Peppermint Chocolate Trifle Recipe (video)

chocolate peppermint Christmas red and white trifle

What can be more Christmas-y than peppermint, chocolate and candy cane colors?!  This super easy peppermint chocolate trifle is the ultimate Christmas dessert recipe! It’s made with rich, chocolate cake pieces, crushed peppermint candies and peppermint mousse to bring it all together. The colors and flavors alone will captivate any holiday party! This is one of those desserts you make once a year and wait patiently until the next to enjoy it again.

My Chocolate Trifle Video Tutorial!

Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions and see how I put together this peppermint chocolate trifle! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!

Ingredients for Peppermint Trifle

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this Christmas trifle:

  • Eggs, Butter, Milk, Sugar, Flour: for making the chocolate cake. You can use buy a chocolate sheet cake from the grocery store and cut into pieces if you want a super easy recipe!
  • Cocoa Powder & Chocolate Chips: using a combination of cocoa and chocolate make the chocolate cake extra rich and chocolate-y!
  • Peppermint Oil: for adding intense peppermint flavor. You can also use peppermint extract but you’ll need more of it since the oil is super concentrated.
  • Heavy Cream: use well-chilled heavy cream for making the mousse.
  • White Chocolate Chips: for making the white chocolate filling. The chocolate helps stabilize the cream.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: for making the mousse filling.
  • Soft Candy Canes: use soft, pastel candy cane candies for topping the trifle. These soft candies won’t hurt your teeth when you’re biting into the soft trifle.
chocolate peppermint trifle in trifle bowl with Christmas ornament

How to Make a Peppermint Chocolate Trifle!

I love how easy this peppermint trifle comes together!

  1. Chocolate Cake: For the cake pieces, I prepared my ‘Perfect Chocolate Cake’ in a sheet pan; I have a separate video recipe for the chocolate cake. Just prepare the cake, allow it to cool, then cut into cubes. If you prefer, boxed cake mix will also work. If you’re in a real pinch for time, you can also use store-bought chocolate lady fingers or brownie bites.
  2. White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse: This easy mousse recipe is a cheat version, made with white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk instead of using egg whites or custard. It’s easier to make and literally fail-proof! I use red food coloring for half the mousse to make the trifle more festive for Christmas.
  3. Peppermint Simple Syrup: adding a simple syrup made with sugar, water and peppermint oil add extra moisture to the cake. In order for the sugar to fully dissolve, use boiling water, add it to the sugar, then let the mixture cool before adding the peppermint oil.
  4. Assembling the Trifle: Assemble the dessert in a large trifle bowl or use small, individual cups. Layer the chocolate cake first, soak with the peppermint syrup, add white chocolate mousse, add more chocolate cake, peppermint syrup, red mousse, top with more chocolate cake pieces, and garnish with crushed candy cane pieces.
  5. Keep dessert refrigerated for 4 to 6 hours, or make it a few days ahead of time.

How To Serve a Trifle

This Christmas dessert can be prepared and served a couple different ways! If you’re having a buffet-style service, assemble the peppermint trifle in a large trifle bowl, like the one I used for my video recipe. It can also be assembled in individual serving cups, like these disposable parfait cups. They make for easier cleanup!

For best results, make the trifle at least a day ahead of time, to allow the cake and mousse to come together, creating the best flavor and texture experience.

Share it on Pinterest!

Peppermint Chocolate Trifle for Christmas

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this peppermint trifle? Looking for more Christmas recipes? Check out my other recipes!


Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):

  • Use this beautiful trifle bowl for serving this dessert.
  • For individual desserts, use these disposable parfait cups.
  • I like to use peppermint oil for the maximum amount of flavor. This peppermint oil is very concentrated so a little bit goes a long way!

Peppermint Chocolate Trifle Recipe (video)

1 hour prep + 30 minutes cook + 4 hours Setting Time
16 servings
Rich and creamy chocolate peppermint trifle with chocolate cake and white chocolate mousse. Perfect for the holidays!


For Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 3/4 cup whole milk , or buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

For Syrup:

  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil, 1 tsp extract

For White Chocolate Mousse:

  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • red food coloring
  • crushed candy canes


For Chocolate Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. You can prepare the layers in 3, 8-inch rounds or use a 13×18-inch large sheet pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Then add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix again until creamy. Prepare the coffee: dissolve the 2 tablespoons of granules in 1/4 cup water, then add to the batter along with the milk. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Mix together, then sift into the cake batter to get rid of any clumps. Using a hand whisk, mix the flour into the batter just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix the batter! Gently fold in melted chocolate at the very end.
  • Divide the cake batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake the layers in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once the cake has cooled completely, cut the cake into cubes. The cake can be prepared ahead of time; just make sure to wrap the layers in plastic so they don't dry out!

For Peppermint Syrup:

  • Prepare the peppermint syrup. Combine the sugar with boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Add a few drops of peppermint oil. Oil is much stronger than extract so increase the amount if using an extract. Transfer the syrup into a dispenser bottler and set aside (can also spoon the syrup over the layers).

For White Chocolate Mousse:

  • Prepare the white chocolate mousse. Place white chocolate chips into a large bowl and melt in the microwave until smooth; can also use a double boiler. Add the sweetened condensed milk and more peppermint oil. Stir immediately until the mixture is smooth. If clumps form, use a mixer to whisk the mixture until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk cold heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add a few scoops of whipped cream to the white chocolate base and fold gently. Add the chocolate base gradually to the whipped cream, folding gently. Once all combined, divide the mousse between two bowls. Keep one bowl white and color the other one red.


  • Assemble the dessert in a large trifle bowl or use small, individual cups. Layer the chocolate cake first, soak with the peppermint syrup, add white chocolate mousse, add more chocolate cake, peppermint syrup, red mousse, top with more chocolate cake pieces, and garnish with crushed candy cane pieces.
  • Keep dessert refrigerated for 4 to 6 hours, or make it a few days ahead of time.


Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 952IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 215mg | Iron: 2mg