Cranberry Orange Trifle

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberry Orange Trifle
Dessert Type: Cake
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 574kcal
This Cranberry Orange Trifle is just a deliciously light dessert. It has a sweet, orange flavored pound cake, a fruity cranberry-orange compote, and a light vanilla bean whipped cream.
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For the Orange Pound Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large organic oranges
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 oz butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract

For the Cranberry-Orange Compote:

  • 1 large organic orange
  • 24 oz fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

For the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:

  • 4 cups heavy cream well-chilled
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste can substitute 1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the Assembly and Decorations:

  • 1 pasteurized egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped vanilla meringue cookies
  • Candied orange peel optional


To Make the Orange Pound Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 13x18" rimmed baking sheet with parchment, and spray the pan and parchment well with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  • Finely zest the oranges. Place the zest and the sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer, and rub them together between your fingers until the sugar is fragrant and has the texture of wet sand. Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl. Fit the mixer with a paddle attachment, and mix on low speed until combined, then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and orange extracts. Finally, turn the mixer to low, and slowly add the dry ingredients. Stop when just a few streaks of flour remain. Finish mixing the cake by hand, using a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl well.
  • Scrape the cake batter out into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake the cake for about 20 minutes, until it is a light golden color, the top springs back when lightly pressed, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. The cake can be made several days in advance and kept, well-wrapped, at room temperature or in the freezer. If freezing, defrost before using.

To Make the Cranberry-Orange Compote:

  • Finely zest the orange, then cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. Measure out 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice—if you don't have enough, add enough water to make 1/2 cup.
  • Combine the orange zest, orange juice, cranberries, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens. Once most of the cranberries have popped, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool completely before using. The cranberry compote can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To Make the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:

  • Combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean paste (or extract) in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to low, then gradually raise the speed to medium-high and whip until peaks form. Make the whipped cream right before you're ready to assemble your trifle.

To Assemble:

  • Make the glazed cranberries, if using: Lightly whisk the egg white until frothy. Use a fork to dip a few cranberries into the white, then roll them in the granulated sugar. Set them on a baking sheet, then continue until all of the cranberries are coated with sugar. Set them aside while you assemble the rest of the trifle.
  • Cut the cake into small cubes, about 1 1/2-inches wide. Place a single layer of cake cubes in the bottom of a large (4-quart) trifle dish or regular bowl. Cover the cake cubes with a generous layer of whipped cream. Add half of the chopped meringues on top of the whipped cream, then spread half of the cranberry compote on top of the meringues.
  • Add another layer of cake cubes, then repeat the layering process. Finish by adding a final layer of cake cubes on top of the cranberry compote. Spread a layer of whipped cream on top of the cake, then put the remaining whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe a circle of rosettes along the outer edge of the trifle. Fill the center with glazed cranberries, and if you’re using the candied orange peel, add it on top of the whipped cream rosettes.


Recipe Notes: Components of the trifle can be made several days in advance, and the finished trifle itself can be made up to 2 days in advance.


Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 1045IU | Vitamin C: 13.5mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1.3mg