Chocolate Bowl of Heaven!!

Chocolate Kahlua Cake Trifle


This recipe was passed on by a dear family friend, more family than friend. 🙂  I think of her every time I make it, I could just kiss her for passing on such a delicious recipe.  I was introduced to it when I was young so I am not certain it’s true to the source but I can assure you that it’s always a huge hit.  This is a decadent, yet light (if that is possible) layered bowl of heaven.  With layers of cake, spiked pudding, Cool Whip and crushed toffee and then layered again, you can’t wrong.

Just a few notes…

  • I believe the original recipe called to drizzle the liquor over the cake but evolution played a roll so I add it right the pudding.  Either works though.
  • If you can, prepare the trifle a day in advance.  This allows the flavors to blend and increase the creamy decadence.
  • If you will be feeding little ones you could alter the recipe by adding the liquor to the cake before baking or cutting it out altogether.
  • The cake is served using a spoon and it best served in a clear trifle dish to be sure to get your guests attention as they get a sneak preview of what is to come.
  • Gauge your ingredients based on the size of your trifle bowl, or whatever bowl you use.  Depending on the size you may have more cake and pudding than what will fit.  The cake recipe below makes a bit more than a boxed cake so I did have a bit left over.  My husband didn’t mind since I was able to make a couple of individual bowls since this one was going to the office.

What you will need:

  • Chocolate Cake – see recipe below but keep in mind that a boxed chocolate cake works just as well, it saves a lot of time and is a great shortcut.
  • 3 cups Chocolate Pudding – I used  a 2.1 oz box Jell-O Instant Chocolate Pudding (Fat Free & Sugar Free).  Homemade pudding would be fabulous as well, I just tried to cut back on the fat and calories.
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 1/2 cup crushed toffee – I used Hershey Toffee Chips here.  Normally I would but Health or Skor Bars and crush them but I had the toffee on hand so I went with it.  I did miss the chocolate coating from the candy bars though.
  • 8-12 oz Light Cool Whip – again, using homemade whipped cream is to die for here, and there are far less processed ingredients – either is delicious.  There are no rules, do what makes your happy.

Chocolate Cake

Recipe source:


2 cup  all-purpose flour
1 cup  unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9×13 inch cake pan with parchment paper.  Spray paper and sides of pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to medium-low; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla until blended. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until batter is smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cook completely in pan, and allow it to come to room temperature before assembling the trifle.
  4. Once cooled, run a knife through the cake to cut small pieces. These pieces will be placed into the trifle so consider the size you would want to bite into.


Chocolate Pudding

Prepare chocolate pudding according to package directions and add ¼ cup Kahlua or Bailey’s Irish Cream.   Again, in an attempt to trim fat and calories I used fat free milk.

* Adding the extra liquid will help to keep the pudding a bit more loose making it easier to spread.

* I have combined Bailey’s and Kahlua to play with the flavors a bit – yummy!!



  • Add some of the diced cake in the bottom of the bowl ensuring that and gaps are filled with cake.
  • Spread half of the pudding over the cake.
  • Press the layer down a bit to ensure any gaps are filled.
  • Sprinkle half of the toffee over the pudding
  • Sprinkle half of the Cool Whip over the pudding toffee layer
  • Repeat the layers – pressing the cake layer down a bit again
  • Sprinkle some toffee or shaved chocolate on top





I would love some feedback if you try this (or any) recipe!  Rest assured it is always a crowd pleaser!!




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