Chocolate-Cookie Crunch Trifle

Any kind of cookie works as a layer in this decadent and super-chocolaty trifle from Washington, DC, pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac. Slideshow:  More Beautiful Desserts 

Chocolate-Cookie Crunch Trifle
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 15 mins



  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 large eggs

  • 6 ounce bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled

  • 1/2  cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 4 cups coarsely chopped crunchy cookies, such as Oreos, Thin Mints, shortbread, biscotti, Nutter Butters, Samoas 


Make the Pudding

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 3/4 cups of the heavy cream with the milk and granulated sugar and bring to a bare simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the cornstarch and cocoa powder into a medium bowl, then whisk in the eggs and the remaining 1/4 cup of heavy cream to form a smooth paste. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot milk into the cornstarch mixture, then scrape the mixture into the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 minutes.

  2. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl and set a fine sieve over it. Strain the pudding over the chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the butter and salt. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.

Make the Whipped Cream

  1. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt until firm, about 5 minutes.

  2. In a 3-quart trifle bowl, make 4 layers each of the pudding, whipped cream and crushed cookies. Serve.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

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