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Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle

This gorgeous Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle will make a delectable edible centerpiece for your holiday dessert table. It’s not only delicious but, pretty, too. It’s made with layers of spice cake, pumpkin cheesecake layer and whipped cream drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with toasted pecans to add a bit of crunch. You can make it in advance and chill then set it out when you’re ready for the sweetest ending to your holiday meal.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle Recipe

For Thanksgiving, a pumpkin trifle is a sweet alternative to serving pumpkin pie, if you’re looking to serve fall flavors with a twist. It begins with a cake mix for ease of preparation and when assembled no one will know or care that there’s a shortcut involved. Make this beauty in advance to give it ample time to chill, then enjoy the “ohs” and “aahs” when you set it out for serving. It’s without question, a dessert showpiece. How to make simple Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle:

  • Cake – One box Spice Cake mix plus eggs, oil and water to prepare.
  • Cheesecake Layer – Two 8 ounce plain blocks of softened cream cheese.
  • Pumpkin – One 15 ounce can of pureed pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Sugar – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Seasonings – Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Nuts – Toasted Pecans
  • Whipped Cream – Three 8 ounce containers of frozen whipped topping, thawed.
  • Flavorings – Pure vanilla extract.
  • Toppings – One 16-oz container of caramel sauce i.e. Ghiradelli.
  • Garnish – Gingersnap cookies for garnishing. 
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle

How to Make the Best Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle Recipe

I adore trifles in every flavor. They’re simple to prepare in advance with the bonus of being attractive, too. It gives credence to the saying that we eat with our eyes first. In the case of this seasonal trifle, it’s completely true.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle: One box of Spice flavored cake mix plus ingredients to prepare. (Oil, eggs, water) Softened cream cheese, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, frozen whipped topping (thawed) and chopped and toasted pecans. You’ll also need caramel sauce or warm dulce de leche to drizzle on the layers and top and gingersnap cookies to garnish as pictured.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A 13 x 9 inch baking pan to bake the cake, a sheet pan to toast the pecans, a hand mixer or stand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, a knife and cutting board to cube the cake, a large spoon or silicone spatula and a 4 quart or larger trifle bowl.
  • The cake portion of this trifle is prepared per the instructions on the box using the amounts called for eggs, water and vegetable oil. Cool the cake completely and cube prior to assembling the trifle.
  • You can use a quality thick caramel sauce found with the ice cream toppings or use a jar or can of dulce de leche that’s been warmed slightly until it’s drizzle consistency.
  • If you prefer to whip your own cream for this recipe you can. You’ll need the equivalent of 6 cups of whipped cream. Please note, fresh whipped cream isn’t as stable as Cool Whip so add the topping on the day you plan on serving the pumpkin spice trifle.
  • Store leftover Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle chilled in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle

More Pumpkin Spice Desserts to Make

In the MSSK recipe index I also have trifle recipes that feature made-from-scratch cake layers in various flavors such as the ever popular Outrageous Lemon Lovers Trifle and Pecan Praline Caramel Trifle. You may also like to add these pumpkin dessert recipes to your seasonal dessert menu:


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Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Trifle

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Cake cooling time2 hours
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin-spice-cheesecake-trifle
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 1/4 cup pecan pieces toasted and divided
  • 1 15.25-oz box Spice cake mix plus eggs, water and oil to prepare
  • 2 8-oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 8-oz frozen whipped topping thawed
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 16-oz caramel sauce i.e. Ghiradelli
  • gingersnap cookies for garnishing optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pecan pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast for 6-8 minutes. Set aside 1/4 cup to garnish the top. Cool. 
  • Meanwhile, prepare the cake per the package directions using the amount of eggs, oil and water called for on the box. Bake according to directions in a 13×9-inch baking pan. After baking cool completely then cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, pumpkin, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Whip for 2 minutes or until smooth, light and fluffy. Fold in one 8-oz whipped topping by hand.
  • To assemble, layer 1/3 cubed cake in the bottom of a large trifle bowl.  Drizzle with 1/3 caramel sauce and sprinkle with 1/3 pecans. Top with 1/2 pumpkin cheesecake filling. 
  • Arrange 1/3 cake over pumpkin filling, drizzle with 1/3 caramel sauce and sprinkle with 1/3 pecans. Spread with one 8-oz whipped topping.
  • Arrange final 1/3 cake over whipped topping, drizzle with final 1/3 caramel sauce and 1/3 pecans. Spread with remaining pumpkin cheesecake filling.
  • Frost the top as desired with remaining 8-oz whipped topping. Arrange Ginger Snaps on top and sprinkle with additional pecans or a dusting of cinnamon. Chill thoroughly for several hours or overnight. 
  • Store leftovers chilled.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. Hey Melissa! Any tips for making this recipe ahead of time? Would you suggest I hold off putting on the top layer of frosting until right before serving?

    1. Hi Fiona, depending on the size of your trifle bowl, you can go ahead and add it. If you expect it may stick above the top of the bowl then yes, wait until serving or it will get mashed. Otherwise, you can make this one day in advance, no problem.

  2. 5 stars
    I used carrot cake instead of spice cake because I could not find it. It turned out yummy. Even people who say they normally don’t like pumpkin liked it. I did find the spice flavor a little strong. Next time I may use only 1 tsp of pumpkin spice and see how it comes out. Very pretty dish for a fall party or get together!

  3. Hi! Would this be good for a tween to make for thanksgiving? We are having 12 people over.
    Excited to try this new (hopefully) great recipe. 🙂

      1. The amounts are a bit confusing. Is it 1 and 1/4 cups pecans and 1 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar or just 1/4 cup pecans and 1/2 cup sugar

  4. This recipe makes a large amount. Way more mixture than would fi tin my trifle bowl. I only used 1 of the 8 oz. containers of whipped topping. I did not use a layer of plain whipped topping – there was plenty of the mixture without needing that. Just be sure you have a large trifle bowl if you make this according to recipe.

    1. This trifle recipe calls for a 13 x 9 inch sheet cake so, yes it does take a large trifle bowl, as recommended in the recipe. A small bowl, won’t work. Start with the right size bowl and you’ll be good to go just as is. (4 quart or larger)

  5. 5 stars
    oh MY!!! Layers and layers of perfection. Seriously, how yummy is this trifle recipe. Perfect for the holidays.

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