Mexican Chocolate Caramel Trifle

More movement at work.  One of our specialists transferred to another branch, so of course we celebrated with a pot luck.  Of course.  The theme?  Mexican food!

Our last pot luck had a Backyard BBQ theme and I took my Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie.  Which was quite the hit.  I think that’s what I like taking dessert, it’s almost always the most popular dish. 😉

I was told immediately that bringing flan wasn’t an option.  Which was fine, because I never considered it an option anyway!  Yuck.  I thought about bringing some sort of tres leches dessert, but thought that would be too predictable.  Combine that with my recent obsession with trifles and this is what you have – a Mexican Chocolate Caramel Trifle.

I essentially took this Mexican Chocolate Cake recipe and with the inspiration of the addition of Caramel Cream Frosting in this one created the latest and greatest pot luck addition.  That second recipe essentially assured me that caramel would be an okay add-in to Mexican Chocolate Cake.  I’ve never made a cake with cayenne and balsamic vinegar, so it was a little intimating!  And with the added direction of my love for the infamous “Better Than Sex Cake” I thought I’d have a winner.

Mexican Chocolate Caramel Trifle - mwn

Mexican Chocolate Caramel Trifle
For the cake:
1 package chocolate cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

For the trifle:
cake prepared above
5.1 oz package chocolate pudding
12 oz cool whip
1 jar (~12 oz) caramel ice cream topping
1 package toffee bits (I used Heath)

Cake:
Stir cinnamon, cayenne, and balsamic vinegar into prepared cake batter.

Spread into prepared 9×11 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Allow cake to cool completely.

Trifle:
Prepare pudding as directed on package.

Cut cake (prepared above) into cubes.  Place half of the cubes into bottom of trifle dish; lightly pressing to fill in gaps.

Top with half of of the cool whip, pudding, caramel topping, and toffee bits.

Repeat layers.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

///

PS. That’s the kind of picture you get when pictures are taken at night with no natural light and free photo editing software.  It’s also the kind of picture you get when your plan is to get “better” pictures in the morning before you take it to work – only to open the refrigerator and find that the caramel has mysteriously overflowed all over.  ALL OVER.  And you’re already running late to your 7:15am doctor’s appointment and the trifle dish is so darn sticky you spend any free moments you have (before dashing out the door) searching for a solution to transport your dessert and concoct an explanation for how atrocious your once-beautiful dessert looks.  “I swear it tastes good.”  The lesson learned: do not overfill your trifle dish, just because you have a little bit of “extra” caramel.  To avoid any waste, you’re better off eating the rest of the caramel topping with a spoon directly from the jar.

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