Decadent layers of brownies, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and strawberries make this chocolate strawberry trifle a must-make for any and all occasions.

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Chocolate strawberry trifle in a trifle bowl.

About Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

If you’re searching for a simple dessert that can look elegant no matter your decorating skills, then a trifle is just what you need.

And, you guys, this chocolate strawberry trifle has all the prettiness (and the flavors!) that will have everyone reaching for the serving spoon.

What is a trifle?

The official definition of a trifle is “a cold dessert of sponge cake and fruit covered with layers of custard, jelly, and cream.”

This recipe stretches that definition a little, as there are layers of brownie instead of sponge cake, but the general concept still applies. Ultimately a trifle is a layered dessert of a baked good, cream, and fruit.

How long can you leave out a trifle?

As with any crowd-friendly food, you should keep track of how long it sits out at room temperature. And since this recipe includes perishable items like pudding and whipped cream, it’s important to keep an eye on it.

For most foods, the general rule of thumb is that a perishable item should not be in the “danger zone” for more than two hours. And by “danger zone”, this is usually at or just above room temperature, which is how this dip will be served.

As the party goes on, you can move your trifle back to the refrigerator once you get past the two-hour mark. If your guests still want more of the trifle, let it chill for at least 30 minutes before bringing it back out again.

Top of decadent chocolate strawberry trifle drizzled with chocolate sauce.

Can you make this trifle in advance?

One of the most common questions I get about festive desserts is whether or not you can make them in advance. I totally understand why someone would want to do this  – it’s way easier to prepare treats for a party the night before than scrambling to get everything done the day of the event.

The good news is that the answer to this question is almost always yes. BUT, each dessert has its own considerations to take into account, depending on the ingredients.

For this chocolate trifle, the ingredient you want to be careful of is the whipped cream. It won’t hold up that far in advance. The cream will naturally “deflate” over time, and this is especially true when it’s tucked between layers of other ingredients.

Because of this, I would highly recommend preparing all ingredients in advance EXCEPT for the whipped cream. Store all prepared ingredients in separate sealed containers, chilling the strawberries and pudding while leaving the brownies on the counter. Once you’ve prepared the whipped cream, hold off on assembling the trifle until just before it’s served to ensure you get the most fluffiness out of the whipped cream.

The prepared ingredients (except the whipped cream) can be stored for up to two days before serving.

What tools will you need?

Before setting out to make this trifle, make sure you have the following on hand:

What other ingredients will you need?

To make things easy, this recipe includes using two boxes of fudge brownie mix (or whipping up a batch of your favorite homemade brownies) and two boxes of instant chocolate pudding.

Both the brownies and pudding will require additional ingredients to make, and because this can vary depending on the type or brand you buy, any extras you may need are not included in the recipe below. I know this isn’t ideal, but it’s done to lessen confusion and guesswork on what the many cooks out there might use.

So before you begin making this trifle, check the back of the box(es) you buy to ensure you have the additional ingredients on hand. This will typically include baking staples such as:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Oil

Can you use cool whip instead?

Yes, you certainly can!

It all comes down to personal tastes and preferences, but Cool Whip would work just fine in place of the homemade whipped cream in this recipe.

Can you make mini trifles with this recipe instead?

Of course! And there’s no need to adjust the recipe (unless you want to).

Just swap out the large trifle bowl and assemble this trifle in mini trifle bowls or wine glasses.

Depending on the size of your bowls, this recipe should make about 10 to 15 mini trifles.

Serving of the best chocolate strawberry trifle.

Tips for perfectly whipped cream

For this recipe, the whipped cream should be fairly thick, so getting the consistency right is key. The recipe states that the cream should form stiff peaks, and that’s exactly what it sounds like: when you remove the mixer blades, the cream should pull upward and then keep its shape, looking like mountain peaks.

To help ensure this happens, try these tips:

  • Use high-quality whipping cream that’s extremely fresh (just purchased, just opened).
  • Chill the heavy whipping cream in the freezer 15 minutes before use. Use the cream as soon as it’s removed from the fridge.
  • If you’re using any metal, porcelain, or glass attachments for mixing (bowl, whisk, etc) try freezing or chilling them beforehand.

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How to make a chocolate strawberry trifle

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – To kick things off, prepare both bathes of brownies per the instructions on the box. Select one of the batches and mix in red velvet emulsion and red food coloring to the batter. Once baked, set both batches of brownies aside to cool.

Step 2 – While the brownies bake, prepare the pudding per the box instructions, then set it in the refrigerator to set.

Step 3 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Once done, place the whipped cream in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Step 4 – To assemble the trifle, layer your ingredients in a large trifle bowl in the following order: cut or crumbled chocolate brownie, 1/2 of the chocolate pudding, 1/2 of the whipped cream, 1/2 of the strawberries, cut or crumbled red velvet brownie, 1/2 of the chocolate pudding, 1/2 of the whipped cream, and 1/2 of the strawberries.

Step 5 – Garnish the top with chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, and a dusting of powdered sugar (all optional but all delicious!)

Step 6 – Enjoy!

Recipe Details

Chocolate strawberry trifle in a trifle bowl.
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

30 mins prep + 30 mins cook + 30 mins Chilling Time
470 kcal
Yields: 15 servings
Decadent layers of brownies, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and strawberries make this chocolate strawberry trifle a must-make for any and all occasions.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Prepare both boxes of brownies per package instructions, mixing in the red velvet emulsion and red velvet food coloring to the batter of one box. Once baked, set both batches of baked brownies side to cool for 30 minutes in their pans.
  • While brownies bake and cool, prepare the chocolate pudding per package instructions. Place pudding in the refrigerator to set.
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Once prepared, place whipped cream in the refrigerator until ready to assemble trifle.
  • When all ingredients are ready to assemble, prepare your work area. Break apart or cut both pans of baked brownies into bite-sized pieces, keeping the chocolate and red velvet flavors separate. Set a large trifle bowl, whipped cream, chocolate pudding, strawberries, and crumbled brownies nearby.
  • Layer the ingredients in the trifle bowl in the following order, making sure that each layer completely covers the previous one: Cover the bottom of the bowl with all of the chocolate brownie. Next, add 1/2 of the chocolate pudding, followed by 1/2 of the whipped cream. Top with 1/2 of the strawberries, laying the slices flat. Cover the strawberries with all of the red velvet brownies, then follow with the rest of the chocolate pudding and the rest of the whipped cream. Decorate the top of the trifle with the rest of the strawberries. Finish by drizzling chocolate syrup, shaved chocolate, and a dusting of powdered sugar on top (garnishes optional).
  • Serve trifle immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy