Eggless Chocolate Mousse Recipe

High-quality cocoa is the key to this rich and airy mousse—no eggs or gelatin required.

A dessert bowl filled with homemade eggless chocolate mousse.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Why This Recipe Works

  • The alkalinity of Dutch cocoa prevents the dairy from curdling.
  • Condensing the milk and cream creates a thick, stable base without eggs.
  • Cocoa powder, a starch, intensifies the overall flavor while adding stability to the base.

Any good chef will have a chocolate mousse recipe in their repertoire. Typically, the recipe involves whipping egg yolks and sugar until they're light and fluffy (perhaps over a water bath for food-safety), and then combining that mixture with melted dark chocolate and folding in whipped cream. Some recipes may further lighten the mix with meringue, or stabilize it with gelatin, depending on the application.

It’s classic for a reason, with a rich custard flavor from the egg yolks, and I can’t say I have any complaints. So it was never my intent to develop an eggless chocolate mousse, but that’s exactly what I stumbled into while trying to develop a chocolate version of my sweetened condensed milk.

I'd only added a few spoonfuls of Dutch cocoa powder to the mixture, but instead of reducing into a light cocoa milk, the result was something far closer to pudding due to the natural starch in cocoa. The flavor was bold and complex, with notes of toffee from the cooked milk and the deep, earthy flavor that cocoa develops as it simmers.

On cooling, the chocolate condensed milk proved too thick and intense to eat as a pudding, so I folded in some whipped cream to lighten up the flavor and texture. And thus my eggless mousse was born!

A white dessert bowl filled with eggless chocolate mousse.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.

What took me by surprise was how clean and bold the chocolate tasted without egg yolks to mask its flavor, and how easy the recipe would be as a make-ahead dessert—the base could be made and refrigerated a week or more in advance, then lightened with cream a few hours before serving.

Making the Base

This technique starts out much like my sweetened condensed milk, with the addition of Cacao Barry Extra Brute to the milk, cream, and sugar (or toasted sugar, as it were).

It's all whisked together until smooth, then cooked over medium heat for about 45 minutes. In that time, it will transform from a pale and foamy "cocoa" that nearly fills a 5-quart Dutch oven to just over a pint of inky black "pudding" (check out the time lapse in the video below).

Folding in the Cream

To speed cooling, I transfer the mixture to a wide baking dish before refrigeration, but if you're not in a hurry, any sort of bowl will do. Once the mixture is cold, thick, and no warmer than 45°F (7°C), I fold in a small portion of stiffly whipped cream.

This loosens the consistency of the "pudding" so it folds into the rest of the whipped cream without crushing out all the air. The folding process can happen straight in the baking dish if it's large enough (as per the video), or the lightened pudding can be transferred to the bowl of whipped cream. In either case, what matters is that you fold the mousse as gently as you can to avoid deflating the cream.

Gently folding whipped cream into eggless chocolate mousse.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.

Freshly made, the mousse will be fluffy, light, and a little soft—perfect for spreading between layers of chocolate cake or piping into serving dishes.

Glass cups filled with piped egg-free chocolate mousse.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.

While I highly recommend licking the bowl and spatula as soon as you can, the mousse itself should be chilled at least an hour before serving. That will give it time to set up and develop a bit more body. When soft and comparatively warm, the mousse has a foamy texture like whipped cream. Once cold, the mousse will still be creamy and soft, but with enough structure that you'll be able to feel the air cells pop. To me, that's what makes a mousse a mousse.

A spoonful of eggless chocolate mousse being lifted from a dessert glass.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.

The mousse has a deep, rich chocolate flavor that doesn't require any embellishments, but I had some crunchy pearls on hand, so I couldn't resist.

Overhead shot of a white dessert bowl filled with piped egg-free chocolate mousse, topped with chocolate pearls.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.

Choosing the Right Cocoa Powder

In a recipe this simple, the mousse can only be as delicious as the cocoa powder involved. Since the acidity of natural cocoas will curdle the milk, alkalized Dutch cocoa is a must. My oft-mentioned favorite is Cacao Barry Extra Brute, but Droste is a common supermarket brand that I'm happy to use (though it's significantly cheaper to purchase online), or you can splurge on a high-end cocoa like Valrhona (which is indeed Dutched, despite the lack of labeling).

The crucial thing is to avoid cheap, lowfat cocoa powder, which will lack sufficient flavor to carry the mousse. If you're not sure whether a cocoa is lowfat, check the nutrition label and divide the grams of fat per serving by the total grams per serving; if the answer is less than 0.2, abandon ship.

A white dessert bowl filled with eggless chocolate mousse, with one bite missing.
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.

With a rich, full-flavored Dutch cocoa as the starring ingredient, this unusual mousse is certain to make a memorable finale to any meal.


How to Make Eggless Chocolate Mousse

December 2017

Recipe Details

Eggless Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Active 50 mins
Total 2 hrs 30 mins
Serves 6 servings

High-quality cocoa is the key to this rich and airy mousse—no eggs or gelatin required.


For the Base:

  • 7 ounces plain or toasted sugar (1 cup; 195g)

  • 2 ounces Dutch cocoa powder, such as Cacao Barry Extra Brute (about 2/3 cup, spooned; 55g)

  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight

  • 32 ounces milkany percentage will do (4 cups; 910g)

  • 6 ounces heavy cream (3/4 cup; 170g)

For the Mousse:

  • 10 ounces heavy cream (about 1 1/4 cups; 285g)


  1. For the Base: Combine sugar, Dutch cocoa, and salt in a 5-quart stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. When the cocoa is distributed into the sugar, whisk in the milk and cream. If you have a scale, weigh the pot and ingredients together so you can digitally track the reduction. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heat-resistant spatula, until the milk begins to simmer, about 12 minutes.

  2. Continue simmering an additional 30 minutes, scraping continuously to prevent a milky buildup from forming around the sides, until the mixture is as thick and dark as chocolate pudding and reduced to about 2 1/3 cups or 24 ounces. If using a scale, the pot will weigh 23 ounces less than when you started. Transfer to a wide dish, such as a 7- by 11-inch casserole, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until thick and cold, about 1 hour.

    A 4-image collage of making the pudding base for eggless chocolate mousse: the mousse mixture simmering, reducing until thicken, transferred to a baking dish to cool.
    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip remaining cream to medium-stiff peaks. Meanwhile, stir the chilled cocoa base until smooth. Fold in about half of the whipped cream, and, when well combined, gently fold in the rest. Immediately divide between individual dishes, using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, if you prefer, then cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. If you like, garnish with shaved chocolate, Valrhona's Crunchy Pearls, fresh fruit, or dollops of unsweetened whipped cream.

    A 4-image collage of whipped cream being folded into eggless chocolate mousse, the whole mixture being transferred to a mixing bowl containing more cream and being mixed in the bowl.
    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik.

Special Equipment

Dutch oven, heat-resistant spatula


This recipe works well with any good quality Dutch cocoa powder, but for the deepest chocolate flavor and color I use Cacao Barry Extra Brute.

Make-Ahead and Storage

The base for this mousse can be made and refrigerated a week or more in advance, then lightened with cream a few hours before serving.

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
503 Calories
32g Fat
48g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 503
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 20g 99%
Cholesterol 99mg 33%
Sodium 157mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 233mg 18%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 286mg 6%
*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.)