Kitchen PLAY SideCar: Black Velvet Halloween Trifle

When I was a kid, my grandparents threw the most epic Halloween parties. They always dressed to the nines. I remember one party had Nanny dressed in full clown makeup, with a curly bright blue wig and giant shoes, while Gaga chose to go as a Bela Lugosi-style vampire, complete with giant collared cape.

The next year, they chose the roaring 20s for their combined costume, Nan as a flapper and Gaga as a Big Band conductor. They loved the excuse to to dress up and have fun. Because of that, Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.

Nanny and Gaga sure knew how to throw a party!

October’s Kitchen PLAY SideCar comes to us from McCormick, who asked for fun and kid-friendly Halloween ideas featuring their black food coloring. I immediately thought of Nanny and Gaga’s Halloween parties when I read the theme. Oh how Nanny would have loved to help me think of a dessert!

Luckily, all it took was one brainstorming session with The Brit to know I was making some sort of trifle, a traditional English dessert that kids love because while it looks so pretty when finished, you get to destroy it when you serve it.

What could scream Halloween more than Black Velvet Halloween Trifle? Using a traditional Red Velvet Cake recipe, I created Black Velvet Cake instead. McCormick Black Food Color was perfect for this – the color I achieved after baking was well and truly jet black. I couldn’t have been more pleased!

After the cake was baked, cooled, and crumbled into bite size pieces in the Trifle bowl, I mixed in Brach’s Candy Corn. The bright contrast of orange, white, and yellow candy corn against the black velvet cake could not be more Halloween-errific.

I covered the crumbled cake with butterscotch pudding made just the perfect shade of Halloween orange with McCormick’s red and yellow food color, and then just before serving, whipped up some homemade whipped cream to layer on top of the pudding. Garnishing the whipped cream with a few more candy corn provided the perfect effect.

Black Velvet Halloween Trifle is a feast for your fun-loving eyes. Each layer is vivid and visible via the trifle glass, and so much fun to dig into! The Brit actually declared this the best trifle he’s ever eaten – I think because butterscotch pudding and black velvet cake pair so well together. Whipped cream just rounds out the experience, and the candy corn provides a lovely little festive surprise every few bites.

Kids of every age will delight at seeing Black Velvet Halloween Trifle adorn your Halloween party table. Make sure though, that you let the littlest hands dig in first – nothing says fun like tearing apart a picture-perfect, creamy, chocolatey trifle.

McCormick is also sponsoring a wonderful giveaway at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s SideCar Series, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter. All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win $50 (10 prizes total). The deadline is October 31, 2011. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated for my recipe development and photography, and provided with the featured ingredient at no charge. All opinions of the featured ingredient are my own.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Scharffen Berger.


  1. says

    Oh I love this! The colours are so vivid and I can imagine it went down a storm. Seeing it makes me so excited for Halloween!

    • says

      Kathryn, it certainly did. I love that you love Halloween! Normally it gets passed over for bonfire night – or at least it did where we used to live. Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment.

  2. says

    Love this! My boyfriend and his roommate and I were just talking about trifle the other night – neither of them had ever heard of it! I couldn’t believe it, it has always been one of my favorite desserts! This version is just perfect for Halloween – love the colors!

    • says

      Leigh – all little kids love food they get to destroy, right? Let me know if you make it, I’d love to hear their reaction.

  3. says

    Chocolate plus butterscotch pudding sounds AMAZING. When I first saw the picture I thought it was pumpkin pudding (I’m weird, I don’t really like the chocolate/pumpkin combo). This however sounds like perfection. I would absolutely dig into this with two spoons!!

    • says

      LOL. I had to crack up when you shouted from the kitchen about where the spoons might be and that you were eating some. I’m glad we’re friends like that :)

  4. says

    Your blog is looking fabulous girl. Your photography is so great!!! And the recipes.. well… I think I should just make things you have posted for a week. I bet my family would love that! :)

  5. says

    I love that you included a pic of your grandparents. Sounds like their parties were a lot of fun. Halloween is also one of my favorite holidays. I would devour this trifle in a heartbeat. Looks incredible!

  6. Brisa W says

    I just made this for my girl scout troop meeting today. I made it my own by using a boxed brownie mix, cut the 13×11 cooled brownies into bite size chunks, topped that witb vanilla pudding tinted with the orange food coloring (we didn’t care for the butterscotch) and then finished with cool whip and Indian corn. It was a hit! Thanks for the idea!

  7. Brisa W says

    The best thing was the way the pudding began to drip between the brownie pieces and gave it an eerie effect :)

  8. says

    Love this! I had no idea there was such a thing as black food coloring. Love the way the candy corn looks showing through in the cake layer.

  9. says

    I totally loved your post that I recreated my own version in a 6 ounce mason jar! I made mini chocolate gingerbread pumpkin spice trifle cake for my son’s 2nd birthday! They were a hit with my boys. Though I do need some work on my photography skills! lol

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, so festive for this time of year!