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. This Candy Cane Brownie Trifle seems so delicious and amazing one . Just super excited to make this one . Thanks for sharing this one

  2. I made the peppermint sauce yesterday and want to assemble the dessert today. Do I have to heat up the sauce so that it spreads easily? I put it in the fridge overnight.

    1. Hi Lorilee, I haven’t chilled this sauce before so I’m not sure! If I were you I would get it out of the fridge a couple hours before and assemble at room temperature. If not, heat it up on low in the microwave, but you don’t want it hot or it will flatten your whipped cream. Enjoy!!

  3. I’ve done the same thing at BJs. Went all around and no one noticed. So I feel,your pain. The trifle looks awesome and will try this for sure.

    1. Haha!! So glad I’m not the only one Peggy!! How did we not notice our own trails?? haha. Enjoy the trifle!!

  4. You crack me up!! I love love love your sense of humor… instead of being mortified, you took pictures!! You’re my kind of girl. I also think this peppermint trifle sounds fantastic and I hope to make it soon. Merry Christmas 🎅

    1. Haha, well it’s not every day that you make a mountain of sugar in the produce section Melanie!! Had to get a picture. ;) Merry Christmas to you too!

  5. Karen, you are awesome!! Both me and my husband love your blog! You don’t just provide us with wonderful tasty dishes, but so much humor along the way! Hubby would hear me burst out laughing and asked what was up.  I read a couple lines and he was rolling with laughter, as well!  Our middle son requested your candy cane brownie trifle for Christmas. It was crazy delicious: the brownies with the fudge running through it, and the cream with crushed candy canes. We felt the same as you in that it is best if put together just before eating. I mean the fudge was still warm clinging on the brownies, the whipped cream light and fluffy, and the crushed candy cane still crunchy. Understand, the next day I was still stuffing my face every time I opened the fridge “to get something out”. Still, I do love the different textures on the first day! I’ve been reading your blog for several years now and haven’t tried any recipe that wasn’t a keeper! 

    1. Thank you so much Dee! I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipes and the stories, it’s definitely why I stick around here, haha! And I’m totally the same, I made a half batch of this a few weeks ago when we had dinner with some friends (in an attempt to be reasonable). There wasn’t much leftover but the next day I found any excuse I could to stand in front of the fridge with spoon in hand, haha!

  6. I made this on Sunday for Christmas Eve dessert. First of all, it is delicious! It is also super sweet – so be prepared. With regard to the “not assembling it ahead” issue, I’ll have to respectfully disagree. I assembled it right before serving it, per the instructions. As I mentioned, it was delicious, but I have found that when snacking on the leftovers yesterday (and today :)) that I liked it even better after it had time to meld a bit. I think what I will do next time is assemble it ahead of time, but I’ll put the top sprinkling of crushed candy cane on right before serving, so that the color doesn’t run into the whipped cream top. Thanks for this keeper recipe!

    1. This is good to know Megan! I definitely enjoy the trifle the next day but wasn’t sure if it would be too soggy for others. Thanks for the tip! And yes you are right, it is VERY sweet! You can only eat a little bit! Merry late Christmas!

  7. 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.

  8. Stumpled upon your site from Pinterest…love your site! And what a hysterical story!! Too funny! This trifle looks to die for!

    1. Hey Trish! You can make all the parts the night before and then assemble last minute. I wouldn’t assemble it more than an hour before you are serving. Enjoy!

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