Peanut butter and chocolate candy bar trifle is the solution to all your problems.
I have almost reached that point where I’m completely 100% sick of candy. Every surface of my house feels sticky. I’m pretty sure my kids must be drooling all over themselves, the walls and everything else while they are enjoying their lollipops. But you know what, I’ll let them have their lollies. I’m more of a peanut butter and chocolate candy bar kind of gal anyway. And I’m not sure I could ever be totally sick of candy. Not too sick to make this trifle anyway.
So let’s talk about trifle for a second. Absolutely anyone can make a trifle. It’s not difficult. Trifle is nothing more than leftover cake, some pudding (absent in this one), whipped cream, fruit (or candy bars!) and some kind of sauce. For this trifle, sauce is in the form of peanut butter caramel. Mmm. You know you want some!
A few Thanksgivings ago, someone in my husband’s family made a similar trifle (they used toffee bits and store-bought caramel sauce instead) to bring for dessert. It’s not that anyone didn’t eat pumpkin pie that year–they did. But they maybe ate a little less to make room for the trifle. Ever since, we’ve almost always had trifle in some form or another for Thanksgiving. So bonus, right? Leftover Halloween candy becomes a Thanksgiving dessert.
If you’re more of a toffee person (and sometimes I am), go right ahead and substitute toffee bits or chopped up Heath or Skor bars for the peanut candy bars. If caramel is more your thing, Milky Ways and Rolos are a good way to go.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Candy Bar Trifle
1 baked, un-frosted chocolate cake, homemade or from a cake mix (you won’t use all of it)
3-4 cups chopped chocolate & peanut candy bars (Snickers, Reese’s, Payday, Baby Ruth, or other peanut butter candies)
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
For peanut butter caramel sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk, plus more if needed for thinning the sauce (can also substitute whole milk, half and half, or cream)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For peanut butter caramel sauce:
In a medium-sized (2-3 quart) pan combine the butter, sugars and milk. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool until ready to use. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a bit more milk. It should be pourable at room temperature.
To assemble trifle:
Cut cake into cubes and set aside.
Whip the heavy cream using an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk. Add the sugar after the cream forms soft peaks and beat or whisk a little longer until thick and not runny. Chill until ready to use.
Layer in a large trifle dish or about 8 smaller dishes or glass jars:
a single, even layer of cubed cake
a layer of whipped cream (not too thick)
a little of the chopped candy bars
a drizzle of the peanut butter caramel sauce
Repeat one or two more times depending on the serving dish used. Save some of the chopped candy bars for the very top layer as a garnish.
Chill until ready to serve.
p.s. If you are a big-time peanut butter and chocolate fan, you might want to check out my famous (to my friends) Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake. It’s the most requested cake for friends’ birthdays.
// article + photos: Lindsey Johnson of Cafe Johnsonia //