This Death By Chocolate Trifle recipe is rich, decadent, and crazy delicious. Layers of chocolate cake, fudge sauce, pudding, whipped cream, and Oreo cookies result in a stunning presentation, but it’s so easy to make! Perfect dessert for a crowd or holiday!
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then I say the way to a woman’s heart is a Death By Chocolate Trifle! I certainly wouldn’t object to being served this on Valentine’s Day, Christmas, my birthday, or, you know…any ‘ol Wednesday.
What is Trifle
The first (and traditional) trifle originated in England many moons ago (like 18th century) and consisted of three or four layers, which included sponge cake that was soaked in booze, custard, and some type of fruit. In between the layers was usually homemade preserves. Since then, there are a million American made versions (and I’ve yet to try a bad one!)
Chocolate Trifle is among the most popular. Because…of course. This particular Chocolate Cake Trifle is so ridiculously easy to make, using convenience products, but guests will think you labored over it all day and will oooh and aaaah over how fancy it looks. It’s a perfect dessert for entertaining, and simple enough for the inexperienced baker.
Here’s what you’ll need:
*Scroll below for the complete printable recipe card
- Boxed chocolate cake mix (+ ingredients required to make the cake)
- Instant chocolate pudding mix
- Whole milk (for the pudding mix)
- Chocolate Sauce or store-bought chocolate fudge sauce
- Oreo cookies
- Mini chocolate chips
- Whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
- Chocolate bar shavings
- Use crumbled up brownies instead of chocolate cake.
- Instead of Whipped Topping, you can beat together 1 pint heavy whipping cream and 1/3 cup powdered sugar until stiff peaks form (don’t overbeat or it will become clumpy.)
- Drizzle 1/2 cup Kahlúa, Baileys Irish Cream, or strong brewed coffee over the cake while it’s still warm.
- Substitute the fudge sauce with caramel sauce, or use both!
- Replace some of the mini chocolate chips with toffee bits.
- Garnish with fresh berries.
Chocolate Trifle Recipe Tips
- Using convenience products makes this dessert a snap! But you can certainly make every single ingredient layer from scratch if you want. Have a favorite chocolate cake or brownie recipe? Use it! Want to make homemade whipped cream instead of whipped topping? Go for it! Prefer homemade chocolate cookies over Oreos? No problem.
- A regular glass bowl works if you don’t own a stemmed trifle bowl. Trifle bowls are usually tall, though, so if you opt to use a glass bowl, I recommend dividing the ingredients in thirds, instead of half, so you still get those gorgeous layers.
- You can convert the trifle into individual parfaits, too. If you want to do that, divide your ingredients into however many servings you are making. Then divide each one of those servings in two, to create the layers.
How to Make Chocolate Trifle
Don’t miss the complete printable recipe card below.
- Thaw the whipped topping (or make whipped cream and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble.)
- Bake your cake and let it cool completely, then crumble it up with your hands. You can use a box mix or from scratch.
- Make the pudding (according to package instructions.) Or if you’re really short on time, buy a bunch of those pre-made snack packs!
- Crush up the Oreo cookies into small pieces and get your mini chocolate chips ready.
- Divide all the ingredients in half and assemble your trifle in this order: cake, fudge sauce, pudding, Oreo cookies, chocolate chips, whipped topping. Repeat one more time.
- Cover well and refrigerate trifle for at least a couple hours (or overnight.)
- Garnish with chocolate shavings, serve, and enjoy!
Can this Trifle be made ahead of time?
Yep! It’s actually best to make this chocolate trifle several hours ahead of time (or up to 2 days.) You can also make the pudding and chocolate cake 2-3 days ahead of time and store them in refrigerator until ready to assemble.
A chocolate trifle recipe is a foolproof dessert for a large group of people. Who wouldn’t love this?? It’s a pretty safe bet there won’t be any complaints and they’ll all be begging to know how you made it!
Other Chocolate Desserts We Love!
Death By Chocolate Trifle
- 16.5 ounce box chocolate cake mix (+ ingredients required to make the cake)
- 2 boxes (3.9 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding mix
- 4 cups whole milk , cold (for the pudding mix)
- 1/2 cup hot fudge sauce
- 1/2 cup crushed Oreo cookies
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 16 ounces whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed
- Chocolate bar shavings, for garnish
- Prepare chocolate cake according to package directions. Let cool completely. Crumble.
- Prepare pudding according to package directions.
- In a 4 to 5 quart glass trifle bowl, layer in the following order: half of the cake crumbles, half of the fudge sauce, half of the pudding, half of the crushed Oreos, half of the chocolate chips, and half of the Cool Whip.
- Repeat layers in the same order.
- Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours (or overnight.)
- Uncover, top with curled chocolate shavings, and serve!