Prepare the pudding mix according to the box directions. Chill in refrigerator until needed.
Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Fold in 8 oz of the Cool Whip until fluffy. Reserve remaining Cool Whip for garnish.
Layer half the cake in a glass trifle bowl. Top with half the chilled pudding, then half the cream cheese mixture.
Top with remaining cake, pudding, and cream cheese mixture.
Add remaining Cool Whip on the top of the trifle.
Melt the orange candy melts.
Holding strawberries by the stem, dip into orange melts and place on waxed paper to dry.
Garnish top of trifle with chocolate covered strawberry carrots.
The filling layers can be made with either whipped topping or heavy cream. Heavy cream will give it a looser texture which is ideal for trifles. Cool whip will give it a stiffer consistency more like a no-bake cheesecake.
Optional garnishes or "toss-ins" for the layers include walnuts, pineapple, raisins, shredded coconut (white or “grass green”), and even various Easter candies!
If desired, you can create a trifle layer with about 1-2 cups per layer. For example; cake cubes, frosting, walnuts, cake, frosting, raisins, etc. You could even top it with whipped cream!
If using pineapple, drain well or the trifle will become watery.