Chocolate Mousse Cake

10 Servings
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Chocolate Mousse Cake is an indulgent layer cake recipe with 3 layers of chocolate cake, dark chocolate frosting, and rich chocolate mousse.

This incredible, showstopping, decadent Cake Recipe is a chocolate lover’s dream come true! The combination of Rich Chocolate Cake, Dark Chocolate Frosting, and fluffy chocolate mousse filling make it the ultimate chocolate dessert.

When it comes to dinner parties, birthday celebrations, or other special occasions, nothing beats a delicious and stunning layer cake. For more amazing layer cake flavors, try our berries and cream filled Chantilly Cake and Ultimate Carrot Cake with Carrot Jam.

Sabrina’s Chocolate Mousse Cake Recipe

This rich, three-layer Chocolate Mouse Cake is showstopping, decadent and delicious, but best of all it’s actually not that difficult to make. You do need to set aside a chunk of time for each element of the dessert: the cake, the mousse filling, and the frosting. There are no complicated techniques or specialized equipment required to make this the perfect cake, just a bit of patience and a whole lot of chocolate!

Chocolate Mousse Cake ingredients in separate prep bowls
Back to
Table of Contents


  • Cocoa Powder: To give the recipe its rich, dark chocolate flavor, you’ll need 1 cup of unsweetened dark cocoa powder. If you prefer a lighter chocolate flavor, you can swap it out for regular unsweetened cocoa powder. You’ll also use dark cocoa powder to flavor the dark chocolate frosting.
  • Hot Coffee: Adding freshly brewed coffee to your cake batter is a great way to enhance the chocolate flavor. The coffee acts as a liquid ingredient to soften the batter. It also enhances the chocolate flavor and makes the recipe sweeter.
  • Dark Chocolate: Instead of using cocoa powder, you’ll use real dark chocolate to flavor the chocolate mousse. Melt the dark chocolate chunks into a smooth mixture that you can fold into the creamy mousse.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy whipping cream is a key component of the mousse. Be sure to use chilled cream, and whip the mixture until stiff peaks stand on their own.
  • Eggs: You’ll use eggs both in the cake batter and in the chocolate mousse recipe. However, for the mousse filling, you need to remove the egg yolks. The egg whites create a light, airy mixture perfect for blending with the whipped cream. You’ll also add granulated sugar to the egg whites to sweeten the mousse base.
Back to
Table of Contents

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • 9-inch Round Cake Pans
  • Piping Bag
  • Offset Spatula
  • Mixing Bowls
Back to
Table of Contents

How to Make

Time needed: 4 hours.

  1. Prep for Baking

    Preheat your oven. Grease three 9-inch cake pans with butter and dust them with cocoa powder.

  2. Cake Batter

    Add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to your stand mixer. Turn the electric mixer to its lowest speed to sift the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla to a separate bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together then add to the stand mixer bowl, and turn on low speed. Slowly raise to medium speed until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. Turn off the electric mixer. Carefully pour in hot coffee and stir it into the chocolate mixture by hand.Chocolate Mousse Cake collage of making the batter

  3. Bake the Cakes

    Divide the cake batter evenly into each of the prepared cake pans. Place them in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and let the cake layers cool completely before frosting.Chocolate Mousse Cake collage of cakes before and after baking

  4. Make the Mousse

    Beat the heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer on high speed for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a separate bowl and wipe the stand mixing bowl clean and dry. Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and beat for another 20 seconds until stiff peaks form. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Gently begin folding the melted chocolate into the egg whites. Once it’s mostly folded, add the whipped cream and continue folding the mixture until combined. Cover and refrigerate. Transfer to a piping bag to fill the cake.Chocolate Mousse Cake collage of making the mousse

  5. Make the Frosting

    In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the unsweetened cocoa powder, and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and let it cool. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a stand mixer and beat on medium speed while adding the powdered sugar and milk alternately ⅓ cup at a time then add the vanilla.Chocolate Mousse Cake collage of making frosting

  6. Prep for Assembly

    Transfer the chilled mousse to a large piping bag and cut open the end of it so it’s about 3/4? wide. Spread a spoonful of the frosting to your cake plate. Level the cakes and brush off excess crumbs before adding the first cake layer to the plate.

  7. Assemble the Cake

    Pipe half of the chocolate mousse evenly over the top of the cake layer. Use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly. Top with a second chocolate cake, then pipe another mousse layer on top. Add the third chocolate cake layer. Apply a thin layer of frosting to the outside of the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to let the chocolate frosting harden.Chocolate Mousse Cake collage of assembling the cake

  8. Decorate the Cake

    Add a final layer of chocolate frosting over the outside of the entire cake. Pipe swirling mounds of chocolate frosting on top of the cake. Keep chilled until serving.Chocolate Mousse Cake collage piping frosting topping

Can this be made ahead of time?

Absolutely and it’s actually better to prep your layer cake in advance because it means perfectly cooled layers, the mousse is set and you can just focus on assembling and decorating. You can make each layer a couple days ahead. Transfer the mousse and frosting to sealed containers and wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap.

Back to
Table of Contents

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 959 Calories from Fat 486
% Daily Value*
Fat 54g83%
Saturated Fat 28g175%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 132mg44%
Sodium 532mg23%
Potassium 497mg14%
Carbohydrates 117g39%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 87g97%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 1239IU25%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 152mg15%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Back to
Table of Contents

Chocolate Mousse Cake Tips

  • Freeze the Cake Layers 

A seasoned baker hack is to prep the cake layers the night before and freeze them! Not only does this ensure your cakes are fully chilled, you’ll have way less crumbs when you go to frost them. Even out the cakes after they cool to room temperature, then wrap them in plastic and freeze. Assemble the cake while the layers are frozen and they will thaw by the time you serve the cake.

  • Don’t Rush this Cake!

The key to making a layer cake is to allow plenty of time for cooling the cake layers so your frosting doesn’t melt off and your cake doesn’t crumble. Additionally, you want to make sure your mousse is chilled and set so it doesn’t melt. Realistically, this cake should take about 3-4 hours to prep the batter, bake the layers, cool the layers, make the filling and frosting, assemble, and decorate the cake.

Back to
Table of Contents

How to Store

Store: Because of the mousse filling, you shouldn’t leave this chocolate cake recipe sitting at room temperature for more than a few hours. To keep the cake fresh, you can cover it in plastic wrap or put individual pieces in an airtight container to store in the fridge. It can keep well for up to 5 days.

Freeze: You can also freeze the assembled cake for up to 3 months. Double-wrap the cake in plastic wrap before freezing it to ensure it’s sealed. When you’re ready to serve the cake, transfer it to the fridge to thaw before enjoying it.

Back to
Table of Contents

Ideas to Decorate Chocolate Mousse Cake 

Toppings: Sprinkle decorations like grated chocolate, chopped nuts, and sprinkles over the swirled frosting mounds. Spread Chocolate Ganache or Salted Caramel Sauce over the top before piping the swirls, then drizzle more sauce on the frosting mounds.

Berries: Pile your favorite berries on the frosted cake, filling in the circle of frosting mounds. Add a whole or halved berry on top of each mound. You could also sprinkle fresh berries on the mousse filling of each layer too.

Back to
Table of Contents

Frequent Questions

Why isn’t my mousse setting?

If the chocolate mousse mixture is turning out runny, it’s probably because the whipped cream wasn’t stiff enough or because you overmixed the chocolate mixture. To avoid this, be sure to whip together the cream mixture until it holds peaks. When you combine the chocolate with the cream, be careful not to overmix and break all the air pockets. The air pockets keep the mixture fluffy and help it to all set into the right texture.

What’s the difference between chocolate mousse and ganache?

Chocolate ganache is a simple chocolate glaze made with heavy cream and chocolate. On the other hand, fluffy mousse has more components, including egg whites, heavy cream, and melted chocolate. The airy mousse mixture makes the perfect filling for this dark chocolate cake recipe.

Chocolate Mousse Cake finished on cake stand, lifting slice from stand
Back to
Table of Contents

Recipe Card

Pin this recipe now to remember it later

Pin Recipe

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake is an indulgent layer cake recipe with 3 layers of chocolate cake, dark chocolate frosting, and rich chocolate mousse.
Yield 10 Servings
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee

Chocolate Mousse:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 cups heavy cream , very very cold
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Dark Chocolate Frosting:

  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Chocolate Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and dust with cocoa powder three 9″ cake pans.
  • In a stand mixer on low speed mix together the sugar, flour, dark cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla then add it to the stand mixer on low then medium speed until just combined and finally add in the hot coffee carefully and stir it in by hand until just combined (do not turn on the mixer, it may splash on you).
  • Pour one-third of the batter into each of the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes then remove, let cool completely and frost with the chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Mousse:

  • Add the heavy cream to a stand mixer on high speed for 2 minutes until it reaches stiff peaks.
  • Remove from the stand mixer and set aside.
  • Wipe out the bowl and dry with a paper towel.
  • Add in the egg whites on high speed and beat to soft peaks, about 1 minute.
  • Add in the sugar and continue to beat to stiff peaks, about 20 seconds.
  • Add the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each time until smooth.
  • Add the chocolate to the egg whites and gently fold it into the eggs.
  • When mostly folded in, add in the whipped heavy cream and fold it together until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  • Refrigerate, covered until ready to use.
  • Add to a large piping bag and cut open the end of it about 3/4″ long of a cut, so a thick amount comes out.

Dark Chocolate Frosting:

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and whisk in the dark cocoa powder then remove from the heat and let cool.
  • Add the cooled chocolate mix to your stand mixer and whip on medium speed adding the powdered sugar and milk, alternating them ⅓ at a time and finally add the vanilla in last.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk.

To Finish:

  • To your cake stand add a spoonful of chocolate frosting.
  • Level the cakes with a large serrated knife and discard the cake pieces.
  • Brush off excess crumbs.
  • Add the first layer of the cake to the cake stand.
  • Pipe half of chocolate mousse, spread evenly.
  • Top with second layer of chocolate cake.
  • Pipe a thick layer of chocolate mousse, spread evenly.
  • Top with the third layer of the chocolate cake.
  • Apply a thin layer of chocolate frosting, coating the outside of the cake.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow to harden.
  • Frost the cake with the remaining chocolate frosting.
  • Pipe swirly mounds onto the top of the cake.


Calories: 959kcal | Carbohydrates: 117g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 532mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 87g | Vitamin A: 1239IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 5mg
Back to
Table of Contents


Berry Filling: For a fruity contrast to the rich chocolate spread Strawberry Jam, or other favorite fruit jam, in between the cake layers before adding the chocolate mousse filling.

White Chocolate: To make a white chocolate filling for this recipe, you can follow the same directions, use melted white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate.

Back to
Table of Contents

More Indulgent Chocolate Cakes

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


Leave a comment & rating

Have you checked the FAQ section above to see if your question has already been answered? View previous questions.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

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