Cranberry Orange Trifle with Candied Walnuts

Buttermilk Pound Cake, Cranberries, Candied Walnuts, Orange Mascarpone Cream

Here is a holiday trifle that I couldn’t wait for Christmas to make. The good news is that it’s perfect for Thanksgiving, too. This sumptuous dessert is sweet, tart, crunchy and creamy at once. Buttermilk poundcake is blanketed with layers of cranberry compote, orange infused mascarpone whipped cream and candied walnuts. (Do you see why I couldn’t wait?) Each bite is light and airy with the pop of sweet-tart cranberries and the crunch of cinnamon dusted nuts, so be sure to get a little bit of everything in each spoonful. And, even better, the trifle can rest in the refrigerator overnight, so it’s a perfect do-ahead holiday dessert.

Cranberry Orange Trifle with Candied Walnuts

While there are several components to this trifle, each one may be prepared in advance, and each one is stand alone good, so feel free to use them on their own. Serve in a trifle bowl or individual goblets. Makes 8-10 servings.

For the buttermilk pound cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 F. (170 C.) Butter a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan. Line bottom with parchment; butter parchment. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl; set aside.
Beat sugar and butter in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add half of the flour, then the buttermilk, then the remaining flour, mixing well to combine after each addition. Pour into loaf pan. Bake in oven until wooden skewer inserted in center comes clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely. Pound cake may be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate until use.

For the cranberry compote:
12 ounces cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and release juices. Remove from heat and cool completely. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 4 days.

For the candied walnuts:
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Arrange walnuts on a baking tray. Bake in oven 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Heat sugar over medium heat in a small saucepan. As soon as it begins to dissolve, stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is liquid and amber colored. Add walnuts and stir to coat. Add salt and cinnamon. Remove from heat and pour walnuts onto a baking tray lined with parchment or silpac sheet. Allow to cool completely. Break into pieces. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

For the orange mascarpone cream:
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, chilled
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon Gran Marnier or Cointreau
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine cream and mascarpone in bowl of electric mixer. Beat until traces of whisk are visible. Add remaining ingredients and continue to beat until peaks form. Refrigerate until use. (May be made 4 hours in advance.)

Assemble the trifle:
Reserve a few whole cranberries from the compote for garnish. Pour a thin layer of cranberry compote into the bottom of the trifle dish or individual glasses. Cut the pound cake in 3/4 inch cubes. Arrange a layer of pound cake over the compote. Top with a layer of cream. Sprinkle with a few of the nuts. Repeat layering process, finishing with a layer of cream and nuts. Garnish with reserved cranberries and finely grated orange zest. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered up to 24 hours before serving.

Optional: Brush each layer of pound cake with Cointreau or Gran Marnier for an adult version of this dessert.

23 responses to “Cranberry Orange Trifle with Candied Walnuts

  1. Divine looking and sounding! That is one of my favorite desserts.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. You may have usurped our traditional raspberry trifle at Christmas – love this. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. This looks absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving!

  4. That’s just so pretty and tasty looking!

  5. Trifle is our traditional Christmas Eve dessert, with lots of sherry soaked into the pound cake. You variation sounds unique and a great addition to Thanksgiving.

  6. That is an amazing looking trifle!

  7. This is a beautiful post in every way. You’ve got an outstanding recipe and your food photography is just fantastic. Your dessert looks so pretty!

  8. The candid walnuts are just a spectacular idea!

  9. Every single element of this lovely trifle is, well, just lovely!!! It looks gorgeous and I am sure tastes delicious!

  10. What a gorgeous trifle, Lynda. I love that you used pound cake, my mom and her British friend used to use lady fingers. It looks very festive.

  11. This is a gorgeous trifle, and so festive! I love orange-cranberry combos :)

  12. What a beautiful dessert and so festive! The photos are stunning as usual. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

  13. wow..sounds irresistable n hearty..
    first time here…love your space..
    excellent posts with lipsmacking presentation..
    Am your happy follower now..;)

  14. I am crazy about trifles and this one looks stunning. I love the individual glasses used here. The photographs are gorgeous too.

  15. This dessert will certainly make an appearance on our holiday table this season.

  16. I made this yesterday…substituted pecans for walnuts and added some candied orange peel on top along with some sugared cranberries. It was delicious AND beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Pingback: Chocolate Orange Pots de Creme with Fleur de Sel | TasteFood

  18. Pingback: Desserts by 88sonu88 - Pearltrees

  19. Pingback: Orange Almond Semifreddo with Port Wine Poached Figs | TasteFood

  20. Pingback: Cranberry Fig Chutney | TasteFood

  21. Pingback: Mint Brownie Hot Fudge Oreo Trifle | Recipe Girl

  22. This looks absolutely fabulous! I’m going to make it for my Supper Club this weekend. I love that you can knock various portions of the prep work out ahead of time – I’m hoping to spread it out throughout the rest of the week before Saturday’s dinner party.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s