This Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce is a light, elegant dessert that showcases the sweet-tart beauty of cranberries! You can use store-bought or leftover cranberry sauce for the topping, so it comes together quickly and easily!

Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce - A straight shot of the mousse cups. | From

Every single Thanksgiving, I have to rediscover how much I like cranberry sauce. Maybe it’s a branding thing. Cranberry sauce is lumped in with all of the other “traditional” Thanksgiving foods, giving it an old-timey, only-on-special-occasions vibe.

I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t go around making a giant vat of stuffing for my normal weekday dinners throughout the year. (Although maybe I should, because my stuffing is LEGIT, if I do say so myself…) So mentally, I think of cranberry sauce as one of those recipes that’s dusted off in November, then put away again for another 11 months.

Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce - A straight shot of the mousse cups with orange slices. | From

But there is no reason why cranberry sauce needs to be relegated to a short holiday weekend. I mean, it’s basically just a really delicious jam that is served with turkey once a year! For the other 364 days, we should keep it on hand and eat it with toast, oatmeal, in layer cakes, or even by the spoonful.

Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce- A shot of the mousse cups with a spoon in one. | From

This Orange Mousse recipe was designed to use up leftover cranberry sauce, so if you have some hanging around, this one’s for you! But if you don’t, it’s well worth whipping up a little batch of cranberry sauce—some for the mousse cups, some for brekkie, and some just to snack on. Cranberries keep VERY well in the freezer, so you can stock up right now and enjoy cranberry goodness throughout the year.

And you don’t have to make your own, either. I love homemade, but nowadays it’s easy to find good-quality cranberry sauce in the refrigerated section of lots of supermarkets, at least during the holiday season. (Please just don’t use the type from a can, unless you REALLY love it.)

Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce - A overhead shot of the mousse cups, with a bite taken from one. | From

These little single-serving mousse cups are light and airy desserts, perfect if you’re suffering from a post-Thanksgiving pie coma. They start with an easy white chocolate mousse, flavored with lots of zingy orange zest and just a touch of Grand Marnier.

The thick layer of cranberry sauce on top keeps the mousse from being too sweet, and orange and cranberry are basically flavor pairing BFFs, so each bite is sweet-tart heaven.

Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce - A close up shot of a mousse cup. | From
Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce - A overhead shot of a mousse cup with a bite taken out. | From

I finished off my mousse cups with a few edible decorations: sparkling glazed cranberries, and homemade candied citrus peel. Both of these are optional, and I think they’re just as tasty and pretty when left unadorned. Or you could add a few white chocolate curls on top—that would be lovely too.

Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce - A shot of the mousse cup with a bite taken from it. | From

It should be clear that I’m a huge cranberry fan, but if you’re not, of course this could be adapted to work with any jam, jelly, or fruit puree. And the orange mousse can be swapped out with lemon, grapefruit, or even left plain so it’s just a white chocolate mousse. There’s a lot of flexibility, so I encourage you to play with it. Happy eating!

💗More Mini Desserts You’ll Love

2 Chocolate Raspberry Mini Crepe Cakes on gold edged plates next to gold forks.

Chocolate Rasperry Mini Crepe Cakes

These Chocolate Raspberry Mini Crepe Cakes are so beautiful and elegant! Miniature crepes are layered with chocolate and fresh raspberries to make a unique and delicious dessert. 
View Recipe
Homemade cranberry sauce in a white bowl with a gold spoon.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Say hello to your new favorite cranberry sauce recipe! This easy Cranberry-Orange Sauce is made with orange juice, orange zest, and fresh or frozen cranberries, for the perfect sweet-tart flavor that goes with both sweet and savory recipes.
View Recipe
An Orange Mousse Cup with Cranberry Sauce next to 2 silver spoons on a wooden table.

Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce

3.50 from 2 votes
This Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce is a light, elegant dessert that showcases the sweet-tart beauty of cranberries! You can use store-bought or leftover cranberry sauce for the topping, so it comes together quickly and easily!
Prep1 hour
Total1 hour
Yields8 servings


  • 9 oz white chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided use
  • 1 TBSP Grand Marnier, optional
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 TBSP orange zest, (from 1 large or 2 medium fresh oranges)
  • 2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, not from a can, please!
  • ¼ cup cranberry juice, or orange juice
  • Sparkling sugared cranberries , or candied orange peel, to garnish


  • Combine the white chocolate chips, 3/4 cup of cream, Grand Marnier, if using, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring every 30 seconds, until the white chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour it into a large bowl, whisk in the orange zest, and let it cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • While you wait for the white 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 white chocolate is at room temperature and has just started to thicken, microwave the bowl of gelatin for 15 seconds, until it is melted. Whisk the melted gelatin and white chocolate together.
  • Whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to firm peaks. Fold half of the whipped cream into the white chocolate, and once it’s incorporated, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Divide the mousse between eight ½-cup ramekins or glasses, and refrigerate for 2 hours, until set.
  • Blend your cranberry sauce using a stick blender or in short spurts in a conventional blender. You want to break up the cranberries and make it more liquid and spoonable, but don’t blend it so much that it loses all texture. If it’s too chunky, add cranberry or orange juice, a spoonful or two at a time, until you get a texture you like.
  • Top each mousse cup with a few tablespoons of cranberry sauce. Garnish with sugared cranberries or candied orange peel, if desired.

Recipe Notes

The Grand Marnier in this recipe is optional, but I think it adds a nice additional orange flavor. If you want a more intense orange taste, add 1/2-1 tsp of orange extract to the mousse.

Measuring Tips

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.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?


Serving: 8g | Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 790IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.
Orange Mousse with Cranberry Sauce | From

Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

Related Recipes

Leave a comment

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

Rate This Recipe!

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


  1. What a delicious sounding mousse and yes, it is a real shame that cranberries are almost seen as a fruit only for special occasions. I will admit that I have a jar in the fridge that I opened almost a year ago, ate half and it’s just been sitting there ever since!

  2. Wow, what a beautiful and delicious dessert. So lovely for the holiday season! I rediscover cranberries every Thanksgiving, too. I don’t know why I’m not eating them all year! 🙂

  3. I’m not a huge cranberry fan, but that looks so good I would definitely eat the whole thing!!

  4. Followed the recipe exactly as written. Tasted good but 2 tsp of gelatin was too much. This set as firm as baked cheesecake.

    1. Hi Deb, thanks for letting us know how the recipe turned out for you. We’ll add a note to the recipe to clarify what the texture is like, and provide options for people looking for something different. Happy baking!