RECIPE: Chocolate Brownie Trifle

This is one of my favorite desserts to make!
It’s such a crowd pleaser and sooooooo easy to make.
Whenever Owen requests it he quotes Donkey from Shrek:

You know what else everybody like?…Parfait. Have you ever met a person and you say, ‘hey let’s get some parfait’, and they say ‘hey no, I don’t like no parfait.’ Parfait is delicious!

Everybody loves parfait…or chocolate trifle, or whatever you choose to call it. Personally I think “parfait” sounds cuter. But I’ve called it Chocolate Trifle for so many years that I’m sticking with the technical name.

A Trifle is a dessert made of layers, so you can really make this any way you like! I’ve made a strawberries and cream version, mixed berries, banana and strawberry. But this chocolate toffee brownie version is definitely the crowd favorite. And I always make it at Christmas time. So if you’re looking for a quick last minute dessert, here you go!


All of these ingredients are flexible. Use more, use less, throw in extras.
This chocolate trifle can be made a day ahead, but if you’re using fresh fruit I would only prepare it a few hours ahead of time, or the fruits start to release liquid into the dessert.

• 2 small boxes of Instant Chocolate pudding (any brand or chocolate flavor)
• 2 8oz tubs of Whipped Topping (real whipped cream can be substituted)
• 1 boxed brownie mix (I prefer Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate) baked and cut into small squares
• 1 cup of toffee bits (Heath bar bits, or break up some Heath or Skor bars)

1. Defrost the Whipped Topping as you prepare the other parts of the trifle.
2. Bake the brownie mix according to the box directions. Cool and cut into small bit size squares.
3. Prepare the chocolate pudding according to the box directions and chill in the fridge till you’re ready to assemble.

This is the fun part!
It’s looks beautiful to use a glass dish, so you can see all those layers. But if you don’t have a glass dish, just use a large serving bowl. A traditional Trifle bowl has a base, so it stands up tall and regal (just make sure it will fit in your fridge!) I got my Trifle dish at Target, but here are some pretty ones on Amazon. Great gift idea for someone…or for yourself.

Grab all of your prepared ingredients:
Brownie bites, chocolate pudding, whipped topping, toffee bits.

First, in the chocolate pudding container, fold in a large mound of whipped topping. This is optional. But I think it makes the pudding more airy and looks pretty to see the marbling of the pudding/whipped topping. It helps to use a spatula for all these steps.

• Place brownie bites in the Trifle dish, so it covers the bottom of the dish.
• Sprinkle toffee bits over the brownies.
• Spread a layer of chocolate pudding.
• Spread a layer of whipped topping.
• REPEAT the above steps till you’ve used all your ingredients.
• Finish the top layer with whipped topping and sprinkle with toffee bits and brownie crumbs.

I can usually get 2-3 repeating layers out of this. And if you have any extras, make a side dish to sample while this chills in the fridge.

Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours, or overnight.
Then serve in small cups or bowls.

  1. 1) Tara

    This looks simple, delicious and a trifle fancy (sorry!). Just wanted to say thank you for your MANY simple and approachable tutorials. I’ve followed you for so many years — when it was just tiny little Lucy and Owen in the mix, and you’ve always been so upbeat, with clear and concise directions! Thank YOU!

    • 2) Dana

      Awww thanks Tara! And yes, this dessert does look a “trifle” fancy. haha. I love how simple it is to make though. That’s the best….when people think you worked hard over it 🙂 Thank you for following along over the years! It’s so weird to think that it’s been over 12 years. Who knows what I’ll be doing 12 years from now!
      Have a great New Year!

  2. 3) LindsaY

    Ditto! This looks delightful and is easy to follow. Thanks for all your sharing and uplifting!

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