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Pistachio Pudding Trifle Dessert Recipe

Pistachio Pudding Trifle Dessert Recipe is easy to make ahead and has delicious layers of angel food cake, creamy pistachio pudding, sweet whipped cream, and a mix of crunchy toasted coconut and pecans.

Top down photo of a trifle bowl filled with pistachio pudding, cake, whipped cream and topped with toasted coconut with pecans.

This Trifle Dessert Recipe is just gorgeous. The bright green color makes it perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or SPRING.

This is a refreshing cool Refrigerator Dessert so we make it for our summer cookouts and it’s always a hit.

We love that this is so easy to make. There are a lot of variations that you can make so you can make the perfect dessert trifle for your friends and family.

We’ll show you how you can make it a NO-BAKE dessert trifle and how it can be made ahead of time too.

3/4 angle photo of a trifle bowl filled with pistachio pudding, cake, whipped cream and topped with toasted coconut with pecans.

Pistachio Pudding Dessert Ingredients and Variations

  • Angel Food Cake – You can use a cake mix, your favorite recipe, or purchase an angel food cake at your grocery store for a NO-BAKE version.
    • Variation – Pound cake soaks up that creamy pudding a little more than angel food cake so it creates a thicker and denser layer that is delicious.
    • Chocolate goes well with pistachio so you can use a chocolate cake or brownie instead of angel food cake.
      • We would replace the coconut with chocolate cookie crumbs if you choose to use this option.
  • Pistachio Pudding – Instant pudding
  • Coconut – We used shredded coconut and toasted it with chopped pecans for a nice crunchy texture.
    • You can eliminate the coconut and use all pecans or a crumbled cookie such as a vanilla wafer.
  • Pecans – We toasted our pecans and mixed them with the coconut. You can substitute them with another type of chopped nut.
    • You can eliminate the pecans and use all coconut or a crumbled cookie such as a vanilla wafer.
  • Whole Milk – We used full-fat whole milk to make our pudding. We find it’s a little thicker than other varieties. We haven’t experimented with using milk replacements.
  • Whipping Cream – We love the texture and flavor of homemade whipped cream.
    • Prepared whipped topping can be substituted for a quick and easy option.
  • Sugar – We sweeten our whipped cream with a little sugar. You can use confectioners powdered sugar which we often do as well.
    • If you use prepared whipped topping you will not need sugar.
  • Vanilla extract – We use pure vanilla extract and not imitation to flavor our whipped cream. Use what you have.
    • Again, if you use prepared whipped topping, you will not need vanilla.
Side view of a trifle bowl containing layers of cake, pudding, whipped topping and garnished with a mixture of toasted coconut and pecans.

Quick & Easy No-Bake Trifle Dessert Recipe

Make this a quick and easy No-Bake Dessert Trifle.

  1. Purchase pre-made cake.
  2. Purchase prepared whipped topping.
  3. The coconut and pecan mixture doesn’t need to be toasted or it can be replaced by crushing pre-made cookies.

How to make a Pistachio Pudding Trifle Dessert

  1. Bake the Angel Food Cake. Allow it to cool completely and then tear or cut it into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
  2. Combine the milk with the instant pudding mix in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until combined and creamy. Chill for 15 minutes to set.
  3. Make the whipped cream layer by adding the heavy whipping cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks begin to form and then gradually add the sugar and vanilla. Continue mixing until the peaks stand on the end of your whisk attachment without collapsing.
  4. Using a skillet combine coconut and chopped pecans. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove the mixture from the pan when browned to keep it from burning.

How to assemble the Pistachio Pudding Dessert

  • Add 1/3 of the cake pieces to the bottom of a trifle bowl.
  • Spoon 1/3 of the pistachio pudding over the cake layer.
  • Top the pudding with 1/3 of the whipped topping.
  • Sprinkle the whipped topping with 1/3 of the toasted coconut-pecan mixture.
  • Repeat two more times.

Note: We sprinkle the last layer of the toasted coconut-pecan mixture over the top right before serving so it stays nice and crunchy.

Top down view of a plate holding a serving of a layered dessert containing pistachio pudding, whipped topping, white cake, and a mix of toasted coconut and pecans.

Pro Tips

  • We think it’s best if you make your pistachio pudding trifle the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator so all of the layers blend meld together.
  • Make sure all ingredients are cool before you assemble it. You can actually make the cake and pudding earlier in the day and then assemble it before going to bed.
  • We don’t make the whipped topping too far in advance of the assembly though.
  • Making your own whipped topping is easy and tastes great. The trick is not over whip it.
    • Use a chilled bowl to mix the cream in.
    • We use an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Allow the peaks to just start forming and then gradually add your sugar. Stop when soft peaks form at the end of your whisk attachment without collapsing.
  • Store the trifle in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t develop a film or crust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this trifle dessert recipe ahead of time?

YES! In fact, we think it’s best made ahead of time. It has more time for all of the layers to meld into a delicious creamy refrigerator dessert.

Can you freeze a trifle dessert?

We don’t recommend freezing this trifle dessert. It’s best to store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How do you serve a Pistachio Pudding Trifle Dessert?

We use a large spoon and dip deep enough that every person gets all of the delicious layers.

If you like this recipe here are a few more you may enjoy

We LOVE Dessert! You can find all of our dessert recipes here!

What you may need

Electric stand mixer or a handheld mixer makes this recipe so much easier.

We also love using a pretty trifle bowl for this recipe. If you don’t have a trifle bowl, you can use a large glass bowl to show off those layers.

We don’t buy too many things that don’t have multiple functions. Trifle bowls are perfect for layered salads or used as a large bowl for pasta salads or mixed fruit.

For a fun variation, you can make individual trifle desserts by layering it in dessert glasses or even mason jars.

Pin it!

Two photo collage for Pinterest. The top photo is a slice Pistachio Pudding Trifle Dessert containing white cake, pistachio pudding, whipped topping and a mix of toasted coconut with pecans.
Side-view photo of a trifle bowl filled with pistachio pudding, cake, whipped cream and topped with toasted coconut with pecans.
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5 from 10 votes

Pistachio Pudding Trifle Dessert Recipe

Pistachio Pudding Trifle is an easy make-ahead dessert with layers of soft angel food cake, creamy pistachio pudding, sweet whipped cream, and a mix of crunchy toasted coconut and pecans.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 14 Servings
Author Hostess At Heart

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 Angel Food Cake mix baked (or your favorite recipe)

Pistachio Pudding Filling

  • 1 6oz

    instant pistachio pudding mix


    (or 2-3oz packages)
  • 3 cups whole milk

Whipped Cream

Garnish


  • 1 cup shredded coconut toasted
  • 1 cup pecans chopped and toasted

Instructions

Cake

  • Bake the Angel Food cake according to directions. Cool completely and then dice into bite-sized pieces.

Pudding Layer

  • Attach the whisk attachment of an electric mixer. Beat the instant pudding and the milk together for 3 minutes on medium speed.
 Put the mixing bowl in the refrigerator uncovered and chill for 15 minutes or until set.

Whipped Cream Layer:

  • Mix heavy whipping cream until it starts to thicken. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer using the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over whip.

Coconut Pecan Mix

  • Using a 12" skillet add the coconut and stir over medium heat stirring continuously. As soon as the coconut is evenly browned remove it from the skillet so it stops cooking.
  • Using the same skillet add the chopped pecans. Brown them over a medium heat and when evenly browned, remove them from the pan to stop them from cooking.
  • Combine the pecans and the coconut together.

Assembly

  • Place 1/3 of the Angel Food cake pieces on the bottom of a large glass Trifle or decorative bowl.
  • Spoon 1/3 of the pudding on top of the cake layer and then 1/3 of the whipped cream on top of the pudding layer.
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of coconut pecan mix on top of the whipped cream layer.
  • Repeat for a total of three layers. Finish with the coconut pecan mix as a garnish.
  • Refrigerate covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours.

Notes

Tips:
  • We think it’s best if you make your pistachio trifle the day before and let it sit in the refrigerator to let all of the layers meld together.
  • Make sure all ingredients are cool before you assemble it. You can actually make the cake and pudding earlier in the day and then assemble it before going to bed.
  • We don’t make up my whipped topping too far in advance of the assembly though.  
  • Making your own whipped topping is easy and tastes better. The trick is not over whip it. We use an electric stand mixer with the whip attachment. Allow the peaks to just start forming and then gradually add your sugar. Stop when soft peaks form at the end of your whisk attachment. We also recommend chilling the bowl first.
  • Store the trifle in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t develop a film or crust.

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 588IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
Tried this recipe? That’s awesome!Mention @hostessatheart or tag #hostessatheart!
Recipe Rating




Saadia

Sunday 25th of July 2021

Everyone loved it! Used yellow cake mix and store bought cool whip in lieu of making homemade whipped cream. It was the perfect dessert to take to a bridal shower I was helping host.

Julie Menghini

Monday 26th of July 2021

Thank you, Saadia! I love the convenience too and as pretty as it is it would be perfect for a bridal shower. You are the hostess with the mostess!

Amy Nash

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

We LOVED this trifle with our Sunday dinner! I'm already planning to make it again for Easter. Pistachio is such a good flavor and it always gets overlooked!

Julie Menghini

Friday 26th of February 2021

Thank you, Amy! It's such a fun color and perfect for Easter too!

Michaela Kenkel

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

I made this over the weekend, and we LOVED it! It is going to be a perfect addition to our Easter dinner menu!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

Thank you, Michaela! Our family just loves trifles!

Kathleen Pope

Monday 22nd of February 2021

I needed an easy no-bake recipe to take to a friend of ours and they LOVE pistachio! This was perfect and so very simple, plus it looked beautiful, even in a plastic container!

Julie Menghini

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thank you, Kathleen! This is a great make and take treat.

Sandra Shaffer

Monday 22nd of February 2021

I just bought a trifle bowl and was surfing the web for a fun recipe to try. This is IT! Love all those layers and so pretty with the pistachio pudding. Thanks for the tip to use a cold bowl!

Julie Menghini

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thank you, Sandra! We love every layer in this trifle.