Hot Chocolate Trifle

by Jillian
Pillowy cubes of chocolate cake, delicious hot chocolate cream filling, heavenly homemade marshmallow fluff, and rich chocolate fudge sauce all layered together in one impressive trifle!

Pillowy cubes of chocolate cake, delicious hot chocolate cream filling, heavenly homemade marshmallow fluff, and rich chocolate fudge sauce all layered together in one impressive trifle!

I know it hasn’t been THAT long since I’ve shared a trifle recipe, but judging by how popular my Turtle Trifle was, I decided it was time for another one. I mean, why not?? Trifles are AMAZING. Not to mention, the flavor combinations are pretty much endless. Whether you crave something fresh and fruity like my Patriotic Berry Trifle or something more decadent like my Death By Chocolate Trifle, there’s a trifle that’ll satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

So with the colder months upon us, I can’t think of a more perfect trifle to make than this Hot Chocolate Trifle.

I’m not drooling, YOU’RE drooling!!

Ok, allow me to explain each blissful layer while you pick your chin up off the ground…

Starting from the bottom of the trifle and working our way up, we have a lusciously moist layer of chocolate cake. Then we have the most delectable layer of hot chocolate cream filling. This is followed up with a delicious layer of rich and velvety fudge sauce. And finally, we have a dreamy layer of ultra fluffy homemade marshmallow fluff!

Although this trifle won’t quite warm your body up like a mug of hot chocolate, it definitely has the power to warm the soul. Each bite is absolutely LOADED with deliciousness!

With so many heavenly layers, one might assume that this trifle is a lot of work. However, with the help of a few shortcuts, this trifle actually comes together much quicker than you think.

The first shortcut is a box cake mix–any chocolate cake mix will due. Just prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box, then bake it in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Once the cake has cooled completely, you’ll cut it into bite-sized cubes for layering.

Another shortcut involves the fudge sauce. Now, you do have the option of simply buying ready-made fudge sauce from the store. However, the shortcut fudge sauce in this recipe is super duper easy to make. All you have to do is combine a can of sweetened condensed milk, a half cup of chocolate chips, and a half a stick of butter in a saucepan, and stir over medium heat until completely melted and smooth. That’s it! Just make sure to allow the fudge sauce to cool to room temperature before assembling the trifle.

The hot chocolate filling is also super simple! You’ll combine some cream cheese with some powdered sugar and hot chocolate mix. I used Nestle’s brand of hot chocolate, but any brand will due, really. Once the mixture has come together, whipped cream is folded in to lighten things up a little.

The final layer of business is the homemade marshmallow fluff! While I do love me some good ol’ Jet-Puffed marshmallow creme straight from the jar, it’s simply no match for the voluminous results of homemade. You would need at least a few jars of the store-bought stuff to even get close to the amount of homemade marshmallow fluff in this recipe. What’s more, the amounts of each ingredient are surprisingly small considering how much fluff you get.

You’ll start by whisking 3 egg whites with 3/4 cup of sugar in a heat-safe bowl. I usually use the metal bowl from my Kitchenaid stand mixer. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, and heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until the temperature reaches 160ºF on a thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, just heat the mixture for about 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the temperature is reached, remove the bowl from the heat, add a little cream of tartar, and beat the mixture (either with a hand-mixer or a stand mixer) on high speed until stiff and glossy peaks form. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Once fluffy and cloud-like, stir in the vanilla!

Now that you’ve got every mouthwatering component of this trifle made, it’s time to assemble! Here’s the order of assembly:

  1. Cake
  2. Hot chocolate filling
  3. Fudge sauce
  4. Marshmallow fluff
  5. Cake
  6. Hot chocolate filling
  7. Fudge sauce

And since trifles are known for being dessert showstoppers, it definitely doesn’t hurt to add a beautiful border of whipped cream along the top as well as a few chocolate sprinkles and mini marshmallows. 

So much for those #healthy New Year’s resolutions…

Pillowy cubes of chocolate cake, delicious hot chocolate cream filling, heavenly homemade marshmallow fluff, and rich chocolate fudge sauce all layered together in one impressive trifle!

Hot Chocolate Trifle

Pillowy cubes of chocolate cake, delicious hot chocolate cream filling, heavenly homemade marshmallow fluff, and rich chocolate fudge sauce all layered together in one impressive trifle!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings



  • 1 box chocolate cake mix plus all of the ingredients needed

Fudge Sauce:

  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Hot Chocolate Filling:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons hot chocolate mix dry powder

Marshmallow Fluff:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For Assembly:

  • Freshly-whipped cream
  • Chocolate sprinkles or mini chocolate chips
  • Miniature marshmallows


Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Prepare the cake batter according to the directions on the box. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing out the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and cool completely.

Make the Fudge Sauce:

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and completely melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Make the Hot Chocolate Filling:

  • In the well-chilled bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to another bowl and return bowl to mixer. Switch out the paddle attachment, and beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and hot chocolate mix together until light and creamy. Add half of the whipped cream, beating until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Make the Marshmallow Fluff:

  • Add the egg whites* and sugar to a large heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Heat mixture, stirring constantly, until the temperature hits 160ºF on a candy thermometer, about 3 - 5 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan, add the cream of tartar, and beat mixture with an electric hand-mixer (or in a stand mixer) on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 6 - 8 minutes. Add the vanilla near the very end.

To Assemble:

  • Cut the cake into bite-sized cubes. Place half of the cake cubes into the bottom of a large trifle dish or bowl. Spoon half of the hot chocolate filling on top, spreading evenly. Drizzle half of the fudge sauce evenly over the filling. Spread the marshmallow fluff on top of the fudge sauce. Arrange the rest (or as much as you can fit) of the cake cubes on top of the marshmallow fluff, followed by the rest of the hot chocolate filling. Drizzle the rest of the fudge sauce on top.
  • Pipe whipped cream along the border of the trifle and top with chocolate sprinkles and mini marshmallows. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


*Make sure there is absolutely NO egg yolk left in the whites.
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