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Brownie Trifle

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!

A layered brownie trifle in a trifle bowl.

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.

Assembling the layers of the brownie trifle.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Add a layer of chocolate chia pudding mousse.
  3. Add a layer of coconut whipped cream.
  4. Repeat the brownie and chocolate chia mousse layers.
  5. Dollop the rest of the coconut whipped cream on top.
  6. 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!

Close up photo of the top of the brownie trifle with cream and chocolate shavings.

Taking a scoop out of the brownie trifle.

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!

Mini individual brownie trifles.

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.

 

Brownie trifle in a large trifle bowl.
5 from 2 votes

Brownie Trifle

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Rest Time: 4 hrs
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
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This brownie trifle is a simple yet decadent dessert that is perfect for the holidays. Wow the crowd with its layers of rich chocolate brownies, blended chia mousse, and homemade whipped cream. Watch how I make it on the video above!

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 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

Garnish

  • chocolate shavings

Instructions

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.

Brownie

  • 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!

Nutrition

Calories: 480kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 31g, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 479mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 381IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 179mg, Iron: 6mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Brownie Trifle, Brownie Trifle Rcipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

This post was created in partnership with Simple Mills. A brand I’ve loved and used for years.

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16 comments on “Brownie Trifle”

  1. Yummm! I made mini versions and it was super simple! 

    • Hi Nicole – I love that you made mini versions :) I’m glad you found this simple to make as it is the perfect dessert for holiday parties!

  2. Hi, can you tell me how well this recipe keeps? We are going to have a major snowstorm and want to make it ahead a day.

  3. Hi! I am from Kenya and we are having a cookery competition, whereby our dish should be a sweet gluten free and a healthy one. Have opted to do the above trifle, looks too good. Will be using cassava flour to make the brownie recipe as also shared by you where you have used tapioca flour, hope that is ok. Am to take it on Sunday morning at 10.00. 
    Would it be ok if I plate it the day before or should I do it in the morning?
    Is it fine to have it kept out of the refrigerator for 2 hrs as temperatures here are 28-32 degrees. And it’s humid.

    • Hi Sukayna – you can certainly make the trifle the day before. Just keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to take it. And at 32 degrees (I’m assuming you mean celsius) the coconut whipped cream would definitely melt, so just be aware of that. Also, cassava flour and tapioca flour are two different flours (even though they’re both from cassava root). They do operate differently in baked recipes and they’re not a 1:1 substitution. You may have to alter some of the other ratios in the brownie recipe to get them to turn out. Just wanted to give you a heads up. :)

  4. Hi Lisa, this looks/sounds awesome! We’re hosting Christmas this year and we are all chocolate lovers but my little boy is allergic to eggs, so we’ll need to try an egg replacer…have you tried this with any egg replacement? What would you recommend as the best one to get the right outcome? I’m completely new to egg replacers but am guessing the eggs are mainly for binding and moisture in this recipe…so would I be ok using applesauce? Or would something like ground flax seed, gelatin eggs or aquafaba be better?

    Many thanks from Kate in the UK

    • Hi Kate – As an egg replacer, you can use mashed bananas in this recipe! Also, I will be working on an egg replacer video sometime next year so stay tuned!

  5. Hi Lisa, we will have guests on Boxing Day (26th Dec) and I’d love to try this desert on my daughter and family! They need dairy free but love chocolate so it fits perfectly.
    Watching you pack in the little squares of brownies make me think that if you turned the serving bowl upside down on the square baked brownies and pushed down it would have cut the perfect size to fit the bowl – no drips or leaks once the liquid layers go on!
    Thanks for another lovely recipe!
    Carol in the UK

    • Hi Carol – This trifle will be perfect for boxing day! You and your family will love this recipe, especially if they need dairy free. As for cutting the brownie using the trifle, you can definitely do that, almost making it like a layered cake! The only thing is that you will have a large chunk of brownie in each serving versus little brownie chunks :) If you don’t mind that then you’re good to go!

  6. Would love to know if you can swap out all or some of the oil in the brownies with applesauce or something else? Looks very rich!

  7. I cannot wait to make this!!!

    • Hi Kaitlyn – You are going to love this recipe, especially if you’re a chocolate lover! Do let me know how you end up liking this 😊

  8. OH EM GEE!!! This looks amazing! I seriously wish I could just climb into my computer screen and face dive into that trifle bowl.