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

Brownie Trifle Recipe

Originally posted December 19, 2014

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:
Sugar in the story - Candy Brownie Trifle

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 CharlatanNot 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??

Christmas Trifle Recipe

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle Recipe

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

How to make Brownie Trifle recipe

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.

Chocolate Trifle Recipe

How to make a trifle recipe

Candy Cane Brownie Trifle from The Food Charlatan

It’s really all about the layers, people. 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.

Whipped Cream for Christmas Trifle

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:

Chocolate Trifle Recipe for Christmas

More great holiday sweets:

Sticky Sweet-and-Salty Chex Mix (Christmas Crack Recipe)

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Swedish Sour Cream Twists (Layered Yeast Cookies)

Ginger Bread Pancakes with Lemon Syrup

Nana’s Famous Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream – A family tradition!

Brown-Butter Cranberry Tart:

Caramel Apple Trifles from Life, Love and Sugar

Turtle Cheesecake Trifle from Mom on Timeout

Kahlua Cake Trifles from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

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Candy Cane Brownie Trifle

4.67 from 24 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 Servings
This rich Brownie Trifle recipe is an impressive dessert to serve after Christmas dinner. You can't get more decadent than brownies topped with Chocolate Peppermint Sauce and whipped cream. It's one of my favorite holiday desserts. I make it every year!


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


  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons of butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. 
  • 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. 
  • Stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.  Cool to room temperature; mixture thickens as it cools. (Freezer or fridge also helps here).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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


Serving: 1trifle | Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 575IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 458
Keyword: brownie, Candy Cane, Trifle
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. That’s hilarious, Karen. It sounds just like something I would do. PS: I love these trifles :)

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. HAHA oh my God! That story totally made my day! … and this trifle! Those layers! Holy cow, this sounds delicious. Pinned!

  5. 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!

  6. Just think of the ant army you made happy in that store! For the record, I totally want this now…and I totally would have wanted this back in 2011.

  7. 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!!

  8. Oh my gosh this is so funny. Love that you can tell exactly where you stopped! Ha ha ha! Gosh, this trifle looks incredible. Just what we need for Christmas!

  9. OMG, I just died over the story – and the pictures made it even better. The mountain where you stopped is just classic. So appropriate that it was sugar too. These trifles are absolutely beautiful! They definitely need to make an appearance on my Christmas table! Thanks for the link love!

  10. I am STILL hysterical over this story. I’d like an overhead shot of the store with your sugar trail.

    THESE PHOTOS ARE GORGEOUS. I love the shot of the whole glass! I’m so impressed that you can come up with such a decadent dessert that easily serves tons of people.

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