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This stunning Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake has a moist, fudgy brownie base, three layers of light mousse—chocolate, raspberry, and vanilla, and then a glossy topping of chocolate and a tangle of raspberries and chocolate curls on top. Perfect for any occasion!
I don’t go around calling things “food porn” on a regular basis, so instead, can we just agree that this cake is, for lack of a better term, a sexy beast? It has a moist, fudgy brownie base, three layers of light mousse—chocolate, raspberry, and vanilla, and then a glossy topping of chocolate and a tangle of raspberries and chocolate curls on top. Oh, behave!
I was so obsessed with the honey mousse I made for these Honey Pots with Honey Mousse, I couldn’t stop thinking of ways to use that quick and easy mousse in other recipes. It turns out it’s easy to adapt that mousse for other flavors, so I made a few tweaks and soon found myself with chocolate, raspberry, and vanilla bean variations. You’ll love it—no separating eggs, no whipping whites or yolks, and no stress.
The mousse is firm enough to hold up in layers and cut cleanly when it’s refrigerated, but as it comes to room temperature, it develops the most delicious silky, pillowy texture. It’s the perfect contrast to the chewy, fudgy brownie base, and the juicy berries embedded in the raspberry layer!
Of course I couldn’t let my tart leave the house naked, so it’s covered in a glossy chocolate ganache that drips just a bit down the sides. You could also cover the sides completely in ganache, so the four layers are a fun surprise when you cut the cake open. I can never resist showing off, so I like to put them on display, but perhaps you are less of a braggart than I am.
Finish the tart with a big pile of fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings. The gold decoration (or “doodad,” as we call them in the biz) was made using this Wilton chocolate mold and then dry-brushing it with gold luster dust. Totally unnecessary, totally cute. (That should be the tagline of my site, yes?)
Recipe Notes: if you can’t find quality fresh raspberries, you can use frozen to make the puree, and just omit the fresh berries in the mousse layer and on top. You could also substitute strawberries instead.
I used acetate cake collars to line the cake pan and get clean lines when unmolding the mousse. They’re inexpensive and very handy for lots of kitchen projects, but if you don’t have them, you can use waxed paper instead. The cake will still unmold, but the outside might not be as neat and clean.
Don’t miss our collection of Fun Valentine’s Day Dessert Ideas – see the whole web story here!
Rainbow Mousse Cake
Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce
Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake
For the Brownie Layer:
- 3.33 oz all-purpose flour, (3/4 cup)
- 2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder, (2/3 cup)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 7.75 oz granulated sugar, (1 cup +2 tbsp)
- 2 large eggs, large, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Mousse:
- 9 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided use
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp water
For the Raspberry Mousse:
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 9 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided use
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp water
- pink gel food coloring – deep pink, optional
For the Vanilla Mousse:
- 9 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided use
- 4 tbsp honey
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, can substitute vanilla extract
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 oz heavy cream
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- Chocolate curls , or other decorations
To Make the Brownie Layer:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment and spray well with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside for now.
- Cube the butter and place it in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally as the butter melts. Add the sugar and stir it into the melted butter until combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and let it cool to lukewarm. Once it has cooled, add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each addition. The mixture will start out grainy, but as you add the eggs, it will become shiny and smooth. Whisk the vanilla in. Finally, add the dry ingredients, and stir them in with a spatula.
- Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan, and bake it for 22-24 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the brownie layer completely before proceeding.
To Make the Mousse Layers:
- Prepare your pan. You need a 9-inch pan with sides at least 3 inches tall, and the ability to remove the bottom. Either a cake pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan will work. Line the inner wall with a 4-inch high acetate cake collar or strip of aluminum foil or waxed paper. Make sure the acetate or waxed paper is long enough so that it overlaps itself, and if you are using foil/waxed paper, make sure you cut the strip tall enough to extend at least an inch over the pan’s sides, since the cake is about 4 inches tall.
- Place a cake cardboard in the bottom of the pan, then carefully place the baked brownie on top of the cardboard. Prepare the chocolate mousse layer: combine the chocolate, 3/4 cup of cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour it into a large bowl, and let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- While you wait for the chocolate mixture to cool, prepare the gelatin. Whisk together the gelatin and the cold water in a small bowl, and set it aside to let the gelatin absorb the water. When the chocolate is at room temperature, microwave the bowl of gelatin for 15 seconds, until it is melted. Whisk the melted gelatin and chocolate together.
- Whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to firm peaks. Fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate, and once it’s incorporated, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Scrape the mousse on top of the brownie, and spread it into an even layer. Refrigerate the cake for 25 minutes, until the mouse has started to set and is firm enough that a second layer can be added.
- For the raspberry mousse, make a quick puree by blending 1/2 cup fresh raspberries in a blender or food processor. Pour them through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, and measure out 1/4 cup raspberry puree. (If you have extra puree, save it for another use.)
- Combine the white chocolate, raspberry puree, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Continue to make this layer the same way you made the chocolate layer, by melting and cooling the chocolate, whisking in melted gelatin, and folding in whipped cream. Add a few drops of pink food coloring to boost the pink color, if desired. At the very end, stir in the remaining 1 cup of fresh raspberries and pour the mousse over the chocolate mousse layer. Spread it into an even layer, and refrigerate again.
- Finally, prepare the vanilla bean layer. Combine the white chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, honey, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Continue to make this layer the same way you made the previous two layers. At the very end, stir in the vanilla bean paste and pour the mousse over the raspberry mousse layer. Refrigerate to set the mousse layers very well, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- To finish the cake, push the bottom out from the pan, or unhinge the sides, and unwrap the acetate strip. Transfer the cake to your serving platter. Make a quick chocolate ganache by putting the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and heating the cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk gently until the chocolate melts and you have a smooth, shiny mixture.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, and use a spatula to nudge it right to the edge and over in evenly spaced drizzles. Don’t worry if the top is not smooth—it will be covered up! Add the fresh raspberries and chocolate curls on top of the cake. Refrigerate to set the ganache.
- For the cleanest slices, cut the cake when it is well chilled. Use a large sharp knife, and wash it frequently between cuts. For the best taste and texture, allow the cake slices to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Store Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
THE BEST VALENTINE’S DAY CAKES
Check out our collection of the 27 best Valentine’s Day cake ideas — click here to get all the recipes!
I’M PLANNING (HOPING) TO MAKE THIS FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF FRIENDS OF MINE. MY QUESTIONS IS: HOW FAR IN ADVANCE CAN I BRUSH THE CHOCOLATE MOLD ON TOP WITH THE GOLD DUST? I’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE. THANKS SO MUCH.
P.S. I’M ALREADY GIVING IT 5 STARS!!! IT’S JUST BEAUTIFUL.
Hi Peggy! You can decorate the chocolate toppers several weeks in advance. I would recommend either using chocolate candy coating, or tempering real chocolate, so that the chocolate stays hard at room temp instead of going soft and sticky. If you use candy coating (or tempered chocolate) it should be temp-stable and will not need to be refrigerated. So you can brush on the luster dust and then keep the decorations in a cool dark place until you’re ready to use them. Feel free to reach out with any other questions, and I would love to hear how it turns out for you!
Hello Can the recipe in grams?
Hi Veronika! If you click the teal button that says “Metric” below the ingredient list, it will be converted into grams and ml for you. 🙂
Could you freeze this and then do a mirror glaze on top?
Yes, absolutely! That would be beautiful and tasty. 😀
Just made this for Father’s Day and it was a hit. I actually forgot to add the gelatin to the top vanilla layer but it set up ok in the frig anyway. It might have collapsed if it had been either of the other layers. Instead of chocolate curls I melted semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave, stirred until smooth and then used a metal teaspoon to make a chocolate shmeer on a sil pat. Once they chilled in the frig I could peel them off and put them on the cake.
Niki I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe, and that it worked without the gelatin. Hope you guys had a fantastic Father’s Day!
Hi. I was reading the raspberry mousse recipe. Could I use that same recipe to make a banana mousse. Change the raspberry to banana n the pink food colouring to yellow
Hi! The mousse is very flexible and you can definitely try other flavors–I’ve done strawberry and pumpkin and it always works out great. I’m not 100% sure how mashed banana would work in this one–since bananas get brown when exposed to air, I’m not sure what the final flavor/appearance/texture of the mousse would be. You could give it a try, or you could basically make the white layer (no fruit puree) and add banana flavoring or extract. I would love to hear how it turns out for you, please come and report back!
Cake was beautiful and so delicious! Everyone was definitely impressed! The only thing I would ask is to have all the ingredients laid out at the beginning. I had to keep going to the store to get more cream and went through the recipe many times to make sure I had everything..
Thanks so much!
Thank you, Janet, I’m glad to hear the cake was a success! Thanks also for the recipe feedback. When all of the recipe quantities are combined in the ingredient list in the recipe card, I’ve heard from readers that it is confusing/difficult/they make mistakes with quantities during the different assembly steps. 🙂 But I think a short list of total ingredient quantities before the recipe card could be a good way to avoid confusion and help readers out, and I’ll add that for the future.
Is the a substitute for the honey in the vanilla layer, or can it be left out?
Hi Lori, you can leave it out if you prefer!
Hello! Could you please provide the measurements for gelatin sheets instead of powder?
Two sheets of gold gelatin should work, if using silver gelatin sheets I would try three sheets.
Could you cover the cake with frosting?
Yes, you can add frosting to this cake. I would add the frosting to the cake after it’s been refrigerated but not frozen for best results.
Hi can this cake be made 2 or 3 days before and stored in the fridge?
Hi John, yes this chocolate raspberry mousse cake can be stored well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week! Enjoy!
Can this be made in small portions? I love making individual desserts.
Hi Maria! I don’t see why not! Individual desserts are so fun. Let us know how they turn out!
I made this for my daughters birthday. It was lovely and light. A bit time consuming but worth the effort and everyone thought it was amazing
Hi Barb, I hope your daughter enjoyed the cake. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂
I’ve never used a cake cardboard before, so I want a 9in cardboard since the pan is 9in or do I want an 8in cardboard so there is room for the acetate?
Hi Jenna! You’ll want a cardboard that fits snug against the base of the pan. 🙂
This cake has become a family favorite! I LOVE chocolate and raspberry and this is great. It is delicious and looks fancy, too! I does take some time to make but it is worth it. Thanks for such a awesome recipe, I would totally recommend it for anyone who wants to impress.
It is one of my favorites too! Thank you for your comment 🙂
Hello! Do you possibly think I could just double the raspberry mousse recipe and not do the other mousse flavors? Thanks!
Hi Renee, you can absolutely do that! I think it would be delicious 🙂
I followed the recipe except I added more vanilla to the vanilla mousse. I also made them into individual sized mini mousse’s (one recipe made about 10, could have been more or less depending on thickness) and they were beautiful. They were tasty as well and the most elegant dessert I’ve ever made!
How fun! Mini desserts are always a hit 🙂 Thank you for your comment!
How did you make small ones??
My cake is chilling in the fridge . I am experienced in baking . Everytime I folded the whipped cream in the last stage of the mousse it made the chocolate look grainy. I whipped the cream to stiff peaks I let the chocolate cool. The gelatin was bloomed smoothly. Not sure what the problem is?
Hi Nina, it could be that the whipped cream is getting overworked. If you’re not already, I would suggest using a heavy cream which is typically higher in fat, as opposed to “whipping cream”. I would also try whipping the cream less, maybe to medium peaks (until a thick shaving cream like texture is achieved) so that when the cream is folded in, it is not overworked, which can sometimes cause a broken texture. I hope this helps!
Same thing here
Is it a certain type of white chocolate that should be used? I used the Ghirardelli white melting wafers.
Hi Laura. Great question! Ghiradelli white melting wafers aren’t actually white chocolate although that is difficult for most shoppers to figure out. The easiest way to tell if a product is made of white chocolate is to check the ingredient list. You should see ‘cocoa butter’ listed if it is made from chocolate. You will also be able to tell by the way the product is labeled. For example, white wafers vs white chocolate wafers or white chips vs white chocolate chips. They are more for candy coating. I would definitely recommend using a true white chocolate made with cocoa butter. White chocolate bars are more likely to be made with cocoa butter. If I was you, I’d look for a Lindt white chocolate bar. If this doesn’t fix your problem, check out some of my other comment tips about whipping the cream slightly less than you would to form stiff peaks. Let me know how it goes!
My sister made this cake for Mother’s Day and, wow, what a lot of chocolate! The chocolate brownie base had so much chocolate as to be bitter and thick and the layer of chocolate mousse right on top PLUS the ganache only added to the complete domination of this powerful flavor.
Most of us ended up only eating a bite of the entire cake and then, being unable to taste anything but chocolate, eat the raspberry and vanilla mousses on their own. The top two mousses by themselves were quite good and, on top of a vanilla cake base with caramel on top, this cake has potential if a different flavor profile is used.
Hi Jaya! This cake is definitely for chocolate lovers (with the vanilla and raspberry mousse layers adding a nice compliment). Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate your feedback 🙂
Just made this cake for my husband’s birthday and it came out absolutely delicious! Everyone loved this cake! I also had a really fun time baking it and believe that the recipe was very easy to follow. Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing this recipe with us!
Fabulous! I love hearing that everyone enjoyed this delicious cake and that the recipe was easy to follow! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Hi Elizabeth, I made this cake at the weekend for my sisters BBQ, It certainly went down a treat, everyone commented how amazing it was and was asked to make another one. Was thinking of changing it to lemon mousse, with lemon sponge at the base? any suggestions. Thank you Lizzie, Kent
Yes! That would be delicious! You could start by using the lemon mousse from this recipe: https://www.sugarhero.com/lemon-mousse-cakes/. Come back and let us know how it turns out!
I’ve made this fabulous cake 3 times, and it’s truly just as much fun to make as it is to gaze upon and then devour! While it’s a bit naughty in the calorie department;-), it’s silky and light on the pallet. Read through the recipe carefully before you begin, get everything you’ll need in place, and have fun. Purchasing acetate collar and card board cake bottom to fit in bottom of springform pan is ever so helpful. Your family and friends eyeballs will pop out with tastebud joy! Thanks for sharing this winner recipe!!
Hello Laura! Thanks for the fabulous recipe review . . . I’m so glad to be a part of making you a SugarHero in your kitchen! Good luck in all your baking endeavors!
Love this recipe! The cake looks absolutely stunning and I’ve always received tons of compliments when I make it. The only change I would suggest is to use a little more raspberry than it says here for the raspberry mouse layer, or sometimes I add some seedless raspberry jam or extract to boost the raspberry flavor. Otherwise it’s delicious! Be careful to pour really slowly when you’re adding the raspberry and vanilla mousse layers so they don’t break through the layer before them with the force.
Hi! Thanks for sharing your baking tips! I’m always a fan of more berry flavor. So glad this recipe has been a winner for you. Happy Baking!!
I made it for the monthly birthday gathering at work. They loved it! They kept talking about how good it was, how fancy it looked, and was I sure I didn’t buy it. It was a big hit!
Hi Laurie! So glad you had a positive experience and so funny they thought you bought it. Thanks for sharing!! ❣
I just did this cake for my daughter’s birthday. Steps are easy to follow. The result is just amazing!! I added a bit more raspberry in the mousse.
Hi Isabelle! Thanks for sharing your success. . . Sounds delish with the extra raspberry! Happy birthday to your daughter.
easy and delicious. But please help me. every time I make chocolate mousse, the melted chocolate is smooth and cooled but when I fold in the whipped cream, I get lots of little solid bits of chocolate. What am I doing wrong??? no one seems to notice and they love the cake but I’m flummoxed
Hi Cynthia, it sounds like maybe the chocolate is a little too cool when you’re adding the whipped cream, and the cream is causing the chocolate to start to set as it’s mixed in. For next time, I recommend mixing them together when the chocolate is a bit warmer. It’s a balancing act, because you don’t want the chocolate to be hot and melt the cream, but try it around body temp or slightly above and see if that helps the texture. The good news is, like you said, it still tastes great, and hopefully this will solve the issue for you! Please come back and let us know how it turns out. 🙂
Just made this delicious mousse cake for my son who comes home tomorrow. Directions are very clear and easy to follow. Unfortunately, I am unable to eat seeds due to digestive issues, so I omitted the whole raspberries from the mousse layer and replaced them with one tablespoon of pulverized, freeze-dried raspberries (sifted out the seeds) to the white chocolate mixture prior to microwaving. It really helped to intensify the raspberry flavor, too! I can’t wait to see his reaction to this stunning mousse cake! My husband says this is now my “signature” cake! Hope that’s ok (of course, you will get credit)! Thanks for sharing!
So happy to hear that your son is coming home. Sounds like you made some great adjustments to meet your needs and it turned out amazing!! I hope you all enjoy getting to eat it. Time together with great desserts is my favorite!!
I made this for my husband’s birthday – he and myself are raspberry chocolate freaks. I make him a chocolate and raspberry themed cake each year. Tried this one this year and OH BOy. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous cake! So glad I chose this cake. Amazing!
Notes: I put raspberries in the raspberry mousse, omitted the honey from vanilla mousse (on accident), used half dark coco for brownie batter and 72% dark for chocolate topping.
Hi Kelli! Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad it turned out for you and made some chocolate raspberry dreams come true. Thanks for sharing your tips, too.
Very pretty cake and easy to make but way too sweet can’t taste anything except white chocolate:( Heavy whip cream made it so heavy and dense.
Hi Anna. Thank you for your honest review. Sorry it wasn’t to your liking.