Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy.

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 this 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.
4.8 from 24 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 371
Author: Jen Sobjack

Ingredients

For the cake

For the mousse

  • 3/4 teaspoon gelatin powder
  • 1 tablespoons 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!

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.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

119 Comments

  • 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!

  • Megan

    Could this work in a regular 8” tin or do you really need the spring form tin? Is the mousse too fragile for a regular tin to flip it out?

  • Steven Smith

    Hello Jen,
    I just made this showstopper for a small gathering of wonderful friends. Normally there is a lot chatter at the kitchen table, but when I passed out slices of this decadent beauty there was total silence. It was heaven to eat. I will be making this beauty again very soon! Thank you for an excellent recipe!

  • Hannah

    Planning on trying this for my mom’s birthday this weekend. I’ve never made a mousse cake before so sorry if this is a silly questions- Do I have to line the pan or spray it so it doesn’t stick? Or will it just come out easily when chilled?
    Thanks 🙂

  • Steph

    Made this beautiful cake for my husband and nephew’s birthday. Turned out much like others said.. store bought. Very decadent so perfect served with strawberries. Required a few steps but so easy to make and definitely pleased the chocolate loving boys!

    Two thumbs up!!!

  • Brian

    Hello there! This cake looks marvelous and I wamy to try it! My problem is this…it calls for an 8in springform. All I have is a 9in. Can I make the recipe AS directed in the larger pan with good results? Or do I need to put out the extra cash for a smaller springform pan? OR…any ideas on how to increase the ingredients slightly to fit my 9in pan? Thanks!

  • Sue

    Hi. I understand the use of buttermilk is to provide the acidity to react with the baking soda for leavening of the cake. I have substituted buttermilk with plain (pot set/ Greek) yoghurt in many other recipes, pancakes, muffins etc, but not in cakes. I’m just wondering if it would work as well? And if so, any alteration in the amount to use?

    • Jen Sobjack

      I actually haven’t tried to make the cake with anything other than buttermilk so I’m not sure what alterations would need to be made. I’m sorry, I wish I could be more helpful.

      • Sue

        Thank you so much for replying. I’ll try it with my “practice” cake then! I intend to make this for my youngest’s fifth birthday in March. There should be at least two to three practice cakes before that! 😋

  • Ishitta Arun

    Hi I am currently making this cake . I used 3 gelatine sheets as I didn’t have gelatine powder . Hope that was a good call ? Do let me know .
    Thanks

    • Jen Sobjack

      I’ve actually never worked with sheets of gelatin before so I can’t say for sure how it will turn out. But upon research, I learned that 3 1/2 sheets of gelatin is equivalent to 2 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin powder. The recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon of gelatin powder. It sounds like you may have used too many sheets of gelatin…

  • Elizabeth

    I made this cake last night and this morning. It is a Christmas gift for a friend’s mother. It came out great! I wish I could attach a picture for you to see the final results. After the ganache started to set, I put Hershey kisses around the edge. So pretty!

  • Lisa

    It would be an understatement to say that I’m a novice in the kitchen. I don’t cook or bake; I barely even boil water. When my 11-year old son said that he wanted to bake this specific cake for his grandmother, I panicked. I bought the ingredients but I also bought a “back-up” cake. However, it turned out amazing!! Perfect!! Delicious. We’ve now made it three times. As an introvert and a mother to an introvert, I want to thank you for boosting my confidence and giving me some fun time with my kid.

  • Ashli

    I made this cake and it came out perfect! Used a 10” pan instead of a 8”, there was a lot of batter. I’d only recommend clarifying that the cake should cool before you prepare your mousse.

  • Jodi

    I made this beautiful cake today for my daughters birthday. Wow! The cake was perfect, the mousse and ganache was smooth and decadent. I topped mine with Strawberries dipped in good quality white chocolate. My family rated it a 10/10. Thank you for sharing 😊

  • John

    I just finished the cake part of this and the cake is beautiful and the batter was delicious! However, I clearlydid something a little wrong as I used an eight inch pan and the result is a big beautiful cake! Isn’t it supposed to be a low cake? I just reviewed the recipe and my mother was watching me as I did it all. Did anyone else have this happen? I definitely got the correct amount of baking soda. Any way this cake really is beautiful.

    • Jen Sobjack

      The cake portion should be about as thick as a regular single layer cake. As you add the layers mousse and topping, the cake is going to build up tall. It will reach the top rim of the springform pan.

  • Joe

    I never baked before (well I make my own fruit cake with RUM!!!!!) but now I have to make my own birthday cake because the bakery Chocolate Mousse cake that we always used to get is not as good anymore.
    I have no pans or beater. I guess the springform pan is recommended but would a beater be a good idea?
    Thanks, Joe

  • Francisca

    What chocolate did you use ? Dark unsweetened or which kind for ganache and mousse? Because you mentioned dark chocolate ganache

  • Hollie

    I’ve made this cake exactly as written twice & it was excellent both times. Tons of rave reviews. It’s a seriously delicious cake.

    • Jen Sobjack

      That’s a good question. It should be fine as long as you are careful in your measurements. I haven’t tried doubling or tripling this recipe so I can’t say for sure how it will turn out.

  • Sunny

    I made this cake for my moms birthday party and everyone loved it!!! I will make this many more times! Thank you for this recipe!!

  • Diane

    Delicious cake, was a huge hit and I will be making it again next week for co-workers birthday however, I will be halving the cake recipe (not the mousse or ganache parts). Although everyone loved the cake we all think the cake layer is overwhelmingly heavy/rich. Thank you for sharing this recipe!! (Oh, btw, no problem with chocolate and water)

  • Dinu

    Hi Jen,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe.
    I made this and came very well. It was the best cake I made.
    I could have post a picture if there was an option 🙂

  • Tae

    Hi Jen, we don’t have heavy cream here in Singapore so can we substitute it to ‘thickened cream’ instead? So far it has the most fat content as compared to other type of creams.

  • Hollie

    I’ve made this twice & it got rave reviews both times. Best cake I’ve ever made. Only change was I used all semisweet chocolate. I love it with strawberries to cut the richness just a bit.

  • Rebecca Dooley

    I made this cake for my birthday and it was divine!!! I used a gluten free mix for the cake since I can’t eat gluten, but did the rest exactly as directed. It was delicious and quite rich so a small piece is perfect. Everyone loved it.

  • Jennifer Healy

    Hi Jen. This is my first time making your beautiful cake. I was wondering if I could use a 9″ pan, it’s all I’v got at the moment. Thanks. Jenn

  • Maria Bunes

    Hi there
    I have made this cake several times, always a huge success…. so successful that I have been asked to bake it for my brother in law’s wedding!!! I am excited for the opportunity but also a little anxious about it. I need to make enough for around 60-80 people, my question is: if you had to do this, would you make 6-7 individual cakes, all the same size or would there be a way to try to adjust the recipe to build a 3 tear ( different sizes) cake? Any imput would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe
    Maria

  • Lisa H

    Had to lengthen the baking time, but everything else was perfect. No problem with the chocolate and water…BUT, I cheated and made coffee in my kerig and used it to melt the chocolate as I didn’t have granules. Still worked fine. It’s for my daughters 25th birthday!

  • Peachy Frizzy

    This recipe is a five-star! The cake turned out great. Just like the store brought ones. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  • Tiffany

    How far ahead can this be made? My son and his fiancé want this type of cake for their wedding reception. I need to make several – a few days ahead.

  • HT

    I made this cake this weekend and it turned out beautifully. I used blueberries and blackberries with an apricot glaze for garnish. It was a huge success. Thank you!

    • Jen

      Yes. I have a close friend who made it and froze it for a few weeks. 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.

      • Rosie

        Thanks for that! I actually made this yesterday, but instead of one big mousse cake I made individual ones in silicone molds. Piped the mousse into them, then topped with cut circles of the cake, froze and unmolded them and glazed with the ganache on top. Absolutely delicious! It isn’t a smack in your face super rich chocolate flavor–which I love! I want to make 100 of these mini ones for my brothers wedding coming up!

        On that note, do you happen to have the recipe in weight by chance? I plan to multiply the recipe, so weight would be easiest.

  • Marjerie

    Hi Jen,

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

    Thanks!

  • Felicia

    Okay, apologies for the multiple posts tonight! As I was agonizing over my failed melted chocolate I began reading through all comments to see if anyone had any advice. I found the link to the Chocolate + Water = Mousse that Jen shared. Watch the video in the page “Serious Eats – Chocolate Mousse with Water” and you will be able to melt your chocolate without any issues. As I was fresh out of unsweetened chocolate due to my two failed attempts earlier today so I gave it another try with semi-sweet chocolate. What I did was boil the water to a rolling boil, pour it into a small glass bowl, drop the chocolate in and mix with a small whisk and it worked great!!! Good luck everyone!

  • Lynn

    This looks wonderful! I use to get a similar cake in a Greek dinner outside of Binghamton NY. Only it had three layers of cake, two of the mousse then covered with the ganache. Never could finish it, always ended up taking half home.

  • wendy

    I am making this cake now and i think there may be an error in the recipe? Your recipe says to add water to the unsweetened chocolate and melt together. that is seizing the chocolate up and when i google it says you never want water in chocolate when melting. when i clicked on the food network cake recipe you referenced, it said to melt the chocolate with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter…is that the correct way to make it?

      • wendy

        hmmm…i didn’t boil the water i just used hot from the tap. there also wasn’t a lot of water used…only 1/4 cup with the chocolate. anyway, i tried it twice and it seized both times. ended up using a different cake recipe along with the mousse and ganache but those two part turned out delicious.

          • Felicia

            Hi Jen, I am quite confused by this, I read through the article and it explains that even just a little bit of water will cause the chocolate to seize. Do you indeed add more water after yours seizes? Why is your chocolate not seizing up with the water added? Per the article “In fact, so little water is needed for this to happen that steam from a boiling pan might be enough to make the chocolate go grainy.”
            Do you have any tips/tricks to get the chocolate to work?

          • Jen

            Sorry for the late response, Felicia! I actually did not have to add more water because my chocolate did not seize. I’ve made it several times exactly the way I have written the recipe. I see your final comment about using boiling water and I’m glad you got it to work because it is possible. I’m going to tweak the recipe this week and update it so it is easier for folks to follow.

    • Felicia

      I had the same issue 🙁 I tried two batches of chocolate with no success. I will try again tomorrow. No sure whats wrong here?

  • ANDREA

    WHILE I ‘M NOT BIG ON GELATIN, I’D LIKE RUNNY MOUSSE EVEN LESS! BUT I’M CURIOUS, YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU CHANGED THE ORIGINAL RECIPE “DRASTICALLY” DID YOU ACTUALLY FIND RUNNY TO BE THE CASE? OR WERE YOU JUST BEING CAUTIOUS? ALSO YOU SAID YOU “LEFT” THE SEMISWEET” SO I TAKE IT, THAT WAS NOT A CHANGE? THEREFORE, THIS IS YOUR RECIPE!!
    SURELY THIS IS A WINNER! THANK YOU!
    CAN’T WAIT TO TRY YOUR PINEAPPLE COCONUT CAKE AS WELL!

    • Jen

      I almost always add gelatin when I make mousse. Especially when I have to photograph the recipe. However, you could certainly skip it if you don’t plan on having the cake sit at room temperature for a long period of time. As far as the semisweet chocolate goes, the Food Network recipe also uses semisweet chocolate. That is why I said I left it. But if you compare the two recipes you will see that my approach to making it was completely different.

  • Mir

    Jen, this is INCREDIBLE. Seriously. And where do you get such amazing strawberries to go with? I want to shop wherever you’re getting produce!

  • marcie

    Oh, Jen — this mousse cake is just gorgeous! It’s so elegant and looks like it will even satisfy my major chocolate cravings! Beautiful job. 🙂

  • Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    This cake looks absolutely stunning, Jen! I love the gorgeous layers of chocolate. Mousse anything is a winner in my book! I’m not really a huge cake fan, but I know I would love this because of the texture and layers. And that ganache just looks perfect on top!