Last-Minute Thanksgiving Dessert: Boozy Chocolate Trifle

As you could probably guess, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It is all about food and family and it’s the one time I can eat as much canned cranberry sauce as I like without judgement. Every year, my dad whips up a quick, easy, and boozy Thanksgiving trifle and I help him out. It’s only 5 ingredients and you could probably make it in the car on your way over to your family’s house; that’s how easy it is. It is sinfully simple, mostly because of the addition of the Kahlua. We are Cookin’ with Booze: Thanksgiving style!

What you need: only 5 ingredients!

  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • ½ cup Kahlua
  • 1 small store bought chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
  • 1 packet instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 Hershey bar for garnish

It’s Trifle Time

The only ingredient that isn’t ready for immediate assembly is the chocolate pudding, so let’s start there. Stir the milk into the pudding until it is the right consistency (about 5 minutes).

When the pudding is ready, we can start assembling the trifle (quick, I know). Cut the cake into 1 inch slices and lay them in the bottom of your trifle dish. Next, pour half the Kahlua evenly over the cake so it soaks up all the yumminess.

Once the cakes have soaked up the boozy goodness, spread ⅓ of the pudding over the cakes. Next, take ⅓ of the Cool Whip and spread it evenly over the pudding. Make sure the Cool Whip and pudding go all the way to the sides of your dish, so you can see the layers.

Repeat the layering process two more times and then it’s time to decorate the top. We usually decorate the top pretty simply with chocolate shavings. To make chocolate shavings, you just take a vegetable peeler and shave the chocolate all over the top.  

the method to the madness

Theoretically, you could make all of these ingredients yourself, but during the holidays no one has time for that. If people have enough of this trifle, they won’t care where it came from because the Kahlua and chocolate combo is just heavenly (and might make them a bit tipsy).


This dessert has been a family favorite for years because it adds some variety to the dessert table. If you’re in a bind and need a dessert ready in 10 minutes, I hope this recipe helps you out!

PS: Because it’s easy to get heavy handed with the Kahlua, keep the kids away from this dessert. While they may appreciate the depth of flavor the Kahlua adds, probably best they steer clear.

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