Chocolate Trifle {with Homemade Caramel Layer}

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Caramel Chocolate Trifle is a decadent, easy, and divine to look at dessert. Chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, fudge sauce, caramel, and whipped topping are layered to create this decadent treat!  

A trifle is a keeper for sure when you want a dessert recipe to impress your guests or celebrate a birthday, it’s easy to make…but looks fancy!

Caramel Chocolate trifle garnished with mint, caramel squares and whipped topping.

What Exactly Is a Trifle?

A trifle is a layered dessert, often referred to as a ‘fool’, or even a parfait. Essentially, pieces of cake, fruit, creamy fillings, and whipped cream are layered in a clear glass bowl, chilled and then served. But, the amazing twist to this trifle recipe is that the layers are brownie-like cake, caramel, and pudding! It’s pure chocolate and caramel decadence!

Keep this recipe close by for those special celebrations when you want to elevate an ordinary chocolate cake!

Overview of Chocolate trifle ingredients.

Can It Be Made in Advance?

This particular version of a trifle can (and definitely should) be made in advance. It actually tastes better after it’s been chilled a little bit and the sauce has a chance to soak into the cake a bit. Make sure it is covered or sealed tightly before putting it in the refrigerator so it doesn’t absorb the odors or flavors of the other items.

Let it sit at room temperature a few minutes before serving and top with freshly whipped cream and maybe even some chocolate shavings or colorful sprinkles!

Two images showing the steps to layering the trifle with cake chunks and pudding.

Can a Trifle Be Frozen?

Even though it’s a layered dessert, a trifle can be frozen if it is initially prepared in a casserole dish. Just tightly cover, label and place in the freezer.

Once thawed, refresh this trifle with a little extra fudge sauce or caramel sauce and some whipped cream and you are good to go!

Other Great Things to Add to a Trifle!

One of the great things about a layered dessert is that literally anything can be added to it as long as it fits with the basic recipe.

For this Caramel Chocolate Trifle recipe, why not add a colorful layer of sliced strawberries or bananas? Even a layer of roasted chopped nuts like walnuts or peanut would be a super tasty complement to this recipe!

More Chocolate-y Desserts

Caramel Chocolate Trifle

Cook Time 35 minutes

Refrigerate 4 hours

Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

This Caramel Chocolate trifle is not only one of the easiest desserts to put together, but it’s definitely one of the tastiest too!

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix plus ingredients required to make cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 boxes chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (12oz) container frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (homemade is best)
  • 1 cup fudge sauce (homemade is best)

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  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. If using a box mix, bake cake according to package directions in a 9×13 pan.

  2. For homemade cake, grease and flour a 9×13 pan.

  3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  4. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla to dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer on medium for about 2 minutes. Gently mix in boiling water. Note: Your batter will seem thin, it’s ok.. it’s supposed to!

  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minute. Cool completely.

  1. Mix both boxes of pudding mix with 4 cups milk according to package directions.

  2. OR for homemade pudding, combine sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan, mix well. Add in cold milk, stir until combined.

  3. Turn heat onto medium high stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.

  4. Allow to boil for 1 minute while stirring, remove from heat and stir in butter. Cool completely stirring occasionally to avoid a skin forming.

  1. Cut cake into small cubes. Reserve 1 cup of whipped topping for garnish.

  2. In a trifle dish, layer 1/2 of the cake, 1/2 of the fudge sauce, 1/2 of the whipped topping, 1/2 of the caramel, 1/2 of the pudding. Repeat layers.

  3. Top with reserved whipped topping. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 384, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 714mg, Potassium: 362mg, Carbohydrates: 73g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 38g, Protein: 7g, Vitamin A: 171%, Calcium: 177%, Iron: 2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Caramel Chocolate Trifle
Chocolate Trifle shown in a clear trifle bowl.
Chocolate Trifle shown in a clear trifle bowl.
The top photo shows Chocolate Trifle in a clear trifle bowl. The bottom photo shows the process of layering the brownie and caramel sauce.

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