Brownie Trifle

Please look over the fact that I don’t own a trifle bowl (I used my overly large punch bowl) and instead focus on the magical combination that lies herein: chocolate, brownies and peanut butter. I love the chocolate and peanut butter combo so when my cousin, Merianne, sent me this recipe, I knew I would be trying it soon. It was heavenly. Trifles are delicious in that they are layered with texture upon texture of divine yumminess – the fudgy, chewy brownies were sandwiched between layers of creamy peanut butter pudding and intermixed with chunky pockets of crumbled Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Beyond rich, this dessert didn’t last long in my house. It was a fantastic change-up from serving plain (but still delicious) brownies for dessert. Thanks, Mer!

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle


  • 1 9X13 pan of your favorite brownie recipe (I used this one)
  • 10 ounce bag of peanut butter chips
  • 5 ounce package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped and divided
  • 24 regular sized (about 2 inches in diameter) peanut butter cups, divided


  1. Line a 13 by 9 inch pan with aluminum foil, extend foil by 2 inches over side. Grease lightly with cooking spray. Prepare brownies according to the recipe. Add peanut butter chips. Bake in foil lined pan for length of time required. Cool completely.
  2. Lift foil out of pan. Invert on cutting board. Remove foil. Cut into 3/4 inch pieces, using sharp knife.
  3. Coarsely chop peanut butter cups; 1/4 cup for garnish.
  4. Combine pudding mix and milk in large bowl. Beat at low speed for 2 minutes or until thickened (I had to chill mine for about 5 minutes to thicken it completely). Add peanut butter and vanilla; beat until smooth. Gently fold in half of whipped cream.
  5. Place half of brownies in bottom of trifle bowl; top with 1/2 of chopped candy and half of pudding. Repeat layers. Top with remaining whipped cream, spooned or piped on. Garnish top with remaining peanut butter cups.

Recipe Source: adapted from Merianne

37 Responses to Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

  1. Courtney says:

    Hi Mel-

    How far in advance can I make this before serving?

  2. Jen M says:

    My son wants me to make this for dessert for his Homecoming group. I’m wondering if you can tell me how many it serves? Then I’ll know how many to make. Thanks!

  3. Mel says:

    Hi Missie – it lists the size in the recipe – it is the 2-inch in diameter peanut butter cups, so not the miniatures but the regular sized ones.

  4. Missie Moore says:

    I’m curious about the peanut butter cups….the recipe calls for 24 regular size ones? Do u mean 24 regular miniatures or normal sized?

  5. Laura says:

    I made this for our friends that just got good news. Let me tell you, this is one of the best trifles I have ever made. I have been trying to come up with excuses so I can make it again. And it’s delicious for breakfast, too!

  6. […]     Print     Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  7. Samantha Winnie says:

    I made this recipe for my boss’s birthday yesterday and every single one of my co-workers including my boss loved it! Great recipe, and super fun to make.

  8. Melanie says:

    Dani – that can be so frustrating – I’m still sorry it didn’t work out like you hoped, but I am glad the kids still loved it!

  9. Dani says:

    Oh dear, then I’m not entirely sure what happened! I do have a guess now, though. I accidentally picked up the sugar-free Jello pudding mix, which I just read somewhere has extra thickening power. That must have been it, so I screwed it up. Apologies for “accusing” the ingredients list 🙂

    I was able to put it together eventually and the kids all loved it, so it wasn’t a waste! There’s that, at least. Thanks!

  10. Melanie says:

    Dani, AKA FIA – actually, it isn’t an error in the recipe, it should be a 5 ounce package of pudding. I double checked after reading your comment to be sure, and everywhere I looked (this recipe appears everywhere on the internet), it calls for a 5 ounce package of pudding mix to 3 cups milk (see this link: I’m sorry that it didn’t work out for you! I’m wondering what went wrong. Was it possible that you bought the cook and serve pudding? I’m wondering if that is thicker.

  11. Dani says:

    I just made this and think there might be an error in the ingredients list – I *think* you mean a 1.5 ounce package of pudding instead of 5 ounces of pudding. 5 ounces of pudding to 3 cups of milk makes a mixture so thick it’s impossible to beat together.

  12. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – yes you could definitely prepare this the morning before serving. I actually did that and it tasted fine (but was a bit soggy by the next day so I wouldn’t prepare it more in advance than the morning of). Hope you like it!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi Melanie,

    Would this be OK to prepare the morning of and keep it refrigerated? I would like to make this for the holidays! I guess I could also make the brownies the night before and that would help.

  14. Kara@ Creations by Kara says:

    Oh dear. My mouth is saying yes, but my hips are saying don’t you dare. Looks so yummy!

  15. Jenny says:

    So excited to try this! Do you add powdered sugar to your whipped cream? I’m assuming you use the real stuff and not cool whip, but I didn’t see to add sugar anywhere. Maybe I’m a bit of a dummy, but I had to ask!

  16. Marjie says:

    No one in their right mind would criticize you for not having a trifle bowl! I have used my cake dome, turned upside down on the upside down base, as a quasi-trifle bowl, in case you might want to try that. Peanut butter plus brownie makes everyone happy!

  17. Libby says:

    Oh my….this looks *delicious*!

  18. Molly says:

    OMG! this looks heavenly!
    Anything with Chocolate (especially brownies) and PB together is a winner in my book! So going to have to make this soon!

  19. Patsyk says:

    OMG! I think I gained a few pounds just thinking about how irresistable this trifle must be! YUM!

  20. Frieda says:

    I just did a post on peanut butter & chocolate no bake cookies. I love this combination!

  21. Melanie says:

    Hi Heather – that is a small world. I love Darcy to pieces! She was one of my best friends before I moved. She is so awesome – I wish I was half the woman she is! I’m trying to convince her to convince Jake to move to Wisconsin. I don’t think it is going to happen.

    I’m glad you’ve liked a few recipes. Great tip on using swiss chard. Are you an expert gardener like Darcy? Thanks for checking in!

  22. Bobbie says:

    Why is it that every recipe you post, I immediately copy, print, take to grocery store at lunch, get all things needed and cook immediately? You have very powerful recipes.

  23. grace says:

    utter decadence. it matters not what you serve it in because the beauty of it would stop any normal person in her tracks and the richness would take her to her knees. 🙂

  24. Merianne says:

    I’m glad you liked it! I feel honored that you’d mention MY name in your blog! 🙂

  25. Amy and David Ziehl says:

    So my mouth is totally watering right now! Looks totally delish!

  26. Hillary, Jonathan and Lincoln says:

    I love making trifles, so I will be trying this. I do have a trifle bowl, so I think I’ll just make the brownies in two 8 in. cake pans so I don’t have to cut them!

  27. Erin says:

    Oooh, I love trifles. I will have to make this for sure.

  28. Melanie says:

    Hey Jenny – if I am whipping cream to top a strawberry shortcake or pie I always add a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar when whipping. But for this recipe, there is enough sugar in the pudding and brownies that I didn’t add any to the whipped cream and it still tasted “sweet” enough!

  29. Emily says:

    This looks delicious! You inspired me to make my own cooking blog. Everything that I have made from your blog has been so amazingly delicious! Visit it at

  30. Laura says:

    OOOOh! Yummy. I have made brownie trifle before but not with peanut butter! Yummy!

  31. Heather says:

    This looks absolutely delicious!! I have been lurking around your blog for a long time, then found out that my sis-in-law, Darcy, is one of your friends! Such a small world! I love your recipes – you have so many good, easy, but delicious things to try! I have used your Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach many times, and it is FAB!! I have even been using swiss chard from the garden instead of spinach and it is still wonderful! Thanks for all the great recipes!

  32. Delectable Dining says:

    Oh man… this looks so unbelievably good!

  33. Christy says:

    I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter! Your dessert looks delicious!!

  34. My Sister's Kitchen says:

    I love this combo too. I will be making this for sure. Looks delicious!

  35. Psychgrad says:

    This looks like a great idea! But trifle in my fridge is already a bad idea…trifle with peanut butter and chocolate – that’s serious trouble.

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