Snickers Trifle

This time of year I try to avoid spending too much time in my kitchen. That’s where trifles come in, especially this chocolate snickers trifle!

Sometimes I forget trifles exist because I’m so used to making layer cakes.

image of snickers trifles made in individual glasses to make them easy to serve and eat

What Is a Trifle?

To be honest, I had to google the proper definition of a trifle. I knew that trifles usually involve bits of cake, whipped cream and some type of fruit.

However, I wasn’t quite sure about the rest. I also didn’t know the proper order of the layers.

After a bit of sleuthing (thank you wikipedia), I learned that traditional English trifles are made with sponge cake or ladyfingers soaked in sherry or fortified wine.

Custard, fruit, and jam are then layered on top of the cake and sometimes topped with whipped cream.

Most trifles these days are made a bit differently though! There also are about a million variations out there, from red velvet to Oreo trifles.

Keeping Things Simple: How I Like To Make Trifles

The best thing about trifles is that you can make them with whatever you want and build them however you like.

I chose to use chocolate pudding instead of custard to keep things simple. I also felt like chocolate pudding was more fitting for this snickers trifle!

image of chocolate pudding, ready to be added to an oreo trifle

However, if you want to make your entire trifle from scratch, here is a great custard recipe.

I also decided to skip the sherry. Most sponge cakes need additional moisture of some sort, whether it’s from a soak of simple syrup or sherry!

My snickers trifle recipe uses a half batch of my chocolate sheet cake recipe, which is already plenty moist.

I find that the pudding kind of soaks into the bits of cake, so there’s definitely no need to add any additional liquid.

image of chocolate cake that's been cut into cubes to make a trifle

The Perfect Make Ahead Dessert

When you’re able to pile your fillings into a trifle dish, you don’t have to spend much extra time on the decoration of the dessert.

As long as you create even layers of filling, your trifle will be a work of art by the time you finish.

I did pipe a bit of extra peanut butter whipped cream on top with bits of a snickers bar, but I promise it only took me about 2 minutes to add these “decorations.”

Trifles are great make ahead desserts and can easily be made in advance.

Just be sure to fully cover the trifle with plastic wrap to make sure it’s protected in your fridge.

image of chocolate snickers trifle made in individual glasses to make them easy to serve and eat

Snickers Trifle Ingredients & Substitutions:

This snickers trifle recipe uses quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have all of them on hand.

Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered. Below are some swaps and substitutions that you can make:

  • Buttermilk – You can use full fat yogurt, additional sour cream, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
  • Sour cream – Use full fat yogurt, additional buttermilk, whole milk in place of the sour cream, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
  • Instant Espresso or Coffee – This ingredient is optional, so if you hate coffee you can omit it. However, you can’t really taste the coffee once the cake is baked! I just like adding a bit of coffee because it enhances the chocolate flavor.
  • All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a gluten free flour blend or cake flour if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar, as it will change the texture of the cake.
  • Vegetable Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe. Canola or sunflower oil would work great!
  • Eggs – If you have an egg allergy you can use 3 flaxseed eggs or 3/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
  • Peanut Butter – I find the PB whipped cream comes together best with thicker creamy peanut butter like JIF or Skippy, but you can use your favorite type.
  • Heavy Cream – If you want to make vegan whipped cream and vegan caramel, you can use coconut cream in place of the heavy cream in this recipe.
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
image of snickers trifle with a spoonful lifted to show how delicious it is

Using Different Sized Trifle Dishes

The quantities in this recipe are based on a trifle dish that is 8 inches in diameter.

You can also make individual trifles in stemless wine glasses for easy serving! The number of individual trifles you can make will vary based on the size of your cups.

Tips For Making The Best Snickers Trifle:

  • Cut your cake into equal sized squares or crumble it with a fork to make it easy to create even layers in your trifle
  • Carefully spoon and smooth your layers of pudding and whipped cream with an offset spatula to give your trifle a gorgeous finished look
  • I recommend making your peanut butter whipped cream from scratch. It only takes a few minutes to make and tastes so much better than store bought whipped cream.
  • Use whatever type of peanut butter is your favorite! This trifle would taste great with just about any type including smooth, crunchy, honey roasted, or even almond butter!
  • While making the trifle, get down at eye level with the trifle dish or glasses to make sure your layers are even and the same thickness.
image of chelsey white looking at snickers trifles while making them to make sure the layers are pretty and even

Making This Snickers Trifle In Advance & Storage Tips

  • Make this trifle in advance to make life easier! It can easily be made a day or two before an event or party. Just be sure to tightly wrap the trifle container with plastic wrap to keep it fresh.
  • Wait to decorate the top or add a cookie garnish until right before you plan to serve it.
  • Leftover trifle can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days if tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. After that the whipped cream will lose its shape.
  • You can also make the sheet cake up to two weeks in advance and freeze it, then cut it up and assembled the trifle the day of.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this snickers trifle recipe, please tag me @chelsweets. Also use the #chelsweets so that I can see your baking!

Yield: 16

Snickers Trifle

image of snickers trifles made in individual glasses to make them easy to serve and eat

This easy snickers trifle is the perfect make ahead dessert! It comes together so quickly and is made with fluffy chocolate cake, homemade caramel, chocolate pudding & peanut butter whipped cream!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 32 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (195 grams)
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (266 grams)
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa powder (25 grams)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder (3 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (9 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (2 grams)
  • 3/4 cup hot water (177 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso or coffee (3 grams)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature (64 grams)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature (114 grams)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (75 grams)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (112 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (85 grams)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature (76 grams)
  • 1/4 tsp table salt (2 grams)

Chocolate Pudding Filling

  • 2 packages instant chocolate pudding (3.9 oz. size)
  • 4 cups whole milk (980 grams)

Peanut Butter Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (8 ounce block) full fat cream cheese, cold (225 grams)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (125 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
  • 2 cups heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, cold (575 grams)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (80 grams)

Additional Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped peanuts (250 grams)
  • 2 cups mini chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate chips (380 grams)
  • 4 fun-sized Snickers bars

Instructions

Chocolate Sheet Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9x13 (quarter sheet) pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Place two flower nails in the center of the pan, with the flat side resting flat against the cake pan. Make sure they are a few inches apart and spray thoroughly with non-stick spray too.
  3. In a large bowl, add 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together 3/4 cup hot water and 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder.
  5. Add 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla extract into the coffee mixture and whisk together until smooth.
  6. Add 1/2 of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until just combined.
  7. Pour in the rest of the wet mixture and whisk again until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan.
  9. Reposition the flower nails so that they’re event spaced across the pan.
  10. Bang the pan on your counter to remove any air bubbles, then bake for 32-37 minutes.
  11. Rotate your pan halfway through to help the cake bake evenly.
  12. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then carefully remove it from the pan to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  13. Use a serrated knife to cut the cake into 1 inch cubes.

Homemade Caramel:

  1. Next make the caramel sauce.
  2. Place a medium-sized pot onto the stove and heat at a medium heat.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of sugar gradually, adding 1/4 cup at a time. Wait until the sugar is mostly liquified, then add in the next bit of sugar.
  4. As the sugar melts, it will gradually deepen in color.
  5. Stir occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved and is an amber color.
  6. Turn off the heat.
  7. Mix in 6 Tbsp of butter slowly, 2 Tbsp at a time.
  8. Stir in 1/3 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 tsp salt.
  9. The mixture will be very thin, but will thicken as it cools.
  10. Pour into a separate container, then place in fridge to cool for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Pudding:

  1. While the cake bakes and cools, make the chocolate pudding.
  2. Pour two 3.9 oz. packages of instant chocolate pudding mix into a large bowl bowl.
  3. Add 4 cups of cold milk into the bowl and whisk until smooth.
  4. Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge to set.

Stabilized Peanut Butter Whipped Cream:

  1. I recommend making the peanut butter whipped cream right before you assemble your trifle for best results and maximum fluffiness.
  2. Place 1 cup (8oz. block) of cold cream cheese into a mixing bowl and mix on a medium speed until smooth.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix on low at first to avoid an powdered sugar clouds / explosions. Increase the speed to medium high once the powdered sugar is incorporated and mix for about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed throughout this process.
  4. Add in 1 tsp of vanilla extract, then turn the mixer to a medium high speed and gradually pour in 2 cups of cold heavy cream. I like to do this in about 4 additions, and focus on pouring the heavy cream down the side of the bowl to prevent it from splattering.
  5. Watch the whipped cream closely once the heavy cream is fully mixed in. It should thicken and take shape shortly after this (mine usually does within about 30 seconds of mixing in the heavy cream). Take care not to overmix your whipped cream frosting!! It will become soupy and sadly you won't be able to fix it.
  6. As soon as you've finished adding the heavy cream, turn off the mixer and add 1/3 cup peanut butter.
  7. Mix on a medium high speed until the peanut butter is just incorporated.
  8. At this point the whipped cream should keep its shape and form a nice peak. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you're ready to use it.

To Assemble This Snickers Trifle:

  1. This trifle can be made in a traditional glass trifle bowl or in 16 glasses/cups.
  2. Place pieces of chocolate cake into the bottom of a trifle dish or individual-sized cups to fully cover the bottom.
  3. Add an even layer of chocolate pudding over the cake bits, using about half the pudding mix.
  4. Top with half of the whipped cream and use an offset spatula to create an even layer.
  5. Pour half of the cooled caramel sauce on top of the whipped cream, then top with 1 cup of chopped peanuts and 1 cup of mini chocolate chips.
  6. Repeat with remaining ingredients to create an additional layer of ingredients.
  7. Add a dollop of peanut butter whipped cream and a slice of a snickers bar to the top of the trifle, then enjoy!

Notes

Tips For Making The Best Snickers Trifle:

  • Cut your cake into equal sized squares to make it easy to create even layers in your trifle
  • Carefully spoon and smooth your layers of pudding and whipped cream with an offset spatula to give your trifle a gorgeous finished look
  • I recommend making your whipped cream from scratch. It only takes a few minutes to make and tastes so much better than store bought whipped cream.
  • Use whatever type of peanut butter is your favorite! This trifle would taste great with just about any type, including smooth, crunchy, honey roasted, or even almond butter!

Making This Snickers Trifle In Advance & Storage Tips:

  • Make this trifle in advance to make life easier! It can easily be made a day or two before an event or party. Just be sure to tightly wrap the trifle container with plastic wrap to keep it fresh.
  • Leftover trifle can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days if tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. After that the whipped cream will lose its shape.
  • You can also make the sheet cake up to two weeks in advance and freeze it, then cut it up and assembled the trifle the day of.


Using Different Sized Trifle Dishes

The quantities in this recipe are based on a trifle dish that is 8 inches in diameter.

You can also make individual trifles in stemless wine glasses for easy serving! The number of individual trifles you can make will vary based on the size of your cups.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 365Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 52mgSodium 360mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 1gSugar 40gProtein 5g

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