Preparation time: 30 minutes baking cake, 15 minutes creating the components for the trifle, 10 minutes assembly
Serves: 8-10 people
What kind of dessert combines the flavors of chocolate fudge, sweetened cream, and chocolate cake topped with strawberries? Why, our recipe for Show Stopping Chocolate and Strawberry Fudge Trifle! This recipe is completely and totally fabulous, it is super simple to make, and the presentation is amazing.
This is one of those recipes that looks as good as it tastes. Layers of whipped cream, fudgy pudding, chocolate cake, and sweet strawberries all come together to make a divinely delicious dessert.
Those who are uninformed may not know what in the world a trifle is. Trifles originated in England, and the original dessert called a trifle consisted of a sponge cake, topped with an egg custard. Before the custard was added to the cake, it was topped with fruit and soaked in sherry.
A dollop of whipped cream embellished the whole thing, and it was sometimes called a “Tipsy Cake” or a “Tipsy Hedgehog” as a nod to the alcohol in the dessert. In past eras, thrifty chefs made trifles to use up cakes that might be getting a little stale.
In the 1700s, even American cooks had gotten into the creation of trifles, and they were extremely popular in the southern United States with those who lived on the vast plantations there. Some of them called their creations the “Tipsy Parson” presumably because the decadence of the dessert would entice even a visiting pastor to imbibe. It was at this time that the trifle dish was invented.
Trifle dishes are tall, straight-sided glass dishes that allow for the impressive presentation of a trifle. The diners can see all of the fancy layers of the dessert for themselves before being served their sweet treat. In Antebellum America, trifle dishes were made of fancy cut glass.
Nowadays you can find them at any department store, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a fancy one. For this recipe, the dessert itself is the focus of attention, so as long as the food looks great, nobody is going to pay any attention to the vessel in which it is made.
We’re sure that you can still find the old fashioned version of a trifle that features alcohol as a prime ingredient, but modern trifles don’t necessarily include liquor. Often, trifles take other more familiar desserts and dress them up in the fancy dish.
For this recipe, you will use sweetened whipped cream that has been stabilized. Many people may not be familiar with stabilized whipped cream, but that’s okay because we’ll walk you through the whole process.
Basically stabilized whipped cream uses a gelatin mixture to keep the cream from deflating. If you just make whipped cream, over time, the air leaks out of the cream and you’re left with a runny mess. Stabilizing the cream with gelatin will help the cream hold its shape and keep your dessert looking fabulous.
Also, this recipe uses a boxed cake mix for simplicity. However, if you have a tried and true family favorite chocolate cake recipe, feel free to substitute that in place of the boxed mix cake.
Show-Stopping Chocolate and Strawberry Fudge Trifle Instructions
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 quart (4 cups) milk
- 1 boxed cake mix, baked according to package instructions and cooled (bake it in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan)
- 1-quart strawberries
- 2 boxes Jello fudge pudding mix (if you can’t find fudge flavor, use chocolate, but it won’t be quite as rich)
- 8 teaspoons water
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
Step 1: Cut the baked cake into cubes about 1 ½ to 2 inches in size. Set this aside.
Step 2: To create the stabilized whipped cream, first place your mixer beaters and your mixing bowl in the refrigerator.
The colder the cream is, the easier it is to whip.
Add the water to a small, microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle the gelatin powder on top of the water, stir, and microwave it for about 5 to 10 seconds. You’re not wanting to make the water terribly hot, but rather you just want to dissolve the gelatin. Set this mixture aside.
Step 3: Remove your mixing bowl and beaters from the fridge and add the cream and powdered sugar.
Whip the cream with an electric mixer for about 3-5 minutes, or until it is beginning to hold its shape. With the mixer running, slowly dribble in the gelatin. Don’t just dump this mixture into the cream, slowly add it while whipping the cream. When the cream begins to firm up, creating stiff peaks, turn off the mixer.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix the pudding mix into the milk using a wire whisk. Whisk the mixture until no lumps remain.
Step 5: Cap the strawberries and slice them into halves for average-sized berries or fourths if they are very large.
Step 6: Now it’s time to assemble the trifle. In your trifle dish, place a layer of the cake cubes.
Just cover the bottom. Next spoon about half of the pudding mixture over top of the cake. Gently spread it around, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Step 7: Next add about half of the whipped cream, gently spreading it around.
Add half of the berries, standing them up around the edge of the dish and then filling in the center of the trifle.
Step 8: Next comes another layer of cake cubes, the remaining pudding, and finally the rest of the whipped cream. Top with the rest of the berries.
Cover the trifle with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.