Trifles are a super easy dessert with maximum flavor payoff. They are layered desserts usually consisting of a cake or cookie layer, pudding, whipped cream, and other flavorings all layered in a trifle dish. These dishes allow each layer of the dessert to show, leading to a beautiful, show-stopping, and colorful dessert.
Trifles come in all flavors and this Cappuccino Mousse Trifle has amazing notes of espresso, vanilla, and chocolate. Lucious, smooth vanilla pudding is combined with instant espresso powder to make the filling, which blankets some store-bought pound cake cubes soaked in a coffee and milk mixture.
All great trifles start with a sweet pound cake to create the first layer. The cake mingles with the pudding as the trifle sits, making a silky yet filling layered dessert. Store-bought pound cake is delicious in this recipe, but you can make a homemade pound cake if you prefer. Trifles are also good for day-old pound cake because the layers hydrate the dried-out cake.
The cake is dressed up slightly during the layering process. A mixture of whole milk and espresso powder is spooned over the cake pieces to keep the cake extra moist and to add even more coffee flavor. This is done for each cake layer, but be sure not to add too much! You don’t want your trifle to become too wet, otherwise, it will become watery and soupy.
The mousse layer is where this recipe comes alive. To make this recipe simple, use instant vanilla pudding mix as the base. You can make your own homemade pudding here if you have the time, but it is not necessary. To the pudding, add instant espresso powder to give the cappuccino aspect of the trifle and fold in some whipped topping for lightness.
Whipped topping is super important for this recipe. You can always substitute with freshly whipped cream, but the height and creaminess that whipped topping gives are unparalleled. Half of the topping is folded into the pudding mixture and the other half is saved for topping this delightful trifle.
The topping requires some extra special attention since the presentation is everything when serving a trifle. You want even, distinct layers of cake, pudding, and whipped topping. For extra color and chocolate flavor, both semisweet and white chocolate shavings are sprinkled over the top. The chocolate highlights the coffee flavor so nicely!
Make this Cappuccino Mousse Trifle for all your coffee-loving friends out there. It is the perfect dessert to bring to a dinner party or tea party. No matter the occasion, this coffee-flavored trifle will be your new favorite dessert!
In a bowl, whisk the whole milk with the espresso powder. Allow the coffee to dissolve fully. Remove 1 cup of the coffee/milk mixture and set aside. Add both packages of the instant vanilla pudding mix and whisk until the mixture becomes thick, about 3-4 minutes.
Using a spatula, fold ½ of the whipped topping into the vanilla pudding mixture, being extra careful to not deflate the topping. Set aside the other half of the whipped topping for later.
Cube your pound cake into 1-inch pieces. In a trifle dish, layer some of the cake cubes into the bottom in a thin even layer. Top the cake with a few tablespoons of the reserved milk and coffee mixture.
Spoon a layer of the pudding mixture over the top of the soaked cake. Continue with another layer of cake, milk mixture, and pudding mixture until you are out of cake and pudding.
Top the final layer with the rest of the whipped topping. Sprinkle the semisweet and white chocolate over the top and place it in the refrigerator.
Cover with plastic wrap. Allow the trifle to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, up until overnight. The longer the cake sits, the better it gets.