A Carrot Cake Trifle is the ultimate easy dessert! Use boxed or homemade carrot cake, layer a delicious cream cheese mixture, and top with walnuts for the perfect quick dessert!
Carrot cake is my absolute favorite cake. It’s delicious, not to sweet, full of vegetables (so healthy, right?), and has cream cheese frosting to round it out. However, I hate baking gorgeous cakes.
I always tell people that I am NOT a baker, and that is so true. I love the easy of cooking dinners and not measuring out every little gram of whatever ingredients. So, I never make carrot cake. I decided that taking the easy route is the best, and a Carrot Cake Trifle is even BETTER than a big ‘ole carrot cake!
You can also make a whole carrot cake using this great INSTANT POT CARROT CAKE recipe!
It’s EASY to make carrot cake trifle! We are going to utilize boxed cake mix (score), pudding, and cream cheese!! That’s pretty much it! Easy peasy dessert that EVERYONE will LOVE!
How to make a Carrot Cake Trifle:
**scroll down for full ingredients list and printable directions**
- Make your cake mix according to the box’s directions. I find Duncan Hines Decadent Classic Cake Mix to be the best; it has shredded carrots and raisins that you add into the mix! Bake the cake in a large baking dish, 9×13 is great.
- While that is cooking, make the filling!
- Cut up your cake into cubes; think bite size pieces!
- Next layer the trifle! Layer the cake, spread the cream cheese mixture, then sprinkle some chopped walnuts over the top; continue layering until your trifle is full and your ingredients are gone.
- Garnish the top with whipped cream and sprinkled walnuts. Shredded carrot would also be cute and brighten it up!
- You must refrigerate this carrot cake trifle at LEAST 2 hours before serving. It’s even great to make the day before!
Don’t like Boxed Carrot Cake Mixes? How to make carrot cake from scratch:
If you just aren’t a fan of buying cake mixes, go ahead and make this easy recipe. It might save you a little money, but I like the mix because everything is ready to go!
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups shredded carrots (5 medium)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of one 13×9-inch pan. In large bowl, beat sugar, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed about 30 seconds. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla and salt; beat on low speed 1 minute. Stir in carrots and nuts. Pour into dish.
- Bake 13×9-inch pan 40 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool rectangle in pan on cooling rack.
- See full instructions below to see how to continue with recipe.
When to serve a Carrot Cake Trifle:
- I love serving a carrot cake trifle at parties! It’s great for birthdays, retirements, anniversaries, you name it, it’s perfect!
- I also love serving this carrot cake trifle at Easter! It makes the bet after dinner dessert, or even an after brunch dessert.
- I would not suggest taking a this carrot cake trifle to an outdoor BBQ during the summer. The cream cheese mixture needs to stay cool for the most part, so you wouldn’t want it heating up in the sun. If the BBQ is during the cooler months, or in a cooler location, it should hold up fine.
Things you may need to make/serve a Carrot Cake Trifle:
- A trifle bowl– This clear glass bowl makes a trifle look gorgeous! You can see the layers and really show off the ‘hard’ work!
- A hand mixer– using a hand mixer to whip up the cream cheese mixture makes life so much easier! Don’t have a hand mixer? You could also use a stand mixer (I love my Kitchenaid Professional Series) or put some good ‘ole elbow grease into it!
- A 9×13 baking dish is recommended when you bake the cake portion of the Carrot Cake Trifle.
- A gorgeous serving spoon steps up the looks of this easy Carrot Cake Trifle.
Interested in more dessert recipes check these out:
- This Caramel Apple Poke Cake will blow your mind! Delicious fresh apples baked into a cake and topped with caramel and whipped cream- it’s delicious!
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peeps S’mores are a fun way to celebrate Easter, especially if you aren’t a Peep fan, like me, but you love s’mores!
- Instant Pot Carrot Cake is easy and delicious in the INSTANT POT!!!
- Slow Cooker Lava Cake is a dessert that NO ONE can turn down! Gooey chocolate lava in this traditional lava cake, except it takes no effort when you use the slow cooker!
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A Carrot Cake Trifle is the ultimate easy dessert! Using boxed or homemade carrot cake, layering a delicious cream cheese mixture, and topping with walnuts make the perfect quick dessert! Everyone will be asking for carrot cake this simple recipe!
- 1 box carrot cake mix, plus ingredients listed on the box to make the cake (I like Duncan Hines Decadent Classic mix)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 cups milk
- 2 packages instant vanilla pudding
- 8 ounces frozen whipped topping, (like cool whip)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Prepare carrot cake according to package directions; bake, cool, cut into bite size cubes; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese and beat at a high speed until creamy. Add milk, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add 2 packages of pudding mix; beat 2 minutes a high speed. Fold in frozen whipped topping until just mixed; set bowl aside.
Layer cake pieces, cream cheese mixture, and nuts. Repeat for all layers until the trifle is full.
Place trifle into refrigerator and allow to set at least 2 hours before serving.
- Works great to chill overnight, just cover loosely with wrap or foil so cake doesn’t dry out.
- Be sure to keep refrigerated until serving. Do not keep out in the hot sun for long periods of time.
Originally published 3/2018, updated 3/2021.