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Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle. Layers of cake, chocolate sauce, cherry compote and cheesecake filling. A real celebration dessert that’s terrific for serving large crowds.

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle

I celebrated my birthday last week and had a few friends around for sips and nibbles as usual. I served up some great wings that were oven baked after simply being coated in my famous BBQ Dry Rub along with one of my favourites, Blueberry Baked Brie with Hazelnuts and Honey.

When it came time to decide on a birthday cake, I decided I didn’t want a traditional cake; it’s my birthday after all, so why not have what I want? That’s my way of thinking!

Dark Chocolate Chips, to melt and dip the biscotti

I often use dark chocolate chips for the ganache sauce but you can use any kind you like.

Trifles are a longtime favourite dessert of mine.

I’ve always been a big fan of trifle desserts of any sort. From traditional jelly and custard trifle that I loved as a kid, even with canned fruit cocktail where every fruit in the tin tasted exactly like the next!

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle

My trifles are still pretty simple in concept but a bit more diverse in flavour these days with great versions like Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle, Lemon Mousse Trifle or even Raspberry Coconut Cream Trifle. So, with friends coming over I decided that a birthday trifle was a great idea.

Bowl of cherries for Black Forest Pie

Fresh Cherries are great if they are available but frozen will work just as well.

I already had thought about a Cherry Cheesecake for a birthday cake because I had frozen cherries and cream cheese on hand. I decided to stay with that idea but turn it into a trifle instead.

Making homemade cherry pie filling for Mini Black Forest Cheesecakes

To make the trifle a little boozy, I sprinkled the cake cubes with dark rum because I love that flavour in my Strawberry Screech Black Forest Cake. You could use Kirsh liqueur if you wanted or no alcohol at all if you prefer it that way.

I’ve used my standard one bowl Chocolate Cake recipe in this trifle that I baked in a 9×13 inch pan but if you prefer, a Chocolate Sponge Cake will be excellent as well.

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake TrifleMy friends loved my birthday trifle and agreed that when it’s your birthday, the choice should be yours. So, if you’d rather have birthday pie or birthday cheesecake or even birthday trifle, you have my permission to go right ahead and do so. Your day, your rules! 🙂

Looking for more celebration desserts?

Be sure to browse this incredible collection of Favourite Chocolate Recipes from the past 10 years on Rock Recipes.

Best Chocolate Dessert Recipes image collage with title text for Pinterest

Best Chocolate Dessert Recipes

You’ll find hundreds of other sweet ideas in our Cakes & Pies Category and even more in our Desserts Category.

Be sure to have a look at our very popular White Chocolate Cheesecake Trifle with Summer Fruit, too. It’s one of my favourite summer desserts.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Trifle image with title text

White Chocolate Cheesecake Trifle with Summer Fruit

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Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle
Yield: 16 servings or more

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle - layers of cake, chocolate sauce, cherry compote and cheesecake filling. A real celebration dessert that's terrific for serving large crowds.


For this trifle you will need to make the following components

  • 1 Rock Recipes One Bowl Chocolate Cake, SEE NOTES
  • Cherry Compote
  • Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling
  • Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • Chocolate Ganache Sauce

For the Cherry Compote

  • 4 cups pitted sweet cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch + ¼ cup water

For the Vanilla Cheesecake Filling

  • 1 pound cream cheese (2 eight ounce packages)
  • 1 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1½ cups whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream (for the top layer/garnish)

  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar, powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache Sauce

  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Additionally you will need

  • 3 or 4 ounces of dark rum (or Kirsh liqueur)


  1. This trifle requires quite a large serving dish. The one I use holds about 16 cups.
  2. Bake the cake as instructed and let it cool on a wire rack before cutting it into cubes.

To prepare the Cherry Compote

  1. Make the cherry filling while the cake is in the oven because it too will have to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the cherries, 2/3 cup water, sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Dissolve the cornstarch in the ¼ cup of water and slowly stir into the boiling cherries. Stir constantly until the cherries begin to simmer again, then cook for only a minute longer.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. It is not recommended to cool this mixture quickly in the fridge because you can set the corn starch.
  6. You can reserve about a 1/2 cup of the cherry compote to garnish the top of the trifle as pictured if you like.

To prepare the Vanilla Cheesecake Filling

  1. Remove 3 rounded tbsp of the icing sugar from the 1 cup you have measured. Add the 3 tbsp icing sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer along with the vanilla extract and whipping cream. Beat together to firm peaks, then transfer the whipped cream to a separate bowl.
  2. Now add the remaining powdered sugar and the cream cheese to the electric mixer bowl and cream together well until smooth and the cream cheese is well softened.
  3. Add about ½ cup of the whipped cream to the softened cream cheese mixture and beat again until smooth. (This step helps soften the cream cheese mixture a little more for the next step)
  4. Finally fold in the remaining whipped cream by hand until smooth, using a rubber or silicone spatula.

To prepare the Vanilla Whipped Cream (for the top layer/garnish)

  1. Beat the cream, icing sugar and vanilla together to firm peaks.

To prepare the Chocolate Ganache Sauce

  1. Scald ½ cup cream and add 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips.
  2. Stir over low heat only until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

To assemble the trifle

  1. Chop the cake into cubes and layer ⅓ of them into the bottom of your trifle bowl. Drizzle with an ounce of the rum or kirsh and about 1/3 of the chocolate sauce.
  2. Add half the vanilla cheesecake filling in the next layer. Then about half the cherry compote.
  3. Begin to layer again with another ⅓ of the cake cubes, rum, chocolate sauce, , then the remaining half of the cheesecake filling, the cherry compote and finally the remaining cake cubes and a final sprinkle of rum or Kirsh.
  4. Top with Vanilla Whipped Cream, any reserved cherry compote and drizzle with the remaining Chocolate Ganache Sauce.


Use the chocolate cake recipe in our Black and White Cake recipe for the one bowl chocolate cake in this trifle.

Nutrition Information



Amount Per Serving Calories 453Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 20gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 103mgSodium 113mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 2gSugar 28gProtein 4g

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Thursday 14th of October 2021

Made this for Thanksgiving Brunch. Wow! Absolutely amazing ! Used Kirsh even though we had to drive to a bigger city to find it. Made it that morning so it had about 5 hours in the fridge. Next time will do it the day before so it becomes a bit "soggy" in an absolutely delicious way. Used frozen cherries and just dumped them in the pot without thawing and draining them. Had to add a bit more cornstarch to make it the consistency I wanted. Loved it. Did I say that already?

Daisy May Tuti

Sunday 30th of December 2018

I loved to try out your receipes. and would like to subscribe daily


Thursday 28th of January 2016

looks good but left out what to do with compote

Barry C. Parsons

Monday 8th of February 2016

Can't believe I did that, thanks for catching it. I've updated the recipe.

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