Easy Trifle Recipe: It’s a Trifle Bar!

Welcome Back Foodie Friend! Today I’m sharing a fun and easy trifle recipe. It’s also a simple dessert for a crowd. You make up two easy cakes and two easy puddings and then put out some toppings. Your guests each grab a cup and layer things in as they like.

 A Trifle Bar is a perfect dessert for a crowd. This trifle recipe is fun, easy and make-ahead.

Our holiday party last week was a success. Everyone had a blast, including me. One of the highlights of the evening was this Build Your Own Trifle Recipe.

For this trifle recipe, guests get to put layers of tasty ingredients in their own cups. It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure Trifle.

Now I don’t really have a trifle recipe to share for this because it’s more about the idea than the recipe. But here’s what you do:

1) You make up two 9″ x 11″ cakes (I did one cake box white cake with cinnamon and cloves added and one pan of brownies). Once cooled, cut each into 30-40 small pieces.

2) You make up two kinds of pudding (I did 4 boxes of pudding total, 2 chocolate and 2 vanilla with a bit of orange zest added).

3) You put some toppings in bowls (berries, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, sprinkles, candied orange zest, M&Ms, crushed Oreo cookies, etc.).

4) Put out some plastic cups and spoons, the two kinds of cake, the two kinds of pudding, all the toppings and some whipped cream. Guests grab a cup and add whichever layers they’d like, finishing with some whipped cream. And then they dig in!

A Trifle Bar is the perfect easy and fun dessert for a crowd. Click here for the trifle recipe.

The best thing about this trifle recipe is that everything can be done well-ahead. The cakes can be made two days in advance (cover well with plastic wrap and keep them at room temperature) as can the puddings (cover well with plastic wrap and keep them refrigerated). If you’re making your own whipped cream, that has to be done within a couple of hours of serving. But if you buy a squirty bottle instead, you’re good to go anytime.

A great make-ahead dinner that you can serve as the main course with this trifle recipe is grilled chicken. Be sure to also check out my make-ahead grilled chicken for a crowd recipe.

Grilled Chicken for a Crowd

Now here’s the printable trifle recipe:

Create Your Own Trifle Recipe

For this trifle, you put out ingredients and your guests build their own trifles. It's a fun and simple dessert, perfect for a crowd.


  • 30 clear plastic drinking cups
  • 30 spoons
  • 2-9x11" cakes (from a cake box or homemade), cooled and cut into 30 small pieces
  • 2 (3.9oz) packages of pudding in flavor #1, prepared according to package directions
  • 2 (3.9oz) packages of pudding in flavor #2, prepared according to package directions
  • assorted toppings (e.g. berries, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, sprinkles, M&Ms, crushed Oreo cookies, etc.)
  • 3 cups of whipped cream (or one 14 oz. squirt canister)


  1. Place the drinking cups and spoons at the front of the table.
  2. Put each of the trifle elements in a separate bowl with a serving spoon.
  3. Tell your guests to have fun building their own trifle from the ingredients.
  4. Enjoy!

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  1. A Create Your Own Canapés Bar — May 19, 2015
  2. Lemon Curd Slices with Rosemary and Oranges - Cook the Story — March 2, 2015
  3. 40 Ideas for Build Your Own {Food} Bars — Giving Up on Perfect — January 23, 2015

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