I have one very distinct memory of the end of summer.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle I howsweeteats.com

We were at a neighbors house – specifically in their pool – which was awesome because we didn’t have a pool and I’d jump at any chance to swim. Lots of people were there, lots of kids, my brothers, neighborhood friends, tons of food and a particular plate of chocolate chip cookies that I was doing a number on.

But then it started to get dark. And sort of late. So I got out of the pool. Ran home. Got a shower. And I got in bed. My parents didn’t tell me to. My brothers didn’t follow. And all this time… it was still actually light out. I was such a high-strung, type-A nutjob that even in middle school, I had to run home and ease myself into my 9PM bedtime because I was a massive dork. Ugh! You’re killin’ me smalls. I actually remember lying in my bed with the lights out that night, the tiniest bit of sunlight peeking through the window… and tons of shrills and screams from the kids who were still outside having a blast soaking up every last summery drop, and who consequently had to be dragged home by their parents, kicking and screaming because they were… normal.


As a side note, I should mention that this was probably the night before a really important morning – which included shaving my legs for the first time after my mom made it clear that I wasn’t allowed. HA! I showed her. I woke up super early after carefully planning my mission for two weeks because there was no way I was headed to that first day of school with hairy legs. I was wearing an acid wash jean skirt FYI… and I definitely wore it with Samba soccer shoes. And I never played soccer, ever. Somehow, this made me as cool as Kelly Taylor, and I was fully convinced I’d find my own Dylan (sideburns included) in a getup as such.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle I howsweeteats.com

Don’t worry. I’ve lightened up some. I go to bed around 10PM now, and I’m certainly not anywhere near as type-A as I was, but that’s only because I’ve been forced to change. Trust me. If there were two of us that type-A in this house? No one would make it out alive. Plus, being type-B, or in my case, type-Z, or whatever you’d like to call it is an excellent excuse for leaving your clothes all over the floor for two whole weeks. Which is definitely… not… where… mine… are.


So do you want to hear about this mess in a dish? Because I didn’t really have intentions of sharing even though I nearly did a swan dive off my dining room table into the whipped cream.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle I howsweeteats.com

My mom used to make the best trifle when I was younger. It was filled with pound cake cubes, layers of a creamy vanilla custard-like pudding and tons of sugary berries and fruit. I haven’t thought about it in years, but when I was in dire need of a dessert for Labor Day festivities, many Facebook friends suggested a trifle of some sort.


I thought about it.

Actually, all I could think of was chocolate and peanut butter. I don’t know why. It’s just on my brain most days. But when I added “trifle” to those thoughts, good things started blooming. Sure enough, the only way a trifle was happening was if it consisted of piles of those two ingredients. I have to be in “a mood” to have fruit for dessert, and Sunday was not one of those days. Bring on the fudge.

Here’s the deal. Since you’re going to sandwich squares of fudgy brownies between a make-shift peanut butter mousse, I’m telling you to use store-bought things. Of course, you can make your own brownies if you’d like to. But on the last day of summer, creaming and beating butter and sugar for a homemade brownie that was essentially being mashed into a bowl of goop? Not my idea of fun. I did make my own whipped cream, but that’s simply because I had a pint of cream that was ready to go meet Jesus. Otherwise… do your thing: boxed brownies, creamy peanut butter, instant pudding and a big ol’ tub of cool whip. A few bites of this stuff won’t kill you folks. It was the epicenter of the 1990s.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle I howsweeteats.com

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle

1 batch of your favorite brownies, boxed or from scratch, cooled and cut into cubes

1 large box (5-ounce) of instant chocolate pudding, prepared and chilled (this will most likely call for 3 cups of milk, nothing else)

1 bag of peanut butter cups, chopped (I used Dove chocolate peanut butter Promises)

2 cups heavy cream

3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar, depending on your desired level of sweetness

1 cup of creamy peanut butter

1 cup of powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

8 ounces of whipped cream cheese, at room temperature

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat heavy cream and sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to an separate bowl and stick in the fridge until ready to use. I did not even clean the bowl of my electric mixer and just began mixing the peanut butter mixture.

Add the peanut butter and cream cheese to the bowl and beat at medium speed, scraping down the sides a few times until mixture is creamy. Add in powdered sugar and mix until combined, then mix in 2 tablespoons of milk. Remove the whipped cream from the fridge and add 1 cup of it to the peanut butter, folding it in until the mixture turns lighter in color and is mostly combined.

Grab your trifle dish and begin to layer your ingredients however you’d like. I did a layer of brownies, then peanut butter, then a handful of chopped peanut butter cups, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and so on. I repeated it until I got to the top, then piped the remaining whipped cream on top and sprinkled the candy on. You really can’t go wrong with layering – just use a long spoon to serve!

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle I howsweeteats.com

Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have some real food for you to eat around this joint. Unless you want to survive on trifle. I totally can.

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246 Responses to “Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle.”

  1. #
    Donna — April 7, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    I just made it for Easter tomorrow. It was easy and was able to sweeten how much I wanted. Being diabetic, I used less sugar. Thanks for the recipe


  2. #
    Brittany C. — April 7, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

    Hi, I just found your blog, via pinterest, and after reading this post, and recipe, I can tell this is the start of a long blogging and fooding relationship. I think I’m gonna have to make this trifle for Easter dinner dessert. It looks ah-mazing! Can’t wait to try out more recipes!!


    • sandra katterhenry — April 17th, 2012 @ 9:30 am

      I was wanting to make this the night before wondering if I might use cool whip in place of the whip cream ? I didn’t think the cool whip would break down like the whip cream might. Any thoughts ?


      • Jessica — April 17th, 2012 @ 11:33 am

        Cool Whip should be fine!

  3. #
    sara — April 28, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    I want to make this for a shower tomorrow. I see that other made it the day before. Have you tried this? Or should it be made the day of? Does it stay as pretty if made in advance?


    • Jessica — April 28th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

      I haven’t tried personally but it seems like it’s been okay for others. I worry about it sinking though. What if you made everything/mixed everything and stored it in the fridge today, then layered it first thing tomorrow morning?


  4. #
    Ashley — May 8, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    I made this for a friend at works birthday today! Everyone loved it! It was nice and light and fluffy and just rich enough! Thanks!


  5. #
    Becca Kirkpatrick — May 9, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    I made this today for our Teacher Appreciation Week luncheon. It was a HUGE hit! Thank you for a wonderful recipe that I have now shared with all the teachers at our school. I made the brownies, pudding and peanut butter mixture the night before & then layered the next morning. I also used Cool Whip in place of homemade whipped cream to save time (and because I had some in the freezer). Can’t wait to make it again!


  6. #
    Teresa — May 11, 2012 @ 4:54 am

    I think I might make this for my mom for Mothers Day,she would luv it


  7. #
    Charene — May 12, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    I was going to make this for a get together we are having, but I’m confused. It referenced using the peanut butter pie filling from the other pie recipe, but in your directions and ingredients, it looks like you make it minus a couple of pie filling ingredients (sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and lemon). Which version of peanut butter filling should be used? Have you made this with the pie filling ingredients? Just wondering how the sweetened condensed milk would do in this or should it be omitted.



    • Jen — August 20th, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

      Hi Charene – which PB filling recipe did you end up using? with or without (condensed milk, vanilla, lemon)??


  8. #
    Natalie — June 8, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    The last ingredient is 8oz whipped cream cheese. When do you add this ingredient? Thx!


    • D. Price — June 30th, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

      You add the whipped cream cheese to the peanut butter-see the second paragraph after the list of ingredients.


  9. #
    Amber — June 25, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    i had this at a banquet. talked the guys wife into giving me the recipe. i have made it so many times in the past months. it is a favorite and the ingredients have become “staples” in my kitchen pantry! 2 weeks ago we had a huge youth night and i made 6 recipes in a huge bowl…it wouldve held 10 recipes. also..if you grab duncan hines brownies and walmart brand everything else it is about $10 per recipe….not a high price to pay for total estacy!!!! i did stumble upon cream cheese at dollar tree…..it is imitation, but worked for me last time i made it :)


  10. #
    Mary — July 2, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    I’m with Charene,I don’t quite understand the peanut butter pie filling? Do you use just the filling from the other recipe? Just the heavy cream,peanut butter,confectioners sugar,cond. milk,vanilla and lemon juice?? Thanks, sound like a great recipe.Can’t wait to try it!!


    • Jen — August 20th, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

      Mary – did you end up using the recipe with or without extra ingredients (condensed milk etc)??


  11. #
    aly Z — July 8, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

    I absolutely loved it, turned out great, big hit in the family,


  12. #
    Kelly — August 8, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    Made this tonight and there were no leftovers. Used coolwhip rather than whipped cream and it held up nicely. This one is a keeper!


  13. #
    Fatima — August 15, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    Brownies are in the oven.. pudding is in the fridge.. cool whip is ready to go. I left out the peanut butter bc I’m taking it to my cousin’s for dinner and her son is allergic.. and only had hershey chocolate on hand so gonna use pieces of that. Let’s hope it’s as good as yours. Cannot wait!


  14. #
    Jen — August 16, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    Like a couple others that have commented, I’m a bit confused on the peanut butter filling part… the pie recipe includes extra ingredients (sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, lemon juice) – so which recipe do you use for the peanut butter filling?


  15. #
    Amber Pitts — September 2, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    I made this and it’s great! My family loved it! I know some people had been asking about which PB filling recipe to follow. I just used the one she listed in the directions. I think she just added the PB pie filling link as a reference….mine turned out great with just the PB, cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk.


  16. #
    Liz — November 10, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

    Hello! I love your recipes! I went to follow the link for your peanut butter layer in this trifle but the link (for-mikey) literally went nowhere. Could you point me in the right direction for that layer recipe? Thank you!


  17. #
    Laura — November 10, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    The Peanut Butter filling link seems to be broken?


  18. #
    Rachel Minde — November 27, 2012 @ 12:49 am

    I too found this on pinterest. To answer a few peoples questions, I did not use the Peanut Butter Filling link. I just did what she said to do and did the peanut butter, cream cheese, milk, and powered sugar and the cup of whipped cream. Came out great. At first we thought it was decent, it was too airy, and too much like a mousse and lacked a thick consistency, but it was still really good and had a wonderful peanut butter taste. The next day though after letting it sit in the fridge all the ingredients got thicker and it was AMAZING. I will definitely be making this again, but will let sit in the fridge to ‘harden’ over night. Such a great recipe.


    • Alissia — February 2nd, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

      Thank you for commenting on how it was “sitting overnight”, because I want to make this for our fellowship tomorrow and I was going to make it tonight beforehand.. but I was worried how it would be, but since you said it was better the next day… I’m going to do it!!


  19. #
    Melanie — December 3, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    how do i get recipe for the peanut butter pie filling???


  20. #
    ChaiMami — December 14, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    Could you please estimate how many cups of chopped up brownies would come from “a batch” of brownies. I want to buy ready-made brownies rather than making my own. Recipe sounds terrific — thanks!


  21. #
    Ginny Wright — February 18, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

    What can I say…Simply Amazing!! Easy too


  22. #
    Stephania — March 26, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!

    Extremely helpful info particularly the closing section :) I
    maintain such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a very
    long time. Thanks and good luck.


  23. #
    Lisesmebarm — April 9, 2013 @ 11:29 pm

    Payday Money Online saving account payday loans


  24. #
    Barbara — July 19, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    My husband does not like chocolate desserts, which means when I make this I will have to eat it all myself. That’s just the hard kinda life I lead bwah ha ha….


  25. #
    ORder Nuvalift — September 22, 2013 @ 4:10 am

    I am really loving the theme/design of your website.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues?
    A small number of my blog readers have complained about
    my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome.
    Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?


  26. #
    Maria Machelski — April 19, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

    Have you used a block of cream cheese and whipped it yourself? Bought the block kind then realized as I was reading directions it said “whipped cream cheese”. Ugh! Do you think it will be ok?


  27. #
    Danielle — June 2, 2014 @ 3:46 pm

    This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it twice now(both times I made with a regular block of cream cheese and whipped first before adding the peanut butter and used regular cool whip) Everyone kept coming back for more, and my sister has requested I make this for her birthday instead of birthday cake :)


  28. #
    Sarah — January 11, 2015 @ 5:47 pm

    You are hilarious and the dessert sounds delicious!



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