll see the ingredients call for olive oil. After trying other oils, this recipe was far better and more moist with the olive oil. Flavor-wise it totally works, too.

The one thing I highly recommend is using a box grater or other cheese grater for shredding the carrots. You want something that gives you a finer shred, not super big strands of carrots.  I made this recipe once shredding the carrots with the food processor shredder attachment and it give me really thick strands.  It was fine, but the final cake came out a little chunky and the carrots weren’t as naturally incorporated.

A trifle dish filled with homemade carrot cake, cream cheese whip and vanilla pudding topped with more whipped cream and dipped strawberries

White Chocolate Dipped “Carrot” Strawberries

This is extra and totally optional, but I love a fun garnish. This trifle is topped with additional swirls of whipped cream and white chocolate dipped strawberries. I added a few drops of orange food coloring to the the white chocolate so that they were kind of like carrots. Kind of.

All you need is ripe strawberries and Ghiradelli white chocolate melting wafers. Follow the package directions to melt them in the microwave and add Wilton’s orange gel food coloring. Then just dip the strawberries, holding them by the green top, and place them on wax paper so that the coating hardens. I also dusted them with some sparkling sugar and drizzled on some uncolored white chocolate.

strawberries dipped in white chocolate colored with orange food coloring

A trifle dish filled with homemade carrot cake, cream cheese whip and vanilla pudding topped with more whipped cream and dipped strawberries close up

Whipped Cream Cheese “Frosting”

All great carrot cakes have cream cheese frosting, so this recipe involves a cream cheese whipped filling.

If you’ve never made homemade whipped cream before, I have a video tutorial on how to make homemade whipped cream. I also have the instructions below, but the video is there just in case you need a better visual reference for the process.

Overhead view of a trifle dish filled with homemade carrot cake, cream cheese whip and vanilla pudding topped with more whipped cream and dipped strawberries

Do you have a big party or a small soiree planned for Easter?  Tag me in pictures @thebiteshot of your special spread.  I’d love to see what you’re cooking up!

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A trifle dish filled with homemade carrot cake, cream cheese whip and vanilla pudding topped with more whipped cream and dipped strawberries

Carrot Cake Trifle with Cream Cheese Whip


  • Author: Joanie Simon
  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x

Description

A fun way to change up your Easter dessert recipes with a layered carrot cake trifle with cream cheese frosting whip and vanilla pudding. It’s a holiday show stopper.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 5.25 oz Instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs softened butter
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large carrots shredded
  • 16 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • additional whipped cream for garnish

Instructions

  1. Grease and flour a 9×13 dark metal baking pan.
  2. Prepare the Instant vanilla pudding according to package directions in a large bowl with 3 cups cold milk and chill for at least an hour.
  3. Heat the oven to 350F.
  4. Prepare the cake by combining the four eggs, 1 cup olive oil, 1.5 cups sugar and mixing vigorously until yolks are combined and the mixture is a light yellow color. Then add in the 2 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs honey and continue mixing until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the 2 cups cake flour, 1/4 tsp cardamom, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt and mix with a fork then add in the flour mix a 1/4 cup at a time to the wet mixture, mixing until incorporated.
  6. Next, add in the four shredded carrots and mix until combined.
  7. Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 dark baking pan and bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick that is inserted comes out clean.  Then allow to fully cool in the pan until you’re ready to assemble the trifle.
  8. While the cake bakes, prepare the cream cheese whip. Combine the heavy whipping cream and the powdered sugar in a metal bowl and whip until still peaks form. I like to use a stand mixer or electric whisk for this job.
  9. Next, put the softened cream cheese in a separate bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Then add in the whipped cream, continuing to blend until fully incorporated and smooth.  You add the whip in gradually so that you don’t get cream cheese lumps. Set the cream cheese whip aside.
  10. Once your pudding has chilled, the cream cheese whip is prepared and the cake is cooled, you’re ready to assemble your trifle.
  11. First, cut up the carrot cake into 1 – 2 inch cubes. Layer half of the cake pieces into the bottom of your trifle bowl, then add a layer of half of the pudding, then a layer of all of the cream cheese whip, then the remaining cake pieces, then the remaining pudding, then the remaining cream cheese whip. It will equal six layers.
  12. Next, sprinkle on top a layer of chopped walnuts, unless you hate nuts, then skip them.
  13. Finally, totally optional, but if you want an extra special garnish, top with additional whipped cream and orange colored white chocolate dipped “carrot” strawberries.

Notes

  • The olive oil might sound strange but it helps add a nice flavor and packs in extra moisture into the cake.
  • I like a more finely shredded carrot for carrot cake, so that it doesn’t make the cake super “chunky” if you get my drift.
  • Orange food coloring was added to the white chocolate to dip the strawberries to make them look like carrots. I use Ghiradelli white chocolate melting wafers.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: carrot cake trifle, easter trifle recipes, easter recipe, easter trifle, carrot cake, easter, trifle, dessert, whipped cream, pudding, carrots, cream cheese frosting, cream cheese carrot cake trifle

Joanie Simon

Joanie is a professional food photographer and recipe developer. She creates drool worthy recipes and images for national brands and her work has been featured on TODAY, the Food Network, Shutterstock, Arizona Foothills Magazine and Food52, among others. You can also find her sharing weekly videos about food photography on YouTube at The Bite Shot.

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7 Comments
  • Reply AlliJB

    March 11, 2016, 5:09 am

    Pretty sure every good mom should allow their little one to dig into a wonderful trifle just to see the joy on their face! Xoxoxox A

  • Reply Neethu

    November 24, 2016, 4:06 pm

    I enjoyed making this recipe. Followed all the instructions to the T and am so glad people loved it at Thanksgiving lunch today. Thank you so much Joanie for sharing the recipe. Looking forward to more inspiring recipes. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    • Reply Joanie Simon

      November 25, 2016, 10:15 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! Happy holidays and warm wishes to you!! Thanks for letting me know you made this. Made my day!!!

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