Nik’s Mocha Forest Trifle

~by Nikki

This really was the MOST flattering shot I could get of my beloved trifle.

Ok, so usually our posts are a “how-to” of your favorite foods. Because we do a pretty good job (if I do say so myself) of testing recipes and making sure we are on top of our game.

This post is not like that at ALL.

This post is a how NOT to do a recipe. I’m hoping that in the process of laying out my errors, I’ll actually help you do it right.

Trifles! Simplest thing in the world, right? Jen showed us the way, right? Yeah. I have one of those brains that embraces the complex. Simple things? I always, always, ALWAYS mess them up.

Such is the case with my little protein trifle. I set out to make a trifle that was packed with as much protein as one could put in a little dessert…and I had a few fumbles.

First, let’s go over the basic recipe:

Nik’s Mocha Forest Trifle

Chocolate protein cake (you can get the basic recipe for this here. Just omit the banana and instead of putting in mini loaf pans, spread it out on a well-oiled sheet cake pan. It doesn’t matter if your cake is thinner than a normal cake)

32 ounce container of unflavored Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
4 scoops Any Whey protein unflavored protein powder (or you can use chocolate)
2 boxes sugar-free chocolate pudding
1 c. milk
1 tbsp good instant decaf coffee or decaf instant decaf espresso (I used the latter)
2 cans no-sugar added cherry pie filling
3 large tubs of fat-free or reduced fat whipped cream

Optional: 1 packet sugar-free cocoa for top garnish


Cut your protein cake into cubes of about ¼ – ½ inch thickness and width. Make sure your whipped topping is thawed!

In a blender, mix protein powder and milk until a thick paste forms.

In a large bowl, combine protein paste and Greek yogurt until fully combined. Add pudding mix and instant coffee and beat on low with a hand mixer for about a minute then switch to medium speed and beat for two minutes. It isn’t unusual for this to be a bit lumpy.

Now here’s the fun part of the directions. Let’s get into what not to do here:

#1 – Do NOT make your bottom layer cake

I don’t know what I was thinking honestly. I think it was because I prepped it late at night. But I made the bottom layer cake. That was not pretty and it didn’t support the rest of the trifle well. So the layers never really came together well. It was a sight to see!

The fateful bottom layer of cake…
Instead, make your base layer your pudding/yogurt mixture. Then top with a layer of whipped topping, followed by a layer of cake and a layer of raspberries.

#2 – Do NOT use frozen raspberries

If you have some magical secret to how raspberries can not turn into a pile of mush after thawing, please share that secret with me. Until such time, our resident trifle guru, Jen, suggests no-sugar added pie filling that is red…like cherry. That’s much cheaper and, frankly, works for me! (Is there such a thing as NSA strawberry pie filling? If so, that’d be GOOD! Better than sex, in fact…)

What every mom/cook wants to hear: “Mom, it looks like there’s blood everywhere!”

#3 – Do NOT add too much coffee to your pudding/yogurt mixture

I did two tablespoons. What was I thinking??? I ended up thinning out the flavor with milk but then that threw off my texture a bit. So it took a good deal of tweaks and I ended up with a GINORMOUS bowl of protein pudding/yogurt mixture.

You should top your trifle with a layer of whipped cream and then you can dust it with cocoa or sprinkle some more raspberries in there. Whatever you like!

But in the end the taste is what ruled the day. I THINK it was well received (support group peeps, holla!). At any rate, folks ate about half of the thing (which is saying something since there weren’t that many people at the party.) Seriously, though. It did taste good and there was mega-protein in there! So much so that I’d say that it qualifies for an actual sensible meal.

I hope by sharing my pitfalls I’ve helped you to make a better trifle. If not…well, enjoy your family and rejoice not only in the miracle of Christmas and the coming New Year, but also in the new life you are living.

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