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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242 Responses to “Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle.”

  1. #
    51
    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — September 7, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    Oh my goodness. I could NOT make this at the house. I would die. I’d be the girl with the whole bowl in her lap, sitting on the floor with a spoon, hogging it all to myself.

    Reply

    • Caitlin — September 7th, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

      I think we’re twins, except I would try filling up my bathtub with this trifle and swimming in it.

      Reply

  2. #
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    Milisa @ Miss in the Kitchen — September 7, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    I’m glad you decided to share, because my pb & chocolate addiction needed a fix this morning. YUM!

    Reply

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    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — September 7, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    Ooooh lordy…just pass me a super long spoon and I’m set with the trifle for the week :)

    Reply

  4. #
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    Steph @321delish — September 7, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    I want to bathe in that trifle.

    Reply

  5. #
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    Adrienne @ Midwestern Belle — September 7, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    Oh my gosh… I love anything that combines peanut butter and chocolate! Seriously…this looks amazing :)

    Reply

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    Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes — September 7, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    I have a recipe very similar to this!! It’s delicious and so addicting! Your pictures of it are lovely!

    Reply

    • Jessica — September 7th, 2011 @ 11:30 am

      Thank you!

      Reply

  7. #
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    Kathy — September 7, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    Come ON! This is not fair.

    Reply

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    Shanna, Like Banana — September 7, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    I will give you 100 bucks if you come and make that for my Baby Shower Oct 22nd ;) Yummmm..

    Oh and I think I had the same experience growing up…laying in bed hearing the playful screams of kids still playing, while I was trying to “wind down” like the neurotic beast I am..ha!

    Reply

    • Jessica — September 7th, 2011 @ 11:30 am

      I wish I could!

      Reply

  9. #
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    Ashley — September 7, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    The most creative trifle dessert I’ve ever seen!!! I absolutely love this type of dessert too. I feel like it’s a buffet of dessert…so many different things going on. mmmm

    Reply

  10. #
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    Ali B — September 7, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    This looks like a GIANT trifle! Where did you find a bowl that big??

    Reply

    • Jessica — September 7th, 2011 @ 11:30 am

      It’s really not that big, I think it’s just the pictures… because when my mom saw it at the party she said “my trifle dish is so much bigger!” I think it came from Macy’s but I got it for my wedding.

      Reply

      • Ali B — September 7th, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

        It must be the fact that I’m viewing these pictures on a poor server – they look huge compared to the text! Beautiful trifle – your layers are so neat and the flavors are to die for!!

  11. #
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    Erin — September 7, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    I just forgot what I am supposed to do today because all I want is this.

    Reply

  12. #
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    the domestic fringe — September 7, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    Oh, my soul! That is pretty much heaven in a bowl. I’m gaining weight just thinking about eating it.

    ~FringeGirl

    Reply

  13. #
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    Piper@GotItCookIt — September 7, 2011 @ 11:24 am

    Everyone needs a recipe like this, and party crowds will go wild eating it! I love trifle so much!!!Thanks for making me laugh in the morning, it’s always such a treat.

    Reply

  14. #
    64
    Katrina — September 7, 2011 @ 11:26 am

    This looks deadly. Oh. My. God.

    Reply

  15. #
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    Kelly — September 7, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    For some reason trifle always makes me think of fruit, I love this chocolately version instead. You know what I think would also be fantastic? A chocolate banana version. Or a peanut butter banana version. Yum!

    Reply

  16. #
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    Laura @ Casa del Hansen — September 7, 2011 @ 11:35 am

    Um, so yet again you have something amazing for me to drool over. I don’t think I could make that unless I had at least 15 people over to share it with so I’d be sure to only get a little bit (otherwise I’d eat myself sick!). So forgive me, but I have to ask… what do you DO with all of this goodness and still manage to look so fab? Do you have a spare leg sitting around somewhere?

    Reply

  17. #
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    dana @ my little celebration — September 7, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    Are you kidding me right now? Friend, you are ridiculous. AND genius in the kitchen.

    Reply

  18. #
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    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — September 7, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    I want to go swimming in that big ol’ trifle bowl. Or maybe just marry it. Two distinct yet equally appealing possibilities.

    Reply

  19. #
    69
    Bev Weidner — September 7, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    You know when people stick their heads in water and pull out apples? What is it? Apple Bobbing or whatever?

    I’d like to trifle bob the crap out of this.

    Reply

    • Brittnee — September 7th, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

      BAHAHAHAHAHAHA I laughed out loud at your comment! I was thinking the same thing as soon as you said bobbing for apples!

      Reply

  20. #
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    Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy — September 7, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    This looks fabulous! My mom wouldn’t let me shave my legs till I was 13 and I remembering being mortified that I couldn’t shave my legs sooner!

    Reply

  21. #
    71
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — September 7, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    I have a Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle recipe that I have made for years and years. It is so rich and chocolaty and is ALWAYS requested for every family/friend gathering. ALWAYS. If I ever make anything else everyone always says, “where’s that chocolate peanut butter dessert thing” and look all sad and deprived. I honestly think I have created monsters out of them! LOL!

    Reply

  22. #
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    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — September 7, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    This is a serving for one, right? No? Oh.

    Oh, a serving for 2! Me and the hubby! Got it! *runs to pantry*

    Reply

    • Jessica — September 7th, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

      I like you.

      Reply

  23. #
    73
    Brittnee — September 7, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    I wish my husband liked chocolate this much…Sadly he doesn’t like it enough to eat a bit of this delicious looking trifle. Don’t cry for me though, I will try to make a mini version and take it to work.

    Reply

  24. #
    74
    Kerry F — September 7, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

    Oh, I’m such a sucker for pb &c! Are the peanut butter Dove Promises good? I haven’t tried them for fear that they wouldn’t have enough peanut butter and that it wouldn’t be as good as a Reeses. I like my peanut butter cups heavy on the pb, like the eggs they have at Easter. Dang, do I have any of those left in the freezer….

    Reply

    • Jessica — September 7th, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

      I think they are AMAZING!

      Reply

  25. #
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    Katiestarr — September 7, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    LOVE the “Sandlot” and “Beverly Hills 90210″ (aka the REAL 90210!) references!!! :)

    Reply

  26. #
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    Laura — September 7, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    Forget the recipe (although it looks lovely), your flippin’ story is hilarious. My daughter is type A and I wonder if we’ll survive middle school. Lord help me.

    Reply

  27. #
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    Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries — September 7, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    I just saw your first photo of all the ingredients and I knew this was going to be an amazing recipe. YUM!

    Reply

  28. #
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    alexis — September 7, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    this looks so intense in the best way ever

    Reply

  29. #
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    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio — September 7, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

    WOW— This looks amazing. I’d have to go for a long run after digging into that. I can only imagine how quickly my portion control would go out the window.

    Reply

  30. #
    80
    Tina — September 7, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

    girl you are killing me with these drool worthy recipes – my skinny jeans are NOT going to fit come fall… haha

    Reply

  31. #
    81
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — September 7, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    Your recipes are insane. Did you know that?! (“Insane” is a good thing, by the way!)

    Reply

  32. #
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    Annie@stronghealthyfit — September 7, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    Yum-O. Love your blog. :)

    Reply

  33. #
    83
    Lauren — September 7, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

    You are killin’ me softly with this recipe.
    But I like it. I like it a lot.

    Reply

  34. #
    84
    Kristin — September 7, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    Get. In. My. Mouth.

    Reply

  35. #
    85
    Lindsay @ biking before bed — September 7, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    Wow. U have a knack of making me crave foods I didn’t even know I wanted! Like when u walk into the store for a new white shirt and leave with two dresses and some jeans…and no white shirt! Before I saw this trifle I had chili on the brain. But poof… Now I want trifle. True story…. I dug up my sambas from my parents attic last time I was home and now wear them again.

    Reply

  36. #
    86
    Christina @ This Woman Cooks! — September 7, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    This would be all MINE. Totally not sharing!

    Reply

  37. #
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    Laura @ Meet Virginia — September 7, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

    I would have no trouble surviving on trifle. Bless you.

    Reply

  38. #
    88
    Kiah — September 7, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    You put Friendly’s to shame.

    Reply

  39. #
    89
    Grace — September 7, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    Three letters: OMG.

    Reply

  40. #
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    Michelle — September 7, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    Who needs real food when you can live off of trifle? I think that is perfectly acceptable.

    Reply

  41. #
    91
    Steph @ Running in the Kitchen — September 7, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

    I have no words to describe how good this looks!!!!!

    Reply

  42. #
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    Sarah @ The Cyclist's Wife — September 7, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    Wow! This looks great. Love the post!

    Reply

  43. #
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    Kristen @ notsodomesticated — September 7, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

    Um, yes please. I really want to become your next door neighbor, so I can stalk your house for free treats!! :P

    Reply

  44. #
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    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — September 7, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    must.leave.your.blog but i love you too much :)

    Reply

  45. #
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    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) — September 7, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    I think my eyes just permantely popped out from my face.

    Reply

  46. #
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    Vicki — September 7, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

    I’ve made a version of this before too and it was insanely rich & pure evil!! I also make a red velvet trifle that I threw together one time because I had made a mistake in cupcakes… it includes red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, choco syrup, whipped topping (2 layers of each) and then topped w/ raspberries & mini choco chips… my mistake turns out to be one of my most requested dishes but I’m sure you could put an even better twist on it… maybe with your red velvet brownies??? Hmmm… :)

    Reply

  47. #
    97
    Kristen — September 7, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

    You and your childhood memories crack me up! And this trifle? I’ve died and gone to heaven. Skip the pool… let’s dive right into this!

    Reply

  48. #
    98
    Liz J — September 8, 2011 @ 12:01 am

    Trifles are my thing! This looks divine! I love trifles too because they are usually pretty easy! :)

    Reply

  49. #
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    CouponClippingCook — September 8, 2011 @ 12:47 am

    Wow, this looks sooooo good. All of these ingredients go so good together. I’m totally craving this now.

    Reply

  50. #
    100
    Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry — September 8, 2011 @ 2:58 am

    I’m pretty sure I just gained 5 pounds just from looking at those pictures! But hey, I always keep my strechy pants on hand for cases like this.

    Reply

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