Black Forest Trifle Recipe

Are you looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, bur you're not quite sure what you're in the mood for? We've all been there before. In the world of desserts, there are plenty to choose from, but we love a good trifle since it's packed with layers of goodness. This black forest trifle includes layers of cake, custard, and whipped cream, and it's super decadent. We love that it has a little bit of everything in it.

Recipe developer Jennine Bryant of The Marshside Pantry came up with this tasty trifle, and she does a great job of explaining exactly what it is! "A Black Forest trifle is a cross between the classic Black Forest gateau and the British trifle. The Black Forest gateau (Schwarzwald kirsch torte) is a cake from the Black Forest in southern Germany made with layers of chocolate cake, cream, chocolate and cherries, infused with the liquor Kirsch," Bryant explains. "This recipe takes the concept of this cake, and uses the flavours in layers like the British trifle (classically made with cake, fruits, jelly, custard and cream." This cake has many wonderful aspects, and Bryant perfectly sums up her favorite part: "Black Forest Trifle is such a decadent dessert yet easy to put together. I think the smooth chocolate custard alongside the tart cherries is my favorite bit!"

Gather the ingredients for Black Forest trifle

Before starting the actual prep process, you will need to gather all the necessary ingredients to whip up this dish. Start with a ready-made chocolate cake, a swiss roll, or a plain cake. Next, you will need to get a few ounces of milk chocolate. To add some creaminess to the recipe, be sure to pick up some custard and whipping cream. Next, grab some Kirsch and powdered sugar. Additionally, you will need cherry pie filling and fresh cherries. Last but not least, grab some chocolate shavings.

Microwave the custard

Start by grabbing a microwave-safe dish and spoon in the custard. Place the custard in the microwave, set your timer for 30 seconds, stirring thoroughly between each 30-second interval. Continue heating until it's warm to the touch. At that point, add the chopped milk chocolate to the custard and keep stirring until the chocolate melts completely. Place the dish to the side to cool and move on to the next step.

Slice the cake and mix the cream

Grab a cutting board and a knife and slice the Swiss roll into 1-centimeter pieces. "The most important thing is that they create a good layer of cake," Bryant says. "The layers above that are liquid will slowly seep through the cake making it deliciously moist." These will be the layers that you use for the trifle.

Next, take out a stand mixer or a handheld whisk. Add the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and the Kirsch. Continue whisking until the mixture has thickened and it holds its shape.

Layer the trifle

It's time to bust out the trifle bowl. First, add about half of the slices of Swiss roll to the bottom. The next layer you will need to add is the chocolate custard. Again, just use about half and save the rest for the next layer. For the third layer, add the whipped cream mixture. Then, open the cherry pie filling and carefully spoon it into the center of the trifle. Now, repeat the layers until you use up the rest of the ingredients.

Decorate and enjoy

Decorate the top of the trifle with fresh black cherries and chocolate shavings. Store the trifle in the fridge until you're ready to serve. You can eat this dessert on its own, but Bryant also provides a few great serving suggestions. "This is definitely an event type of dessert because it is big! It's a great, simple dessert for a dinner party — it looks quite dramatic and feeds a lot of people," Bryant shares. "The richness of it goes well with red wine. It's got enough going on by itself to really add anything more!" 

Finally, Bryant has a suggestion for leftover: "The leftovers should be covered well and stored in the fridge. The trifle should be consumed within 3 days."

Black Forest Trifle Recipe
5 from 22 ratings
This Black Forest trifle is loaded with chocolatey goodness — perfect for impressing guests at a dinner party!
Prep Time
Cook Time
trifle on counter
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 1 pound Swiss roll or plain chocolate cake
  • 3 ½ ounces milk chocolate, chopped finely
  • 2 ½ cups custard, either store-bought or homemade
  • 2 ½ cups whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (14 ounces) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup fresh cherries
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate shavings
  1. Place the custard into a microwave-proof bowl and heat up, stopping to thoroughly stir every 30 seconds, until it is very warm to the touch. Pour the chopped milk chocolate into the custard and keep stirring until the chocolate has completely melted and combined with the custard. Place this to the side to cool.
  2. Slice the Swiss roll or chocolate cake into 1-centimeter pieces, ready to be layered through the trifle.
  3. In a stand mixer, or using a handheld whisk, beat the whipping cream together with the powdered sugar and the Kirsch until it has thickened and holds its shape.
  4. Start the trifle by placing a layer of the chocolate cake, using roughly half of the chopped pieces of cake, at the bottom of the trifle bowl.
  5. Cover the cake with half of the chocolate custard, then top the chocolate custard with half of the whipped Kirsch cream.
  6. Open the cherry pie filling and carefully spoon this into the center of the trifle, on top of the Kirsch cream.
  7. Place the rest of the chocolate cake pieces on top of the cherry pie filling, then top the cake with the rest of the chocolate custard and then, finally, with the rest of the Kirsch cream.
  8. Decorate the Black Forest trifle with fresh cherries and the chocolate shavings, and store in the fridge until ready for serving.
Calories per Serving 456
Total Fat 26.6 g
Saturated Fat 14.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 128.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Total Sugars 16.6 g
Sodium 184.5 mg
Protein 6.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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