Trifle…not Parfait

In Cakes, Recipe by Simmie2 Comments


I make this trifle a lot. Like pretty much everytime I make a carved cake. Because, what do you do with all the scraps when you do this:

Crab - Carved Body

See that plastic container in the upper right corner? That’s right. Cake scraps. Lots and lots of cake scraps. And I can only think of a couple of things to do with those:

1. Eat them. There have definitely been some instances where I have stood there with a beautifully carved cake in front of me and heaping pile of scraps on a tray next to me. Just looking at me all buttery and sweet, daring me to just eat them. And eat them I have. Standing over the sink. Shoveling cake into my mouth in huge bites, barely giving myself time to take a breath. It’s quite a sight. However, there’s only so much cake I can eat, so…

2. Throw the cake away. Well, that’s just sad, so…

3. Add a few ingredients and make a delightful dessert. Trifle!

So trifle it is. And it’s trifle, not parfait. Do not get confused. A trifle has cake. A parfait doesn’t. Extensive research has been done at my work to ensure that we do not offend this great dessert by calling it by its incorrect name.

Luckily trifle is really really easy to make. I can whip this baby up in 5-10 minutes, and the presentation is particularly impressive.


Leftover Cake Trifle

  • Leftover Cake
  • 2 packages of instant pudding, whatever flavor tickles your fancy
  • 2 cups of milk (for the pudding)
  • 2 containers (16 oz) of cool-whip (or whipped cream if you are being extremely decadent)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles


Cut up the leftover cake you have into 1-inch squares or smaller. It’s not an exact science. Put half of the cake you have into the bottom of the bowl, enough at least to cover the bottom. using a clear bowl is best so everyone can see the layers. It sure lends itself to a nice presentation. The Jackster gave me this trifle bowl, but before I just used a large glass bowl.


Prepare the pudding according to the box. If it’s instant, this usually just involves stirring the pudding mix into the milk and letting it set in the fridge. Sometimes I just make a double batch of the same flavor, and sometimes I make two different flavors. It’s really up to you. You could also go out on a limb and make your own pudding from scratch, but by the time I get to trifle-making, I’ve usually just spent a number of hours making a cake and don’t have the patience for that. Once the pudding sets, take half and pour it over the cake, making sure to spread the layer out to the edge.


After that sprinkle on half the chocolate chips. I use chocolate chips because that’s usually what I have in my pantry. You could use nuts, fruit, M&Ms, broken up candy pieces, I like to put something solid in there to give it a little texture. Then top that layer with one container of cool whip (8 oz).  Let the cool whip sit out for a little while to soften up and give it a good stir before trying to spread it over the pudding. You want to make sure you have distinct layers. As with the pudding, make sure to spread the cool whip out to the edge of the bowl.


Repeat these layers with the remaining ingredients until the bowl is filled. I usually do two complete layer sets, but you could do more if you wanted. To finish it off, I usually top it off with a generous smattering of rainbow sprinkles to give it some color, but you can use chocolate sprinkles, more chocolate chips, fruit, nothing, whatever works for you.

It’s quick and easy and all you need is a few basic ingredients. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. Unless of course, you make this.



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