Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle


As a pastor's wife and state auxiliary leader, I host many large gatherings. Whenever I make this 'punch bowl cake', it makes a big impression, I return with an empty bowl every time!' -Deborah Randall Abbeville, Louisiana

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
42 servings


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

  • 6 cups cold milk

  • 3 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix

  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice

  • 1 (12 ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping

  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans, toasted

  • 2 (21 ounce) cans apple pie filling

  • 2 (16 ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. In a large bowl, whisk milk, pudding mixes and apple pie spice for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.

  2. Cut one cake layer if necessary to fit evenly in an 8-qt. punch bowl. Poke holes in cake with a long wooden skewer; gradually pour a third of the caramel topping over cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and spread with half of the pudding mixture. Spoon one can of pie filling over pudding; spread with one carton of whipped topping.

  3. Top with remaining cake and repeat layers. Drizzle with remaining caramel topping and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Refrigerate until serving.