Easy Death By Chocolate Trifle Recipe: Indulge!

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!

Best chocolate dessert Pinterest image

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.

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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 eggs

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.

best chocolate dessert pudding

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.

best chocolate dessert brownies

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.

death by chocolate with snack sized heath bars
Tip: Leave the Heath or Skor bars in their wrappers, smash them with a rolling pin, then open each package and pour out the pieces. Less mess!

Repeat layers. Top with remaining crushed candy. Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving. Serves 24.

Death by chocolate trifle featured image

Death by Chocolate Trifle

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. 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cooling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 392 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Glass trifle dish

Ingredients
  

  • 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
  • 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.)

Instructions
 

  • 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. 
Keyword chocolate, desserts

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.

best chocolate dessert

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

Can’t get enough chocolate? Hoping to create an entire chocolate buffet? Try making chocolate scotcheroos or buttery milk chocolate toffee. Your tastebuds will swoon!

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

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Have a fabulous day, and have fun making this delicious death by chocolate trifle recipe!

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22 thoughts on “Easy Death By Chocolate Trifle Recipe: Indulge!”

  1. This looks absolutely incredible. I will have to try this recipe out. Thanks so much for sharing it!

    Reply
  2. Looks delicious. Always happy when I find another eggless desert to try.

    Reply
    • Oh, yes, I hadn’t even thought of that. Glad it fits your needs!

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Love your death by chocolate trifle recipe: so delicious! Thanks for explaining where the phrase “death by chocolate” came from. Very interesting! My favorite chocolate dessert is chocolate souflee with icecream.

    Reply
    • That sounds yummy, too! Glad you liked the backstory of the death by chocolate phrase. Who knew?

      Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Well you won me over with death by chocolate. This death by chocolate trifle recipe turned out so well! I loved the combination of brownie and pudding. Thanks for this recipe. Thankfully I survived so I get to make it again 🙂

    Reply
    • Haha! I’m glad you survived. Thanks for the positive affirmation and for sharing your experience.

      Reply
  5. 5 stars
    This look yummy. I would have to try this recipes, it is easy to make as well.

    Reply
  6. Looks really good and fairly easy to make. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Mike,

      It’s delicious and totally easy! I hope you get to try it!

      Lisa

      Reply
  7. That sounds deeeeelicious! I haven’t had a Heath bar in ages…need to hunt one down. I love a good ol’ chocolate chess pie. That would be my favorite chocolate dessert for sure.

    Reply
    • Nicole,

      Thanks for sharing your favorite chocolate dessert. I have never had a chocolate chess pie. Is it tricky to make? I hope you are able to hunt down a Heath bar, and I hope you have a terrific day!

      Lisa

      Reply
  8. My God this sounds heavenly! I’ll get back to this post once I talk my daughter into helping me make it. I’m a horrid baker, but she’s awesome. LOL! Looks delicious!

    Reply
    • Being Tessiebelle,

      I’m glad you think it sounds heavenly. It really is delightful. I hope you have fun making it with your daughter. I’d love to hear how it turns out. Thanks for your comment!

      Lisa

      Reply
  9. This looks like a tasty recipe. Thanks for sharing. 🍪

    Reply
    • Vox,

      It really is rich and delicious. It’s also pretty easy, so I hope you get the chance to try it sometime. Thanks for your comment, and have a super week!

      Lisa

      Reply
  10. It does sound like a decadently rich chocolate dessert! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Cindy,

      Yes, it is quite rich, but that doesn’t stop me from eating generous helpings. The one I made for the photo shoot for this blog post certainly didn’t last long around my house! Thanks for commenting, and I hope you get to try this dessert sometime.

      Lisa

      Reply
  11. Yummy!!! I know I had the pleasure of sampling this at the Christmas party a year ago (seconds with a big spoon)! Thank you for sharing the wonderful recipe, Lisa!

    Reply
    • Jenny,

      How good of you to remember! Yes, it really is my go-to party dish. Now we can take turns bringing it to staff parties!=) Thanks for commenting, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

      Lisa

      Reply

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