October is the time for all things pumpkin, and especially cozy, festive pumpkin desserts! I'm so excited to share these adorable mini trifles with you because they have everything I love. With four different layers, they're a symphony of different textures and flavors! Is there anything better than sweet pumpkin, creamy chocolate yogurt, fluffy vanilla whipped cream, and chewy cookies all unified into a single dessert??
But don't worry, they're surprisingly easy to make! Each layer comes together in a flash, and layering them up is a blast. I'm sure these will be a hit at all your fall occasions! They're delicious and much better for the body than a traditional trifle, but still delightfully whimsical and retro.
The best part about this dessert? Trifles are just plain FUN! Unlike other layered desserts, trifles aren't meant to be fussy. Rather, the whole point is to add in all the different elements in a somewhat chaotic fashion so that the appearance is humble and the eating experience is an adventure. Classics are classics for a reason, and it's hard to beat the accessible, fun-loving vibe of a trifle.
In my opinion, there's nothing better than a chocolate chip cookie. I'd take a cookie over cake any day! I'm especially a sucker for Meli's Cookies mixes because they have delightful texture and flavor, but are made with much more nourishing ingredients than a bakery cookie. This is actually the second recipe I've partnered with Meli's to create; I just can't get enough of them! I made this Chocolate Avocado Mousse Cookie Tart for summer, and now these adorable little trifles for fall.
You'll just bake up the cookies according to the package directions, break them into chunks, and layer them up with the other (easy!) trifle components. Meli's Cookies are made with whole foods like oat flour and oats (with no other flour substitutes), so they're a much better-for-the-body way to indulge in a sweet treat. Their cookie mixes are certified gluten free, kosher, and preservative free, and the resulting cookies are surprisingly protein-rich since you'll add some nut butter into the dough. You can find these awesome mixes at lots of retailers nationwide, but you can also get them online.
Four Awesome Layers
These little trifles are made out of four very excellent layers: cookies (of course!), a lightly-sweetened boldy-spiced pumpkin puree, a creamy dreamy chocolate yogurt, and fluffy whipped cream hinted with vanilla. The end result is a wonderful mix of flavors and textures that makes eating these trifles feel like an exciting adventure. You never know what you'll find next!
In order to keep these trifles better for the body, I've made a couple ingredient swaps. While a trifle often has a pudding or custard layer, this version uses high-protein yogurt for that same creamy feel. Both the pumpkin and yogurt layers are minimally sweetened with just a dash of maple syrup, which really lets the warming spices and chocolate stand out. And of course the cookies themselves are loaded with good stuff like oats and peanut butter!
All in all, this is a holiday dessert that's still special and a bit decadent, but so much easier on the body than the classics.
Make Them Work for YOU
I'm all about having options when it comes to cooking, and this is definitely a treat that you can change up in a lot of different ways. If you want a less-sweet version, feel free to omit the maple syrup from the pumpkin and/or chocolate layers. If you want to make them extra-decadent, you can certainly use traditional chocolate pudding instead of the yogurt. To make them really special and delightfully gooey, drizzle a little bit of maple syrup right over the top.
You can also easily vary the amounts or proportions. As written, the recipe below will make four dessert-size trifles or six mini trifles. But you could make a single big trifle (yum!!!) or double the recipe for a crowd.
I don't suggest assembling these ahead of time since the cookies will get soggy. That said, you can certainly prepare all the separate components ahead of time! Bake and cool the cookies, mix the pumpkin layer, and mix the chocolate layer up to two days in advance. Store the cookies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature and store the pumpkin and yogurt in the fridge; then, when you're ready to assemble, just whip the cream and put the components into serving glasses, which will take all of ten minutes. Because they come together so quickly, these would be perfect for a Halloween party!
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Pumpkin. You'll use unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) for this tasty treat.
Maple syrup. For delicately (and naturally!) sweetening both the pumpkin and yogurt layers.
Ginger. I suggest ginger powder for ease. However, if you have fresh on-hand, you can certainly use a bit of fresh grated ginger. Go easy since fresh is super-flavorful!
Yogurt. Your trifles will have the best texture if you work with a thick, rich yogurt like 2% Greek. I suggest unsweetened and unflavored so that you can control both.
I really can't wait for you to try these! They're all of my fall and Halloween dreams come true: pumpkin AND chocolate, chewy AND creamy, plus much better for the body than a classic trifle. I'm truly smitten with this recipe and am already excited to make them again.
But perhaps the best part about these adorable little trifles is how fun and accessible they are. No fussy desserts here! These are easy to make, use mostly pantry ingredients, and don't need to look perfect. I actually find that desserts like these are even more delicious when they're a bit messy and feel really nostalgic and authentic. These are like something my grandma would have made.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
Disclosure: This recipe has been developed through a paid partnership with Meli's Cookies. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.
Eat Colorfully, Live Colorfully
Subscribe to my brand new newsletter!
It's much more than just food. Together we'll explore seasonal ingredients and healthy recipes. But we'll also delve into health and wellness topics, self care tips, books, podcasts, and the natural world. This newsletter is all about leading a more colorful, plant-filled, holistic, and intentional life.
These festive miniature trifles are bursting with sweet pumpkin, creamy chocolate yogurt, fluffy vanilla whipped cream, and chewy cookies. They're the perfect fall dessert and are surprisingly easy to put together, plus there's something so whimsical and magical about a trifle.