Gingerbread Trifle with Cranberry Curd, Whipped Mascarpone Cream and Sugared Cranberries

Christmas is in 4 days from today! My kids are very excited! My son still believes in Santa Claus, my daughter is extremely suspicious! How come you have the same wrapping paper as Santa? I told her the elves go to Target as well to get their wrapping paper! **Rolling Eyes ** Sigh. The next question is : How does Santa come into the house? The fireplace door is locked. I had to make up some other story. Third question : How does Santa cover the entire world in one night? I had to tell her, his elves work with him.  In my mind I was like, your brother still believes in it, let him believe in it! Kids are getting too clever now a days! 😉 I want it to last as long as it can, cause the cuteness is too much. He is super excited and told me to make cookies for Santa. He was deciding which cookies, and he wants me to make Linzer Cookies and put it out with milk.

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They love receiving presents, and we do not give anything extravagant, small things that will make them happy.  I personally think kids do not require so many toys, and they can use their imagination and creativity with what is present in the house, almost like a Tinker Fairy(reference to Tinker Bell! ), who makes stuff out of junk! This is the time to give, and the kids and I made two shoeboxes, one for a girl and one for a boy, filled with a lot of stuff, for kids who are not fortunate to have nice things. The school takes all the gift wrapped shoeboxes and donates it to the foundation here.  It is called Operation Christmas Child. As I grow older, I don’t care about gifts, I am happy when I make edible homemade gifts and small presents for others.

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My mind has been on the go with cookies, and it is time to switch to Christmas desserts and New Year cocktails/appetizers/small bites.  I have been working with Sur La Table to bring to you a bunch of recipes! The recipes will be posted on their Recipe Section of their website as well!  🙂  I was thinking of a dessert for the Christmas table, and a trifle immediately came to my mind! This recipe was developed for Sur La Table as well, and it will be available on their website as well!


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Trifle is an English dessert, with a sponge cake as the base, some kind of liqueur/wine, vanilla custard, fruits and whipped cream! My version of the trifle consists of all the holiday flavors! I used a gingerbread pound cake as the base, brushed with cognac or orange liqueur. Then a layer of cranberry curd and then a layer of mascarpone whipped cream. Repeat the process and you get a beautifully layered trifle! I decorated the top with sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary sprigs shaped in the form of a laurel. You can even do a scene on the top with the sugared cranberries and rosemary, and have some gingerbread men, or sugared cookies (deers etc) as a forest decoration. I kept it simple with mine.

You have to get a long spoon to make sure to dig out all the layers when serving. That bite with all the different layers is seriously so good, and would be a crowd pleasure on your Christmas table!


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I am looking forward to spending some good times with my family. We have movies planned, maybe ice skating, outdoor activities etc. No thinking about homework, book projects, classes, work, nothing. I look forward to the downtime this time of the year. Love this time of the year so much!  I will have one last post before the year ends.

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If you do get a chance to make this trifle, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment below on this blog post.


Until then,







Gingerbread Trifle with Cranberry Curd, Whipped Mascarpone Cream and Sugared Cranberries


  • Cranberry Curd:
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Chocolate Gingerbread Cake:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp clove powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Whipped topping:
  • 2 8oz mascarpone cream, at room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cognac or orange liqueur
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Sugared Cranberries:
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Sugared Rosemary:
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 cup granulated sugar in flat tray/plate
  • 1 cup water in a flat tray/plate
  • Add-ons:
  • 1/3 cup cognac or orange liqueur


  1. Sugared Cranberries:
  2. In a small saucepan, on medium heat, add in the sugar and water. Mix and let the sugar dissolve about 4-5 minutes. Switch off the gas, do not let the mixture boil. Add in the cranberries, and let it cool overnight or for 4 hours in a bowl. Now drain out the simple syrup, OR you can store it to flavor it with herbs/spices for a cocktail. In a flat plate, add the ½ cup of granulated sugar. Add in the cranberries and roll them gently to cover all of them with the sugar. Do not overmix. Let it dry for a day. Store in an air tight container with a piece of bread to absorb any moisture.
  3. Sugared Rosemary:
  4. Dip the rosemary first in the flat plate of water, sprinkle out excess. Then dip the rosemary in the flat plate of sugar to coat all sides. Let it rest on a baking tray with parchment paper. Do the same for the remaining sprigs and let dry for an hour.
  5. Cranberry Curd(can be made 2-3 days in advance):
  6. In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, add in the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Let it cook for 10 minutes, covered. After about 5 minutes of cooking, use a masher to mash all the cranberries. Switch off the gas after 10 minutes of cooking. The mixture should look jammy. Strain it through a sieve to remove all the skin and have a smooth sauce.
  7. Whisk the eggs and the yolk in a medium bowl, until frothy and well blended. Add in ¼ cup of the cranberry sauce, and mix in the eggs to temper. Add another ¼ cup of the sauce and mix. Now add all of the cranberry-egg mixture into the remainder of the cranberry mixture and blend well. Add in the butter. Put the saucepan back on the stove on medium heat and let it cook for 5 minutes, OR until the curd sticks to the sides of the back of the wooden spoon, when you run your finger through the back of the spoon. This is when you know the cranberry curd is done. Remove it in a medium bowl. Cover it with a plastic wrap, touching the surface so that it does not form a thick layer on the top. Cool it in the fridge for about 6 hours minimum before using it.
  8. Chocolate Gingerbread Cake:
  9. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  10. In a medium bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, dark cocoa, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, baking soda. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add in the butter and brown sugar in the bowl and mix for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the sour cream and molasses together till well blended. Add in the eggs one at a time, running the stand mixer with each egg addition till well incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract and blend. Add the flour mixture and molasses mixture alternating between the two, until it is well blended in the mixer.
  11. In a half baking sheet, spray it with non-stick spray and add a parchment paper on the top. Pour the batter into the tray and even it out. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the middle of the cake is set. Test with a toothpick and it should come out clean. Let the cake cool completely for an hour. Cut it into 1 ½ inch x 1 ½ squares.
  12. Whipped Topping:
  13. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the room temperature mascarpone cheese with the orange zest. With the whisk attachment, whisk the mascarpone for 40 seconds until well whipped. Add in the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cognac and whisk for 1 ½ minutes atleast and make sure the cream is whipped until fluffy. Do NOT overwhip else it will clump.
  14. Assembly:
  15. In a 9 inch trifle bowl, tightly layer the squares into the bottom of the bowl. Brush the cake with cognac generously. Now layer half of the cranberry curd on top of the cake, make sure you layer it neatly. Now add in half of the whipped topping and layer it neatly. Repeat the process starting from the cake. End with the whipped topping. Cover how you like with the sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary as decoration.
  16. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours. The trifle can be made a day ahead. It tastes even better the next day.
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