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


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


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.


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


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.

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  • 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?



    • 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!