Gingered Apple Trifles

This recipe and variations of it have long been a family favorite. Years ago I adapted from a traditional Norwegian recipe for an apple trifle, Tilslørte Bondepiker.
Trifles were known as Tipsy Parson or Tipsy Squire in Colonial times. They were made of layered sherry-soaked sponge or pound cake, custard, and whipped cream. This recipe for Gingered Apple Trifles is made in small individual servings but in the Victorian era, it became popular to serve them in glass pedestal bowls with their attractive layers in full view. Trifles are found in many cultures throughout the world. It's a quick easy dessert that easily adapts to the season and what's on hand.
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Difficulty: Easy


  • 6 organic apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 T granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C water
  • ½ t vanilla extract 
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • ½ t ground cardamom
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 8 cookies (I used gluten-free oat graham from Nairn's with candied ginger)
  • ½ C heavy whipping cream​


  1. In a medium skillet, combine sliced apples, sugar, water, vanilla extract, ground ginger, ground cardamom, and ground cinnamon. Cover and cook till the apples are very soft.
  2. Crumble 4 of the cookies into coarse crumbs. And whip the cream until soft peaks form.

To assemble:
  1. Place 1 to 2 T apple compote in the bottom of an individual serving dish or glass.
  2. Add 1 to 2 T whipped cream.
  3. Add 1 t cookie crumbles.
  4. Repeat layers until the dish is full. Garnish with a whole oat graham. Serve immediately.

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