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Quick & Easy Chocolate Trifle

trifle layered with poundcake, chocolate chips, toffee chips, chocolate pudding and whipped cream

Trifle is traditionally an English dessert that contains sponge cake soaked with alcohol or fruit juice, fruit, custard and real whipped cream, but I love playing around with the layers and coming up with my own combinations.  I was always told that trifle gets its name from the fact that you are using "a trifle of this and a trifle of that" and I love that you can be creative and use pretty much whatever you have on hand.  This particular quick and easy Chocolate Trifle I came up with one Christmas with stuff I happened to have in the freezer and the pantry and it now makes a regular appearance at most of our family gatherings.  It is Mike Jr's absolute favorite dessert to the point that he hates when we take it anywhere because there are rarely any leftovers to bring home. 

What I love about this particular recipe is that it is soooooooo easy and takes no effort.  It is literally just layering lots of yummy things.  You can change any of these ingredients out to create your own trifle masterpiece. Think about switching brownies for the pound cake, chopped peanut butter cups for the heath chips... chocolate pudding for another kind of pudding - the possibilities to your creativity are endless.  I also do a more traditional English trifle with fruit, jam, custard and heavy whipping cream, but I'll have to cover that one in another post.  Seriously... give this trifle a try, you will not be disappointed and it will give you the confidence to try your hand with other ingredients.

I use a couple of shortcuts in this recipe.  I do sometimes make my own pound cake, but the Sara Lee frozen pound cake works perfectly in this and cuts the work substantially.  If you want to make your own though, you can find my favorite recipe right HERE.  You can also use fresh bakery pound cake, but those are a little smaller, so you will probably need about 1-1/2.

The other shortcut I often use, (depending on my mood), is Cool Whip.  Two tubs of defrosted Cool Whip is the perfect amount of cream layers, but sometimes I go the extra mile and make my own cream by whisking a quart of heavy cream together with a little sugar and vanilla until it's thick and delicious.  Both work beautifully, so work with what you have.

Ingredients:
  • 1 family size Sara Lee pound cake, defrosted (found in the freezer section) or other pound cake
  • Chocolate Syrup, (I use Hershey's)
  • Caramel Syrup, (Hershey's or Great Value work perfect)
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Heath milk chocolate toffee bits
  • 2 small pkgs instant chocolate pudding mix, prepared with milk according to directions
  • 2-8oz tubs of original cool whip, defrosted OR 1 qt fresh heavy cream, whipped with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla to soft peaks

Instructions:
  1. Cut the pound cake in to 1 inch chunks.  Layer half of it on the bottom of the trifle dish.  
  2. Drizzle chocolate and caramel syrup all over.  
  3. Sprinkle with a generous handful of mini chocolate chips and a generous handful of heath bits.  
  4. Whisk about 1/2 tub of your cool whip OR 1/4 of your prepared whipped cream in to the prepared chocolate pudding.  
  5. Spread about half of that mixture over the pound cake layer.  (I often have a little left over.)
  6. Spread a layer of whipped cream or cool whip over the pudding.  
  7. Repeat all layers!  
  8. You can garnish with grated chocolate shavings if desired and store covered with Saran wrap in the refrigerator till ready to serve.  
When serving, use a huge spoon and dig all the way down to get some of everything in each serving!

chopped pound cake syrups cool whip and chocolate bits

pound cake with chocolate chips and heath bits

trifle layered with poundcake, chocolate chips, toffee chips, chocolate pudding and whipped cream

layered chocolate trifle in trifle dish

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