I LOVE making trifles. For many reason really. But the best reason to make a trifle is plain and simple. You cannot screw it up. Even if you are Ms. Fimble-Fumble-Fingers in the kitchen it doesn't matter. You can do this. The reason it's impossible to screw up a trifle is there are NO rules. Use any pudding/cake/cookies/chocolate/ice cream/candy whatever you have left hanging in your pantry. Layer 'em up and you're good to go.
Traditionally Trifle's are a British dessert layered with sponge cake, fruit, jelly, and/or custard. That all sounds a bit too dainty for this American Cool-Whipped Girl. For me, fruit is for breakfast only (well, unless we're baking a pie and we HAVE to use fruit, then I guess it's alright). I feel dessert should be about chocolate, cake, SUGAR, frosting etc…if I am going to splurge on calories, let's at least do it properly.
If you'd like to try out this recipe, feel free to swap out any of the ingredients. I've also used Toblerone candy broken into small pieces (instead of Oreo). If you can't find Cool-Whip, use home-made whipped cream. If you have a favorite brownie recipe, swap it out for the cake (just don't forget to add the Bailey's, really it's the best part). If you are a fruit-for-dessert person, slice some strawberries or banana on top of the pudding. Really the possibilities are endless; choose whatever you like or whatever you have on hand.
One last side note, depending on the size of your trifle dish (you can use the same type of serving dish you'd use for a tiramisu…don't go out and buy anything fancy for this, just as long as its glass and tall it will work) you will more than likely have some extra cake and pudding left over after assembling. I certainly did, but don't you dare throw it out. I used a freezer-safe container and layered up my left-over's. This way when you've got a sweet tooth one night with nothing in the house, you'll have a back-up plan.Ingredients
1 chocolate cake, baked and cooled to room temperature. Use your favorite recipe – any will do. If you don't have a favorite, use mine.
1 cup Bailey's Liquor or Kahlua
Hershey's chocolate syrup (I can't give you an amount; it depends on how hard you'll squeeze the bottle. Just get yourself a bottle. You can use the leftovers for chocolate martinis)
1 box (3.4 oz) Jello Brand Instant Pudding (vanilla or chocolate flavor, your choice) *prepare pudding prior to assembling the trifle; mix per directions on box1 box (3.4 oz) Jello Brand Instant Pudding (Oreo cookies 'n cream flavor) *prepare pudding prior to assembling the trifle; mix per directions on box
2 tubs Cool Whip (8oz each. You'll only use about 1 and a half though)Approximate 30 Oreos, crushed (by hand, not in blender)
DirectionsTake cooled cake and poke with fork thoroughly all over.
This is fun for the kiddos to help you with. Not mine, he'd fork himself. Maybe next year.
Get out the good stuff. Go on, take a shot for yourself. Makes the trifle much easier to assemble.
Pour 1 cup Bailey's into a bowl and using a pastry brush cover the entire cake with the booze. The holes help absorb the liquor into the cake. Let the cake sit for about 45 minutes so the cake will get good and drunk…uh I mean soaked.
Next get out your already prepared pudding. Take one tub of the Cool Whip and divide it equally into each bowl of pudding. 4oz into the vanilla, 4 oz into the Oreo flavor. Mix well until combined, but don't over mix. If you over-mix you'll start to lose the volume of the Cool Whip. Cool Whip is even more delicate than home-made whipping cream. You'll notice the pudding will get thin, this is okay. It will thicken back up once you refrigerate.
Now it's time to assemble. Take your trifle dish and cover the bottom with a good squeeze of chocolate syrup. This will act like glue and hold the cake to the bottom.
Okay it's going to get messy here. There is no polite way to go about it; you must use your hands for this part. Take your cake and gently break it into large pieces to cover the bottom of your trifle dish in one layer.
Try to keep the dish clean as possible. If you get a smudgin' of chocolate on the side, give it a wipe with a damp paper towel. You'll appreciate this later once the trifle is done. You want your lovely layers to be clean and perfect, not with sticky finger prints everywhere.
Next get your vanilla pudding mixed with the Cool Whip and spread an even layer on top of the cake layer.
Next get your crushed Oreo's and cover the vanilla pudding with an even layer.
See where we're going here.
And another drizzle of syrup…why not?
Repeat with another layer of cake.
Next layer with the Oreo pudding mixed with the Cool Whip.
Cover with another layer of Oreo's and chocolate syrup. Are you drooling yet? Good.
Cover with another layer of cake and then the vanilla pudding.
Cover with a sprinkling of Oreos, but just the smaller crumbs and no big chunkies. You'll want the top to look pretty. Get out the second tub of cool whip and spoon out a dollop onto the vanilla layer. Try not to spread to the edges this time. Keep somewhat centered so you can see the vanilla layer and the Oreo's underneath. Ooh yeh.
And top with 1 whole Oreo in the center, in case there aren't enough inside…
Let chill in the fridge for a good 2 hours prior to serving.. You want the pudding and Cool Whip to firm back up. This will taste even better the next day for breakfast.