This Easter trifle makes a beautiful Easter dessert that tastes as great as it looks! Layers of funfetti cake, colored pudding, and whipped cream make layered Easter dessert a showstopper in taste and design!
I’m a big fan of trifle recipes because they are the easiest desserts ever. And anytime I hear the word trifle, it makes me think of that Friends Thanksgiving episode where Rachel makes the world’s worst trifle ever.
And when I get to think about Friends, it automatically brings a smile to my face.
Anyway, I’ve shared a couple of different trifles in the past like this Who Pudding and this Oreo Dirt Cake and people have loved them so much, I thought it’d be fun to share a colorful Easter trifle recipe that’s great for the upcoming holiday!
Since I’m sharing this recipe so last minute, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so it’s just a mix of a box cake, pudding, and Cool Whip. No real cooking, mixing, or combining involved unless you consider adding food coloring cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy – have I mentioned yet how easy this recipe is? Bake a box cake, cut it up, then layer, layer, and layer some more! It’s easy and no-fail, my favorite kind of recipe!
- Pretty – all of the layers combined make for a really pretty dessert, especially when you add fun Easter decorations on top!
- Delicious – unlike Rachel’s trifle that included berries, jam, and meat – this one just has flavors that all go together really well, making for a really yummy dessert.
- Pudding – I recommend vanilla pudding to keep things simple but you can also substitute one of those with cheesecake pudding if you’re prefer. I recommend using whole milk with the pudding to keep it as thick and creamy as possible.
- Food coloring – I recommend liquid food coloring for this since the pudding is closer to a liquid than a solid. Go with pastel colors to get the pretty Easter colors.
- Cake – any funfetti or rainbow chip box cake mix will work; you’ll also need the ingredients to make the cake itself, typically eggs, vegetable oil, and water.
- Whipped topping – if you’re not a big fan of Cool Whip, you can substitute this with the homemade whipped cream I used in my Who Pudding instead.
- Candy grass – you can get candy grass at many grocery stores like Target or you can them on Amazon here.
- Candies – You can get creative with decorating the top of the trifle. In these pictures, I did little mini nests with eggs but you could also do a big nest with Peeps (like I did in my viral TikTok video). Or you could even put something like these butterscotch haystacks (that look like nests) on top instead.
How to make an easter trifle
There’s really not a lot to this recipe but just in case you’ve never made a trifle before, I’m going to walk you through step by step how to make this! You can also watch the video in this post if you’re more of a visual person!
Start by baking the cake according to the package directions. The one important note is that you should in your baking pan with parchment paper prior to pouring in the cake batter so that it’s easy to pull out once cooled – this will be important for cutting cake squares later!
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely. Having the parchment paper under the cake should make removing it easy!
Once the cake is completely cool, use a serrated knife to cut the cake into 1″ pieces.
Next you’ll need to prepare each box of pudding in a separate bowl as directed on the package. Once you’ve mixed the pudding, place a few drops of blue food coloring in one bowl of pudding and a few drops of pink in the other. Or you can use different colors – I just liked the blue and pink for Easter.
Mix each well until color is uniform throughout the pudding.
Place the pudding in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for 5-10 minutes or until it’s completely set before adding to the trifle.
Now it’s time to put the trifle together!
Fill the bottom of your trifle dish or a large glass bowl with cake pieces. Make sure to fill it completely with no gaps so the pudding doesn’t seep through.
After you have the base cake layer done, spoon one of the bowls of pudding over the cake pieces.
Top with a layer of whipped topping.
Put another layer of cake pieces over the whipped topping then repeat the pudding layer with the other color and top that with whipped topping.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow everything to set together.
While the trifle is chilling, make the bird nests from edible candy grass. Take a 1/2″ thick bunch of candy grass and, starting at one end, spin the grass tightly into a circle to create a nest.
Make two nests of each color and place them on top of the chilled trifle.
Add 2-3 candy eggs to each nest to finish it off. Or if you’d rather not use candy eggs, you can also use something that looks like eggs, kind of like jelly beans!
Or if you’re feeling lazy – you can make just one big nest in the center with large chocolate eggs (like on my Easter egg cake!).
And that’s it – the trifle is ready to serve! Keep it chilling in the fridge until you’re ready to serve (and put any leftovers back in the fridge).
Chill the cake once cooled to make it easier to cut. If you have the time, make the cake a day ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the trifle. This isn’t essential, but it does help you get more even squares.
Try white chocolate pudding instead of vanilla (if you can find it) for brighter colors.
Replace the Cool Whip with fresh whipped cream. To make the fresh whipped cream, beat one cup of heavy cream, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until stiff peaks are formed.
Add Easter sprinkles to the top layer of Cool Whip before adding on your nests for even more fun color!
During Easter season edible grass is available at a lot of grocery stores like Target as well as smaller stores like Five Below. Or you can order it on Amazon here.
I bought my trifle dish at Crate and Barrel years ago but you can get them at all sorts of places including a similar one on Amazon here.
The cake does not get soggy since the pudding is not super wet. If you’re looking for something with cake that is soggy, this gingerbread tres leches might be a good fit!
You can definitely assemble the trifle the night before, just leave off the decorations on top, and cover the trifle then refrigerate overnight. Add the grass nests and candy eggs right before serving.
More Easy Easter Recipes
Don’t just serve Easter trifle for dessert, try one of these complementary Easter recipes too!
- Easter cookies with swirl frosting – a delicious lemon cookie topped with a beautiful swirl frosting look.
- Easter egg cake – a gorgeous layered cake made out of white cake, pastel swirled buttercream frosting, and topped with Easter eggs! Plus, an Easter surprise is hidden inside!
- Swirled Easter cake – the easiest cake recipe ever, plus it’s colorful and delicious!
- Chocolate dirt cookies – these may be more spring than Easter but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth making!
- Chocolate nests – easy chocolate nests made out of chocolate cereal, peanut butter, and more chocolate!
- 1 box Party Rainbow Chip or Funfetti cake mix (prepared according to package directions)
- 2 3.4 ounce packages of vanilla instant pudding
- 4 cups milk
- blue and pink food coloring
- 16 oz Cool Whip thawed
- green, pink, and blue edible candy grass
- Easter egg candies for garnish (Whopper mini Robin Eggs, jelly beans, etc.)
- Bake the cake according to the package directions. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.1 box Party Rainbow Chip or Funfetti cake mix
- Once the cake is completely cool, use a serrated knife to cut the cake into 1" pieces.
- Prepare each package of pudding in a separate bowl as directed on the package. Add a few drops of blue food coloring in one bowl of pudding and a few drops of pink in the other. Mix each well until color is uniform throughout the pudding.2 3.4 ounce packages of vanilla instant pudding, 4 cups milk, blue and pink food coloring
- Fill the bottom of a trifle dish or a large glass bowl with cake pieces. Make sure to fill it completely with no gaps so the pudding doesn't seep through.
- Spoon one of the bowls of pudding over the cake pieces and top with a layer of whipped topping. Put another layer of cake pieces over the whipped topping then repeat the pudding layer with the other color and top that with whipped topping.16 oz Cool Whip
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Take a 1/2" thick bunch of candy grass and, starting at one end, spin the grass tightly into a circle to create a nest.green, pink, and blue edible candy grass
- Make 2 nests of each color and place them on top of the chilled trifle. Add 2-3 candy eggs to each nest to finish it off.Easter egg candies for garnish
- And that’s it – the trifle is ready to serve! Keep it chilling in the fridge until you’re ready to serve (and put any leftovers back in the fridge).