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Chocolate Trifle

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a close up shot of Chocolate Trifle inside a cake stand
This easy chocolate trifle has three kinds of chocolate — cake, pudding, and candy bars — that are layered with whipped topping for a decadent dessert.
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Table of Contents
  1. Chocolate Trifle Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Chocolate Trifle Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE
  7. Most Popular Recipes

This classic rich chocolate trifle is made from layers of decadent chocolate cake, creamy chocolate pudding, fluffy whipped topping, and crunchy candy bars. With three kinds of delicious chocolate, it’s the ultimate triple threat.

a close up shot of Chocolate Trifle inside a cake stand

Chocolate Trifle Ingredients

Chocolate Trifle raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need: 

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box of chocolate cake mix (baked according to package directions for a 9 x 13-inch pan)
  • 2 (3.9-ounce) boxes of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) tub of frozen Cool Whip whipped topping, slightly thawed
  • 5-6 Heath candy bars, crushed into small pieces, and divided 

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

BROWNIES: If you prefer chocolate brownies, try substituting a boxed brownie mix instead of the chocolate cake in this easy recipe (or our amazing brownie cake). This will add a delicious fudgy element to your trifle. 

OREOS: Oreo cookies are a popular substitution for Heath bars in this recipe. Crumble up 10-12 Oreos and add them in place of the Heath bars (and don’t forget to add some on top, too)!  Or you could customize this trifle by using another chocolate bar on top, such as Reese’s peanut butter cups or Skor bars.

TOPPING: Add caramel sauce or hot fudge sauce to put this dessert right over the top. Of course, toffee bits and chocolate chips are never a bad idea, either!

How To Make This Chocolate Trifle Recipe

STEP ONE: Cut the baked cake into small cubes, about 1 to 1½ inches in size. 

cake cut into small cubes in a baking dish

STEP TWO: Add the dry instant pudding to a medium-sized bowl and add the milk. Mix with a mixer for 2 minutes or whisk by hand until thick. 

milk added to the dry pudding and whisked in a bowl

STEP THREE: Add half of the pieces of chocolate cake to the trifle bowl. Gently press them together to fill in any gaps. 

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

If you don’t have an actual trifle bowl, any large glass bowl or even individual glass bowls will work fine for this fantastic dessert. 

half of the chocolate cake pieces placed in a serving dish

STEP FOUR: Next, take half of the pudding mixture and spread it over the cake layer. 

PRO TIP:

For extra crunch, sprinkle candy bar chunks between each layer. Just be sure to save a handful for your trifle topping. 

pudding spread over the cake layer

STEP FIVE: Spread half of the whipped topping on top of the pudding layer. 

half of the whipped topping spread on top of the pudding layer

STEP SIX: Sprinkle with half of the crushed Heath candy bars. 

crushed candy bars sprinkled over the trifle

STEP SEVEN: Repeat adding your layers of cake, pudding, and a final layer of whipped topping with candy bar chunks on top. 

STEP EIGHT: Chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving. 

PRO TIP:

You can also chill this dessert overnight to allow the flavors more time to blend together and soak into the cake.

How To Serve

This layered dessert will impress your guests, and they will be eager to have a taste. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra rich treat and a warm mug of homemade hot chocolate to drink.

And if you’re craving more chocolate dessert recipes, we love this easy mayo cake and our Southern classic busy day chocolate cake

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: You can make trifle a day ahead and store it in the fridge. Assemble the trifle according to the instructions, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it. Leftovers will keep for 2 to 3 days.

IN THE FREEZER: Freezing your chocolate trifle isn’t recommended because the texture will change as you freeze and then thaw it.

overhead shot of Chocolate Trifles in tall glasses

This perfect chocolate dessert has layers of chocolate cake, creamy chocolate pudding, and whipped cream that will delight your senses. It’s so easy to make, and the result is a stunning dessert that tastes amazing.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a trifle bowl?

A trifle bowl is a large bowl that is usually on a pedestal. It displays all of the lovely layers of this dessert through the clear glass.

Can I make a trifle the day before?

This easy chocolate trifle recipe can be made a day ahead and, in fact, it should be made ahead of time so that the flavors are able to blend together and soak into the cake.

Can I freeze chocolate trifle?

We don’t recommend freezing this no-bake dessert. The creamy texture will change once thawed. This treat is best made fresh.

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a close up shot of Chocolate Trifle inside a cake stand

Chocolate Trifle

4.99 from 52 votes
This easy chocolate trifle has three kinds of chocolate — cake, pudding, and candy bars — that are layered with whipped topping for a decadent dessert.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 15.25 ounces chocolate cake mix (baked according to package directions for a 9 x 13-inch pan)
  • 7.8 ounces instant chocolate pudding (two 3.9 ounces boxes)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 12 ounces frozen Cool Whip whipped topping, slightly thawed
  • 5 to 6 Heath candy bars, crushed into small chunks and divided

Instructions
 

  • Cut the baked cake into small cubes about 1 to 1½ inches in size.
  • Place the dry pudding in a medium-sized bowl and add the milk. Mix with a mixer for two minutes or whisk by hand until thick.
  • In the trifle bowl, place half of the pieces of chocolate cake, pressing gently to fill in any gaps.
  • Next, take half of the pudding and spread it over the cake layer.
  • Then spread half of the whipped topping on top of the pudding layer.
  • Sprinkle with half of the crushed candy bars.
  • Repeat adding your layers of cake, pudding, and a final layer of whipped topping with candy bar chunks on top. 
  • Chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Notes

  • If you don’t have an actual trifle bowl, any large glass bowl or even individual bowls will work fine for this fantastic dessert. 
  • For extra crunch, sprinkle candy bar chunks between each layer. Just be sure to save a handful for your trifle topping. 
  • You can also chill this dessert overnight to allow the flavors more time to blend together and soak into the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 874mg | Potassium: 439mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 229IU | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 3mg
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  1. Cheryl says

    5 stars
    I would love to add both hot fudge and caramel toppings only I would add it at the serving portion not the whole dish.

  2. Cynthia Anderson says

    5 stars
    I loved the chew brittle I’m going to try the others except I don’t care for strawberries

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