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. Serve the cake with fresh berries for an extra special treat that’s perfect for your special occasion.

triple chocolate mousse cake recipe

This 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.

layers of cake, mousse, and chocolate ganache served with strawberries

I recently came across a chocolate mousse cake recipe 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.

chocolate mousse cake with three layers

I served the 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 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.

Here are some items I recommend for making this recipe:

If you want more chocolate recipes, you should try this chocolate coconut cake or this Irish chocolate coffee bundt cake.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake Recipe | Baked by an Introvert
4.36 from 17 votes
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Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Triple ChocolateMousse 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. Serve the cake with fresh berries for an extra special treat that’s perfect for your special occasion.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields 16 servings
Calories 371 kcal
Author Jen Sobjack

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Add the coffee granules and cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and stir until thick and glossy, about 2 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. In the bowl 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Recipe Notes

Total time does not reflect the time needed for the mousse and ganache to set. Please allow 3 extra hours for this. Please watch Chocolate + Water = Mousse if you are having issues with your chocolate seizing.

All images and text ©Jen Sobjack/Baked by an Introvert.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which will earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you! Thank you for supporting Baked by an Introvert.

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake Recipe | Cake | Chocolate | Dessert | Made from Scratch | Homemade

63 Comments

  • 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!

  • 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. 🙂

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 🙂

  • 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)

  • 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!!

    • 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.

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