Chocolate Mousse Cake

This Chocolate Mousse Cake is a classic! With three layers of moist chocolate cake and two layers of smooth and creamy chocolate mousse, all covered in chocolate whipped cream!
Chocolate Mousse Cake - a moist chocolate cake with silky smooth chocolate mousse!

Chocolate Mousse Cake recipe

So today we are celebrating a Virtual Baby Shower for Jocelyn, of Grandbaby Cakes. You may have seen similar posts before for other friends, but basically a virtual baby shower is a way for us bloggers to virtually celebrate from afar.

I’m particularly excited to celebrate my friend Jocelyn today. I met Jocelyn for the first time several years ago and not long after that we realized we had something in common (besides the obvious blog thing and love of dessert) – a struggle with fertility. For both of us, moving forward with treatment was something we waited on and when we both realized we had decided to move forward with IVF earlier this year, it was so exciting to be able to go through it together (read her story here).

If you know Jocelyn, then you know her personality is one that will take over a room. She is SUPER positive and that didn’t change one bit while going through IVF. She believed every second of the process that it would work – for both of us. She was a huge encourager for me in the process and I loved that we were able to support each other through it. Plus, since she was several weeks ahead of me in the process, I was able to ask her questions about what was coming and we celebrated all the milestones together.

I could not be more excited to celebrate her and her sweet little girl coming this January! This is one baby that it going to be loved like crazy and I can’t wait to see Jocelyn be her mom!

Best Chocolate Mousse CakeChocolate Mousse Cake slice

So let’s talk a little bit about this cake, shall we? The cake layers themselves are wonderfully moist and delicious! Not to mention it’s one of the easiest cakes to put together and get into the oven. I’m a big fan!

Once the cakes are baked and cooled, it’s time for the chocolate mousse. I wanted this to be a true chocolate mousse cake, so I went with a traditional cooked chocolate mousse. Smooth, silky and delicious!

To start, you’ll combine the egg yolks, sugar and heavy whipping cream in the top of a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of boil water, which is what I do). The main goal here is to slowly and gently cook the eggs without scrambling them. You want them to reach 160°F so they are safe to eat. I like to use an instant read thermometer to test the temperature of the mixture, but you could also try eyeballing it and looking for things to thicken and grow in volume. Once the egg mixture is ready, it’s combined with the melted chocolate chips, cooled to room temperature, then gently combined with whipped cream.

To build the cake, you’ll want to use something that will allow you to layer the cakes and mousse without it all falling apart before the mousse can firm up. I like to use a clear cake collar. It’s super simple to wrap around the bottom layer of the cake, tape in place and then layer everything. Once the cake and mousse have been refrigerated, you just peel the collar back and everything is nice and even.

If you aren’t into using cake collars, you can use an 8 inch pan and a mock collar. I would suggest an 8×3 inch pan, so that the tall sides help add stability while you build the cake. A springform one would be even better. You’ll then create a mock collar within the pan using parchment paper. It ultimately creates the same effect as using a clear cake collar, it’s just a little more work to put it together.

One the cake is all layered in your method of choice, refrigerate it until the mousse is nice and firm. Remove the cake from it’s collar and then frost with a light chocolate whipped cream! It perfectly compliments the moist chocolate cake and silky smooth mousse by not being too sweet or heavy. The final combination is a heavenly classic chocolate mousse cake that is to die for!

So help us all celebrate Jocelyn today and be sure to check out the recipes from the other bloggers sharing today, found below!

decorated Chocolate Mousse CakeMoist Chocolate Mousse Cake

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes from Show Me The Yummy
Twix Cupcakes from Crazy for Crust
Chocolate Hot Fudge Mini Layer Cakes from Averie Cookies
Mini Pink Velvet Cake with Raspberry Cream Cheese from Especially Southern Dishes
Butternut Squash Cake with Coconut Frosting from Taste of Yummy
Toffee Caramel Cupcakes from Beyond Frosting
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes from Wine & Glue
Mini Amaretto Cherry Cheesecakes from Lemon Tree Dwelling
Candied Pecan and Caramel Mini Cakes from Brown Sugar Food Blog


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Chocolate Mousse Cake on plate
Recipe

Chocolate Mousse Cake

  • Author: Life, Love and Sugar
  • Prep Time: 5-6 hours (including chill time)
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 5-6 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chocolate Mousse Cake with three layers of moist chocolate cake and two layers of smooth & creamy chocolate mousse – all covered in chocolate whipped cream!


Scale

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 1 3/4 cups (228g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (85g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (52g) sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup (420ml) heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups (227g) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (86g) powdered sugar

CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING

  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 3/4 cup (68g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (57g) natural unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Sprinkles

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAKES AND CHOCOLATE MOUSSE:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8 inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom.
2. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
7. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. When the cakes have cooled, make the chocolate mousse. Combine the egg yolks, sugar and 1/2 cup (120ml) of heavy whipping cream in the top of a double boiler (or in a metal mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water). Do not let the water boil, or it’ll get too hot. Occasionally lift the bowl to release steam. Cook the egg mixture, whisking constantly. It’ll be ready when it has thickened, lightened a bit in color and has more volume. It should take about 7-10 minutes and reach 160°F (71°C). When done, remove it from the heat and set aside.
9. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl and microwave in intervals of 10-15 seconds, stirring well between each, until melted and smooth. You could also use the double boiler again.
10. Add the chocolate to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.
11. In a mixer bowl, whip the remaining 1 1/4 cups (300ml) of heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
12. Fold about 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until combined, then fold about 1/4 of the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Slowly fold the remaining chocolate mixture into the whipped cream.

TO BUILD THE CAKE:

13. Level the tops of the chocolate cakes by using a large serrated knife.
14. The cake can be built in an 8×3 inch cake pan (springform would be ideal) or with a clear cake collar. If you are using a cake pan to build the cake, put a cardboard cake circle in the bottom of the pan. If not using a springform pan, you can put some plastic wrap in the bottom of the pan and up the sides and use it to lift the cake out of the pan when it’s done. Line the sides of the cake pan with parchment paper. The parchment paper should stick up above the top edge of the pan, since the cake will probably be a little taller than your pan. Add the first layer of cake into the bottom of the cake pan. If you are using a cake collar, place the bottom cake on a cardboard cake circle or a serving plate and wrap the cake collar around it and secure in place.
15. Add about half of the chocolate mousse and spread into an even layer.
16. Add the second layer of cake on top of the mousse, then add the remaining mousse and spread into an even layer.
17. Top the cake with the final cake layer. Refrigerate the cake until the mousse is firm, 4-5 hours.

TO FINISH OFF THE CAKE:

18. Make the whipped cream by adding all the ingredients to a large mixer bowl and whipping on high speed until stiff peaks form.
19. Remove the cake from the fridge and either remove it from the pan by removing the springform pan sides, lifting the cake out of the pan with the plastic wrap, or removing the cake collar.
20. Frost the outside of the cake with the chocolate whipped cream and pipe swirls around the outer top edge of the cake.
21. Finish off the cake with some chocolate sprinkles, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Cake is best when well covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Keywords: chocolate mousse, chocolate whipped cream, chocolate layer cake, chocolate cake recipe, chocolate desserts, chocolate dessert ideas

Enjoy!

Chocolate Mousse Cake - a moist chocolate cake with silky smooth chocolate mousse!

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Recipe rating

218 Comments
  1. Farzana

    Hi, I can’t wait to try this recipe. Is it 1 cup of milk or 1 cup of buttermilk? I look forward to hearing from you soon, Thank you. 

  2. Lizy

    I’ve made this recipe countless of times and it truly is an amazing cake. However, I do not know why the filling of my cake is not thick and fluffy like yours. Mine is like a thick syrup so the filing is not high like yours. I still make it work and the cake still tastes amazing, but what do you think am I doing wrong?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it! As for the mousse – It should be kind of soft when you layer it together, but it should firm up in the fridge. If that’s not happening, there are a couple things I could think of. 1. The egg mixture isn’t being cooked enough, to a high enough temperature. 2. Are you using semi sweet chocolate, or another chocolate like milk chocolate?

      1. Lizy

        I am using everything in your list. I am not talented to try other things. Maybe I am not cooking the egg mixture enough. I am making again this weekend for my sons 8th bday as this is his fav cake. I hope it looks like yours. Thanks for the tip and responding…..Maybe next time you can make a video for us slow people 🙂

  3. Miranda

    Hi, I’m afraid I didn’t fold the chocolate and the cream right Bc now my mouse is a little watery.. How can I thicken it back up without ruining it? 

    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard for me to know without seeing it, but it may very well still be OK. The mousse thins out a good bit at that stage, but firms up in the fridge.

  4. Jrose

    Made this cake yesterday. Took me 2 days to make due to my medical condition. Made the cake the night before and made the mousse the next day and when I poured the mousse it ran off the sides. The collar did not hold it in place. So make sure to put the mousse in the fridge for a couple of hours. Before layering it. The frosting I made before serving the cake. Everyone loved this recipe. I’ve never made a cake from scratch and it was worth it. Will be making it again.

  5. Shelly

    Hi Lindsay, I plan to make this cake soon.  I just love this chocolate cake recipe.  But, if I wanted to add some kind of chocolate crunchy layer for texture between the mousse/cake, what would you suggest I use that won’t get soggy?  My inspiration is the chocolate crunchy layer in a Carvel ice cream cake.  Would crushed oreo cookies work?  Thanks.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s hard to say. I think most things would end up softening. If you want to try the crunchy oreo layer like in an ice cream cake, I have a Dairy Queen copycat ice cream cake with a layer like that that you could try. However I think part of the reason that stays crunchy it’s because it’s frozen. I’m not sure if it would stay as crunchy in a regular cake. You could try something like mini chocolate chips. https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/copycat-dairy-queen-ice-cream-cake/

  6. Jocelyn

    Lord that just sounds heavenly! Question, could I use the chocolate mousse as frosting on cupcakes? Will it hold its shape? 

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve never actually measured the temperature. I just pop the water in the microwave and take it out when it’s good and hot or just starts to boil.

  7. Gigi

    Any chance I could use the whipped cream frosting in the layers as well?  I am afraid to make the mousse…

  8. Riya

    It looks so delicious! I am planning on making this cake for a friend for her husband’s birthday party. So, I would be making it a few hours ahead and it also needs to sustain about an hour’s drive. Will the whipped cream be stable enough or should I go for buttercream? 

    1. Lindsay

      As long as you aren’t in some super warm environment, it should be fine. Just be sure to make the whipped cream as listed with the ingredients. The powdered sugar and cocoa help to stabilize it.

      1. Karolin

        THANK YOU!!!! 

        Must say this is the best yet easiest cake I’ve ever made! I made this cake for my hubby birthday, and it was a hit!

        The steps are so so clear & detailed, just stick to it and you will get the amazing reward, don’t forget to watch the video/tutorial each time you do the steps (mix the cake, bake it, cooling, build and the frosting).

        However, I do know level of sweetness for each of us are definitely/ totally different, but if you’re not really into something that sweet..(sweet), you might want to cut some of the sugar, for me it’s too sweet, everything’s so perfect, just the sweetness level.

        Will definitely making this cake again with an adjustment with my level of sweetness 😚

        Thank you again for sharing this amazing receipe!

  9. Brenda

    I made this for the first time today but I think I messed up the mousse because it taste only like the chocolate chips. Is that how it’s supposed to taste?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m not really sure what you mean about the taste. It obviously should taste like chocolate. Are you saying it tasted and had the consistency of more like chocolate ganache? After the whipped cream is added, it should light up.

  10. Dave Abell

    I made 3 of these cakes. 2 were made with real sugar and 1 went to my wife’s office and 1 was for my wife’s daughter and her family. The third was made with monk fruit in the cake and sugar substitute in the mousse and frosting. This cake was awful, but the other two were light and fluffy and moist. Is this typical, or did I ere on some other way??

    1. Lindsay

      That is kind of what I would expect. Sweeteners like that have a pretty big affect on the way things turn out. Aside from the fact that they can affect the texture of the cake, they have a very strong flavor to them that kind of takes over if you use too much. I made some mini cheesecakes with that same sweetener recently and cut down the amount of sugar a fair amount. I would think it would be especially tricky in a cake and mousse because of the larger amount of sugar and texture. I’m glad you enjoyed the versions with the regular sugar though!

    2. Lorraine

      I am so glad you posted this.  I made this cake for my mom’s 82 birthday and she had asked if I could make it sugar free. Id never made this cake before, so I kept with the original recipe and its delicious, delicious, delicious. Monk fruit is ok in tea, but cake needs sugar. 

  11. Belma

    Made this for my family and boyfriend, it was an absolute success! Everybody LOVED it! At the end, we stopped cutting slices and eventually just all started going at it with a fork!! The cake was moist and delicious, the whip cream and mousse just as great! Thank you for sharing!!

  12. Chelsea

    Hello, Lindsay! 😊 I just want to know how long can this mousse cake last outside the fridge? The party is from 1-5pm. Can the mousse withstand the chocolate ganache frosting after the mousse has set? Or is it possible to add powdered gelatin to add more stability if so how many would you think? Thank you in advance!

    1. Lindsay

      It should be fine for that amount of time. You could add gelatin, but I don’t think it would need it. I’m not sure what chocolate ganache you’re referring to – the recipe doesn’t call for it that I can remember. I hope you enjoy it!

    2. Kelsie

      I used this mousse filling for a tiered wedding cake, I stabilized the whip cream with gelatin and completely omitted the powdered sugar. Stable mousse at room temp for 6 hours!  Very light and surly with Rich chocolate flavour !

      1. demi

        …if u see my message,,,how did u add the gelatin and how much?dissolved in water and melted or somehow else?i want to make a doll cake with ch.mousse and banana slices inside and whipped cream or buttercream outside.it will be in the fridge …i am just worried if it is firm enough to hold between layers of cakes for the doll cake?and not slide off or sth…thanks

      2. Lindsay

        There isn’t gelatin in this chocolate mousse. The egg yolks are what firm it up. If you are concerned about stability for a particular kind of cake, you could add gelatin though.

  13. Mikki Young

    Making this for the third time today! I was making it for my neice’s birthday and after tasting the mousse decided I had to make a cake for myself! So I did and shared it with friends and family who all loved it too. My grandmother loved it so much she requested it for her birthday so here I am making it for a third time. Soooo yummy!

  14. Samantha

    Wow! This is what I would call the last chocolate cake I would ever make. This cake is so moist and just enough chocolate taste… I don’t think any other cake will ever be as good as this.
    I did have an issue with the mousse. It did not quite get ‘solid’ enough for me. It is fine in the refrigerator but it cannot be outside it long.
    I will have to double check my measurements. I also thought the mousse was a little sweet by itself. Once I put the cake together, it all seemed to work out. I selected to not add chocolate to the frosting. All who have eaten it, love it. Thank you so much for all your work on this and sharing it!

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s hard to say why the mousse wasn’t quite as form, but it could have to do with how long you cooked the egg mixture or perhaps the whipped cream.

  15. Tammy

    Hi Lindsay when you put cake in fridge to set mousse for 3-5 hours does it need to be covered then? And do you cover straight away in fridge once you finished cream if your going to use it that day or only if your using it the next day or leftovers etc? Hope these questions make sense lol

    1. Lindsay

      If it’s just going to be in the fridge for a few hours, it won’t hurt it if you don’t cover it. If it’s going to be in there overnight or something, it might be best to store it in a cake carrier in the fridge so it doesn’t dry out.

  16. Ana Goncalves

    Hi Lindsay, this recipe looks amazing and I’m going to make it for my husband’s birthday who is a chocolate lover! However, i wanted to have a layer of dark chocolate mousse and the other layer white chocolate mouse. Are the ingredients proportion the same to make both by just substituting the type of chocolate used for the mousse?

    1. Lindsay

      No, the mousse would be a little different because different kinds of chocolate have different fat contents. I’m not totally sure how to advise without testing it. I’m sorry!

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t actually tried that before, but I think it would be fine. I would suggest melting it with the chocolate chips and maybe trying about a 1/2 cup or so?

  17. Maria

    Hello, I made the cake for my sister’s birthday and it was AMAZING!!!! It was sooo moist!!! I was think about using the same recipe to make a vanilla cake…could I substitute the cocoa powder with flour??? Thank you in advance!

  18. Maggy

    I made this cake, actually I doubled the recipe, and wow what delicious decadent cake. It was worth putting in the effort to make. Highly recommend for everyone who enjoys baking, to give it a go!! You won’t be disappointed with the effort you put into. Was so delicious 😋 

  19. Ghiras

    Hi..

    it seems soooo delicious..but i tried to find a heavy whipping cream where I live but couldn’t find what can I do?

    1. Lindsay

      What alternatives do you have? Heavy cream will work, though it won’t be quite as stiff. If you have access to something like Cool Whip, you could try that too.

    1. Lindsay

      The cake recipe should be fine as cupcakes, but the mousse would need to be a filling, not a frosting. It’s fairly soft before it firms up in the fridge. You could use the whipped cream as the frosting though.

  20. Shelby Morris

    I never really make cakes from scratch so I was just wondering why you used Hot water for the cake mix?

    1. Lindsay

      The hot water helps the cocoa bloom and gives it a stronger chocolate flavor, but you could use room temperature or cold water and the cake would still bake fine.

  21. Kirsty Smith

    What should I do if I over whip the cream frosting? I just made this but it became very stiff and not very pliable at all! Never made mousse before, so no idea how to fix it!

    1. Lindsay

      For the whipped cream, you could try adding a smidge of extra heavy cream and gently stir it in. That should loosen it up a bit.

  22. Cassie

    My aunt and I are making this for my birthday cake on Thursday, the only difference is that we’re only filling the cake with the mousse and using a chocolate buttercream (our favorite) as the coating icing. It’ll be the first time I make a cake from scratch, but I’ve always made a box mix with coffee instead of water, providing a deeper chocolate flavor.

  23. Yousra

    Thank you my dear i tried this recipe as you wrote exactly every step and details .
    The result is unbelievable as you mentioned the cake is terrific very rich in chocolate flavor i also added coffe to the hot water before adding it to the cake batter.
    And it is the first time for me to do the chocolate mousse with egg yolk i followed your instructions and also it was a successful one …….again many thanks for sharing this recipe with details.

  24. Tina Cromey

    I have made this cake 3x now and it is a winner every time! My family loves it and requests it for birthdays. Great recipe if you have the time!

  25. Sheila

    Hi Lindsay, How are you? Thank you for this recipe. I want to surprise my daughter and make her birthday cake. Can I use the mousse to crumb coat the cake instead and then refrigerate and then cover with mirror glaze?

    1. Lindsay

      I would think that would be fine, but I have never worked with mirror glaze before, so use your best judgment.

  26. Dieselle

    Hi Linday, I want to use the chocolate mousse filling for a unicorn cake. The birthday girl would like some strawberry jam or preserves in the filling as well, any idea how to add that to the filling layers? Maybe put on top of the mousse filling but don’t go all the way to the edges so the mousse creates a dam?

  27. mariam

    Hi.i want to try this but i am not sure about what kind of chocolate did u use? .because this color is so perfect .

    1. Lindsay

      I used Hershey’s regular cocoa for the cake and whipped cream and semi sweet chocolate chips for the mousse.

  28. Kelly

    Love this recipe but what do you recommend for cupcakes? Sometimes the cupcakes come out a little flat. 

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12