Chocolate Mousse Cake Recipe

Yvonne Ruperti

Cooked eggs enrich a thick layer of creamy chocolate mousse set between two layers of chocolate cake that's draped in ganache. It doesn't get any more decadent than this

Recipe Facts

Active: 90 mins
Total: 6 hrs
Serves: 16 servings

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  • 3/4 cup (3 3/4 ouncesall-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup (3/4 ouncecocoa powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 4 1/3 ounces) packed light brown sugar

  • 2/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup (2 1/3 ouncesgranulated sugar

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, cold, divided

  • 20 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (see note)

  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting cake


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9-inch springform pan with parchment and spray with nonstick pan spray.

  2. Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda into small bowl; set aside. In medium bowl, whisk brown sugar, sour cream, oil, egg, espresso powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and salt until combined. Whisk in dry ingredients until smooth.

  3. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake until just firm and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool 20 minutes, then remove cake from pan to cool completely, about 1 hour.

  4. In small bowl, whisk granulated sugar with yolks. In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup cream to simmer. Slowly whisk hot cream into egg mixture, then return entire mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until mixture just thickens, about 1 minute. Whisk in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate until smooth. Transfer to large bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

  5. Using stand or hand mixer fitted with whip attachment, whip 1 1/2 cups cream to medium peak. Fold 1/3 of whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture until combined and smooth. Fold in remaining whipped cream just until no white streaks remain.

  6. Line bottom and sides of springform pan with plastic wrap. When cake is cool, slice into two layers. Place one layer into bottom of pan. Fill with mousse and smooth top. Place second layer on top and gently press to adhere. Cover and chill until set, at least 3 hours.

  7. Place remaining 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate in medium bowl. In small saucepan, heat remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream until simmering. Pour over chocolate and let sit 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

  8. Remove sides of springform pan and invert cake onto large plate. Peel off plastic wrap and replace bottom of springform pan. Invert onto wire rack and set rack into rimmed baking sheet. Pour ganache over cake, allowing it to drip over sides. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. Using offset spatula, spread any remaining ganache around the sides of cake.

  9. Melt semi-sweet chocolate in microwave or in pan over bowl of barely simmering water. Spread chocolate onto back of flat baking sheet (chocolate should be spread very thin). Chill briefly until just set.

  10. Holding bench scraper at 45 degree angle, scrape 2 to 3-inch wide strips of chocolate until it forms a curl. (If chocolate is breaking, it is too cold; let itwarm up slightly). Place curls on cake and dust with confectioners' sugar. See note for serving instructions.


For the chocolate curls, I find that semi-sweet chocolate, or even a lesser quality chocolate, is the easiest to work with. This cake is easiest if made over the course of 2 days. Bake the cake and fill with mousse the first day; cover with ganache the second. Chocolate curls can be made ahead and kept wrapped and stored in a cool, dry, place. If chocolate is not forming nice curls, simply make large shards to decorate cake. Allow cake to warm up slightly at room temperature before serving for the creamiest texture and best chocolate flavor.

Special Equipment

9-inch springform pan, mixer

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
521 Calories
39g Fat
34g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 521
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 51%
Saturated Fat 21g 107%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 133mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 8mg 42%
Potassium 397mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)