This was originally a Paula Deen recipe, but I have changed it a little bit, so it isn't exactly as she had it. She used packaged gingerbread mix and I use a homemade gingerbread. Everyone who has had this trifle has loved it. I usually serve this at Thanksgiving for those who need the pumpkin fix.
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
The homemade gingerbread makes this recipe shine. It's moist, delicious and has just the right balance of sweetness and spice. The pudding and gingerbread compliment each other nicely and the topping makes everything better!
For the Gingerbread - In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugars. Add egg; mix well. Beat in water and molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture.
Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 33-37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before assembling the trifle.
While the gingerbread is cooling, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. When it is cool, stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cinnamon into the pudding.
To assemble - Crumble 1/2 of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of Cool Whip. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and Cool Whip. Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired.