Spicy Chocolate Trifle With Marshmallows and Raspberries

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For the cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

For the ganache

  • 3 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
  • 2 (3.5-ounce) 72% cacao chocolate bars, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided

For the marshmallow sauce

  • 1 (7 1/2-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided

For layers

  • 1/2 bag of regular-sized marshmallows, cut in half, divided
  • 2 pints raspberries, divided
  • 1 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bar, for chocolate curls


  1. Heat oven to 325 F. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Over medium heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Using a Mix-Stir, whisk in the cocoa and espresso powder. Then add the water and sugar, mixing until smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the previously cooked chocolate mixture into a large bowl and add the eggs and vanilla, whisking until fully combined. Stir in the flour mixture and incorporate all the ingredients together, taking care to not over stir. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake the batter for 40-45 minutes, it will be done when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely.
  6. Cut the cooled cake into 1-inch cubes.
  7. Make the ganache: Microwave the semisweet and 72% chocolate and 1 ½ cups of heavy cream in a medium bowl at 50% power for 1 minute. Stir the mixture and microwave at 50% power for an additional 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Add additional cream if needed to thin the chocolate to a sauce.
  8. Make the marshmallow sauce: Mix the marshmallow cream and ½ cup heavy cream, beating at low speed with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining heavy cream and beat on medium speed until fluffy.
  9. Assemble the trifle: In a 4-quart trifle bowl, layer 1/3 of the chocolate cake, top with 1/3 of the ganache, followed by 1/3 of the halved marshmallows, 1/3 of the marshmallow sauce and 1/3 of the raspberries. Repeat this layering process 2 more times.
  10. Top with chocolate curls.