Ready for the best chocolate dessert you have ever tasted? A dessert that will make any chocolate-lover swoon with happiness? Prepare yourself, because this is it. If you need a blockbuster dessert contest entry, this tantalizing creation will not let you down. It’s also a guaranteed winner at any potluck or fundraiser. With layers of gooey, coffee-infused brownies, chocolate pudding, crushed Skor or Heath toffee bars, and creamy whipped topping, I present to you this Easy Death by Chocolate Trifle recipe. Learn how simple it can be to create this decadent dessert. Ready for the best death by chocolate recipe ever? Here you go!
Where Did Death by Chocolate Come From?
What does the phrase “death by chocolate” mean? According to an archived article from the Indian Country website, there really was a death by chocolate incident in Mexico in the 1600s. Apparently, a large number of people were enjoying eating chocolate during church services. When a bishop prohibited the practice, he was murdered. Cause of death? Someone put poison in his chocolate drink. Did this really happen? As a librarian, I felt compelled to verify the story, and I did find another account of it at the History Collection site. So, be careful about coming between people and their chocolate!
Where did death by chocolate dessert originate? In 1993, a Death by Chocolate cookbook was written by chef Marcel Desaulniers. If chocolate is your passion, and you have enough time to attempt some fabulous chocolate creations, this might be for you. In contrast, the recipe I’m sharing with you is definitely designed for the everyday cook who wants to whip up a decadent death by chocolate dessert with simple ingredients and easy steps.
My Easy Death by Chocolate Recipe Backstory
Years ago, I cut out a Death by Chocolate recipe from The Oregonian newspaper. It was a big hit with the family, and I also used it for fundraising dinners at church. The dish was so popular, I made an extra one and auctioned it off one year to raise even more funds. Since the idea of a fundraiser is to make money, I tweaked the recipe to make it more budget-friendly. It’s just as delicious, but the ingredients are simpler and easier to find. See what you think!
Equipment for Death by Chocolate Trifle Dessert Recipe
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked to one of my favorite books about chocolate. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.
This dessert looks best in a glass trifle dish or bowl. The one I use was a wedding gift, and I have no idea which store it came from. Here’s a similar one you might like, if you are looking for a trifle dish. I like the fact that it comes with a plastic lid.
Ingredients for Easy Death by Chocolate Trifle
Many death by chocolate recipes just call for a brownie mix or cake mix baked according to package instructions. I am of the opinion that placing the mix in the ingredients along with the phrase “baked according to package instructions” doesn’t prepare the baker for all of the necessary ingredients. My solution is to include the common ingredients to make brownies from a mix. Depending on the mix you use, your brownie ingredients may vary slightly.
1 20-ounce package basic brownie mix
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup black coffee
2 4-serving packages instant chocolate pudding
4 cups cold milk
8 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered toffee candy bars (like Heath), coarsely crushed
1 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed (If you can’t find the 12-ounce size, you can use 1 and 1/2 containers of the 8-ounce size.)
Directions for Death by Chocolate Trifle
Preheat oven and bake brownie batter in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan according to package directions. While brownies are baking, make the pudding according to package directions and refrigerate to set.
When the brownies are done, keep them in the pan and allow the pan to cool completely.
Mix the granulated sugar with the black coffee until sugar dissolves. Use a fork to prick holes in the top of the cooled brownies. Drizzle with coffee mixture.
Break up brownies into small pieces; place half in bottom of large glass trifle dish or serving bowl. Cover with half of the pudding, then one-third of the crushed candy and half of the whipped topping. Tip: To crush the candy, keep the bars in their wrappers, place on a cutting board and pound with a rolling pin. This is a great way to burn off extra energy or to take out frustrations. After crushing, when you open each candy wrapper, you can easily sprinkle the little candy pieces wherever they need to go.
Repeat layers. Top with remaining crushed candy. Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving. Serves 24.
Death by Chocolate Trifle
- 1 Glass trifle dish
- 1 20-ounce package basic brownie mix Your egg, oil and water ingredients may vary depending upon the brownie mix you use. Just prepare according to package instructions.
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 4-serving packages instant chocolate pudding
- 4 cups cold milk
- 8 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered toffee candy bars (like Heath), coarsely crushed (If you can’t find the 12-ounce size, you can use 1 and 1/2 containers of the 8-ounce size.)
- Preheat oven and bake brownie batter in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan according to package directions.
- While brownies are baking, make the pudding according to package directions and refrigerate to set.
- When the brownies are done, keep them in the pan and allow the pan to cool completely.
- Break up brownies into small pieces; place half in bottom of large glass trifle dish or serving bowl.
- Cover with half of the pudding, then one-third of the crushed candy and half of the whipped topping.
- To crush the candy, keep the bars in their wrappers, place on a cutting board and pound with a rolling pin.
- After crushing, when you open each candy wrapper, you can easily sprinkle the little candy pieces wherever they need to go.
- Repeat layers. Top with remaining crushed candy.
- Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving.
Serving Tips for the Best Chocolate Dessert
Wondering how to eat or serve death by chocolate? If you bring this to a potluck, be careful not to bring a huge serving spoon. People tend to dig down deeply into this dish and give themselves quite generous helpings. Even though the recipe states that it serves 24, it would be 24 small portions. Most people can’t resist the lure of this dessert, so if you really do need to serve 24 people, you should probably make two of these.
Does It Matter Which You Use, Skor or Heath Bars?
Here is my frugal answer: Use whatever is least expensive and easiest to find. After a candy holiday, such as Halloween or Valentine’s Day, I can sometimes find snack-sized Heath bars on sale for half off. I have never seen snack-sized Skor bars, but sometimes the full-sized Skor bars are a better buy than full-sized Heath bars. No one has ever noticed a difference.
Other Death by Chocolate Variations
Some people make death by chocolate trifle with chocolate cake pieces. I prefer the denser, more gooey brownie variation, but if you only have a cake mix on hand, you could try baking the cake in a 9 by 13-inch dish, then infuse with coffee as directed in the recipe.
Is there such a thing as a healthy death by chocolate recipe? If you need to go gluten-free, you could try using a gluten-free brownie mix. Krusteaz makes a good one.
Part of a Special Dinner Menu
Serve this decadent chocolate trifle as part of a special romantic dinner. Start with a special seafood salad, followed by a main course of easy, make-ahead lasagna. Accompany the lasagna with simple bread machine dinner rolls. For the grand finale, bring out the death by chocolate trifle to finish the meal with a flourish. It’s a delicious and easy meal!
Other Chocolate Desserts to Love
What’s Your Favorite Chocolate Dessert?
In my family, Death by Chocolate Trifle is the go-to special dessert for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and other special occasions. Do you have some extra-special desserts your family requests? I always enjoy ideas from readers, especially mouth-watering dessert ideas. If you would care to share comments about your favorite desserts, I’d love to read them.
More Meal Inspiration
It’s always nice to have a plan when it comes to meals. If you’re looking for a way to get more organized with your meal planning efforts, I’ve got something for you. Free, editable meal planners! The templates can be used over and over, as often as you need them. You can make as many duplicates as you like, and you’ll be able to save old meal plans for future reference. I hope it simplifies things for you.
Have a fabulous day, and have fun making this delicious death by chocolate trifle recipe!