I thought about doing a cupcake, but I recently hosted a dinner party and decided to go with something a little different. I had a trifle dish that I'd never used, and I wanted a dessert I could make in advance and not have to worry about. Thus, I decided on a caramel apple trifle. (Recipe appears at the bottom of this post.)
I did a little searching, and was inspired by these recipes from Baking Junkie and Cookies & Cups. The really great part about a trifle is that you can customize it any way you like. My husband has a cinnamon tooth (think of it as a very specialized sweet tooth), so I wanted to include some cinnamon in the trifle in addition to the required caramel and apple. The dessert was a big hit.
Want to make it yourself? It's a piece of cake (pun totally intended). This trifle includes layers of cake and gooey caramel...
... cream cheese, apple pie filling, pudding...
... Cool Whip, and cinnamon graham crackers.
You really can't go wrong with this dish. Feel free to add ingredients or layers as you wish. It's definitely a recipe you can have fun with!
Cinnamon Caramel Apple Trifle
1 package yellow cake mix (18 oz.)
2 cups cold milk
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp. apple pie spice
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (you can use light cream cheese)
1 jar caramel ice cream topping (12 oz.)
1 can apple pie filling (21 oz. - or make your own)
1 container Cool Whip (between 8-16 oz.)
8-10 cinnamon graham crackers
Prepare and bake cake according to package directions. (I used a 13x9 pan.) Let cake cool completely, then cut into medium-sized cubes.
While cake is cooling, whisk milk, pudding mix and apple pie spice for 2-3 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Then, mix cream cheese, 1/2 cup of caramel topping, and half of your Cool Whip.
Now it's time to assemble your trifle.
Round 1: Arrange half of the cake cubes in the bottom of the trifle dish. Drizzle 3-4 tablespoons of caramel over cake. Top cake and caramel with all of the cream cheese mixture, then crush 4 graham crackers and sprinkle on top of the cream cheese. Finally, top this with half of your pie filling.
Round 2: Arrange the remainder of cake on top of the pie filling. Drizzle most of your remaining caramel over cake, reserving a few tablespoons. Top with pudding mixture. Crush 4 more graham crackers and sprinkle on top, then spread remainder of pie filling over that.
The finale: Top with remaining cool whip. Drizzle remaining caramel over cool whip. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and garnish with additional graham crackers if desired.
Make sure you check out the other blogs participating in this month's Improv Cooking Challenge!