It’s like Halloween in a bowl!

What is a spooky Halloween Trifle? Why it’s two layers of my deliciously moist and fluffy chocolate cake filled with vanilla cream and PEEPS ghost. Then topped with my airy and not overly sweet buttercream and ALL the Halloween sprinkles I could find. Have you had a trifle before?

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Spooky Halloween Trifle

Spooky Halloween Trifle

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

All things Halloween in a trifle!


  • 1 ½ sticks butter at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water or fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream at room temperature (see notes)
  • Vanilla pudding (I used 4 boxes)
  • PEEPs ghost (2 packages)
  • Orange food gel color
  • Purple food gel color
  • Halloween sprinkles assortment


Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy on a medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. Beat butter mixture at a medium speed for about 1 minute.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture while alternating with water. Be sure to start and end with the dry ingredient mix.
  7. On a low speed, mix until creamy. You should not need to mix longer than a minute at most. With that said, be sure not to over mix.
  8. Pour cake batter into a prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan. After, invert onto cooling rack and let cook entirely.
  11. Once cooled, level and half your cake.

Vanilla Buttercream

  1. If not already done prior, sift 4 cups of powdered sugar. When finished, measure out 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar and put away what’s left.
  2. Beat butter and shortening together until both are well combined, light, and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Place your stand mixer, or hand mixer, on the lowest possible setting. Begin to slowly and gradually add in your powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. (see notes)
  5. Add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating buttercream at a medium speed until light & fluffy. (see notes)
  6. Separate out about 1/3 of your vanilla buttercream into a mixing bowl for your orange buttercream.
  7. Add a few drops of orange food gel color and whip on a high speed for a good minute until color is fully incorporated.
  8. Take your purple food gel color, add a few drops into your remaining white vanilla buttercream, and whip on a high speed for a good minute until color is fully incorporated.

Vanilla Pudding

  1. Make pre-packaged vanilla pudding according to directions.
  2. Add a few drops of orange food gel color,
  3. Whip on a high speed until color is fully incorporated.

Filling Your Trifle Bowl

  1. Add a bottom layer of chocolate cake to the bottom of your trifle bowl.
  2. Arrange your PEEPs so they are sitting on top of your chocolate cake and resting against the glass of your trifle bowl.
  3. Fill with orange vanilla pudding.
  4. Add your top layer of chocolate cake.
  5. **OPTIONAL** You can add a top layer of vanilla pudding if you have any left over for your initial fill.
  6. Decorate the top layer with a boarder of purple buttercream.
  7. Pipe orange buttercream in the center of your purple border.
  8. Sprinkle with your festive Halloween sprinkles.
  9. Add 4 PEEPs to the center of your trifle so they are standing back to back.
  10. Scoop and ENJOY!


  • Recipe Ingredients: The ingredients have been sorted by the instructions - cake, buttercream, decorations.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the "next best way to prepare your pan" article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.
  • If you’d prefer to skip the shortening, simply swap it out with 1 additional stick of room temperature butter.
  • If you’d prefer a more white, stiffer, buttercream then simply omit the butter & replace with 1 additional cup of shortening. Also be sure to swap out the vanilla extract for clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your powdered sugar. This will help the sugar mix into the butter & shortening smoothly.
  • When all your powdered sugar has been added in, the buttercream will appear dry. Don’t raise the alarms. When adding in your milk or heavy cream, your buttercream will start to have the fluffy texture it‘s known for.
  • Keep in mind that your heavy cream should be added in 1 tablespoon at a time. I do this way to make sure I am not drowning my buttercream to the point of a soupy mess.
  • Also worth mentioning, if desired, you can easily swap out the heavy cream for equal parts of your preferred milk such as whole milk or buttermilk.

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