Death by Chocolate Trifle is a dessert with layers of fudgy brownies, chocolate pudding, toffee and cool whip. A chocolate lovers dream.
"Death by chocolate" can take on many meanings. For me, it means tall layers of fudgy brownies, decadent chocolate pudding, small pieces of toffee, and whipped cream just waiting for me to dig in.
Why We Love this Chocolate Recipe
This has been and always will be one of my favorite chocolate desserts for a few reasons.
- It is very simple to make, especially when using brownie mix and instant pudding mix.
- It beholds a lovely presentation, with beautiful layers showing through the glass bowl and a decorated whipped topping.
- It is full of yummy chocolate goodness and serves a crowd.
Ingredients & Instructions
(full printable recipe at end of post)
It doesn't take much to make this layered dessert. Use the following items for the simplest instant method, or if you prefer all layers from scratch, I've linked to my favorite recipes in each bullet point.
Here's what you need:
- Brownie mix -- Bake according to package directions, cool and cut into bite sized pieces. Or, try my homemade brownie recipe. You can also use the pre-made brownie bites from Costco and Sam's Club.
- Cool Whip -- Or, you can whip heavy whipping cream into stiff peaks for homemade whipped cream.
- Instant pudding or instant mousse -- I've always made this trifle using the instant boxed mixes, but you can use my favorite homemade mousse if you have the time!
- Toffee pieces -- I just buy a bag of Heath toffee bits to sprinkle over the layers, no need to do this from scratch. But, if you want, you can click here for a toffee recipe.
Here's how you make it:
This is the EASIEST recipe. Just layer the brownie bites, then half the pudding, then half the Cool Whip, then half the toffee bits. Repeat layers, ending with a garnish of the toffee bits. Let chill in the fridge and serve cold. SO delicious!
Instant Pudding Mix
The first few years I made this, I always used a package of instant mousse. But, after we moved, 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 mix and I was very pleased with the results. Of course, I could always use my favorite homemade mousse which might send this dessert straight from heaven. But, to keep it quick in preparation, I'll stick with the instant versions.
There are many ways you can change up this recipe to make it your own. For example, switch out the toffee bits with reese's peanut butter cups or your favorite candy. Add a sprinkling of chocolate chips or drizzle chocolate fudge and caramel sauce between the layers. You can try chocolate cake mix instead of brownies, or make a fruit version with vanilla pound cake layered with strawberries and whipped cream. The ideas are endless!
You need to make this dessert at least 4 hours before you plan to serve it, but I wouldn't make it more than 24 hours ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Tried and True Recipe
This recipe is one of the first that graced its presence here back in February of 2007. I can't believe it's been that long! 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. 🙂
More Favorite Layered Dessert Recipes:
- Banana Pudding
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Lasagna
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bar Cake
Made this recipe?
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This recipe was originally published February 2007 and updated October 2022.
Death by Chocolate Trifle
- 6 oz. package instant chocolate pudding
- 2 cups cold milk
- 1 family size brownie mix, plus ingredients listed on box to make brownies , prepared according to package directions, cooled and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup toffee bits , or Heath bars crushed into bits (more to taste)
- 16 ounces whipped topping , such as Cool Whip
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry pudding mix with 2 cups of milk; set aside.
- Place half of the brownie bites on the bottom of a clear trifle bowl, in a single layer. Evenly pour half of the pudding 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 4 hours before serving.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only.
- For homemade brownies, use this recipe.
- For homemade whipped cream, use this recipe.