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Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle

What to do when your Saint Patrick's Day cake doesn't turn out as planned? Trifle it! My delicious dreams of chocolate pound cake strips filled with pistachio cream and topped with a special green buttercream frosting were dashed when my cake was undercooked in the center, just at the top where it cracked. The rest was great.

Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle 5

My grandmother whipped out perfect buttery, rich, vanilla laden pound cakes without a fancy Kitchen Aid mixer for years. I have made her recipe many times with no problems, until recently. I could blame it on the oven but other cakes turn out fine. Once I got a new mixer I thought that would solve the problem. I could be facing worse issues than baking more pound cakes though, so no complaining.

Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle 6

Even with a list of simple ingredients, the perfect pound cake can still be tough to accomplish. Using powdered sugar, like in my grandmother's, produces different results than granulated sugar, which is found in most recipes. The dense structure is not cooperative with much added liquid. Then there's loaf pan versus bundt versus tube pan. Each conducts heat in a distinct way. Conclusion - Practice practice practice.

Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle 7

I believe my grandmother's basic pound cake is the best but I've yet to discover its chocolate equivalant. I do enjoy tweaking and experimenting so this isn't the end of this cake's story. It's full of that signature buttery flavor that pound cake is famous for, along with a deep chocolate melt-in-your-mouth decadence!   You break a slice and the texture is dense and solid, moist, not spongy. Definitely worth pursuing.

Chocolate pound cake

Now for our trifle...

Because this Saint Patrick's Day dessert was for a meeting, I needed a solution that didn't involve making another cake that day. The only time I've developed one of these layered creations was when a cake or cookie vision went sideways. You bake a beautiful cake, the last thing you want to do is chop it into pieces and smother it in cream and pudding :)

Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle 2

Here's a very simple dessert for your Saint Patrick's Day celebrations. And you do not have to risk cake disappointment. Buy a chocolate pound cake or bake one, if you prefer. A box of pistachio pudding, a bag of pistachios, and whipped cream (I did make the cream but you could use cool whip).

Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle 3


The, 'oh my, YUM' ingredient is Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur, an Irish cream, Irish Whiskey, and chocolate based liqueur. Brush each piece of cake with this potion and your trifle becomes worthy of an Irish party! Pistachios haven't gained the popularity of a pecan or walnut in baking but I love them with chocolate and the pudding has bits of nut it it too.

Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle 1

While it was not the oohh lala Irish themed dessert I was striving for, it's a good solid save :) And since you can see the bottom of the bowl with little left, this Saint Patrick's Day dish turned out to be a fantastic ending to a frustrating day in the kitchen. Now you can add it to your fun Irish parties!

Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle 8


What are you CREATING MORE of in your kitchen today? Something tasty for Saint Patrick's Day?

Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle 4


Saint Patrick's Day Chocolate Pound Cake Pistachio Trifle


Printable Recipe


Prep Time - 30 minutes if using store bought cake, pudding, and homemade whipped cream

Cook Time - None

Total - 30 minutes plus 1 to 2 hours of chilling time

Servings - 10 to 12




- 1 3.4 ounce box instant pistachio pudding mix

- 2 cups cold milk (I used 1 1/2 of 1% and 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream)

- homemade whipped cream (recipe below)

- 1/2 loaf of chocolate pound cake (you can use any chocolate cake but pound cake is denser)

- 1 to 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Irish cream liqueur (Bailey's Irish cream or Amaretto is also fine)

- about 1/4 cup roasted pistachios (you can use more on the top or also distribute some inside the trifle)




I used a smaller dessert dish than a traditional trifle bowl. If you're filling the typical deep trifle bowl you'll need to double the above ingredients.

1.  Prepare pudding according to box directions. Set aside.

2.  If using homemade whipped cream, prepare and set aside.

3.  Chop cake into bite size squares (about 1 inch)

4.  Place cake pieces into bottom of bowl, enough to cover it.

5. Gently brush cake with Irish cream. Keep the liquid on the cake as much as possible so you do not change the consistency of the pudding or cream.

6. Spread some pudding over the cake without letting any cake crumbs mix into the pudding.

7.  Next, a layer of cream, being careful not to let any green blend into that layer.

8.  Repeat until all of your ingredients are gone or you reach the top of your serving bowl, ending with whipped cream. (I only had 2 layers of everything with a little bit of cream left.)

Refrigerate any pudding or cream that's leftover. Cake can be stored in a Ziploc bag on the counter for 4 to 5 days or frozen 3 to 4 months.

9.  Garnish the top with pistachios

10.  Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving, if possible.


Homemade Whipped Cream



- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons powdered sugar

- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla




1.  If you have time, freeze your mixing bowl for about 15 minutes. The cream comes together a little faster.

2.  Add all ingredients into bowl.

3.  Use either a hand mixer or large stand with whisk attachment and start blending on low to minimize splatter. Then increase to medium until you reach a thick and soft texture. 


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