One thing I love about developing Halloween treat recipes, aside from eating copious amounts of sweets in the name of research, is to come up with funny names for said treats. My favourites from past years are our bad bat biscuits and raven cake bites. This year, tarantula trifle made the top of my list! Okay, that sounds scary. But fear not, this quick and easy Halloween dessert is made with layers of chocolate cake, cherry jelly (jello), sweets and a generous dollop whipped cream. Sounds a lot less scary already, doesn’t it? The ingredients include mostly store-bought goodies so that you can have the trifle on the table in almost no time. I also piped a few chocolate spider webs to decorate each trifle. And to make creating the chocolate spider webs as easy as possible, I have created a printable template that you can download at the end of the post.
Chocolate cake, jelly, sweets, and whipped cream make for wicked layers in this tarantula trifle. Watch the video above to see the step-by-step process to prepare this yummy Halloween dessert.
Because I can never resist the opportunity to be crafty, I printed out the decorative pattern from our Itsy Bitsy Spider Halloween collection on sticker paper and applied it to the bottom half of wooden spoons to serve alongside the trifle.
Prep Time: 40 min
Chilling Time: 30 min
Yields: 6 trifles
FYI, “jelly” is the British name for the American term “jello.” I used cherry jelly (jello) in the recipe, but you can choose other flavours according to your taste, e.g. strawberry or raspberry. The double cream can also be replaced with Cool Whip if you have access to it.
For the chocolate spider webs
- 55 g (2 oz) dark (semisweet) chocolate chips or disks
- spider web template (download below)
For the trifle
- 600 g (21 oz) chocolate sponge cake or chocolate brownie
- 700 g (24 oz) ready-to-eat cherry jelly (jello) (= 6 x 115 g / 4 oz containers)
- 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) double (whipping/heavy) cream
- 2 tbsp icing (powdered/confectioners’) sugar, sifted
- assorted sweets (candy) (We used gummies, liquorice cream rocks, liquorice allsorts and dolly mixtures.)
- 6 dessert glasses or small glass tumblers
- wooden spoons
- decorative paper from our Itsy Bitsy Spider Halloween Collection
1) Set up the template
Print out the template and place on a cutting board or tray. Tape a piece of greaseproof (wax) paper on top of the template and set aside.
2) Make the chocolate spider webs
Melt the dark (semisweet) chocolate chips or disks according to manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the chocolate to cool to 30-32°C (86-89°F). Then transfer the melted chocolate into a small disposable piping (pastry) bag. Snip off the tip to create a tiny hole and trace the template. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and use an offset spatula to gently lift the chocolate spider webs of the greaseproof (wax) paper. Store chilled until ready to use.
Info: Allowing the chocolate to cool makes it easier to pipe the chocolate webs and reduce dripping.
3) Crumble the cake
Cut the chocolate cake or brownie in large squares and crumble the squares into coarse crumbs in a large mixing bowl.
4) Layer the trifle
Give the jelly (jello) a gentle stir, it should be softly set. Then layer chocolate cake crumbs, jelly (jello) and sweets in dessert glasses or small tumblers. Finish with a layer of jelly (jello).
Tip: For a pretty look, arrange the candy pieces directly against the sides of the tumbler or dessert glass.
5) Finish the trifle
Whip the cream and sifted icing (powdered/confectioners’) sugar until soft peaks form and it holds its shape. Be careful not to over-mix as the cream may split. Spoon the cream over the top of the trifles. Store the tarantula trifle in the fridge until ready to serve. You can make the trifle several hours ahead, just keep in mind that jelly (jello) and whipped cream may soften some of the sweets. Just before serving, decorate with chocolate spider webs and more sweets.
Printable Chocolate Spider Web Template
Click on the button to download your free printable chocolate spider web template and make spooky chocolate spider webs!
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