This brownie trifle is one tasty, showstopper of a dessert. It’s made from layers of rich chocolate brownies, blended chocolate chia mousse, and homemade whipped cream. It’s most definitely a crowd pleaser and perfect for any party, holiday or gathering.
I love trifle recipes as they’re easy, can be made ahead and are highly adaptable. Make sure to read some of my variation ideas below!
What Is A Trifle?
So, what exactly is a trifle and where does it come from? The term trifle has been mentioned in a few different “sweet” recipes in the late 1500’s. But since then, it has evolved into a traditional English dessert made from layers of fresh fruit, sherry-soaked sponge cake, and egg custard.
I guess you can say a trifle is similar to a parfait. A beautifully layered dessert that’s perfect for feeding a big crowd, especially during the holidays!
What Are The Layers In This Trifle?
Nowadays, there are so many new variations when it comes to trifle layers. Instead of using sponge cake or fresh fruit, there’s layers of cheesecake, chocolate cake, brownies, carrot cake, crushed cookies, caramel sauce, or cream cheese. The possibilities are endless!
But today, I’m creating a brownie trifle that’s not only rich and decadent, but also gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and paleo friendly. Here’s what’s in it:
- Chocolate Brownies – I cut up 1-inch brownie cubes made from a Simple Mills brownie mix. Using a boxed mix is a quick and easy way to bake this brownie layer, since there’s no need to gather separate ingredients. And Simple Mills uses the exact same ingredients I use in my baking!
- Chocolate Chia Pudding Mousse – This layer is my original chocolate chia pudding recipe blended into a smooth and dreamy chocolate chia mousse! This creamy, velvety texture is perfect for a trifle layer.
- Coconut Whipped Cream – Ah, my famous homemade coconut whipped cream that I’ve used in countless recipes. And here it is again to create a middle layer in the trifle, as well as a heavy garnishing on top. Make sure to read that recipe post for tips and tricks to create the best coconut whipped cream.
How To Make This Brownie Trifle
Now for those who have never made a brownie trifle, it may seem intimidating to make. But it’s a lot easier than you think. Just prep the layers ahead of time and assemble in 10 minutes the day of your event or party.
First, create the layers a day before. This includes the chocolate chia mousse, coconut whipped cream and two brownie pans. Place these 3 ingredients in the fridge to chill overnight. It’s better to work with chilled ingredients for layering, otherwise the layers will mush together.
With all your ingredients pre-made, here’s how to layer it the next day:
- Layer the brownie squares at the bottom of the serving bowl. Squish them in tightly, making sure it’s a dense enough layer to hold up the wet ingredients.
- Add a layer of chocolate chia pudding mousse.
- Add a layer of coconut whipped cream.
- Repeat the brownie and chocolate chia mousse layers.
- Dollop the rest of the coconut whipped cream on top.
- Garnish with fresh dark chocolate shavings and you’re done!
While you can prep your layers ahead of time, you can also create the entire trifle a day before the big day. Just cover the bowl before dolloping the second half of the coconut whipped cream, then refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, add the top dollop of cream, sprinkle the chocolate shavings and you’re good to do!
Brownie Trifle Recipe Video
While this trifle recipe is easy to make, it always helps to watch a step-by-step video. In the video below, I’ll walk you through each individual step and how to properly layer it. Give it a watch!
Holiday Trifle Variations
While a brownie trifle looks beautiful served in a large glass trifle bowl, small mini trifles bowls are sometimes simpler and easier for serving to your guests. Plus, they look great sitting next to each other on your holiday dessert table.
For these small trifles, I’ve switched out the chocolate chia mousse for pumpkin pie chia pudding mousse. This gives it a warm pumpkin spice flavor with every chocolatey bite. And of course I had to add Simple Mills cinnamon cookie crumbles on top for that added crunch.
If you’re not dairy-free, you could of course substitute the coconut whipped cream for dairy whipped cream. And if you’re vegan, you can use an egg replacer in the brownies. Super easy!
More Holiday Dessert Recipes
If you’re in charge of desserts for any of your holiday gatherings, whip up any of these recipes for a wow-worthy dessert.
- Paleo Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Caramel Cheesecake
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Coconut Amaretto Crepe Cake
- 2 simple mills brownie mix
- 1 cup coconut oil, butter or ghee, melted
- 6 tablespoons water
- 4 eggs
Chocolate Chia Pudding Mousse
- 3 cup milk, any milk, including dairy-milk, cashew milk, almond milk or coconut milk will work
- 3/4 cup chia seeds
- 6 tablespoons cacao powder
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 4 13.5 ounce cans full-fat coconut milk , chilled 24-48 hours
- 4 tablespoon maple syrup, honey or other sweetener
- 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- chocolate shavings
Chocolate Chia Pudding Mousse
- Add all of the ingredients to a high-powered blender.
- Blend on high for a minute, or until the pudding is creamy.
- Transfer the pudding to a bowl, cover and chill at least 4 hours.
Coconut Whipped Cream
- Place your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before making this whipped cream.
- Chill your mixing bowl for 30 minutes, then open your can of coconut milk and scoop out the hardened coconut cream. Pour the coconut water into a separate storage container and use that in a future smoothie recipe.
- Using a hand mixer, fluff up the coconut cream for one minute. Then add any sweetener and vanilla extract and mix for an additional minute.
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch square baking pans.
- Mix the coconut oil or butter and water together in a large bowl.
- Whisk in the eggs and then add the baking mix. Stir until it's combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly into the greased pans and smooth it out on top.
- Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes and let them cool completely.
Layering The Trifle
- Cut the brownies into 1" squares and create a double layer at the bottom of the container. Make sure to create a dense layer, with each cube sitting tightly next to each other.
- Add 1/2 of the chocolate chia pudding and spread evenly into one layer.
- Add 1/2 of the coconut whipped cream and spread evenly into the middle layer. If you're just doing a big dollop of cream on top, you can add more coconut cream to the middle layer.
- Repeat the brownie and chocolate chia pudding layers.
- Add the remaining coconut whipped cream into a large dollop on top of the chocolate chia pudding.
- Garnish with chocolate shavings and serve!
This post was created in partnership with Simple Mills. A brand I’ve loved and used for years.