Imperial Sugar
Imperial Sugar

Cranberry Orange Trifle

cranberry orange trifle imperial


Cranberry Orange Pound Cake

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

Pastry Cream

  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Sugared Cranberries

For Assembly

  • 1/4 cup reserved simple syrup from the sugared cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 12-15 ounces prepared cranberry sauce**
  • 8-ounce tub whipped topping, thawed
  • Fresh orange zest

*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.


Prepare Orange Cranberry Pound Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two loaf pans and coat lightly with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar, butter, and orange zest until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Whisk milk, orange juice, and vanilla together in a glass measuring cup.
  3. In three additions, mix in flour alternating with milk/orange juice. End with flour, mixing just until combined. Fold in cranberries. Pour into loaf pans and bake 50-65 minutes until tops bounce back when lightly pressed. Cool in pans 15 minutes then remove to wire cooling racks to cool completely. Can be made a day ahead of assembly and tightly wrapped in foil.

Prepare Pastry Cream 

  1. In a large bowl, whisk 1/4 cup milk, cornstarch, flour, egg yolks, and vanilla. Set aside.
  2. Combine remaining 2 3/4 cup of milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Remove from heat.
  3. Gradually whisk about 1/2 of the hot milk into egg yolk mixture. Pour back into the pan. Heat on medium heat, constantly stirring, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds then remove from heat.
  4. Pour mixture through a fine sieve placed over a bowl. Once cream has gone through sieve, stir in butter until melted and combined. Let sit 10-15 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Press plastic wrap directly onto cream and chill thoroughly before using. Can be made ahead 2-3 days and kept in a refrigerator.

Prepare Sugared Cranberries

  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup sugar and water over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Set a wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour cranberries into the cooled sugar syrup. Coat well. Use a slotted spoon to remove to wire rack. Reserve 1/4 cup sugar syrup for assembly. Let cranberries sit 25 minutes.
  3. Pour remaining sugar onto a rimmed plate. Roll cranberries in sugar, a few at a time, until completely coated. Place on a tray to dry. Once dry, store at room temperature in an airtight container.


  1. Trim edges off of cakes and then cube into bite-size pieces. Place 1/3 of the cake pieces in bottom of trifle bowl.
  2. Whisk reserved sugar syrup with Cointreau. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon over cake pieces. Dollop 1/3 of cooled pastry cream over cake. Spoon 1/3 cranberry sauce over pastry cream. Repeat layers twice more ending with cranberry sauce. Spread the whipped topping over top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Just before serving, top with sugared cranberries and orange zest. Cover leftovers and store up to 3 days.
Imperial Sugar Insight

**Check the ingredients of the prepared cranberry sauce, making sure no savory ingredients have been added such as onion or garlic.