Toasted Coconut Chocolate Trifles

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate trifles, toasted coconut, toasted coconut chocolate trifles
Dessert Type: Mousse
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 875kcal
Author: Elizabeth LaBau
To speed up preparation, feel free to substitute the cake or brownie recipe of your choice (homemade or store-bought is great!). You can also substitute coconut or vanilla pudding for the homemade coconut pastry cream.
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For the Chocolate Pound Cake:

  • 5 oz cake flour (1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (2/3 cup)
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 6 oz butter at room temperature
  • 8.75 oz granulated sugar (1.25 cups)
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 4 oz cream (1/2 cup)
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate finely grated

For the Coconut Pastry Cream:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3.5 oz granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 16 oz milk (2 cups)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 oz butter (2 tbsp)

To Assemble:


To Make the Chocolate Pound Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8.5x4.5" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. (A larger loaf pan can be used, resulting in a shorter pound cake.) Cut a strip of parchment the width of the pan's bottom, and lay it along the bottom of the pan, extending up over the sides. Spray the parchment.
  • Sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Sift them a total of three times, to give the cake an extra fine, light texture.
  • Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream them together on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  • Stir together the cream and espresso powder, if you're using it. With the mixer running on low, add half of the flour to the mixing bowl, and when it's nearly incorporated, add the cream. Once the cream is mixed in, add the remaining flour, and mix until just a few flour streaks remain. Stop the mixer and finish mixing by hand, stirring with a spatula and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the grated chocolate and gently stir it in.
  • Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake the cake at 350 F for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. If the top seems to be getting too dark while baking, cover it with loosely tented foil.
  • Let the cake cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife gently around the edges of the pan. Use the parchment to help you pop the cake out of the pan, and cool it completely on a wire rack.

To Make the Coconut Pastry Cream:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, egg, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup of sugar. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and salt. Heat the milk over a medium burner until it just starts to boil. Start whisking the egg mixture, and while you’re whisking, drizzle a little hot milk into the eggs. Continue to whisk and drizzle until you’ve added about half of the milk. Switch to whisking the milk, then pour the eggs into the milk mixture while whisking.
  • Return the pan to the burner and heat the cream, whisking constantly. Use a rubber spatula to periodically scrape the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t scorch . Cook until the pastry cream thickens and starts a very gently bubbling, then cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla bean paste or extract, 1 tsp coconut extract, and butter. Whisk until the butter melts, then (carefully!) taste the pastry cream, and add more coconut extract, if desired.
  • Pour the cream through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl. It will be somewhat thick, so use a spatula to help work it through, straining out any clumps of egg that have developed. Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the pastry cream, and let it cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature, refrigerate it until it's cold and thick, at least 2 hours.

To Assemble:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spread the coconut out on a baking sheet and toast it for 8-10 minutes, stirring several times during the process, until it is an even golden brown color. Cool completely.
  • Cut the cake into slices, then cut the slices into cubes. Place a layer of chocolate cubes at the bottom of 8 1-cup trifle dishes or ramekins. Spoon a thick layer of pastry cream on top of the cake, and top with a big pinch of toasted coconut. Add a second layer of cake cubes, filling it to the top of the dish.
  • Whip the cream together with the powdered sugar until it holds medium peaks. Place a big dollop of whipped cream on top of each trifle, and finish with toasted coconut or chocolate curls. Serve immediately, or chill for several hours before serving.


Calories: 875kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 299mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 424mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 63g | Vitamin A: 1615IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 3mg