Camille Styles

From Camille's Kitchen

Orange Carrot Cake Trifles

December 15th, 2017

One of the best ways my mom communicates love is through carrot cake. Seriously. Her co-workers know that it’s gonna be a great day when she shows up to the hospital (she’s a psych nurse) holding the covered dish that houses her famous 3-layered orange carrot cake sandwiched with orange cream cheese frosting. It’s insanely good, and most years, we convince her to make the cake for one of our family holiday gatherings — so, for our latest holiday post with McCormick, I decided that it would be fun to put a spin on her cake by deconstructing it and serving in trifle version. These cuties have all the flavors of the original without requiring any cake decorating skills – plus it’s fun to serve up little individual-sized portions at a party. They’re so good, I may have just started a new tradition of my own (watch out, mom.) Keep scrolling to see how these orange carrot cake trifles come together, and don’t miss a fun giveaway at the end that you can enter by sharing your own family’s favorite holiday recipes.

photos by kristen kilpatrick

Orange Carrot Cake Trifles

these carrot cake trifles are my favorite twist on our favorite family recipe

Serves 6


for the orange carrot cake:

for the candied citrus

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • zest of 2 oranges

for the cream filling

for serving


  1. First, make the carrot cake. Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper, then lightly coat paper and sides of pan with a little olive oil.
  2. Beat oil and sugars well, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Whisk in flour with baking powder, soda, salt, cloves, and cinnamon, then blend gradually into sugar mixture. Stir in carrots, zest, both extracts, and walnuts.
  4. Pour into prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 min. or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and let cool on a baking rack. When the cake is cool, use your hands to crumble the cake into bite-sized chunks.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the candied citrus. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes until very syrupy. Let the zest cool in the syrup, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate and let dry. Zest will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.
  7. Make the cream cheese filling: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a separate bowl, rinse out the mixer bowl, then combine cream cheese with confectioners sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Beat until light and smooth, then fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  8. Assemble the trifles: In 6 serving dishes, layer a few cake crumbles, then top with a dollop of the cream cheese filling and a few cookie crumbles. Repeat with another layer of cake and cream, then top with candied orange zest. Eat!

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