Candy Cane Brownie Trifle

You can’t get more decadent than brownies topped with Chocolate Peppermint Sauce and whipped cream. This rich trifle is an impressive dessert to serve after Christmas dinner. It’s one of my favorite holiday desserts. I make it every year!

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan

So I’m busy choosing what spinach to buy in the produce section at the store yesterday, when a frazzled-looking employee comes up to me. “Ma’am, you’re spilling sugar.”

“What?” He points behind me, to this:
Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan

I had picked up the sugar in the baking aisle, then went to the freezer section AND the paper aisle before heading to produce, which is on the opposite end of the store.

Here’s where I stopped to pick out some apples:

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan Not just a tiny little sprinkle of sugar coming out. NIAGRA FALLS worth of sugar coming out, enough for me to make my own little mountain here. I felt pretty bad for the guy who had to clean it up, but I was laughing so hard. I felt like someone had told me that I had toilet paper stuck to my shoe, toilet paper that trailed for hundreds of feet behind me. Like, who doesn’t notice that?? What’s wrong with me??

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan

Maybe it’s just a representation of what’s going on at our house this week. All the sugar, trails of sugar!! Fudge and frosting exploding from the kitchen! Cookies bursting out of thin air!

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan

Not to mention the chocolate peppermint sauce. And the peppermint whipped cream! I love this trifle. I make it every year. It is so rich and Christmasy. I feel like an impressive dessert is called for on Christmas or Christmas Eve. This one is nice because it feeds a lot of people. It’s so rich you can only have a little bit.

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan

P.S. I originally posted this recipe a couple months after I started my blog back in 2011. I didn’t know much about food photos back then, but I was soooo proud of this picture. Kind of makes me smile:

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Candy Cane Brownie Trifle

Yield: Serves 16


  • 1 9x13 inch pan of baked brownies (This recipe is my favorite)
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cup half and half or cream
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup crushed candy canes (about 12 candy canes)


  1. Start by making the brownies. A box mix is fine. Make sure not to over bake them. Remove brownies from the oven and cool completely (if you are in a hurry stick them in the freezer).  Cut brownies into bite-size chunks and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons of butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. 
  3. Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups half and half or cream, 3/4 cup sugar, and corn syrup.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.  Boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes (set a timer!) or until sauce is reduced to about 2 1/3 cups.  Remove from heat. Let cool for a minute or two, until it stops bubbling. 
  4. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.  Cool to room temperature; mixture thickens as it cools. (Freezer or fridge also helps here).
  5. For the whipped cream, in a chilled mixing bowl combine 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract.  Beat with the chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  6. In 16 small dessert cups, alternately layer brownie chunks, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and crushed candy canes, ending with whipped cream and candy canes.  Serve immediately.
  7. If you want to do this all in one trifle bowl, place 1/3 of the brownie chunks in a 3-quart bowl or trifle dish.  Drizzle with 1/4 of the chocolate sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/4 of the candy canes.  Top with 1/3 of the whipped cream.  Repeat layers twice more.  Drizzle with remaining chocolate sauce; sprinkle with remaining candy canes.  Serve immediately.


UPDATE: I get lots of questions about whether this can be made ahead of time. I've brought it to potlucks before where it sat for about an hour before eating, but I wouldn't go much longer than that. The candy canes get soggy and the whipped cream doesn't stay fluffy. It's still delicious and people will love it, but just be aware that it's best to assemble this at very last minute before you leave for your event. You can prep the brownies and fudge the day before assembling. In fact, I sometimes turn to this recipe when I over bake a pan of brownies, it saves them!

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan

Here’s the chocolate peppermint sauce. I would gladly bathe in this. Also, try to make a cooler octopus-ghost out of chocolate when you make this. Oh wait, that’s impossible.

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan

More Christmas dessert ideas!

 No Bake Cheesecake Parfait Bar. One of my favorite desserts to serve at parties:

No Bake Cheesecake Parfait Bar from

Very Vanilla Ice Cream with White Chocolate and Peppermint. It’s a mix-in recipe, super easy:

Very Vanilla Ice Cream with White Chocolate and Peppermint from The Food Charlatan


Strawberry Truffle Cake:

Strawberry Truffle Cake from The Food Charlatan

 Brown-Butter Cranberry Tart:

Brown Butter Cranberry Tart from

More trifles!

Caramel Apple Trifles from Life, Love and Sugar
Turtle Cheesecake Trifle from Mom on Timeout
Kahlua Cake Trifles from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen






  1. says

    No detective would have trouble finding you, I’m afraid… ;) I especially love the little mound of sugar by the apples – you must have spent some time there! :) This trifle looks to die for – what I wouldn’t give for some now!!
    Lexi @ Sempre Dolce recently posted…Hot Cocoa CookiesMy Profile

  2. says

    You’re too funny Karen! A trail to everywhere you went, haha! At least you didn’t stop anywhere embarrassing, like the tampon aisle. Haha! These trifles sound delicious! I just made a huge pan of brownies yesterday for a post next week, and have more brownies than I know what to do with. This is a great way to use them up!
    Natalie @ Tastes Lovely recently posted…Five Things for FridayMy Profile

  3. says

    I’ll give you one thing: you walk in straight lines at the grocery store! I wander all over the place, so it would’ve been a nightmare for someone to clean up after me… Pure North Pole snow action. Next time, try doing that with powdered sugar — it’ll really look festive! ;) And I really want about 4 of these trifles. With extra brownie pieces. Pretty please!
    Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking recently posted…Dark Chocolate Gingerbread TrufflesMy Profile

  4. says

    you are hilarious!! I probably wouldn’t have noticed the sugar either. . what’s even funnier is that you took photos!!! :P oh my gawd, love love love love love this candy-cane-brownie-trifle!!! fabulous and SO making this soon!! happy holidays, Karen!! did you re-design your blog?! anyway, looks great!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Cinnamon Eggnog CheesecakeMy Profile

  5. Nathan says

    This recipe is amazing! I served it at a party and everyone raved about it. I didn’t want to buy corn syrup and I ran out of regular sugar for the sauce haha. So I used brown sugar for the sauce, no corn syrup, a little extra peppermint, and it turned out just fine.

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