Red Velvet Trifle (a recipe for the holidays)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosures here.

Are you guys all ready for Christmas & the Holidays? All presents are bought and wrapped, right? Right! Righhhht.
Nope. I’ve finished shopping but I’ve still got some wrapping to do. Always.
But first, how about a little dessert? :) Mmmm, Red Velvet Trifle.


When I see Red Velvet …anything…I almost always think “holidays”.

I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s RED? Or maybe it’s because that’s the only time of year I make Red Velvet Cake.
I posted our family recipe last year, in December. You can see that “super secret” recipe –> here.

Just kidding.

It’s not super secret…well, because I’ve already given it to you in the post linked above.

What it is, is different.
Different than any other Red Velvet cupcake, or cake I’ve eaten since it became “the most popular thing ever” in recent years.
Yes, most of the newer recipes use Cream Cheese Frosting of some variation.

MY recipe does not.

It is, what I believe to be, the original Red Velvet Recipe of old.

Don’t get me wrong, it tastes just lovely with Cream Cheese Frosting….but it’s not what I think of as true Red Velvet.
And the frosting is what makes it, in my humble little opinion. :) So why in the world am I talking so much about this, you are no doubt wondering?
Because the recipe I am about to present to you….has cream cheese in it. HUH?

Yep. It surely does.

BUT understand, this is really the only way I could make a proper red velvet trifle.
The frosting in my “original” Red Velvet Cake does not have enough body to hold up well in a trifle.
Ok, well, not as much as I’d like.

So, I did indeed include CREAM CHEESE in this recipe. :) The shame.

It’s yummy though, I promise.  —-> However, I still love my regular ole Red Velvet Cake…but this really is a nice change up. (and really easy…and I LOVE that!)

BEST dessert!! So easy, love this Red Velvet Trifle!! #redvelvet #redvelvetcake #redvelvettrifle

Here’s the ingredients for the Red Velvet Trifle ….(for the most part)

Red Velvet Trifle Ingredients
I did this Red Velvet Trifle recipe “on the fly” so wasn’t sure how much or which pudding I’d use until I got into it.
My feeling is you can use either White Chocolate Pudding (what I used) or the Cheesecake Pudding (which I did not use) I wasn’t sure which I’d put in it and figured both would work so put them both in the photo.

I also only used one package of cream cheese.
For this recipe you can use a home made version of the cake if you’d like.
I was focusing on making a really simple & quick holiday dessert so I used a mix.

Bake as directed (I actually omitted one egg) …

Red Velvet Cake in Pans BEST dessert!! So easy, love this Red Velvet Trifle!! #redvelvet #redvelvetcake #redvelvettrifle

While those were cooking I mixed up the instant White Chocolate Pudding mix as directed.
After is was thickened I added half of the large Cool Whip (any brand will do) container.

Mix well.

Make White Chocolate Instant Pudding - Mix in Half of the Whipped Topping BEST dessert!! So easy, love this Red Velvet Trifle!! #redvelvet #redvelvetcake #redvelvettrifle

Next I put the softened cream cheese in a different bowl and added 1 teaspoon of vanilla & 1/2 cup of sugar along with the other half of the  container of Cool Whip Topping.
(note-I don’t eat sweets often so for my liking,  I would probably leave out the sugar.
I only included it because most people will want the 1/2 cup in…or even possibly more.)
Do a taste test to see how you like it without and leave it out or add more than the 1/2 cup, as you desire)
Mix well.

Mix Softened Cream Cheese with the Other Half of Whipped Topping BEST dessert!! So easy, love this Red Velvet Trifle!! #redvelvet #redvelvetcake #redvelvettrifle
Set these 2 bowls aside.

Once the cakes are out of the oven and have cooled completely I removed them from the pans and cut them into little squares.

Cutting Red Velvet Cake into Small Squares- #redvelvet BEST dessert!! So easy, love this Red Velvet Trifle!! #redvelvet #redvelvetcake #redvelvettrifle

Begin layering the chopped cake pieces in the bottom of your trifle bowl.
I make another trifle for events and get togethers that uses a certain kind of candy bar that lends a “crunch” to the dish.
I wanted this one to have a similar texture so decided to add shaved white chocolate in the layers. (see my EDIT at the bottom of this page!)
(By the way, that one is fabulous and I’ll be sharing the recipe after the holidays :) )

Layer of Red Velvet Squares in the Bottom of the Trifle Bowl (shaved white chocolate sprinkled on top)

There really is no wrong or right way to do this. I just chose to start with the cake and a layer of shaved white chocolate over that.

Next a layer of the White Chocolate Pudding mixture…along with yet another layer of cake and shaved chocolate. (you can use white or milk chocolate)

Layering of Red Velvet Trifle

After the second cake/shaved chocolate layer I will now put the Cream Cheese filling on top….like so….

Cream Cheese Layer BEST dessert!! So easy, love this Red Velvet Trifle!! #redvelvet #redvelvetcake #redvelvettrifle

One more layer of cake and shaved chocolate over that…..and then top it off with the remaining White Chocolate Pudding mixture.
(I ended it with that because it is a little “prettier” and easier to swirl at the top)

Top of Red Velvet Trifle without Red Sprinkles

Only a tiny bit of cake was left over. Everything else fit in that bowl. ;)

Finished Red Velvet Trifle- #redvelvet

I ended up sprinkling red sugar crystals and shaved chocolate on the top on the top of my red velvet trifle.
I didn’t like it! (you can see it in the first picture in this post)
The white creaminess of the top before was much prettier, in my opinion.

Next time I will leave it off.

Recipe for the Red Velvet Trifle

5 from 1 vote

Red Velvet Trifle

Author Nancy @ Artsy Chicks


  • 1 Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 1 16 oz Whipped Topping
  • 1 small box of either Cheesecake , White Chocolate or VANILLA Pudding Mix Vanilla adds more flavor
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar more or less, to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • White Chocolate Bar or White Chocolate Kit Kat Bars, recommended
  • Red Sprinkles optional


  1. Mix and bake cake per directions on the box. (can omit one egg)
  2. Let cool completely.
  3. Mix pudding per directions on the box. Once set, mix in 8 oz of the 16 oz Whipped Topping.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the softened cream cheese with the other 8 oz Whipped Topping. Mix in 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp of Vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Set both bowls aside.
  6. Once the cake is cool, remove from the pans and cut into small squares.
  7. Layer the cake, shaved white chocolate and both fillings alternately.
  8. Finish with shaved chocolate and red sprinkles, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Super quick and easy holiday dessert for events or family!

NOTE: I have modified this red velvet trifle, see below.
You’ll want to take a look! ;)

Super quick and really easy to make. And SO pretty all layered up in the trifle bowl.

Perfect for the holidays.

Love it? PIN it to save it!

BEST dessert!! So easy, love this Red Velvet Trifle!! #redvelvet #redvelvetcake #redvelvettrifle


I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!!!!
Enjoy and treasure this time spent with family & friends.



Signature for Blogsmall

**Please visit my new FOOD blog over at for more recipes!**


OK, so I mentioned I created this recipe “on the fly”. I did!

So that means I am apt to change it if I make it again….which I also did.

I just finished making this for our Christmas Dinner we are having tomorrow and decided to change a few things.

I want to share with you! I think both ways are good but this is just a little different (and myself and my husband like it better…yes, I saved a bit out to “taste test” ;) )

I used White Kit Kat bars in place of the shaved white chocolate bar ….. and Vanilla pudding instead of White Chocolate pudding.

Kit Kat White for Red Trifle

I crunched up the Kit Kat bars well and layered them on top of the cake pieces for each layer as you can see below…..

The filling is not as white as the original because of the Vanilla Pudding but I am ok with that.

I also decided to do the top differently….which I also like better! ;)

A little bit of the cake pieces and crunched up Kit Kat bar on top to garnish.

So pretty. :)

Red Velvet Trifle Recipe Modified!! Check out the "new addition" YUM- #redvelvet

You can do it either way. Garnish or no garnish. And I still believe any of the puddings mentioned in this post will work well.

I do think I like this mixture the best so far though. I really like the little bit of “crunch” that the Kit Kat bar gives to the whole dish.

If you try it….let me know what you think! :)

Ok, back to preparing and cooking food for tomorrow!  I wanted to jump in here real quick with an update in case you wanted to make this for your guests, family, etc.

Merry Christmas!! xoxo

 You may also like these recipes:


I’ve included some affiliate links for related items. See my disclosure here.


  1. Fabulous! Tasty and beautiful! No time to chat, I’m heading out to the store now to pick up these ingredients! Once again, thanks for making our lives so much better by sharing yours! :)

    1. Oh I so agree Christy! ;) Why is that? lol
      Merry Christmas to you!! (it’s finally feeling like Christmas with the colder weather huh?!)

  2. So I really did go to the store and picked up all of the ingredients so I can make and take this to our family gathering at my son’s house on Christmas. Can I make this one day in advance or will the cake get soggy? I can pre-make everything today and assemble it there tomorrow if necessary. Any advice? Yours looks soooo perfect! I’m hoping mine comes close! Thanks Nancy! Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family :)

    1. Oh that is great! Well, I just made it again today (to serve tomorrow). :) I will put it in the fridge (I actually like it better after it sits a day anyway) and serve after dinner tomorrow.
      I did modify my recipe a bit though. I’ve edited the post if you’d like to take a look! I know, I know….I can never just do things one way (just like when I’m painting…or repainting!)
      You might want to check out the changes I made…not any biggies but it does taste yummy! Both ways are tasty though.

      You could make the cake and the fillings and assemble tomorrow if you like. It wouldn’t take long at all if you have it all ready to go.
      I am sure yours will be beautiful Heidi!
      Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! :)

    1. Thank you Krista! It is delicious both ways…but I honestly have to say I like the second version best! ;)
      Happy New Year to you!

  3. Just wanted to say thanks again for this recipe! It was a huge hit at our family’s Christmas dinner and is destined to become a new tradition. I used the original recipe with white chocolate pudding and everyone absolutely loved it! I posted pictures of the finished “masterpiece” on facebook and as a result have shared the link to your blog with several friends! You are amazing, as are your projects, tips, recipes and insights. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in the New Year. Wishing you one of your best ever!

    1. Oh you are so welcome Heidi! I am SO happy everyone loved it!! :) It was so easy to make too, wasn’t it??! I bet yours was beautiful.
      Thank you so much for sharing my blog with your friends!
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a very Happy New Year friend!!

  4. I made this twice over the holidays for two different gatherings. EVERYBODY LOVED IT!!!
    I did put a layer of fresh raspberries on top though….It was sensational.

    1. Hi Dolly,
      Thanks so much for letting me know! :) I had trouble finding the white kit kat bars so had to settle for the chocolate this year. It wasn’t quite the same but still good.
      The raspberries sound like a very nice touch to this dish!!


  5. Hi, Nancy. I am an East Coat girl too. Just made your red velvet trife. My husband loves red velvet cake. I am a “lazy” chef – don’t really cook – maybe 2 or 3 times a year. Your recipe is easy but I wanted easier so I combined the cream cheese with the cheesecake pudding and cool whip – DELICIOUS!

    1. Hi Robin!
      Nice to “meet” ya! And I’m so glad you enjoyed the trifle!
      Yep, you can do that too!! Easy is always best!! ;)

  6. Due to health reasons, I cannot have Cool Whip. Do you think the consistency of real “heavy whipping cream” made into whipped cream would also work with this dish? I would have to make it the night before. I know that you mentioned that “real cream cheese icing” would not work due to the consistency. Thank you!

  7. YAY! I have been waiting forever for someone to step up and post the
    recipe for Red Velvet Cake with the cooked frosting; which is the only way
    I have ever made it (for about 50 years plus). I have eaten it with the cream
    cheese frosting, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the cooked frosting.
    I have had the idea to do a trifle with red velvet for sometime, did the cooked frosting not hold up? I have found that the cooked frosting will
    not set up and take shape if there is any humidity whatsoever……. I intend to make the trifle for Christmas Dinner.

    1. Yes!! It’s the only way!! I so agree! :)
      For the trifle, I actually did use cream cheese because the other frosting would not have held up. In that dish, it is delicious! I highly recommend both recipes. xo

    1. Hello Sylvia! I am sorry, I don’t know the exact size. BUT is it not large, I would say a medium sized trifle bowl. I hope that helps!

  8. I’m wondering about how many servings does this recipe make. I want to make it for Christmas and I have 15 people coming over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.