This dreamy, tropical Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Trifle is the perfect dessert for your next gathering. It's made with a fluffy angel food cake layer that has been topped off by rich whipped cream cheese filling and caramelized pineapple pieces before being covered in sticky-sweet coconut sauce!
Display this layered dessert beauty either in individual jars or glass dishes (depending on how many people you're expecting) as well as serving it out of an impressive large dish if need be; both options will make sure everyone gets plenty... but no tricks here - It only weighs 130g per slice so there'll never really BE enough in my opinion.
WHY WE LOVE THIS PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CHEESECAKE TRIFLE
- The flavor is magical. You get the classic pineapple upside-down cake flavor in every bite of this trifle. The caramelized pineapple and brown sugar top the cake and infuse it with their sweetness, while the coconut sauce s and cheesecake layer oaks into every layer and adds an extra depth of flavor making it the perfect pineapple dessert.
- It's easy to make. This easy dessert recipe is quite simple to put together and you can easily prepare it in advance, just letting everyone dig in when they're ready. It's the perfect no bake dessert for summer that will be a big hit!
- The texture is heavenly. The trifle layers are light and fluffy thanks to the angel food cake, whipped cream cheese filling, and coconut milk caramel - perfect for a dessert that will disappear before your eyes.
- We love mini desserts! I mean who doesn't love an individual dessert that you don't have to share! Plus they look awesome on special occasions, baby showers, or any dessert table.
- Fun to eat- This classic dessert is pretty and fun to eat. There's so much flavor and texture in one bite! We've made tons of variations of this English Trifle including a strawberry cheesecake trifle, but this pineapple upside down cake version is one of our favorite things!
- Cream cheese, room temperature
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- White chocolate instant pudding
- Cool whip
- Sweetened toasted coconut flakes
- Pineapple tidbits in juice
- Pineapple juice
- Brown sugar
- Angel food cake
- Maraschino cherries
- Pineapple rings, tidbits, or fresh slices
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
- Toasted coconut: Toasted coconut is a delicious addition that gives a slightly crunchy texture to the dish, but can easily be left out for those that do not like coconut. It pairs really well with the pineapple flavor though, so we highly recommend it.
- Pound Cake- if can't find Angel Food Cake, you can substitute it with pound cake. Or make your own with this recipe.
- Canned pineapple: Fresh pineapple could be used instead of canned. However, you will need to use 3 tablespoons of water or cup pineapple juice to mix with the cornstarch to make the slurry to thicken the sauce. You can also use pineapple slices or pineapple chunks and just dice them.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS TO MAKE THIS TRIFLE RECIPE
- Mixing bowls
- Whisk or electric mixer
- Silicone spatula
- Trifle dish or clear deep sided dish
HOW TO MAKE THIS PINEAPPLE CHEESECAKE TRIFLE
Although deliciously decadent, this pineapple upside down cheesecake trifle isn’t very difficult to make. But, it is sure to impress!
- First, whisk the pudding mix with 1 cup of milk in a mixing bowl for 2-minutes. Then, place it in the refrigerator to chill for 5-minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the cream cheese, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar with a mixer for about 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
- Next, add your pudding mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Beat to combine.
- Using your silicone spatula, fold in a tub of cool whip and ¾ cup of toasted coconut. Then, cover and refrigerate.
- While the pudding mixture is in the refrigerator, melt butter in a medium saucepan.
- To make the brown sugar pineapple sauce, add the brown sugar to the melted butter and bring to a boil. Then, add the drained pineapple to the sugar mixture, stirring gently.
- Mix the cornstarch with the reserved pineapple juice and add it to the saucepan. Bring it to a boil and cook until the sauce thickens.
- Pour the pineapple mixture into a bowl and let it cool for 10-minutes.
- Finally, In a clear, deep sided dish; layer cake cubes, pineapple mixture, and cream cheese mixture, repeating layers to the top of the dish.
- Garnish the top with pineapple, toasted coconut, and maraschino cherry.
This desert can be eaten right away, but will benefit from at least an hour of chill time.
- Place pineapple mixture in the fridge or freezer to speed up cooling, if needed.
- For a large trifle dish or trifle bowl, you will want to cut the cake into 1” pieces. Depending on the size of your dish, you may need 1.5 cakes, so purchase two angel food cakes just in case!
- You can toast sweetened shredded coconut in the microwave if you haven't bought it already. Microwave in a shallow baking dish for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
- Use any leftover Cool Whip mixture for garnish. I would suggest piping it for a more decadent look. If desired, top with toasted coconut or fresh berries for added color.
- Cover your trifle cake with plastic wrap.
- Store it in the refrigerator.
- Should be eaten within 2-3 days.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Pineapple mixture and cream mixture can be made one day ahead. Once assembled dessert will be best if eaten within 2-3 days. Using the boxed pudding mix will help to hold the shape of the whipped cream mixture, but it will eventually start to weep and get liquidy.
What if I don’t have a trifle dish?
If you don’t have a trifle dish, it’s not a big deal, you can use a large bowl or rectangle clear baking dish. If you don’t have any mini trifles or jars, you can try a short drinking glass, wine or martini glass.
How long does this recipe take to make?
Although this recipe only takes about 30-minutes of active preparation time, you will want to account for the additional chilling times. This recipe can be enjoyed right away, but would benefit from an hour chill time as well.
How many people will this recipe serve?
Whether you make one big trifle or several smaller trifles in jars or glasses, you should be able to get 8-10 servings.
OTHER PINEAPPLE RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY
- Upside Down Pineapple Bundt Cake
- Pineapple Upside Down Sheet Pancakes
- Pineapple Curd Cupcakes
- Mango Pineapple Margarita
- 8 oz cream cheese 1 block, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3.3 oz package white chocolate instant pudding
- 1 cup milk
- 8 oz tub cool whip
- 1 cup sweetened toasted coconut flakes divided
- 2 20 oz can pineapple tidbits in juice drained
- 3 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 angel food cake cut into ¼” cubes
- Maraschino cherries for garnish
- Pineapple rings tidbits, or fresh sliced pineapple for garnish
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk pudding mix with 1 cup milk for 2 minutes. Chill 5 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, beat cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add pudding to cream cheese mixture and beat to combine. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold in 1 tub of cool whip and ¾ cup of the toasted coconut, keeping as much air as possible in the mixture. Cover and refrigerate.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add drained pineapple, stirring gently. Mix cornstarch with reserved pineapple juice and add to simmering sugar mixture. Bring back to a boil and cook until mixture thickens. This mixture will continue to thicken as it cools. Pour into a bowl and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Place in the fridge or freezer to speed up cooling, if needed.
In a clear, deep sided dish; layer cake cubes, pineapple mixture, and cream cheese mixture, repeating layers to the top of the dish. Garnish the top with pineapple, toasted coconut, and maraschino cherries. This desert can be eaten right away, but will benefit from at least an hour of chill time.