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.

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124 Comments

  • 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.

      • Jen

        I’m sorry, Rosie. I don’t have weight measurements for any of my recipes. But, it is something I’m considering for future posts.

  • 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.