Recipes >

Black Forest Trifle


  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) dark Bing cherries, pitted in heavy juice
  • 1 each 9’ X 13’ pan chocolate cake mix (18.25 oz. box)
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons Chambord or Kirsch
  • 4.2 oz. chocolate mousse mix (commercially prepared)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, pure
  • 1 oz. shaved chocolate (optional)

Prep Time:

1 hour 15 minutes

Cook Time:

35 minutes



This is the most moist and flavorful Black Forest cake you will ever try. The trick of making it in a trifle bowl enhances visual appeal, as each tempting layer is visible through the glass. The bowl is also perfect for transporting this delicacy to friends and family and it’s convenient when packed into an entertainer’s crowded refrigerator.

Why Try? This dessert is so visually elegant. You'll get oohs and ahhs galore when you bring it to the table.

Foodie Byte: This is always a hit in the Fall and Winter. In the Spring and Summer try this technique with seasonal fresh short cake and a variety of custards or mousse.


  1. Bake cake according to package instructions. Cool. Cut 6 by 8 into 1 1/2’ squares.
  2. Drain cherries and reserve juice. Add enough orange juice to cherry juice to equal 1 3/4 cups.
  3. Heat juice and 1 cup of sugar to a light boil. Reserve remaining 1/2 cup of sugar for whipped cream.
  4. Blend cornstarch with water. Add to boiling juice. Blend with a wire whip to thicken.
  5. Add cherries and cook for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and add Chambord. Chill to 40ºF or less.
  6. Whip mousse mix with cold milk and refrigerate to thicken slightly. Mix well with wire whip.
  7. Whip heavy cream on medium speed. Add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and vanilla extract and whip until cream forms soft peaks.
  8. Assemble in an 8’ round, 5’ deep glass trifle bowl.
  9. Line the bottom of the bowl with 1 layer of chocolate cake cubes. Fit cake cubes tightly against sides of bowl. (This should take approx. half of the cake.)
  10. Spread a layer of the cherries and sauce over the cake cubes, making sure they're visible against the side of the bowl. Then add a layer of mousse. Repeat the layers of cake, cherries, and mouse. Reserve 5 to 9 cherries for garnish.
  11. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the top and garnish with the remaining cherries, along with chocolate shavings (if desired).

Nutritional Information

Calories 367, Carbohydrates 45g, Cholesterol 70mg, Fat 20g, Fat Calories 177, Fiber 2g, Protein 4g, Saturated Fat 9g, Sodium 215mg. Daily Values: Calcium 65.9mg 7%, Phos 36.12mg 4%, Copper 0.07mg 4%, Zinc 0.15mg 1%, Panto 0.16mg 2%, Biotin 0.66mcg 220%, Iodine 7.04mcg 5%, Magnesium 7.51mg 2%, Iron 1.07mg 6%, Vitamin B6 1%, Vitamin C 11%, Vitamin B12 2%, Vitamin D 3%, Vit E-a-Toco 1%, Vitamin A 11%. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.