Black Forest Cake Trifle

5 from 3 votes
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Decadent black forest cake pieces, a homemade chocolate mousse, cherries and whipped cream all layered into a beautiful glass trifle dish ,perfect for a large dinner! Easy to prepare each ingredient and layer them in a trifle dish, its so simple even the kids can help!

close up of Black Forest Cake Trifle with whipped cream on top and sprinkled with chocolate shreds

Black Forest Cake Trifle

If you read this website you know that I LOVE a good trifle for dessert. I suspect it has to do with the fact that you can pre-make them – actually you are supposed to make them the day before- leaving you with the actual day of any dinner party or event free to deal with dinner itself.

Karlynn’s Tips

The most important thing to remember with this recipe is that trifle dishes are all so varied in sizes, so while the trifle may fit into MY trifle bowl, it may not fit into yours. I have a large 9 inch wide and very tall trifle bowl and I *just* fit the ingredients in. I would start with a small, thin layer of cake and push it down into the bottom to compress it a bit. Don’t worry, it will still be airy, this is why we use cake mix. Then compress each cake layer before you add it!

Can I Use a Cake Mix

Yes, I am most certainly for using a boxed cake mix, especially when you are making your own chocolate mousse and real whipped cream. It’s ok to cheat. In fact, to be very honest, I love cake mixes in trifles. The airy nature of the finished product when you use a cake mix simply cannot be rivaled by a home-made cake and when you are using very dense ingredients like canned cherries and a thick chocolate mousse, you need airy!

Happy baking everyone!



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Black Forest Cake Trifle

A decadent black forest cake trifle with a homemade chocolate mousse layer, cherries and whipped cream.Perfect for a large dinner!
5 from 3 votes
close up of Black Forest Cake Trifle with whipped cream on top and sprinkled with chocolate shreds
Prep Time
1 hour
Cook Time
25 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • one chocolate cake mix ith ingredients needed and baked according to package instructions
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling
  • extra semi-sweet chocolate to shred on top

Chocolate Mousse Layer

  • 1/3  cup whipping cream
  • 8 ounces chocolate of choice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream to fold in later

Whipped Cream Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar


  • Bake the cake mix, if possible, in three 8 inch cake pans. If not, bake in two and then chop into small squares.
  • For The Chocolate Mousse Layer:
  • Melt your chocolate and whipping cream together in a thick pot on the stove over medium-low heat.
  • Beat the egg yolks until creamy yellow.
  • Add some of the warm chocolate mixture to the egg yolks to temper them, mixing quickly and thoroughly.
  • Add the tempered egg yolks into the chocolate mixture and whisk the ingredients together.
  • Cook over medium-low heat for another 4-5 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
  • Set aside and cool.
  • Once cooled, pour the whipping cream into a bowl and beat with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form
  • Fold the whipped cream into the cooked chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  • For The Whipped Cream Layer:
  • Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat the whipped cream with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
  • To assemble the trifle, start with a layer of chocolate cake,filling the bottom of the trifle bowl.
  • Place one third of the can of cherries on top.
  • Add a layer of chocolate mousse, then whipped cream. Repeat, ending with whipped cream on top.
  • Sprinkle with chocolate shreds if wanted. Refrigerate overnight and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 254kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 88mg, Sodium: 18mg, Potassium: 96mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 630IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 0.6mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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A decadent black forest cake trifle with a homemade chocolate mousse layer, cherries and whipped cream.Perfect for a large dinner! #blackforest #cherry #chocolate #trifle

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Healey Marian says

    Hi Karlynn,
    Could I add rum to this recipe?

  2. Amber Dawn says

    This is perfect timing! I need a trifle for next week. Any chance you have a classic recipe?

  3. Mark Wicklund says

    Set me on an ant hill and smear my ears with jelly

  4. Mary Ann Hyndman Smith says

    Yes, I make one most Xmas’ or my Fabulous Gingerbread Cake Trifle! Either one, my family loves!!

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