Black Forest Trifle Recipe

Welcome to the delicious realm of trifles! Today's recipe is a delightful twist on a classic dessert. Our Black Forest Trifle is a rich and decadent dish filled with layers of chocolate cake, cherry pie filling, creamy chocolate pudding, and whipped topping. It's the perfect dessert to impress at your next gathering.

Black Forest Trifle Recipe
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Photos of Black Forest Trifle Recipe

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Most of the ingredients for this recipe are quite common and can be easily found in your regular grocery store. One ingredient that you may need to specifically look for is kirsch. Kirsch, also known as kirschwasser, is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morello cherries. It is used to enhance the cherry flavor in the trifle.

Ingredients Required for the Black Forest Trifle

Chocolate cake: This will form the base of our trifle. You can either bake your own from scratch or buy a pre-made one.

Cherry pie filling: Adds a sweet and fruity element to the trifle. It pairs perfectly with the chocolate cake.

Kirsch: This cherry brandy is used to soak the cake, adding a depth of flavor.

Chocolate pudding: This adds a rich, creamy layer to the trifle.

Whipped topping: This will be the final layer of our trifle, adding a light and fluffy texture.

One reader, Bradford Wilbur says:

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This black forest trifle recipe is a game-changer! The combination of rich chocolate cake, cherry pie filling, and creamy pudding is simply divine. It's easy to make and always impresses my guests. The flavors blend perfectly, and the presentation is stunning. It's a definite crowd-pleaser!

Bradford Wilbur

Techniques Required for Making Black Forest Trifle

How to bake the chocolate cake: Follow the package directions to bake the chocolate cake and allow it to cool completely before cutting it into 1-inch cubes.

How to prepare the pudding: Prepare the chocolate pudding as directed on the packaging.

How to assemble the trifle: Layer half of the cake in the bottom of a trifle bowl, drizzle with kirsch if desired, then top with half of the pudding, half of the cherries, and half of the whipped topping. Repeat the layers, ending with whipped topping.

How to refrigerate the trifle: Refrigerate the assembled trifle for 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.

How to garnish the trifle: Garnish the trifle with sprinkles or shaved chocolate before serving, if desired.

How To Make Black Forest Trifle

Rich chocolate and slightly sour cherries make this black forest trifle dish a heavenly experience. Create this at home with only 5 ingredients.

Preparation: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cool Time: 4 hours
Total: 5 hours 10 minutes



  • 9×13 chocolate cake,baked according to package or recipe directions
  • 30oz.cherry pie filling
  • 4oz.kirsch,or cherry brandy or ameretto
  • 2boxeschocolate pudding,prepared according to directions
  • 16oz.whipped topping,defrosted


  1. Bake chocolate cake according to package directions. Cool completely. Cut cake into 1-inch cubes.

  2. Prepare pudding as directed.

  3. Place ½ of the cake in the bottom of a trifle bowl. Drizzle with kirsch if using.

  4. Top with half of the pudding, half of the cherries and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers ending with whipped topping.

  5. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sprinkles or shaved chocolate if desired.


  • Calories: 27963.58kcal
  • Fat: 1144.36g
  • Saturated Fat: 417.66g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 455.58g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 205.46g
  • Carbohydrates: 4017.72g
  • Fiber: 122.33g
  • Sugar: 33.91g
  • Protein: 396.58g
  • Cholesterol: 4326.53mg
  • Sodium: 23363.61mg
  • Calcium: 4510.11mg
  • Potassium: 10711.00mg
  • Iron: 121.27mg
  • Vitamin A: 78.15µg
  • Vitamin C: 17.37mg

Key Technique for Achieving Perfect Layers in Your Trifle

When preparing your black forest trifle, it's important to allow each layer to settle before adding the next. This not only helps to keep the layers distinct, but also allows the flavors to meld together. For the best results, take your time and don't rush the layering process. Additionally, using a clear trifle bowl will showcase the beautiful layers of your dessert, making it as visually appealing as it is delicious.

Time-Saving Tips for Making a Trifle

Prep ahead: Prepare the chocolate cake and pudding a day in advance to save time on the day of assembly.

Use store-bought: Consider using store-bought chocolate cake and pudding mix to cut down on preparation time.

Organize ingredients: Gather all the ingredients and tools needed before starting to streamline the cooking process.

Delegate tasks: Enlist the help of family or friends to assist with assembling the trifle, making the process quicker and more enjoyable.

Multi-task: While the cake is baking, prepare the pudding to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Substitute Ingredients For Black Forest Trifle Recipe

  • chocolate cake - Substitute with chocolate brownie: Brownies can provide a similar rich and dense texture to the trifle, and their chocolate flavor will complement the other ingredients well.

  • cherry pie filling - Substitute with raspberry pie filling: The tartness of raspberries can provide a nice contrast to the sweetness of the other ingredients, similar to the effect of cherries.

  • kirsch - Substitute with cherry juice: Cherry juice can provide a similar fruity flavor and moisture to the trifle without the alcohol content of kirsch.

  • chocolate pudding - Substitute with vanilla pudding with cocoa powder: Vanilla pudding with added cocoa powder can mimic the chocolate flavor while providing a different twist to the trifle.

  • whipped topping - Substitute with vanilla custard: Vanilla custard can provide a creamy and rich element to the trifle, similar to whipped topping, while adding a different flavor profile.

Best Presentation Ideas for a Stunning Trifle

  1. Elevate the trifle with a modern twist: Present the trifle in individual glass jars or stemless wine glasses for a sophisticated touch. Layer the components meticulously to showcase the beautiful colors and textures.

  2. Garnish with edible flowers and gold leaf: Add a touch of elegance by delicately placing edible flowers such as pansies or violets on top of the trifle. A subtle addition of edible gold leaf can also elevate the visual appeal, creating a luxurious presentation.

  3. Incorporate chocolate shards for texture: Create thin, delicate chocolate shards to adorn the top of the trifle. These shards will not only add a delightful crunch but also bring a visually stunning element to the dish.

  4. Utilize a cherry reduction drizzle: Elevate the trifle by drizzling a rich, glossy cherry reduction over the top just before serving. This will add a burst of flavor and a professional touch to the presentation.

  5. Present with precision: Pay attention to the placement of each component in the trifle. Ensure that the layers are impeccably arranged, and the whipped topping is skillfully piped to create a visually appealing pattern on top.

Essential Tools for Making a Perfect Trifle

  • Oven: An essential appliance for baking and roasting dishes.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining ingredients and mixing batters or dough.
  • Trifle bowl: A specialized bowl for serving and displaying trifles, layered desserts, or salads.
  • Whisk: Used for blending, whipping, and beating ingredients together.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Essential for accurately measuring ingredients for recipes.
  • Spatula: Used for spreading, smoothing, and lifting ingredients.
  • Knife: Essential for cutting and slicing ingredients.
  • Cutting board: Provides a stable surface for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Trifle server: A specialized utensil for serving and portioning trifle layers neatly.
  • Electric mixer: Used for mixing, whipping, and beating ingredients to achieve smooth and creamy textures.

How To Store and Freeze Leftover Trifle

  • To store the black forest trifle, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. The longer it sits, the more the flavors will meld together, making it even more delicious.

  • If you want to freeze the trifle, it's best to assemble it in a freezer-safe container. Cover the top with a layer of plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the whipped topping to prevent freezer burn. Then, cover the container with a lid or another layer of plastic wrap.

  • Freeze the trifle for up to 2 months. When you're ready to serve, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This will help maintain the texture of the cake and prevent the whipped topping from becoming grainy.

  • If you have leftovers after serving, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Keep in mind that the texture of the cake may become slightly soggy over time, but the overall flavor will still be delicious.

  • For best results, avoid freezing the trifle with any garnishes, such as chocolate shavings or sprinkles. Add these decorations just before serving for a fresh and attractive presentation.

How To Reheat Trifle Leftovers

  • Reheat individual portions of the black forest trifle in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until the chocolate pudding and cake layers are slightly warm. This method works best for smaller servings and helps maintain the layered structure of the trifle.

  • For larger portions, place the desired amount of trifle in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Heat in a preheated oven at 325°F (165°C) for 10-15 minutes, or until the pudding and cake layers are warm throughout. This method ensures even heating and prevents the whipped topping from melting too quickly.

  • If you prefer a cold trifle with a warm chocolate cake layer, remove the cake cubes from the trifle and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Heat the cake cubes in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, or until warm. Reassemble the trifle by layering the warm cake cubes with the cold pudding, cherry pie filling, and whipped topping.

  • For a quicker reheating method, scoop the desired amount of trifle into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 20-30 seconds, or until the pudding and cake layers are slightly warm. Stir gently to distribute the heat evenly throughout the layers.

  • If you have a large amount of leftover trifle, consider transferring it to a slow cooker set on low heat for 30-45 minutes, or until the pudding and cake layers are warm. Stir gently every 10-15 minutes to ensure even heating and to prevent the whipped topping from melting completely.

Random Fact about Black Forest Trifle

Black Forest Trifle is a modern twist on the traditional Black Forest cake, originating from the Black Forest region in Germany. The dessert typically features layers of chocolate cake, cherries, and whipped cream, and is often enhanced with a splash of kirsch, a cherry-flavored liqueur. This trifle recipe offers a convenient way to enjoy the flavors of the classic cake in a visually appealing layered dessert. The Black Forest Trifle is a delightful combination of rich chocolate, tart cherries, and creamy whipped topping, making it a crowd-pleasing treat for any occasion.

Is Making a Trifle Economical for Home Cooking?

The cost-effectiveness of this black forest trifle recipe largely depends on the availability and cost of ingredients. The use of basic pantry staples like cake mix, cherry pie filling, and pudding mix makes it relatively affordable. However, the inclusion of kirsch may increase the overall cost. Considering the yield and the satisfaction it brings, this dessert scores a solid 8. With an estimated cost of $15-$20, this indulgent treat offers a delightful balance of flavors and textures, making it a worthwhile addition to any household's dessert repertoire.

Is Black Forest Trifle Healthy or Unhealthy?

The black forest trifle recipe, while indulgent and delicious, is not particularly healthy. Here's why:

  • The main components - chocolate cake, cherry pie filling, chocolate pudding, and whipped topping - are all high in sugar and calories, with little nutritional value.
  • The recipe lacks fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or lean proteins, which are essential for a balanced diet.
  • The use of kirsch, a cherry brandy, adds extra alcohol and sugar content to the dessert.

However, there are ways to make this trifle healthier without compromising on taste:

  • Replace the chocolate cake with a whole wheat or almond flour-based cake to increase fiber and protein content.
  • Use fresh or frozen cherries instead of cherry pie filling to reduce added sugars and preservatives. You can create a homemade compote by simmering the cherries with a little water, lemon juice, and a touch of honey or maple syrup.
  • Swap the instant chocolate pudding for a homemade version using avocado, cocoa powder, and a natural sweetener like dates or stevia. This will provide healthy fats and reduce processed ingredients.
  • Opt for a lighter whipped topping by using whipped coconut cream or making your own with heavy cream and a small amount of sugar.
  • Incorporate layers of fresh fruits like strawberries or raspberries to add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the dessert.
  • Reduce the portion size and serve the trifle in smaller individual cups to encourage mindful eating and portion control.

Editor's Opinion on This Decadent Dessert

This Black Forest trifle recipe is a delightful twist on the classic cake. The combination of rich chocolate cake, luscious cherry filling, and creamy pudding creates a symphony of flavors and textures. The addition of kirsch adds a subtle boozy note, elevating the dessert to a sophisticated level. The layers of cake, cherries, pudding, and whipped topping create a visually stunning presentation in a trifle bowl. This dessert is perfect for entertaining, as it can be made ahead of time and chilled until ready to serve. It's a decadent treat that is sure to impress your guests.

Enhance Your Black Forest Trifle Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy garlic mashed potatoes with a hint of parmesan cheese
Grilled Vegetables: Colorful and flavorful grilled vegetable skewers with a balsamic glaze
Fruit Salad: A refreshing and vibrant fruit salad with a honey lime dressing

Delightful Alternatives to the Classic Black Forest Trifle

Savory Stuffed Bell Peppers: Combine ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and spices, then stuff into bell peppers and bake until tender.
Mango Coconut Popsicles: Blend mango, coconut milk, and a touch of honey, then pour into popsicle molds and freeze for a refreshing treat.
Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Risotto: Sauté chicken and mushrooms, then stir in arborio rice and slowly add broth until creamy and tender.

Appetizers and Main Dishes to Complement Your Black Forest Trifle

Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms filled with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Caprese Skewers: Elevate your appetizer game with these colorful and refreshing caprese skewers. Fresh mozzarella, juicy cherry tomatoes, and fragrant basil drizzled with balsamic glaze make for a delightful start to any gathering.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish that combines tender chicken with a rich and flavorful Alfredo sauce. Serve it over fettuccine for a classic and satisfying meal.
Beef Stroganoff: Craft a comforting and hearty dish featuring tender strips of beef in a creamy mushroom sauce. Serve it over egg noodles for a delicious and filling dinner option.

Why trust this Black Forest Trifle Recipe:

This recipe is a trusted classic, using chocolate cake and cherry pie filling to create a decadent dessert. The addition of kirsch adds an authentic touch, infusing the trifle with rich flavors. The layers of chocolate pudding and whipped topping provide a luscious texture, ensuring a delightful experience with every spoonful. With its simple yet indulgent ingredients, this black forest trifle promises to be a crowd-pleaser, perfect for any occasion.

Want to share your experience with this Black Forest Trifle Recipe or discuss trifle-making tips and tricks with fellow dessert enthusiasts? Join the conversation in the Baking and Desserts forum section!
Can I use a different type of cake for this trifle recipe?
Yes, you can use a different type of cake if you prefer. A chocolate cake is traditionally used for Black Forest trifle, but you can experiment with other flavors like vanilla or red velvet.
Can I make this trifle recipe without alcohol?
Absolutely! If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can omit the kirsch or substitute it with cherry juice for a non-alcoholic version of the trifle.
How far in advance can I make this trifle recipe?
You can make this trifle recipe a day in advance. In fact, it's even better if you make it the day before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
Can I use fresh cherries instead of cherry pie filling?
Yes, you can use fresh cherries instead of cherry pie filling. Simply pit and chop the fresh cherries and use them in place of the pie filling for a more natural and less sweet option.
Can I freeze the trifle for later?
It's not recommended to freeze the trifle as the texture of the cake and the whipped topping may be affected. It's best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for a day before serving.

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