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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  • 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!

      • Brian

        Thank you for your reply! I am going to make it one way or the other for sure. I’ll comment how it turns out, and if applicable, how I converted the pan size.

  • 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 .

    • 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!!