Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle

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Grab that spoon and save room for dessert because this gooey, delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle is a chocolate lover’s dream.

So; I’m curious. Have you watched ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ yet? How about ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’ Surely ‘A Christmas Vacation’ has been in your video queue, right?

I’m not sure how it happened, but these are all a part of our Christmas routine, along with putting up three trees (yeah, that’s right, three of them), driving around at night multiple times to scope out the most awesomely decorated and lit houses, and listening to Kenny Rogers sing Mary Did You Know

In addition to that, our stockings are all hung by the chimney with care. Not only do we have ones for Sophie, Doug and myself, but our young lady made sure that Molly (our cat) and Fluffy (our turtle) were also represented even though Fluffy’s deep into her winter hibernation.

While things like this have become our family traditions leading up to Christmas day, one thing that isn’t is holiday baking. I don’t have a specific cake, cookie or other goodie that I’ve made year after year, decade after decade. I try new recipes, adapt old ones and go with whatever whim or magazine drifts my way.

This year, thanks to Sophie’s chocolate obsession, it ended up being this trifle.

The Process

I’m not going to gloss over this or beat around the bush. My kitchen’s a mess right now and it’s this dessert’s fault.  We’re talking stacks of bowls and cake pans, spatulas, beaters, wooden spoons, measuring cups and spoons. And that’s just the equipment.

There are also splatters of chocolate, brown fingerprints, and messed up towels all over. To add the exclamation mark to the process, I also have incredibly sticky sweet fluff dotting everything like a giant marshmallow exploded in my favorite room. It makes me want to weep.

Is this easy? No, not really. 

The cake/brownie part uses a lot of chocolate that needs to be microwaved until melted and smooth (first set of fingerprints all over the kitchen happened at this point). Then came the normal butter and sugar creaming and eggs added. The chocolate and vanilla went in and were mixed as well. 

When I hit the part where I needed to alternate the flour and milk, I realized that I was going to have a lot of batter. A word of warning; use a really big bowl because that flour and milk addition wasn’t the end of it. I also beat egg whites to stiff peaks and folded them in the batter before splitting it between three pans and baking the cake.

Then there’s the ganache. Another word of warning; don’t try to make it ahead of time. I did that and was more than a bit surprised when I went to give it a stir and the spoon wouldn’t move. Luckily 30 seconds in the microwave loosened it up nicely.

Finally, there’s the marshmallow topping. Three containers of the marshmallow fluff stuff go in a bowl with heavy cream. Have you ever tried mixing fluff and milk? It splatters. A lot. All over. I’ll probably need a ladder to get all of it off my walls. 

Unfortunately, even though I beat my heavy cream for over 5 minutes, it never set up to whipped cream level like I think it’s supposed to do. It tasted awesome, but was very loose.

The Verdict

All that work and all that mess. Was it worth it? To me, the chocolate disliker in the family; you probably don’t want to know. It’s really, really chocolaty. 

If you ask Doug, who’s scooping out a big bowl of it at the moment, you’ll get a resounding, ‘heck yeah.’ He says that it’s stinkin’ good, which is a high compliment. Sophie seconds his sentiments in spades. 

So is it worth it? To see them so happy and enjoying it … yes, it’s worth it. Way worth it.

What I’d Do Different Next Time


The Recipe

Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
from Southern Living Magazine, December 2014
Reviewed by:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 15-20 servings
For the Cake
  • 6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups cake flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon table salt
  • 2¼ cups milk

For the Ganache
  • 3 (4-oz.) semisweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
  • 2 (4-oz.) bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
  • 1½ to 1¾ cups heavy cream

For the Marshmallow Topping
  • 3 (7½-oz.) jars marshmallow crème
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  1. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Microwave chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 minute; stir. Microwave 2 to 2½ more minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended.
  2. Sift cake flour with next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Wash and dry beaters.
  3. Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir about one-third of egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Spoon batter into 3 greased (with butter) and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to parchment paper-lined wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour). Cut cake layers into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Make the ganache: Microwave first 2 ingredients and 1½ cups cream in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 minute; stir. Microwave 3 to 3½ more minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in up to ¼ cup cream, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Make the marshmallow topping: Beat marshmallow crème and 1 cup heavy cream at low speed with an electric mixer 1 to 1½ minutes or until combined and smooth. Add remaining heavy cream; beat at medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  7. Assemble: Layer one-third of cake cubes in a 4-qt. bowl. Top with one-third each of Chocolate Ganache and Marshmallow Topping. Repeat layers twice.
Note: Reserve ¾ cup ganache to serve with trifle. Just before serving, reheat reserved Chocolate Ganache in a microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds.


Yes, this does make enough to feed a small army, but since we’ll be with family tomorrow, there will be more than us whittling away at it. I assume that it will also serve as breakfast for a few days and that’s okay because, after all, it’s Christmas.


7 thoughts on “Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle

  • Pingback: The Most Popular Mexican Christmas Desserts - Christmas Baking Ideas

  • January 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    WHOA! I am in love with this! Honestly, what a mouth-watering picture. That cake sounds wonderful … I love chocolate and cinnamon together then top I get to top it with marshmallow sauce and ganache? Pinch me. I must be dreaming.

  • January 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I am sad to say, we watched no traditional Christmas movies this year. I did however, sneak into my room for a binge on Hallmark Christmas movies.
    That trifle is beautiful, even if the whipped cream was obstinate. I am sure my family would have loved it.

    • January 7, 2015 at 9:41 am

      You know, I've never watched a Hallmark Christmas movie. I know they'd end up making me cry. :)

  • December 31, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I really wanted a trifle dish for Christmas. Maybe I can find a sale now. (Trying to catch up a bit on my blog reading today.) Hope you had a great holiday!

    • January 6, 2015 at 7:32 am

      An odd thing happened with that trifle bowl up there. Doug dropped it while we were bringing stuff from the car to the house once we got home and it broke. Sadness ensued, but I headed to my favorite thrift store and found an awesome one for $8.


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