Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

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Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake is the perfect light dessert recipe. It’s made with a chocolate cake base, cool creamy mousse filling and topped with rich dark chocolate ganache.

Triple chocolate mousse cake on a white cake stand with large strawberries stacked on top of the cake.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

This mousse cake recipe is inspired by Marcel Desaulniers from The Food Network. It’s almost as good as my triple Nutella mousse cake and Nutella cheesecake.

The chocolate mousse filling adds a cool creamy texture which compliments the dense chocolate cake layer. It’s smooth, velvety, and extraordinarily decadent.

This cake has loads of chocolate from top to bottom. The cool, rich texture makes it great for any special occasion or holiday.

I recently came across a chocolate mousse layer cake with ganache on The Food Network and decided to make my own version with one single chocolate cake layer, chocolate filling, and dark chocolate ganache.

I changed the above-mentioned recipe drastically and really only used it for inspiration. I found I needed to add a little gelatin to the mousse layer in order to keep it sturdy. I didn’t want it to spread and drip over the edges.

I left the ganache semisweet which balances well with the sweet cake and mousse layers.

I served this layered chocolate mousse cake with fresh strawberries but I image it would be good with whipped cream, ice cream, or other fresh berries.

It truly is a decadent mousse cake and will be a huge hit for any occasion. It came out light, rich, and perfect for Mother’s Day. It’s also great for Valentine’s Day if you have someone special to make it for. Or you could make it for yourself.

A slice of triple chocolate mousse cake on a white plate with strawberries as a plate garnish and a fork taking a bit out of the cake.

How to make triple chocolate mousse cake?

Step 1: Melt the chocolate

This method is slightly different for melting chocolate. Pour hot water over finely chopped chocolate and stir until it’s completely melted.

melted chocolate in a glass bowl

Stir in the cocoa powder and coffee granules. The chocolate will begin to look more like a paste.

chocolate paste in a glass bowl

Next, add the sugar and keep stirring until the chocolate turns smooth and shiny. Set it aside to cool while you prepare the cake batter.

melted chocolate for cake batter in a glass bowl

Step 2: Make the cake

Start by beating the butter and sugar together until pale in color. Beat in the eggs and vanilla followed by the melted chocolate. Mix in the flour and buttermilk.

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

chocolate cake batter in a glass bowl

chocolate cake batter in a round cake pan

baked chocolate cake in a round pan

Step 3: Make the mousse layer

Bloom gelatin in water then add it to steaming cream and sugar. Pour the hot gelatin mixture over chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Whip heavy cream to soft peaks then fold it into the chocolate. Spread the chocolate mousse evenly over the cooled cake.

chocolate mousse in a glass bowl

chocolate mousse over chocolate cake in a round cake pan

chocolate mousse being spread with a spatula

Step 3: Make the topping

Pour warm cream over chopped chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Spread the ganache over the top of the mousse layer.

chocolate ganache in glass bowl

chocolate ganache over mousse layer

spread ganache with spatula

A close up view of triple chocolate mousse cake sitting on a white cake plate with large strawberries on top of the cake.

Common questions about Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

I thought water will cause chocolate to seize?

It is fine to mix chocolate with a larger amount of boiling water.  Chocolate will seize if it is already melted and you add a tiny bit of water. Here’s a great article to take a look at: Chocolate + Water = Mousse.

Can I make the cake the day before my event and let it sit in the fridge until I serve it?

Yes. The mousse needs time to set so that is perfect.

Can this cake be frozen for a few days?

Yes, it can! Thaw it in the refrigerator a day before serving. Also, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before you plan to serve it.

I don’t have a springform pan. Can I make this cake in a regular cake tin?

A springform pan will certainly make things easier but if you really need to use a regular pan, I suggest freezing the cake before you try to turn it out.

Helpful Tools

More chocolate cake recipes you’ll love

  1. Chocolate Pistachio Cake
  2. Irish Chocolate Coffee Bundt Cake
  3. Chocolate Coconut Cake
Triple chocolate Mousse Cake made with a chocolate cake base, cool creamy mousse filling and topped with rich dark chocolate ganache.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake is the perfect light dessert recipe. It’s made with a chocolate cake base, cool creamy mousse filling, and topped with rich dark chocolate ganache.
4.83 from 28 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 16 servings
Calories: 371
Author: Jen Sobjack

Ingredients

For the cake

For the mousse

  • 3/4 teaspoon gelatin powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

For the ganache

  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 9 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions

Make the cake:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle of the oven and heat to 350ºF. Lightly grease and flour 1 8-inch springform pan. Tap out any excess flour.
  • Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring water to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Stir with a silicone spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in the coffee granules and cocoa powder. (The chocolate will begin to look more like a paste at this point.) Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and stir until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a whisk. Add half of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, followed by the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until the batter is thoroughly combined.
  • Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing it to the edges with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack.

Make the mousse:

  • In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over water, let stand for 5 minutes. Place chocolate and sugar in a medium bowl. Bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  • Remove from heat; add the softened gelatin and stir until fully dissolved. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken slightly.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining 1 cup cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, about 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Use a whisk to mix in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until no streaks appear. 
  • Spoon the chocolate mousse into the pan over the chocolate cake. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, about 2 hours.

Make the ganache:

  • Heat the cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat just before it begins to boil. 
  • Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature. 
  • Spread the ganache over the top of the mousse layer and refrigerate until set. About 45 minutes.
  • Run a knife along the outer edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan and gently remove from the pan. Serve with whipped cream or fresh berries.

Make ahead tip

  • The cake will keep for up to 3 days stored in the refrigerator.
  • The cake can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Notes

Please watch Chocolate + Water = Mousse if you are having issues with your chocolate seizing.

Nutrition

Calories: 371kcal

Nutritional values here on my recipes should be used as a general guide only. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

Tried this recipe? Share it on Instagram!Mention @introvertbaker or tag #bakedbyanintrovert!

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124 Comments

  • Mari

    Thank you for sharing! I made this for my birthday and our kids thought it was super special.

    My sister in law is German and she raved about it.

    Thank you for blessing our family!

    Looking forward to trying the Irish bundt cake:)

  • Poppy O'Neill

    Oh boy, do I love this cake. I’ve made it twice now, and it has come out bee-yoo-tifully both times. The comments and compliments are numerous. Great recipe!

  • Dawn Marie Galtieri

    Making this for my daughter’s birthday, but using my mom’s brownie recipe as the bottom (a family favorite), and adding a layer of mint gelatin (wish me luck!) Ganache scares me, so I will read it many times over before executing.

    Thank you.

  • Bella

    I have made this twice and received rave reviews both times. This is delicious! The recipe does make a lot of ganache, but it works! It is delicious and stays fresh for several days in the fridge. Be careful cutting the cake, however, as the mousse with squeeze out the sides a bit.

  • Debbie

    What is the sodium content for this cake? If anyone out there has low sodium dessert, i’do love to have them I have a family member who is on a very low sodium diet 2000 a day!thankyou

  • Adele

    this looks really yummy – now don’t freak out – could I make this using a cake mix for the cake part and then following the rest of your recipe??

  • Lisa

    I’m in the process of making this cake for the second time because the chocolate seized…twice…it did not get glossy…it got thick but like a paste…what type of unsweetened chocolate did you use? I am using Ghirrardelli 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate. I proceeded to adding the eggs and vanilla and it’s all lumpy. This is quite distressing.

    • Jen Sobjack

      Hi Lisa! First, make sure the chocolate is chopped very fine before pouring the boiling water over it. Once the water melts the chocolate and you stir in the cocoa powder and coffee granules, it’s going to look like a paste. It will not turn glossy until you stir in the sugar. There are images within the blog post to show how the chocolate will look. I’ve used Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate and Baker’s unsweetened chocolate before and they both work well.

      Also, you shouldn’t be adding the eggs and vanilla to the chocolate directly. The chocolate goes in after the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla have already been combined. I urge you to follow the instructions exactly as written and use the images in the post to help you know what each step should look like.

      You can try melting the chocolate over simmering water and adding the coffee and cocoa powder but it still might end up being a thick paste until you add the sugar.

  • Rachel Graham

    So yummy, The whole family enjoyed it, thankyou for taking the time the refine the recipe as you did. It takes time, but its really worth it for a special treat. My husband loves Mousse so this was the perfect cake for him. And…. it even turned out like the photo! Bonus

  • GEM

    Tried making it last night and its really good!! I used raspberries as toppings. I love that its not too sweet and it sure hits the spot! My hubby can’t stop eating it. The texture of the mousse is amazing. Will surely make this as my go to recipe!

  • Christine Beeney

    This cake was a hit for my son birthday. Everyone loved and wanted the receipt. Thanks for a great receipt

  • Debra Caraballo

    This! I have no words…must make it! Do I have to use an 8 in springform? Would it be too squatty in a 9 inch? Thanks in advance!

    Deb

  • Stacey

    I have a silly question here, hope you can help me! Is there any difference between pouring hot water into chopped chocolate and adding water to melted chocolate? Thank you for the recipe.

    • Jen Sobjack

      I haven’t tried adding hot water to already melted chocolate. My fear is the chocolate would seize if the temperature of chocolate and water weren’t exactly the same. I’m not sure, though.

  • Jenny

    I needed at GF chocolate cake so I used a different base and used your receipe for mousse and ganache and it was amazing. I used whittakers 72% cocoa chocolat for the mousse and 50% for the ganache which made the ganache slightly sweeter. Thankyou it made a 30th & 33rd birthday cake special.

  • Sparks

    I was making a Gluten Free cake so i was just looking for a mousse that would be firm so i grabbed this mousse recipe and I love it!