Easy Christmas Trifle Recipe- Layers of tasty brownie, chocolate pudding, and homemade whipped cream! All topped with holiday sprinkles and decorated REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups!
This post has been sponsored by HERSHEY’S. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Every holiday season, I love heading to Sam’s Club to see all the new decorations and to pick up some much-needed holiday candy! For this recipe, I am using candy from HERSHEY’S Holiday Assortment (240 Pieces), HERSHEY’S Stocking Stuffer Shapes (105 pieces), REESE’S Peanut Butter Trees (60 pieces), and HERSHEY’S Holiday KISSES (240 ct)- which can all be picked up from your local Sam’s Club.
You can see more HERSHEY’S Holiday goodies here and shop now at Sam’s Club!
I love the holiday season and especially all the tasty treats I get to make! This year, I wanted to share something new and a little over the top - this Christmas Trifle.
It’s a brownie trifle with decorated Christmas candy on top. It’s easy to make, delicious, and a show stopper!
With the Holiday season here, it’s time to plan out all the tasty food to eat. With this easy trifle recipe, you can cross dessert off your list!
Oh, and speaking of Sam’s Club- and I know I’ve mentioned it before- but I love using the Sam’s Club app. I’ve been using this for over a year every time I shop at Sam’s Club.
I scan everything I use as I put it in my cart and then simply swipe to pay.
There is no waiting in line at the register. I just show the door attendant the code the app gives me after paying as I leave. It’s that easy.
Alright, so let’s talk about this easy Holiday Trifle!
What is a Trifle?
A Trifle is a layered dessert that originally consisted of alcohol-soaked sponge cake with layers of custard, fruit, and whipped cream.
However, nowadays, it’s typically a layered dessert consisting of any type of cake, any flavor of pudding, and whipped cream. Some people add fruit while others add candy.
This Christmas trifle recipe uses brownies instead of cake, chocolate pudding, and fresh whipped cream!
What candy do I use for this Christmas trifle?
I used the HERSHEY’S Holiday Assortment candy and HERSHEY’S Holiday KISSES - chopped up and added to the tops of the brownies.
Then I used a bag of REESE’S Peanut Butter Trees and a few of the York Peppermint Pattie Snowflakes (from the HERSHEY’S Stocking Stuffer Shapes), to decorate the top of the trifle.
I love all of these different candies so much. HERSHEY’S Holiday Assortment candy is a delicious bag of all of HERSHEY’S favorites, and the REESE’S Peanut Butter Trees and HERSHEY’S KISSES are both excellent for crafting and baking!
How to decorate the REESE’S Peanut Butter Trees?
- Melt your green candy melts with a little shortening or coconut oil. Place your REESE’S Peanut Butter Trees on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then pipe the candy melt onto the trees using a small writing tip.
- Add sprinkles. Then let the candy melts set up completely!
How to decorate the York Peppermint Pattie Snowflakes?
- Melt your bright white candy melts with a little shortening or coconut oil. Place your York Peppermint Patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then pipe the candy melt on using a small writing tip.
- Add sprinkles. Then let the candy melts set up completely!
How to make Trifle?
- Decorate your REESE’S Peanut Butter Trees and York Peppermint Pattie Snowflakes
- Layers of the trifle should be brownies on the bottom, then pudding, then whipped cream. Repeat ending with whipped cream on top.
- Add sprinkles and decorated candy then enjoy!
Can I make individual trifles?
Absolutely! I layered these glasses similar to the large trifle, however, I couldn’t fit the second layer of pudding in.
I did notice that I used more pudding and whipped cream overall and less brownies when making the glasses just because of the size of my cups.
So, depending on the size of your cups you might need to make more whipped cream or pudding.
This recipe will make around 10 large individual trifles.
Homemade brownies or store bought?
You can do either. However, store-bought brownies tend to be thinner, so you might not get as thick of layers. Just keep that in mind.
Also, my homemade brownies are amazing and really easy to make, so you should definitely give them a try. This is the same recipe I use for my S’mores Brownies (minus the S’mores additions and I use regular HERSHEY’S Cocoa Powder instead of HERSHEY’S Super Dark Cocoa Powder) and it’s amazing!
Don’t forget for this trifle recipe you need two batches of brownies.
How to make homemade brownies?
For these brownies, I chopped up some of the extra REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups and HERSHEY’S KISSES and added them on top. It adds extra chocolate and peanut butter flavor that is delicious!
I also always use HERSHEY’S Cocoa Powder. I like to buy the 23 OZ container from Sam’s Club because I do a lot of baking and it’s consistent quality cocoa powder every time.
- Melt butter then stir in the HERSHEY’S Cocoa Powder
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt
- Mix together the butter/cocoa mixture, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla
- Add in the eggs one at a time
- Fold in the flour mixture
- Pour into prepared baking dish, then sprinkle chopped candy over the top.
- Bake, then repeat to make a batch of brownies
How to make chocolate pudding?
For this recipe I used instant pudding. All you do is combine the instant pudding and milk, then refrigerate until set.
How to make homemade whipped cream?
Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until soft peaks form.
This recipe calls for a large amount of whipped cream so I definitely recommend using a stand mixer if you have one- even over a hand mixer- it will save you a lot of time and effort.
How to get the decorated candy to stand up?
Using a short skewer or a cake pop stick, cut to size, insert into the bottom of the candy. Then place into trifle.
Can I make trifle ahead of time?
Yep! I actually like to make the double batch of brownies a day early, then assemble everything the morning of when I want to serve it.
That being said you can also make everything the day before- including assembling it- and it will be fine!
I do recommend not adding any sprinkles until you are ready to serve because a lot of the colors will start to bleed if they sit in the whipped cream for any length of time.
How to store trifle?
Store the trifle in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Other easy trifle recipe additions?
- Use crushed peppermint bark or candy canes in between the layers for extra holiday flavor!
- Top with sugared cranberries for a fancy look.
- Add a layer of homemade caramel for an extra treat!
For more holiday recipes check out:
Watch how to make this recipe!
Easy Christmas Trifle Recipe
- REESE'S Peanut Butter Trees for just trees
- HERSHEY’S Stocking Stuffer Shapes if using trees and snowflakes
- Green Candy Melts*
- Bright White Candy Melts
- Refined Coconut Oil or Shortening*
- Holiday Sprinkles
- Skewers or Cake Pop Sticks
Brownies- you will need to make two batches of these
- ¾ cup + 3 tbs unsalted butter
- ¾ cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa Powder*
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp espresso powder optional
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups and HERSHEY'S Chocolate KISSES I used candy from the HERSHEY'S Holiday Assortment candy
- 4 cups milk cold
- 2 3.9 ounce packages instant chocolate pudding
- 4 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
Brownies- you will need to make two batches of these
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
- In a microwave safe dish melt the butter. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until the butter is completely melted.
- Stir cocoa powder into melted butter making sure there are no clumps. Set aside.
- While butter mixture is cooling, in a separate small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, mix together the butter mixture (it’s okay if it’s still warm), sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla. Then add the eggs one at a time, letting each egg become fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next.
- By hand, with a large rubber spatula or mixing spoon, fold in the flour mixture. Folding in the flour will help the brownie batter keep the air in it.
- Pour into the prepared baking dish then pour chopped candy over the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Repeat steps 1-8 for the second batch of brownies.
- Combine cold milk and both packages of instant chocolate pudding mix. Whisk for two minutes then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on medium high until soft peaks form.
Decorating the Trees and Snowflakes
- Melt 1 cup of green candy melts and 1 cup white candy melts (in separate bowls), each with 1 tbs coconut oil or shortening at a time. Heat for 30 seconds at 50% power, stir, repeat until melted. If the candy melts are still too thick stir in more coconut oil 1 tsp at a time until you get your desired consistency. *
- Place candy melts in a piping bag with a small writing tip* (Wilton #3).
- Place your REESE’S Peanut Butter Trees on a parchment lined baking sheet and pipe on a green tree on each one. Then add sprinkles to it*. I used a star sprinkle for the top of each tree then sprinkled on small round sprinkles to the rest the tree. Set aside to allow to harden.
- Place your York Peppermint Pattie Snowflakes on a parchment lined baking sheet and pipe on a white snowflake on each one. Then add sprinkles to it. Set aside to allow to harden.
- Once the candy melts have fully set up gently stick a skewer/cake pop stick into the bottom of each decorated candy*.
Assembling the Trifle
- Break up your brownies into small pieces.
- In a Trifle Dish add a layer of brownies, a layer of whipped cream, and a layer of chocolate pudding, then add another layer of brownies, whipped cream, and pudding, and add the remaining whipped cream on top.
- Add sprinkles to the top then stick in the decorated REESE’S Peanut Butter Trees or York Peppermint Pattie Snowflakes.
- If making individual Trifle cups, simply assemble each individual cup the same you would’ve a large trifle dish*.
- Refined coconut oil doesn’t have a coconut taste, unrefined does. You can use either or even shortening for thinning your candy melts.
- The amount of coconut oil or shortening you use for thinning the candy melts can vary by several tablespoons due to the brand of candy melts, how old they are, etc.
- I use a writing tip to pipe on the melted candy melts but you can also just cut a small hole in the corner of a ziploc baggie.
- If you let the candy melts sit in the piping bags for too long, they will harden! So, make sure to get all your decorating done all at once.
- Make sure to add sprinkles before the candy melts set up completely. That being said, if you add sprinkles right away the candy melts might be too liquidy and not hold the sprinkles in place. I’ve found piping on all the green (or white) candy melts at once, then going back and adding sprinkles gives enough time for the first few trees (or snowflakes) to have set up before decorating.
- I used cake pop sticks but had to cut them to be the correct length for the trifle.
- How many layers of brownies, pudding, and whipped cream you can fit in cups will vary based off of the size of the cup.
- Nutrition info does not account for 2nd batch of brownies