German Chocolate Cake Trifle

German Chocolate Cake Trifle - one of my favorite semi-homemade desserts using a cake mix combined with scratch made German chocolate mousse and coconut pecan filling.

German Chocolate Cake Trifle

Ingredients:
  1. 1 German chocolate cake mix, prepared in 9x13 pan according to directions (cake only)

German Chocolate Mousse:
  1. 1⅓ cups milk
  2. 2 tsp unflavored gelatin
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 8 ounces Bakers German Chocolate, roughly chopped
  5. 4 cups Cool Whip, thawed
Coconut Pecan Filling:
  1. 1 cup white sugar
  2. 1 cup evaporated milk
  3. ½ cup unsalted butter
  4. 3 egg yolks
  5. 1⅓ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  6. 1 cup chopped pecans
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
German Chocolate Mousse:
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, gelatin, and vanilla extract. Let stand for 3 minutes, then cook on medium-high heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge (~180F). Do not allow mixture to boil.
  • Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and cover for 5 minutes. Then use a whisk to combine chocolate until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour mixture into a large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the Cool Whip until fully combined. Do not whisk or beat. The chocolate mixture will still be quite thin so it may seem like it won't come together, but keep working at it gently until it's all one color.
  • Cover the mixture and chill for 3 hours until fully set.
Coconut Pecan Filling:
  • In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, ½ cup butter, and 3 egg yolks.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla extract.
  • Cool until thick enough to spread or refrigerate until ready to assemble the trifle.
Assemble the Trifle:
  • In a large glass trifle bowl, cover the bottom with chunks of the prepared cake. Layer with half of the chocolate mousse, and then spread with half of the coconut pecan filling.
  • Repeat the layers again so that you end with the coconut pecan filling on top. You will likely only use about ⅔ of the prepared cake. You can wrap and freeze the rest, or just keep it around for snacking!
  • Decorate with halved pecans, if desired. Keep refrigerated and serve cold.