German Chocolate Cake Trifle

They can be as quick and easy or as “made from scratch” as you want.  And there are so many different ways you can make them.  I love coming up with new combinations.

I came up with this recipe when I was craving a German chocolate  cake but didn’t want to go through the hassle of assembling and decorating a layer cake.  I also wasn’t in the mood for a heavy frosting.  The chocolate mousse layer in this trifle takes the place of a frosting but doesn’t sit so heavily in your stomach.

I started with a cake mix since I think that box cakes work just as well in trifles as scratch made.  I did, however, make my own mousse and coconut pecan filling.  Because the mousse requires several hours to properly set up, I recommend making the mousse and coconut pecan filling the day before you plan to assemble the trifle.  This dessert keeps beautifully in the refrigerator, so you can make the whole thing a day or two in advance of when you plan to serve it.  It feeds a crowd and everyone will love it!

German Chocolate Cake Trifle

Author: Erin Browne Prep time: 4 hours Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 4 hours 15 mins Serves: 10-12 servings

1 German chocolate cake mix, prepared in 9x13 pan according to directions (cake only)

German Chocolate Mousse:
1⅓ cups milk
2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 ounces Bakers German Chocolate, roughly chopped
4 cups Cool Whip, thawed

Coconut Pecan Filling:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
½ cup unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1⅓ cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract

German Chocolate Mousse:
1.In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, gelatin, and vanilla extract. Let stand for 3 minutes, then cook on medium-high heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge (~180F). Do not allow mixture to boil.
2.Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and cover for 5 minutes. Then use a whisk to combine chocolate until the mixture is smooth.
3.Pour mixture into a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the Cool Whip until fully combined. Do not whisk or beat. The chocolate mixture will still be quite thin so it may seem like it won't come together, but keep working at it gently until it's all one color.
4.Cover the mixture and chill for 3 hours until fully set.

Coconut Pecan Filling:
1.In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, ½ cup butter, and 3 egg yolks.
2.Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
3.Remove from heat and stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla extract.
4.Cool until thick enough to spread or refrigerate until ready to assemble the trifle.

Assemble the Trifle:
1.In a large glass trifle bowl, cover the bottom with chunks of the prepared cake. Layer with half of the chocolate mousse, and then spread with half of the coconut pecan filling.
2.Repeat the layers again so that you end with the coconut pecan filling on top. You will likely only use about ⅔ of the prepared cake. You can wrap and freeze the rest, or just keep it around for snacking!
3.Decorate with halved pecans, if desired. Keep refrigerated and serve cold.

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