Christmas in March? — Sugared Cranberry Trifle

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Yes, yes yes yes. I hear the voices of the imagined peanut gallery telling me, “Nutmeg, why the fuck are you posting another Cranberry dessert. Do you know what month it is?”
I know what month it is, thank you. I know it ain’t Christmas anymore.

Ya know what tho?? It’s always Christmas in my heart.


Okay, I know none of you bought that crap. Sometimes it’s hard to find a good excuse to post something, ya know?? Not everything I post is a beautifully curated recipe passed down from the generations of grandmothers with their weathered hands. Actually, almost nothing I post is passed down from my grandmother, not even the Portuguese desserts because… well, that lady doesn’t bake. I mean, she makes bread, but desserts? Not really. I actually have little to no memories of her baking, well… ever.

I should ask her how to bake some bread though! She makes a mean ass Easter bread, guys.

And now with this post sufficiently derailed, lets talk about my Christmas trifle! I had leftover sugared cranberries from my Cranberry Eggnog Cheesecake that I made for the office.

Being one to follow the adage “Waste not, Want Not” because I suffer from Catholic Guilt™ of throwing out food, I hate throwing shit out unless it’s basically a bio-hazard. My mother on the other hand throws food out after a week of sitting in the fridge. I continue to eat food until it grows its own ecosystem. Once it gets to that point, I pass it off to my boyfriend who then just basically scrapes off the mold and keeps eating.

WHAT. WHAT. Like 40% of food harvested is wasted in America! I don’t want to contribute more to that guys. We can eat delicious foods forever, but we gotta cut on that waste, ok?

Due to all of this swirling around inside of me, I felt like “shit man, I really can’t throw out all of these fucking cranberries. I gotta use them.”

(This was around Christmas by the way, so please worry not friends. I didn’t use cranberries that have been sitting in my fridge since last year.)

My mom wanted me to make some kind of dessert to bring over to my godmother’s house for Christmas like good Portuguese ladies, so we don’t show up empty handed.

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Not my house, btw
Luckily, I apparently like to bake, so I overlook the sometimes well-meaning yet uninformed comments that are made by my family to go forth and bake away.

I’ve made a trifle before… and I was sort of put off with the idea of making another one for this blog… but then I thought about it and there’s only like 6 9 kinds of desserts ever:

  1. Cake
  2. Smaller Cakes
  3. Cakes in cups
  4. Trifles
  5. Rolled Cakes
  6. Cream desserts
  7. Puddings / Mousse
  8. Cold stuff
  9. Pies

And like literally that’s it. Let’s be real here. Literally anything that can be made fits into these categories, and I’ve basically made all of them save for like maybe puddings(?).

I know that with my last chocolate easter trifle, I used box mix, and honestly, I could have used boxed mix for this cake, but if I was gonna add another trifle, dammit I was going to do it right this time.

So, once again I am here to combine recipes to get something that’s actually… good? Are my skills improving??? Maybe? Is it just a fluke that pound cake is simple???? Totally.

The two recipes I used are this moist vanilla pound cake from Love Foodies, and this Cranberry Orange Cream from the beautiful Chef In Training!

You know what?? If you open that link you’ll see I got PRETTY DAMN CLOSE this time. Typically I always link with some touch of shame due to my desserts never being that pretty, but this time I GOTCHU.
The only thin you may notice is that my trifle is a little drier looking. This is true, by the way. I think the original recipe just made less cranberry sauce because maybe their container is smaller than mine? Or maybe it’s because I doubled the cake recipe and NOTHING ELSE. Whoops!

I have NO idea how a whole bag of cranberries didn’t make enough sauce, but SOMEHOW it didn’t. I’ll be posting the recipe as I made it, because fuck it, it’s still pretty damn delicious. If you want it saucier, then just double it! Simple. 😏

Cranberry Orange Trifle
Serves: Your christmas party, plus leftovers for your out-laws to take some back home 4 hours away

Ingredients for Pound Cake:

  • 1 cup butter
  • ~1 1/2 cup sugar, granulated
  • 6 huevos (I think that means ovos in spanish)
  • 1/2 cup veg oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 cup flour, ap
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Preheat yo’ oven to 350F. While you’re at it butta that smallish 7 x 11 inch baking dish. You’re just gonna make this sheet cake style. Ain’t no need to be fancy when you’re gonna hack this sucka up.

  2. Start creaming that butta & suga with your paddle attachment until it’s pale like your face when you come to the realization that it’s March and you’re like 3 months behind in posting. Whoops!!!!

  3. Add in your eggs, one at a time until well beaten. The mixture is gonna start looking like your curdled cream nightmare. No worries babi. Add in a touch of flour just to keep it from looking so lumpy. Once your eggs are mixed in add in the veg oil. It’ll make the cake denser, but I dunno man, I kind of like a nice thick………… cake. Cake! That’s exactly all I’m thinking about.

  4. Add in your vanilla, and then add in the flour (w/ baking powder & salt) with the milk, alternating and ending and starting with whichever. Honestly, I’ve never noticed a difference??

  5. Pour your batter into your buttered pan and bake away for like 45 minutes? Just kind of check on it half an hour in with a toothpick to make sure it’s baked in the middle. If I can’t fuck this up, neither can u. I believe in you!! Once done, just let it cool in the pan. Ain’t no thang about it!

Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce
NOTE: I found this to be almost too little, but FUCK IT I still liked it! Double it if ya want. Do whatevs, honey. Do yo thang.

  • 12 oz bag of cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange jooooooce {juice, guys}
  • 1 tsp orange zest {or as I like to measure it, whatever feels like enough}


  1. In your cute little medium sauce pot combine your cranberries, sugar, orange yuuuuice, and orange zest. Just boil da fuck out of it until it’s thick, bubbly and thick. Like 10 minutes?? It seems like a lifetime, but not fear my friend. Somehow you will make it through these trying times.


Ingredients for Orange Whipped Cream:

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. In your now clean stand mixer beat your heavy whipping cream with your whisk attachment. While it’s whisking add in your orange zest, sugar and vanilla. Whisk that shit until it’s got stiff peaks. It’ll take like 5 to 10 minutes? You’ll know it’s done when it’s… well, stiff.
    Keep your eye on it!! You don’t want butter tho!

Sugared Cranberries

Since this is my recycling my cranberries from my other dessert, just follow the recipe there. 😚😉

Assembling the Trifle

Alright guys here’s the fun stuff! There’s something just so fun about stressfully cutting out squares of cake, adding the filling, running out, contemplating of making more, being too sleepy to make more (& out of ingredients), giving up and settling on the fact that it’s going to be delicious anyway so stop freaking out, fuck.

  1. Start by cutting brownie sized squares of your cake, and start laying down a first layer. Cut out weird shapes if you need to kind of fill up the big gaps. You want to not fill the whole circle, per se… but you don’t want to leave large gaps for shit to collapse in… ya dig??

  2. Plop some of your cranberry sauce over the cake layer and sort of smoosh it out. This is an imperfect science here people. It’s a trifle! Have some fun! Let loose! Pull your hair down! Shake your butt out! Have fun with it.

  3. Next place a niiiiice generous amount of whipped cream and spread it. Spread it real good. I made nice thick layers, because let’s be honest, anything drowned in a cream is always going to be super delicious.

  4. Repeat with cake, cranberry sauce, and whipped cream, until you get to the top and realize that you’ve run out of sauce FUCK. It’s okay friends!! Hopefully you didn’t make my mistake and doubled the sauce!! And if you didn’t? Seriously it’s NO big deal. The trifle is still phenomenal. 😘

  5. Top it off with a little big of extra orange zest and make a little mountain of your leftover sugared cranberries! Effortlessly simple. Ahhh!

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Top down glamour shots that I still kind of suck at

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Look at that bad boy. UNFFFFFFFF. Gimme some of dat please.

By the way, although those brown things in the top down picture look like chicken nuggets, I am sorry to inform you that they are not chicken nuggets. Those are portuguese little fried dough blobs. They’re like the ugly sibling of beignets. That’s the problem with very traditional Portuguese desserts: everything is fucking ugly. It’s TRUE. Flip through any Portuguese cooking magazine and everything is HIDEOUS.

I don’t understand why!!!! The stuff sold at cafes are works of art! Beautiful crunchy pastries, deliciously layered, things like that. Even the stuff that’s not French, it’s beautiful! But the stuff you make at home??? There’s no style. There’s no craft in homemade stuff.

Well, I could always spin it around and just talk about how Portuguese desserts are raw and authentic. We aren’t bound by rules of what a dessert should look like! We rebel against the French Notions of Dessertry! DOWN WITH TRADITIONAL DESSERTS!!!

Or whatever man. I’ve just reached the point in my life where, do I want to get better at my skills? Of course. What sort of semi-serious baking blogger doesn’t want to get better? But do I care if my stuff is still ugly? Nah. It’s life man. It’s how we grow and shit or something.

Stay tuned as I catch up on all of my seriously behind baked desserts!


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