Caramel Apple Trifle: layers of cake, caramel, cooked apples, custard, and whipped cream create the perfect fall dessert. Make it from scratch, or use store bought ingredients to make it quick and easy.
I always love to make an apple dessert for my kids on the first day of school. We have a special dinner together to hear all about their day, and it just seems right to finish it all off with an apple dessert. Read all about this year’s back to school dinner with free printables here. It’s so perfectly fall, and back to school. This year my youngest helped with this Caramel Apple Trifle.
I love serving it in mason jars for an individual dessert, but you could also make this in a large trifle bowl to feed a crowd.
This recipe could be quick and easy, or take a little longer with home made versions… it’s totally up to you. We made homemade caramel sauce, and custard, and whipped cream but you could also pick up some pre-made caramel sauce, vanilla pudding, and canned whipped cream or cool whip for a quicker version that would also be really delicious.
I love this dessert for fall, and any cinnamon apple lovers you know are sure to love it as well. This caramel apple trifle recipe is perfect for when apples are at their best this time of year. Fall is also fair season where I live. So a caramel apple trifle seems like the perfect fall dessert for more reasons than one. The apple filling is pretty easy to put together, and makes the house smell amazing! The apples are the star of this dessert, but the combination of cake, and creamy custard, and rich caramel, and a sprinkling of crunchy pecans is a pretty amazing combination.
If you’re an apple pie filling lover, than you love this combined with a delicious drizzle of caramel sauce. These mini apple pie trifle desserts are perfect for entertaining too. These are great as a make ahead for the next day.
I picked up all the ingredients at Giant Tiger. Look for their Giant Value products for great price, and great quality.
For the Caramel Sauce
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
For the Apples
- 4 apples, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Custard
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp sugar
To Assemble The Trifles
- 1 prepared vanilla cake mix, or pound cake
- 4 tbsp peacans, toasted and chopped
To Make the Caramel Sauce
- To make the caramel sauce, place a sealed, unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a large pot and fully cover in water.
- Boil the can for 2 hours, making sure to keep it covered in water the whole time. Set a timer and check it every half hour and add water to the pot if necessary. If the pot were to boil dry, the can could explode, which would be dangerous, so be sure to boil it carefully. After two hours remove from the water and allow to cool slightly. Remove the lid, and the insides will have turned into caramel sauce. Note: we only used half of the finished can for this recipe. This process is quite time consuming so be sure to do it first thing or even the day before, and give it some time to cool before using it.
To Make the Apples
- Combine the sliced apples, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in a saucepan, and sauté apples over medium heat until the apple cinnamon mixture has softened about 5-6 minutes. Let the apple mixture cool slightly before adding to the trifles.
To Make the Custard
- Whisk the egg, and egg yolk with the sugar. Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk until the mixture becomes pale yellow.
- Heat the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until the milk is hot but not boiling. Add 1/4 cup of the hot milk to the egg mixture and whisk milk quickly to combine. Then add another 1/4 cup of the hot milk and whisk quickly again. Slowly add the rest of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking quickly the whole time.
- Add the egg mixture to a clean saucepan and return to a medium-low heat, whisking continually until the mixture begins to thicken and boil.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, continue whisking until smooth. Allow to cool.
To Make the Whipped Cream
- Add heavy cream or sometimes called whipping cream to a stand mixer, or pour into a large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer and mix on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add sugar and vanilla, and continue whipping until firm peaks form.
To Assemble the Trifles
- In four mason jars, add a layer of cubed cake, about 1/3 of the jar.
- Next, add a layer of custard.
- On top of the custard add a layer of the apples.
- Next, add a layer of caramel sauce.
- Finally finish the trifles with a layered of whipped cream and chopped pecans.
Serving Size:1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1597Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 221mgSodium: 1340mgCarbohydrates: 272gFiber: 7gSugar: 204gProtein: 25g
Quick and Easy Version
Don’t have time to make everything from scratch? Good news, you can substitute the homemade elements for some quicker and easier versions. Instead of making custard, use some vanilla pudding mixes instead, or canned ready made custard. No time to make the homemade caramel sauce? Substitute an already made version. Can’t make the sauté apples from scratch? Try using layers of apple pie filling instead. We used store bought pound cake for our trifle base, but you could bake cake for this layer yourself if you prefer.
Individual or Large Serving
We’ve made our individual servings in small individual glass jars, you could also small dessert bowls, so everyone has their own small bowl. Another option is to make one large trifle dish. Be sure to cover with plastic wrap and store leftovers in large glass bowl or individual servings in the refrigerator.
This dessert was so delicious. And I love that you can make a quick an easy version with some store bought time savers, or make it all from scratch depending on your time and preferences. This is one of the best dessert recipes for any apple lovers.
This a great make ahead easy recipe. With Caramel Apple Trifles, life really is a party!
More Apple Dessert Inspiration
You might also like our recipe for Homemade Caramel Apples here.
Also check out our Caramel Apple Fondue here.
You might also like our Easy Apple Crisp recipe here.
This post was sponsored by Giant Tiger. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Life is a Party possible.