Death by Chocolate Trifle

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This chocolate brownie pudding trifle has layers of fudgy brownies, chocolate mousse, toffee and whipped cream for a dessert everyone will be craving.Death by Chocolate Trifle

Death by Chocolate can mean so many things.  For me, it always means tall layers of cakey chocolate brownies, decadent chocolate mousse, toffee pieces and whipped cream just waiting for me to dig into it.  This has been and always will be one of my favorite desserts for a few reasons.  1) It is very simple to make; 2) It beholds a lovely presentation; 3) It serves a crowd; and 4) It is full of yummy chocolate goodness.

In the past I always made this with instant mousse.  But, here in my new hometown, I searched high and low in our grocery stores for instant mousse and could not find it.  Reluctantly, I resorted to using instant chocolate pudding instead, yet I was very pleased with the results.  Of course, I could always use my favorite homemade mousse which might put this dessert over the top.  But, to keep it quick in preparation, I think I’ll stick with the instant versions.

This recipe is one of the first that graced its presence here back in February of 2007.  I can’t believe it’s been over 4 years.  Those of you that have been with me from the beginning, thank you!  I like digging out these older recipes and giving them a little facelift with a new picture and better voice.  This one really needed updating as I embarrassingly described it as a “truffle” rather than a “trifle.”  Yes, I’ve come a long way in my food blogging journey.  🙂

Death by Chocolate Trifle

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

This chocolate brownie pudding trifle has layers of fudgy brownies, chocolate mousse, toffee and whipped cream for a dessert everyone will be craving.

  • 1 large package instant chocolate mousse or instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 1/3 - 2 cups cold milk (1 1/2 for mousse, 2 for pudding)
  • 13-x9-inch pan of fudge brownies, cooled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 package Heath toffee bits or 2 chocolate toffee candy bars, crushed into bits
  • 16 ounces whipped cream

Prepare mousse or pudding according to package directions with the above listed amount of cold milk; set aside. Place about half of the brownie bites on the bottom of the trifle bowl, in a single layer. Evenly pour half of the pudding/mousse on top of the brownies in the trifle bowl. Layer with half of the whipped cream, then half of the toffee bits. Repeat layers one more time. Chill for 4 hours before serving.

Source: Highland Hills Baptist Church Cookbook


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  1. I’ll take death by chocolate any day. What a way to go!

  2. yum! i have a very similar recipe that adds some warm water and instant coffee to give that mocha flavor- SO GOOD

  3. I have a recipe almost identical to this and it is DELICIOUS! The only differences are that I use chocolate cake instead of brownies (but you are enticing me to try fudgy brownies next time) and over each layer of cake (or brownies) I sprinkle a few tablespoons of kahlua. I might have to go bake this tonight. Thanks!

  4. I do something very similar too!! I also use chocolate cake instead of brownies BUT really want to try using brownies now!!!

    I also use andies mints (in the baking aisle) and mini chocolate chips instead of heath bar. I love the mint flavoring it gives the dessert!!

  5. My youngest son just turned 5 yesterday and we are having a small family birthday party today. We were already toying with the idea of doing something other than a traditional cake. When I saw this recipe this morning, I knew it would be perfect! I went to the store and got all the ingredients and just took the brownies out of the oven. Can’t wait to put it all together! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Is to die for indeed

  7. Come on now, I think I gained weight just looking at it! J/K I now have to try this recipe, maybe even serve it for Easter Day dessert. Yummo.

  8. Oh, this looks lovely!! Perfect for a party. I think I might just have to make some this weekend. 🙂

  9. Sue Gladd says:

    Oh my; thank you, Nikki. This reminds me of the chocolate pudding torte I made when all the “boys” were growing up. But better.

  10. ***This is just an update of my attempt on making this dessert. In one word….WOW!!!! I think my husband has fallen in love with me all over again. Lol. It was so easy to make and ridiculously delicious. The birthday boy was thrilled to pieces about his birthday “cake”. Thanks again

  11. This is a standard dessert for us, I make it every father’s day 🙂 I have always used chocolate cake- box or homemde, either is good- but now i think I will try brownies next time!

  12. This looks yuuuumy!! and sooo easy!!! 🙂
    Just one thing-have you, by any chance, got a real good recipe for the brownies, with fudge or without…?
    Thanks from Israel!!

    • Hi Batsheva! I have a confession… I love boxed brownies, so I haven’t had much of a push to find a homemade brownie recipe. But, lately I’ve been thinking about making the plunge and trying out a few that I’ve bookmarked. If I end up with one that is a keeper, I’ll post it on here for you. 🙂

      • Hi Nikki!
        just got my son a great book of baking for kids and found an amazing racipe. And its so easy… 🙂
        This is how it works:

        200 g butter
        200 g dark chocolate
        1 1/2 cups of sugar(we used brown sugar)
        4 eggs
        1 cup of flour(we used 1/3 whole wheat flour)
        1/4 tsp of salt

        You put the butter and chocolate in a bowl and into the microwave for about 2 min and than mix into a smooth mixture.
        Add eggs and sugar into the mixture and mix. Than add flour and salt and mix until the mixture is smooth.

        We added a cup of chopped walnut to the mixture.

        (At this point, if you’re making just the brownies, you can add 20 Milk toffees, flattened, and put them after pouring half the amount of the mixture into a pan, in one layer, and than pour the other half of the amount)

        Bake 30 min in a pre-heated oven on 180 C°. Let cool and put in a fridge 4 hours. Cut and eat cold.

        Yummy!!! 🙂

  13. Try using those great mini brownies from Costco or Pillsbury already made from Sams,,,they are both great and fudgy and make this a super treat!

  14. Love this stuff! It’s a Southern Living recipe in the Quick and Easy book.

  15. I will defintley be trying this soon!!

  16. I will defintley be trying this soon!!!

  17. Sooo good!!! but definitely poke holes in brownies and pour over 1/4 cup kahlua!!! Brings out the rich flavor of chocolate. It’s divine

  18. Made this for a church lunch, it was all gone by the time I got to the dessert table! Everyone loved it.

  19. This is better than the recipe I have, where you soak chocolate cake overnight in Kahlua. I’m going to use this recipe with Ghiradelli brownies. It can’t get much better!!

  20. I make this but drizzle the brownies with Kahula and make the mousse from scratch—it’s easy. I also add chopped pecans as one of the layers. I make this on my birthday each year…the best!

  21. Can you make this the night before or will it get to soggy?

  22. Susan Lopez says:

    I make this exact recipe, except I drizzle some caramel ice cream topping over the brownies. This is always a crowd favorite.

  23. I have a recipe very similar. I pour 1/4 cup of kahula over the brownies as soon as they come out of the oven. Then I stick them back in for a few minutes to make sure the alcohol bakes off. I also cannot find mousse at the store, so to get that layer I add one cup of cool whip to the pudding. I like to drizzle chocolate syrup over the top of mine.

  24. I follow your recipe, but instead of the mouse I buy 2 cans of Thank you pudding it’s much easier(Choc) I also use the Kuhula on top of the cake but am going to try your fudge browie ix next time. This is such an easy recipe and looks so pretty.

  25. This looks wonderful! Where can you buy instant mousse?

    • I have found it in my local grocery store (like Kroger, Walmart, Safeway, etc). Sometimes found in the international food aisle, sometimes in baking aisle or jello/pudding aisle. If you can’t find it, instant pudding works well, too. 🙂

  26. i love using a KozyShack pudding tub. makes this even easier!!

  27. Tammi Jensen says:

    I used the cooked chocolate pudding, and at the end at add about 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips. It gives the pudding a rich flavor. Even better then mousse! 🙂

  28. Thanks for a recipe my kids can eat just about every other chocolate trifle has kahlua I like the caramel syrup idea too.

  29. Love this recipe! Making it this weekend for our family Christmas party. Debating on whether to use brownies or chocolate cake. But I am sure I will add my own little signature on it. Not exactly sure what that is yet but will let you know how it turns out and if it’s a hit at the party!!

  30. I make this with store bought brownies and a layer of cherry pie filling!

  31. I was wondering if it was ok to let this sit overnight in the fridge

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Barb,

      I’m sorry! My answer is probably too late as I took the weekend off. Yes, this should be fine over night.

  32. I love how easy it is to make this dessert gluten free. Just use a gluten free brownie box and you’re good to go.

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