Chocolaty Chocolate Trifle Recipe

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An easy chocolate trifle recipe is excellent to have on hand should you need a last minute dessert. Trifle recipes are incredibly simple, super delicious, look fancy, and hard to mess up.

See how to make the best chocolate trifle recipe that’s easy to tweak to use ingredients that you have on hand. You can’t go wrong with layering cake, pudding, cookies, and whipped cream. Trifles are an instant family favorite.

Top of a layered chocolate dessert with whipped cream and cookies.

How to make a chocolate trifle

A friend introduced me to trifles several years ago and the recipe went IRL viral amongst our friend group instantly. A good chocolate pudding trifle is now on everyone’s go-to recipe list.

There are so many ways to make a trifle. All you do is layer the basics – cake, pudding, whipped topping, and cookies. Repeat until your bowl is full. It’s a blast to play around with different flavors of each layer.

Chocolate Trifle Ingredients

(Exact measurements are in the recipe card below)

  • Chocolate cake round, baked and cooled – you’ll need a cake mix and ingredients to make it
  • Instant chocolate pudding
  • Milk
  • Whipped topping
  • Fudge stick cookies – Keebler Fudge Sticks are used here

Chocolate Cake Trifle Directions

Chopped fudge sticks on a cutting board with a knife.

Cut three fudge sticks in half and set aside to use later for the top.

Pouring instant pudding into the milk in a bowl.

Cut the remaining fudge stick cookies in fourths and set aside.

Whisking instant chocolate pudding in a bowl.

Make the instant chocolate pudding by adding milk and pudding mix together. Whisk well and refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Holding two sliced chocolate cake rounds.

Using a bread knife, carefully cut the round cake in half lengthwise, giving you two rounds.

A chocolate cake round in the bottom of a trifle bowl.

Place one chocolate cake round into the bottom of the trifle bowl.

Spooning whipped cream on top of pudding in a trifle bowl.

Top with half of the chocolate pudding and then half of the whipped topping.

Pieces of fudge sticks on top of whipped cream in a trifle.

Sprinkle with the small chopped fudge stick cookies.

Fudge stick pieces in the trifle bowl on top of whipped cream.

Repeat with a second layer of each, saving a little whipped topping for the dollops on the top.

Adding fudge sticks to dollops of whipped topping in a trifle bowl.

Top each dollop of whipped topping with the half of fudge stick cookie.

Chocolate cake trifle with fudge stick cookies in a trifle bowl.

Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

Layers of cake and whipped topping and pudding in a trifle dish.
Trifle Bowl
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Make those trifles look fancy even though they are impossibly easy to make! Display all the layers in this gorgeous trifle bowl.

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07/25/2024 01:03 am GMT

Chocolate Trifle Recipe Tips and FAQ

Can a chocolate trifle be made the day before?

The fudge stick cookies used in this chocolate trifle recipe add a really great crunch, but will get soggy if made too soon before serving. You can make the pudding and the cake the day before to speed up the process. Have all the layers ready so you can just layer them into your bowl the day you need the trifle.

Overhead shot of chocolate trifle with whipped cream and fudge stick cookies on top.

Make it a death by chocolate trifle recipe

If you want to make this chocolate trifle even more chocolaty, try using chocolate whipped topping and OREO cookies. The flavor balance in this recipe is tasty as is, but sometimes you have that mega chocolate craving that needs extra!

Chocolate trifle with layers of pudding, whipped cream, and cake in a bowl sitting on top of a cutting board.

How to make a trifle without a trifle bowl

The trifle bowl is all about the presentation. Using a pretty trifle dish is impressive when you’re bringing a dessert somewhere. But, if you’re making the trifle just for your family or friends, layer it into any container.

I like to layer mini trifles into single-serve dishes for me and Mike. And for one of our girls’ weekends, my friend literally brought a giant trifle in some sort of tub. It was hilarious and just as delicious.

Amount of Cake Used

Originally two cake rounds were used in this trifle recipe, but it was too full in the bowl. If you have a deeper trifle bowl, you might want to consider using two cake rounds. Slicing one cake round in half to make two was the perfect amount of cake needed in this trifle dish.

You can also use pieces of cut up cake or cupcakes. It’s a great way to use up leftover cake.

Yield: 16 servings

Chocolate Trifle Recipe

top of a layered chocolate trifle dessert

An easy layered dessert with cake, pudding, cookies, and whipped topping.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 round 8" chocolate cake, baked and cooled
  • 1 small box, 3.4 oz, instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 small tub, 8 oz, whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 package, 8.5 oz, fudge stick cookies


  1. Cut 3 cookies in half and set aside, for the top. 
  2. Cut remaining cookies in fourths and set aside. 
  3. Add milk and pudding together and whisk well. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. 
  4. Using a bread knife, cut round cake in half lengthwise, giving you 2 rounds.
  5. Place 1 round into the bottom of the trifle bowl.
  6. Top with half of the pudding and half of the whipped topping.
  7. Sprinkle with small chopped cookies.
  8. Repeat with a second layer, saving a little whipped topping to add dollops on the top. Top each dollop with the half cookie. 
  9. Refrigerate covered until ready to serve. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. 

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 243mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 37gProtein: 4g

Nutrition facts are an estimate only.

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Chocolate trifle in a trifle bowl with layers of cake, whipped cream, cookies, and pudding.

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