Baking with Friends (part two)

The show: Friends, season 6 episode 9: The One Where Ross Got High

The recipe: Chocolate Kahlua Trifle

The story: With ten whole seasons, I knew I could get more than one recipe out of Friends. Besides Phoebe’s cookies, there was one other food-related episode that stood out in my mind. In one of the memorable Thanksgiving episodes, Rachel tries to cook for the first time. She decides to prepare a “traditional English trifle,” but the pages of her cookbook are stuck together, causing Rachel’s dessert to include shepherd’s pie ingredients. In an attempt to boost Rachel’s culinary confidence, the group tries to hide how disgusting the trifle is, and eats a dessert filled with ground beef and peas.

When this episode came to mind, I knew exactly what recipe I was going to make. Every Thanksgiving my mom makes this trifle recipe, and it rarely lasts 24 hours. The recipe itself isn’t anything complicated, but it’s always a hit. When I told some of my friends what I planned to make, multiple people didn’t know what a trifle was. I didn’t even know that was possible. That’s when I knew I had to share this recipe.

2014-02-21 14.04.48

Here’s what all the layers look like up close.

I had my mom send me a picture of the recipe, and it’s so simple it barely needs two sides of an index card. Since it’s just layered ingredients, the majority of the preparation in making a trifle is the assembly. It probably took me more time to wash all the dishes I used than it did to actually make this dessert. The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s very adaptable. With no actual baking going on, it doesn’t make a difference if you switch out ingredients or use a slightly different amount. As long as you don’t use the wrong ingredients like Rachel, you’re good to go.  My mom always substitutes milk for the Kahlua for people who don’t like Kahlua (like my dad), so I did the same. While this recipe isn’t new to me, I’m glad I made it. Now that I’ve done it once, I can always turn to this trifle recipe if I ever need to make a dessert for a crowd!

Chocolate Kahlua Trifle


1/2 devil’s food cake, baked and broken into small pieces

2 large (5.9 oz.) boxes instant chocolate pudding

3 cups milk

1/2 to 3/4 cup Kahlua

1 large container Cool Whip

1 large bag Heath bar bits


Mix pudding, milk and Kahlua with a whisk.

Layer in trifle bowl 1/2 cake, 1/2 pudding, 1/2 Cool Whip, 1/2 heath bits.

Repeat layers and refrigerate.

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The final product!

“What’s not to like? Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Beef? Good.”

Looking for a different trifle recipe? Here are others from a few of my favorite food blogs:

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle from How Sweet Eats

Pumpkin-Gingerbread Trifle from Brown-Eyed Baker

Berry Brownie Trifle from Two Peas & Their Pod

Tiramisu Cheesecake Trifle from Shugary Sweets



  1. Durk · February 27, 2014

    Okay, I’ve never heard of a trifle before, but a recipe with Kahlua in it is a recipe for me. Also, do you have taste testers for all these goodies? I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE

    • makavjian · February 27, 2014

      I may take you up on that some time this weekend!

  2. Pingback: Peanut Butter Oreo Ice Cream Pie. | maryannekavjian

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