No-bake Cherry Amaretti Trifles will help you entertain with ease this holiday season. Mascarpone cream is layered with spiced cherry jam and crushed crisp amaretti cookies.
This is a wonderful little recipe that requires no cooking and no baking – there’s just a little assembly required. It’s perfect for entertaining because the trifles can be made ahead. Mascarpone cream layered with amaretti cookies gives the dessert Italian flair, while spiced cherry preserves provides a tart foil for all that creamy richness.
Cheesy cream filling.
Whip together 8 oz. of mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream, a little sugar, and a splash of amaretto liqueur in a bowl until thick and fluffy. This creates a light cream filling reminiscent of cheesecake. It’s so silky and decadent!
Transfer the cream into a piping bag with the end snipped. Fill 4 oz. capacity dessert cups about 1/4 full with the mascarpone cream. Next, layer in some crispy crushed amaeretti cookies. You can find these in the international section at US grocery stores, or at specialty food shops (Lazzaroni Amaretti is an excellent choice!)
Next, layer in some prepared cherry or red fruit preserves. I used Murray’s Spiced Cherry Preserves in this recipe because almond + cherry are a match made in heaven! It has a unique, almost mulled wine flavor, with cloves and balsamic vinegar reduction. However, you can use any fruit preserve in this recipe, but red preserves look especially festive at Christmastime.
Repeat the mascarpone and crushed amaretti layer once more before topping the cups with whipped cream. Dollop it on with a spoon, or pipe it as I did using a large closed star piping tip.
A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts on top of each dessert adds delicious nutty flavor and makes a beautiful finishing touch.
The trifles look elegant in footed dessert glasses and presented on a serving tray. You can make them a day ahead, reserving the toasted pine nuts and crisp whole amaretti cookie toppings until ready to serve. The crisp amaretti cookies will soften slightly in the refrigerator overnight, which gives them cake-like texture.
Related recipe: Wintry Coconut Cherry Amaretto Cupcakes
Cherry Amaretti Trifles
- 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese softened
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur optional
- 5 oz. crisp amaretti cookies 1 package
- 5 oz. prepared spiced cherry preserves or other red fruit preserves
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 crisp amaretti cookies whole
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese and the heavy cream together until combined. Slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar as you mix. When the mixture is thickened, beat in the amaretto liqueur, if using. Transfer the cream mixture to a large piping bag with the end snipped. Pipe the cream into each of six 4 oz. clear footed dessert cups about 1/4 full. Spread the top evenly to the edges of the glass using a spoon.
Remove 6 whole amaretto cookies from the package and reserve for later. Crush the remaining cookies. Add about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of the crumbs to each of the cups, spread the crumbs to the edges of the glass using a spoon.
Stir the preserves until loosened. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the preserves on top of the crushed cookies in each cup. Spread to the edges of the glass using a spoon.
Repeat the mascarpone layer once more on to of each layer of preserves. Top the mascarpone layer with more cookie crumbs (you may not have to use all of the crumbs).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream while sprinkling in the granulated sugar. When the mixture is thick, dollop spoonfuls on top of each dessert cup. Or use a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip to pipe on a large swirl of whipped cream (as pictured).
Just before serving, top the desserts with the pine nuts and a single crisp amaretti cookie.
- If you’re not inclined to use pine nuts on top of these dessert, try toasted almonds. They go so well with the almond amaretti cookies.
- Toast pine nuts in the microwave for a shortcut! Here’s how. Spread the raw pine nuts on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave at 100% power for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Stir them around and heat in additional 30 second intervals until toasted and golden. be sure to watch them constantly to prevent burning. Pine nuts can be expensive, and I consider them an extra special touch for the holidays. So keep a sharp eye on them!
- 8 oz. of cream cheese can be used in place of the mascarpone cheese.