Brownie Black Forest Trifle combines fudge chocolate brownies with red cherries and whipped cream. Optional to add the sherry!

clear bowl of layered Brownie Black Forest Trifle

Friends, when I think about desserts this time of year, trifle always comes to mind. The ultimate chocolate-cherry dessert! Or, you can always size this EPIC Christmas Dessert Board to the number you are feeding!

Brownie Black Forest Trifle

Today I’m sharing a Brownie Black Forest Trifle your family will love. It serves around 10 people. Oh, and need a trifle bowl for the holidays? You can order a trifle bowl here.

Brownie Black Forest Trifle iin clear trifle dish

Trifle Holiday Dessert

This recipe is a great holiday dessert, and easy to bring to a party. Or make ahead and pop in the fridge. Make ahead the brownies to cool, or you can even keep the “brownie chunks” in the freezer!

Brownie Black Forest Trifle

Ingredients for Black Forest Trifle

I love a good recipe you can make ahead.

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Creme fraiche’ (optional)
  • Vanilla
  • Kosher salt
  • Powdered sugar
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate instant pudding
  • Dark sweet cherries
  • Cream sherry (optional)
  • Pistachio nuts, finely chopped

layers of brownies, whipped cream, pudding, cherries

What’s the best cream sherry?

Here are a few brands that are recommended, and it’s optional (of course).

  • Don Benigno Cream Sherry
  • Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry
  • Christian Brothers Cream Sherry
  • Savory & James Cream Sherry
  • Osborne Cream (Sweet Oloroso) Sherry

brownie chunks, cherries and pistachios on Brownie Black Forest Trifle

Why add creme fraiche?

Whip the cream until thick, and then add in creme fraiche, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Gently mix and set aside.

It’s optional to add the creme fraiche, but it does make the cream more lush, creamy, and tart.

Thanksgiving table 

Counting our blessings

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, which was much quieter, with fewer people around the table this year, my husband read these great words by Anne Lamott from his iPad.

Before we dug into the amazing feast that Abby cooked for us, these words rang true.

reading anne lamott

No matter how you say it, grace can transform an ordinary meal into a celebration—of family, love, and gratitude. You can read more here: Counting Our Blessings and Why We Say Grace (and maybe read at your family table this Christmas season?) 

glass trifle dish of Brownie Black Forest Trifle

Layers of brownies and whipped cream

The layers in this Black Forest Trifle all combine into an amazing combination of chocolate and cherry and cream, which makes the richest flavor.

Trifle reminds me of Paul’s family, because every year together (which were only a few) before his parents passed away, his mother Betty would make trifle!

clear bowl of layered Brownie Black Forest Trifle
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Brownie Black Forest Trifle


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche’, optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 9x13 pan brownies, cut into 1” chunks, divided
  • 1 5.9 oz chocolate instant pudding, divided (make according to package directions with milk)
  • 2 15 oz cans dark sweet cherries, drained
  • 1/3 cup cream sherry, optional
  • 1 Tbsp. pistachio nuts, finely chopped


  • Make the brownies according to package directions. Allow to cool.
  • Soak the drained cherries in the cream sherry. If you don’t want booze, then just drain and set aside.
  • Make the instant pudding according to package directions (add milk), and refrigerate.
  • Whip the cream until thick, and then add in creme fraiche, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Gently mix and set aside. [It’s optional to add the creme fraiche, but it does make the cream more lush, creamy, and tart).
  • In a trifle dish, or a large clear glass bowl, layer half of the brownies, half of the pudding, and half of the cherries. Then spread half of the whipped cream on top.
  • Repeat the process with remaining ingredients, ending with the whipped cream, 1/2 cup of brownie chunks, and a sprinkle of pistachios!
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

brownies and cherries on black forest trifle

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