Scottish Christmas Chocolate Trifle

We love a good Scottish family trifle at Christmas time and I created this chocolate version using all the elements of a classic Scottish family trifle of the 80’s. This trifle is layered up with chocolate chip chunks, cherries, raspberry jelly, chocolate custard, whipped cream and Scottish shortbread stars and other chocolate toppings. It makes a delicious family treat after the big Christmas meal and can be quite light if you have a wee bit.

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scottish chocolate trifle

This delicious Chocolate Christmas Trifle is made using the lovely Scottish shortbread from Dean’s. The chocolate chip shortbread chunks are used in the bottom with the jelly and the Chocolate Stars are used to decorate the topping of the trifle. My kids loved the chocolate shortbread stars on the top along with the cherries and other decorations. This dish looks so pretty on the Christmas table and its so easy to prepare ahead of time. Dean’s have been baking shortbread in our local town since 1975 and have a lovely range of shortbread online. The shortbread in this recipe works really well especially the Christmas chocolate stars.

This delicious Scottish style trifle works really well as a Christmas or Hogmanay after dinner treat. Scoop a large spoon right down to the bottom to get a piece of every layer and serve up with additional sprinkles or more Chocolate shortbreads. The original Scottish trifle, called a typsy laird, was drizzled with booze and made with simple layers of sponge, custard and cream. Some older recipes had bananas in them. Obviously bananas are not grown in Scotland but would have been imported at some point. In recent years or in the 80’s and 90’s our Grannies always made up a traditional trifle with jelly and sponge, custard, whipped cream and sprinkles and glace cherries to decorate. It wasn’t fancy and was always a very simple dish but it always looked pretty on the table and as kids we loved it.

Scottish chocolate trifle top down view

Your going to love this Chocolate Christmas trifle because…

This trifle looks extravagant with all of its pretty layers but its very easy to prepare. Each layer is simple in nature but the combination of them all together makes a delicious treat.

It’s a classic and everyone loves a bit of nostalgia at Christmas time when it comes to food and food memories. You can birth new family traditions by bringing out the Scottish classics every year. We have been including clootie dumpling since my husband’s Granny passed and always make a lovely trifle.

This chocolate version uses all the elements of a classic trifle with with a chocolate twist for those chocaholics.

It’s a flexible dish and you can swap the ingredients up really easily if you fancy using different fruits or different custard flavours such as the traditional vanilla custard.

Scottish Christmas Trfile Side View

Scottish Recipe Suggestions…

If you like the sound of this delicious Scottish classic your going to love my other Christmas recipes on Youtube. In an older video I explained how to make the classic traditional Scottish Trifle our Grannies used to bring around at Christmas time. It is my most popular video on Youtube and a lot of people really appreciate the simplicity of it. If your a fan of minecmeat you wil love this delicious simple Christmas mincemeat slice I made a few weeks back its so easy and so delicious.

Scottish Trifle Recipe
Scottish Christmas Mincemeat Slice

Scottish Traditional Trifle Recipe (to print)

Tips for making this Chocolate Christmas Trifle…

This recipe can be made ahead of time and left in the fridge. I would recommend making up the jelly and fruit layer and the custard and adding the whipped cream on just before serving. You can add the whipped cream layer on in advance but you don’t want to add your toppings on in advance as they tend to go soggy or the colour sometimes runs from the sprinkles.

If you don’t like or can’t get a hold of chocolate custard try mixing some custard up with cocoa powder or just use plain vanilla custard which will work just as good as the chocolate as an alternative.

You can swap out the cherries for other seasonal fruits available in your area. I also love using raspberries or strawberries but I get the guilt because they are not very seasonal. I used tinned cherries and you could also use some frozen fruits you may have from the Summer months.

Decorate the top layer with whatever you fancy or have available. I used sprinkles, chocolate shavings, the chocolate star shortbreads and some cherries. You could also use a different colour of sprinkles, maybe some white chocolate or some nuts too. A drizzle of honey always looks nice if you have available.

The Wee Larder Scottish Cookbooks

If you enjoy Scottish recipes your going to love my Scottish cookbooks available now on my website. All inspired by either the traditional dishes of Scotland, the Scottish seasons or Scottish food culture. Click the image link above or below to bring a taste of Scotland into your kitchen!

Scottish Tearoom Cookbook
Scottish Tearoom Cookbook
Scottish Christmas Cookbook

Advertisement – Dean’s

Dean’s are a local shortbread factory based in our home town of Huntly, Aberdeenshire. They also have a lovely resturant with viewing gallery to watch the Scottish shortbread being made while you enjoy a nice lunch. We have enjoyed many a trip there and continue to use the resturant with the family. We never leave of course without some of their delicious shortbread based on a traditional recipe. You can read a little bit more about Helen Dean who created the lovely Dean’s shortbread recipe below.

Helen Dean around 1975

“Dean’s story begins in 1975 at the heart of Helen Dean’s kitchen, in the small town of Huntly, North East Scotland. It was here that Helen first created her delicious traditional shortbread, and her friends and family loved the ‘melt in the mouth’ sensation. Her husband Bill, a Drum Major, thought it was so delicious he decided to use Helen’s baking to help raise funds for the local Huntly pipe band. Their touring helped spread her shortbread’s fame far and wide, and soon, the aroma of home baking would fill the town as Helen established her own small bakery to meet demand.”

Christmas Chocolately Shortbread Stars

This recipe uses the lovely Scottish Chocolate Chip shortbreads and the Christmas Chocolatey Shortbread Stars seen above and below.. They are a traditional style of shortbread that can be broken down easily for this recipe.

You can buy them on their website here –

Dean's Belgian Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

Dean’s Chocolate Christmas Trifle Recipe

Scottish Chocolate Christmas Trifle

A delicious chocolate trifle using all the elements of a traditional Scottish trifle of the 1980's. Jelly and chocolate chunk shortbread pieces with fruit, layered with chocolate custard and whipped cream and topped with delicious chocolate star shortbreads and sprinkles.
Servings 8 people


  • 1 Beautiful Glass Trifle Bowl Check your local charity shop for something suitable and vintage looking.


  • 6-8 Belgian Chocolate Chips Shortbread Rounds broken into pieces
  • 1 pack Raspberry or Strawberry Jelly
  • 1 can Cherries in Juice
  • 1 tin Chocolate Custard approx 400ml
  • 1 carton Double Cream approx 400ml
  • 1 pack Dean's Chocolatey Shortbread Stars
  • Glace Cherries to decorate
  • Christmas Sprinkles to decorate
  • Chocolate & Chocolate Decorations optional to decorate


  • Break up the chocolate chip shortbreads into chunks and place in the bottom of the trifle bowl. Add some cherries to the top of the shortbreads. Slice them up if you wish.
  • Make up the jelly according to the packet instructions and pour enough jelly over the broken shortbread and cherries. Leave to set in the fridge.
  • Pour over enough chocolate custard to create the next layer. Whip up the double cream in a bowl until stiff and carefully dollop or pipe on the top of the trifle. Smooth using a fork if nessecary and decorate with the chocolate shortbreads and remaining tinned cherries.
  • You can also grate over a little chocolate and add sprinkles to the top of the trifle. Serve immediately or pop in the fridge to chill.


There are no real specific ingredient quantities for this recipe as it will depend on the size of the bowl.  These quantities are for the layers that I created but you might need a little more or less.  Experiment and enjoy yoru lovely trifle!