Individual trifles layered with cubes of light and fluffy white cake, white chocolate pudding, rainbow chip cheesecake mousse, and frosted Circus Animal cookies!
Game over, guys.
These Circus Animal Cookie Mini Trifles are hands down the BEST trifle you will ever have in your entire life.
I know I say this a lot about my recipes (because I’m humble like that), but SERIOUSLY, it’s been a while since I’ve had that explosively euphoric feeling at first bite.
If you were as obsessed with my Circus Animal Cookie Ice Cream, then you’ll be absolutely over the flippin’ moon for these. Not only are they layered with everyone’s favorite pink and white frosted animal cookies, but there’s also two ultra fluffy sweet layers of rainbow chip cheesecake mousse.
I repeat, RAINBOW CHIP cheesecake mousse.
The mousse alone is TO-DIE-FOR.
Oh. My. G.
All I can say is that it’s a good thing I didn’t make one big trifle instead of these “mini” ones. Had that been the case, I could’ve easily, EASILY, inhaled the entire dish within minutes.
Being that these are nicely and conveniently sealed in their own individual jars, one might be generous enough to gift these to friends or family…..
Yeaaaaaahhhh…I’m not that generous.
The nice thing about these mini trifles is that they freeze really well. Just spin the lid on and pop it in the freezer for up to 6 months, which will allow me to pace myself when I consume all 8 of these.
By the way, I’m so not kidding.
Every single layer of these trifles is phenomenal. I even used a cake mix for the cake layer, however, I made a few swap-a-roo’s, which made a MAJOR difference in both the flavor and texture.
For one, I added an entire cup of vegetable oil instead of the mere 1/3 or 1/2 cup and water that most cake mixes ask for. I’ve tried substituting butter for the oil before, but I don’t really notice any improvement in flavor. Plus, I’ve noticed that it tends to make cakes a little denser and compact. Oil, on the other hand, has always kept my cakes extra moist, light, and springy!
I also added a whole cup of sour cream and a small package of white chocolate pudding. Vanilla pudding would be fine too! With the amount of moisture added from the oil and sour cream, I left out the yolks and used just the whites, which not only kept the cake light in color, but light in texture as well.
The almond extract may be the smallest ingredient added to the cake, but it definitely MAKES the cake. It’s my secret weapon when it comes to brightening up the flavor in white cake. If you’ve never used almond extract in your baking, GIRRRRRL (or BOYYYYY), you be missin’ OUT! It’s an absolute necessity in baking–right up there with vanilla extract. So do your tastebuds a favor, and make sure you have almond extract in your kitchen at ALL TIMES.
Let’s get back to the rainbow chip cheesecake mousse…
Did you ever believe it was possible to improve upon something as glorious as rainbow chip frosting? I sure didn’t! But this cheesecake mousse, guys…it’s everything.
And all I did was whip some cream cheese into the rainbow chip frosting, then fold in some whipped topping. That’s it! Just three delicious ingredients brought together in perfect fluffy harmony.
Since Circus Animal cookies are notoriously pink and white, a pink layer was definitely a must, so I added a layer of white chocolate pudding (lightened with some whipped topping) and simply died it pink. So pretty!
I absolutely adore all of the textures and sweet flavors in these “little” trifles. From the crunchy animal cookies to the creamy mousse and fluffy cake, these trifles are the only drug I’d lie, cheat, and steal for.
Circus Animal Cookie Mini Trifles
Yields: 8 Mini Trifles
1 (16.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (3.56 oz) box instant white chocolate pudding mix*
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
White Chocolate Pudding:
1 (3.56 oz) box instant white chocolate pudding mix
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 and 1/2 cups whipped topping**
Pink or Red Dye
Rainbow Chip Cheesecake Mousse:
1 (16 oz) tub Rainbow Chip frosting
1 (8 oz) box cream cheese, softened
4 and 1/2 cups whipped topping**
1 (12 oz) bag Frosted Circus Animal Cookies
8 pint-sized mason jars
Cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF; line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, stir all of the cake ingredients together until smooth; batter will be thick. Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely, then cut into cubes.
White Chocolate Pudding: In a medium bowl, whisk the pudding mix and milk together until smooth and thickened. Fold in the whipped topping, then add either pink or red dye to tint pudding to desired colored. Transfer to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized ziploc bag with the tip of the corner cut off.
Rainbow Chip Mousse: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the rainbow chip frosting, beating until combined. Fold in the whipped topping. Transfer to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized ziploc bag with the tip of the corner cut off.
Assemble: Coarsely chop all but 8 Circus Animal cookies. Place a layer of cake cubes in the bottom of each jar, then pipe half of the rainbow chip mousse on top. Divide the chopped animal cookies evenly among the jars, shaking slightly to create an even layer. Pipe the white chocolate pudding evenly among the jars, using all of it up. Add another layer of cake cubes***, followed by the rest of the rainbow chip mousse. Garnish each trifle with one Circus Animal cookie and sprinkles.
*Vanilla instant pudding can also be used.
**You’ll need two (8 oz) tubs of whipped topping total.
***You’ll have some cake leftover.