End Your Fall Dinner on a Sweet Note with Hazelnut and Honey Pumpkin Trifle

We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Some of these may be affiliate based, meaning we earn small commissions (at no additional cost to you) if items are purchased. Here is more about what we do.

Do you ever wonder what to do with leftover cake?

Side view of a layered pumpkin cake and whipped cream trifle, topped with cinnamon and toasted hazelnuts, with a gathered pale blue and gray striped cloth at the base and an aqua background, printed with white and orange text.

I can’t lie, I am totally that girl who will bake an entire sheet cake, eat about a quarter of it, and then be forced to toss the rest weeks later, after it has officially become stale and unappetizing.

(Okay, I don’t really toss it. I just pawn it off on friends and family after I’ve grown tired of it, but before it’s too late to enjoy. Don’t worry, I’m not just randomly wasting precious homemade cake over here. It’s not like I’m a monster or anything!)

Top-down vertical shot of a large glass serving dish containing a dessert topped with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon and toasted hazelnuts, on a blue and gray striped cloth with a white decorative pumpkin and a square plate topped with two forks, on a brown wood surface.

However, unless you are bringing a sheet cake to a party, there’s not really a lot of reason to just whip one up and let it sit in your kitchen until you finally give it away.

On the other hand, sometimes you really want that homemade slice of cake that’s moist and rich, with a fluffy buttercream frosting that melts in your mouth with every bite.

Vertical oblique shot of a large glass serving dish of pumpkin trifle, with more of the same served on white square plates with forks, and a white ceramic pumpkin, on a striped blue and gray cloth, on a brown wood table.

Well, this pumpkin trifle is the solution to your extra cake problems.

I don’t know about you, but when I serve a cake for dessert, it needs to be a whole one. That’s why I don’t just bring leftover cake to gatherings to get it out of my house (usually). Which results in even more leftovers in my fridge…

I am sure you can see how this cycle can repeat itself for weeks and weeks, especially during the holiday season.

A large serving spoon scoops a portion of pumpkin trifle with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts out of a large glass pedestal serving dish, on a gathered blue and gray striped cloth.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could make that cake that you are craving, enjoy a few amazing slices, and then find a way to repurpose the rest of it to make a totally new dessert?

The answer is, of course it would be. And that’s why this particular recipe is so genius.

This trifle uses one of my favorite fall cake recipes, without using the entire thing. You can devour a third of it, and once you’ve gotten your fix, you can whip up this tasty dessert and present it at your next gathering as the sweet centerpiece after the main meal.

Trust me, it definitely stands out in a crowd, if you haven’t noticed already.

Vertical image of layered pumpkin trifle in a large glass serving dish with pedestal, with a white ceramic pumpkin and two white square plates of the dessert with forks, on a striped blue and gray cloth, with a mottled aqua background.

Layers of pumpkin cake are separated by homemade honey whipped cream, cinnamon, toasted hazelnuts, and extra drizzles of honey for added sweetness.

The result is full of the warming fall spices you love, flavorful pumpkin, and creamy, fluffy whipped cream. Each bite is like devouring a piece of pumpkin heaven.

As you dig into the layers, you’ll find that every element complements the others, with no one flavor overpowering the rest of the ingredients.

It’s such a simple dessert, and it’s a fantastic way to use up leftover dessert. No one will ever know that the key ingredient was actually repurposed leftovers.

Oblique overhead shot of a layered trifle dessert with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon and toasted hazelnuts on top, with a few portions removed, on an aqua background with a gathered gray-blue striped cloth at the base and a white ceramic pumpkin with brown stem and green leaf details.

I mean, just look at that gorgeous bowl of layers. It’s certainly an eye-catching treat that will make everyone’s mouths water the moment you set it on the table.

If you haven’t baked the pumpkin cake yet, that’s just fine. Bake it up, and cool it down. I promise, it’s such an easy made-from-scratch recipe, it will be a cinch – you can also visit this article for some tips to improve your baking routine.

You will end up using 2/3 of the sheet cake, so you can frost the remainder for a treat to hoard all to yourself for a midnight snack. Not that I would know anything about that…

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Two white square plates of pumpkin trifle with forks, a white ceramic pumpin decoration, a gathered striped pastel-colored cloth, and a glass pedestal serving dish, on an aqua background.

Hazelnut and Honey Pumpkin Trifle

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


Whip up an easy dessert to savor the fall season – pumpkin trifle made with moist cake, honey whipped cream, and hazelnuts.


  • 2/3 of one 9×13” Pumpkin Cake
  • 20 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts, divided
  • 2 Tbsp honey, plus more for drizzling
  • Cinnamon, for sprinkling


  1. Cut cooled pumpkin cake into cubes; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the cream with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the honey and continue to whip until combined.  
  3. In a large glass bowl, create your layers. Start with cake chunks, then whipped cream, a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and 1/4 of the hazelnuts. Repeat layers until you reach the top. Serve immediately, or refrigerate before serving.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Fall

Keywords: pumpkin spice, pumpkin cake, trifle, autumn, fall

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Toast and Chop, Cut, and Measure

If they aren’t already toasted, preheat your oven to 350˚F and place the whole hazelnuts on a baking sheet. You’re going to want to do this carefully, because they have a tendency to roll around! Toast for approximately 10-15 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through. Be sure to keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn.

Closely cropped overhead shot of a stainless steel bowl of heavy cream, a glass bowl of pumpkin cake chunks, a smaller round glass bowl of chopped hazelnuts, and two very small square glass dishes of cinnamon and honey, on a striped wood surface in various shades of brown and beige.

Remove from the oven and roughly chop. Set aside.

Cut the pumpkin cake into large chunks, approximately 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes.

Measure all remaining ingredients as listed in the ingredients list.

A crystal trifle serving dish with pedestal, isolated on a gray background with variable lighting and shadows.

Majestic Crystal Classic Clear Trifle Serving Bowl

Set out a large trifle bowl. This is typically a clear plastic or glass dish with a pedestal, and it makes a nice presentation on the table, since it’s easy to serve from and a great way to display those delicious layers.

A regular bowl will suffice if you don’t have one, or you can buy one from Wayfair.

Step 2 – Make Whipped Cream

Add the heavy whipping cream to a large bowl.

A stainless steel mixing bowl of lightly whipped cream with a dollop of golden honey at the center, on a brown wood surface.

Use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment to whip it on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

A stainless steel mixing bowl of honey whipped cream, on a striped wood surface.

Add two tablespoons of honey, and continue to whip briefly until combined.

In addition to the whipped cream, you can also add layers of a homemade squash pudding for even more decadent fall flavors!

Step 3 – Layer Trifle

To assemble the trifle, start with an even layer of pumpkin cake chunks.

Chunks of pumpkin cake at the bottom of a round glass serving dish, on a striped wooden background.

Top these with a layer of whipped cream. Drizzle honey over the top, sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top of that (a little goes a long way), and add a layer of about 1/4 of the chopped hazelnuts.

A large glass serving dish about halfway full with a layer of whipped cream topped with chopped hazelnuts, on a brown wood surface.

Repeat these layers until you reach the top of the serving dish, ending with a final layer of hazelnuts.

Oblique shot of a large glass dish of pumpkin trifle, topped with whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts, on a gathered piece of pastel blue cloth.

Serve immediately with a large serving spoon, or cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

I hope you are one of those individuals who loves pumpkin spice at this time of year. I certainly do.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Just because you like the flavor, that doesn’t mean you have to rely on those famous lattes to get through the season.

There’s so much more to pumpkin spice, and so many combinations that you can indulge in beyond caffeinated beverages. That’s why I highly encourage you to make a pumpkin cake and then use it (after eating a slice or two, of course) in this trifle recipe.

Two white square plates of pumpkin trifle with forks, a white ceramic pumpin decoration, a gathered striped pastel-colored cloth, and a glass pedestal serving dish, on an aqua background.

The pumpkin spice flavor that comes through in both desserts is rich and deep. It’s the kind of flavor that just can’t be replicated in a latte – and there’s rarely any real pumpkin in there anyway! It’s even better, and I promise I am not just tooting my own horn here.

What is your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin spice? Tell us in the comments below and then go make this dessert. Be sure to rate the recipe once you do!

Love the idea of gorgeously layered desserts? We have even more desserts stacked high with beautiful flavors:

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photo via Majestic Crystal. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on October 12, 2012. Last updated: November 23, 2023 at 11:34 am.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.