Skip to Content

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 is for fun and kid-friendly Halloween ideas, featuring festive things like black food coloring.

I immediately thought of Nanny and Gaga’s Halloween parties when trying to come up with a fun Halloween post.

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.

Black Velvet Halloween Trifle

Black Velvet Halloween Trifle

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


For the Black Velvet Cake

  • 1/3 cup Shortening
  • 2 teaspoons Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 oz McCormick Black Food Color (2 bottles)
  • 1 tablespoon Black Cocoa Powder (may be omitted, but add 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder instead)
  • 1 tablespoon Sweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Scharffen Berger)
  • 2 Eggs

For the Fresh Whipped Cream

  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 5 tablespoons granulated Sugar

For the Butterscotch Pudding

  • 20 drops McCormick Yellow Food Color
  • 12 drops McCormick Red Food Color
  • 4 cups cold Milk (or as directed on pudding box instructions)
  • (2) 3.4 oz boxes Butterscotch Pudding


For the Black Velvet Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8" round cake pans with baking spray or extra shortening.

In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition until egg has fully incorporated and mixture is again light and fluffy.

In a small bowl, make a paste of the cocoa powders and food coloring. Add this to the creamed mixture in the bowl, and mix thoroughly.

In a measuring jug, mix salt, vanilla extract and buttermilk. In a small bowl, measure out flour, and whisk it well to aerate.

Alternate adding the buttermilk mixture and whisked flour to the creamed mixture until all are incorporated well.

Measure out baking soda in a bowl, and then add vinegar - be prepared that this will foam up a bit.

Immediately add it to cake batter, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Do NOT mix with an electric or stand mixer after adding the vinegar-soda mixture.

Pour batter in equal parts into each pan, and bake for approximately 22-25 minutes, checking often after 22 minutes for a toothpick to remove cleanly when inserted into the center of each cake.

Allow to cool completely.

For the Butterscotch Pudding

Pour butterscotch pudding mix, food coloring and four cups of cold milk into a large bowl.
Using an electric mixer, whisk for for approximately 4 minutes, until pudding starts to thicken and you have reached desired color (add more of whichever color you think you need to reach the shade you want now).
Place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes, or until ready to assemble the trifle.

Fresh Whipped Cream

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with an electric or stand mixer until the cream forms stiff peaks.
Refrigerate any unused portion in an airtight container for 1-2 days.

To Assemble the Trifle

Break cooled cakes into large chunks either by hand or by chopping with a knife - 1"x1" chunks are fine.
Mix in approximately 1 cup of candy corn, using a fork to distribute.
Spoon well chilled butterscotch pudding directly on top of cake, smoothing with a spoon or spatula.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if not serving immediately.
Just before serving, spoon freshly whipped and sweetened cream directly on top of pudding and garnish with more candy corn.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social (@bluebonnetbaker) so I can see how awesome you are!


Thursday 13th of September 2012

This dessert looks awesome! I am going to make this for Halloween! Thank you!

shelly (cookies and cups)

Wednesday 26th of October 2011

Love this trifle! Black Velvet cake?! I haven't heard of such a thing! I think I will need to investigate this :)


Sunday 23rd of October 2011

YUM! This looks delicious!


Friday 21st of October 2011

You really out did yourself this time! Looks amazing!

Jessica of My Baking Heart

Wednesday 19th of October 2011

Love your trifle! Such a fun Halloween treat. :)

Heading over to "like" your FB page!

Comments are closed.