The best chocolate mousse cake recipe with fresh cherries! My chocolate cherry mousse cake is made with delicate chocolate sponge cake, extra rich and fluffy chocolate mousse filling, loads of fresh cherries and cherry liqueur! I topped it off with more whipped cream and cherries! This extraordinary cherry cake is perfect for summertime celebrations!
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Making the Chocolate Mousse
This chocolate cherry cake is filled with the most incredible and rich chocolate mousse! It’s made with semi-sweet chocolate, stabilized whipped cream and my ‘Vanilla Pastry Cream’ as the base. I have a separate video recipe for the cream if you want in-depth instructions! The pastry cream can be prepared even a few days ahead of time as it needs to cool completely before being used for this chocolate cake recipe. You can add the chocolate chips directly into the hot cream or later once the cream is cooled; stir in the melted chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Next, prepare the stabilized whipped cream.
- Whisk the heavy cream until stiff and fluffy peaks form.
- Add unflavored gelatin to the mousse filling to stabilize it, so it sets firmly. You can also use agar gelatin for this recipe.
- Gently fold together the whipped cream and the cooled chocolate pastry cream, keeping the whipped cream fluffy!
The Chocolate Sponge Cake
I used my ‘Sponge Cake’ recipe for this chocolate mousse cake, from my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series. I have a separate video recipe for these cake layers! Prepare the chocolate cake in two, 8 or 9-inch cake pans, whichever size you want to use for the final cake assembly. If you’re using 9-inch cake pans, the cake layers will be slightly thinner and you will need to use a 9-inch springform pan for assembling the cake. Allow the chocolate cake to cool completely, then cut the layers in half using a serrated knife, creating 4 layers total. If you want an extra-extra rich cake, try using my ‘Best Chocolate Cake’ recipe, which has more moisture.
The Boozy Cherries
You’ll love the delicious cherries combined with the mousse and cake layers! I recommend using fresh cherries for this recipe, if possible. Pit and then quarter the cherries, then place into a large bowl. Pour anywhere from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of cherry liqueur over the fruit and let it stand while you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients. When you’re assembling the cake, spoon both cherries and liqueur over the sponge cake layers! Feel free to add more liqueur to soak the cake layers even more.
- Non-Alcoholic Version: don’t want any alcohol in this cake recipe? Replace the liqueur with cherry, pomegranate, grape or even apple juice. You can also use fruity juice cocktails.
Enjoyed this decadent chocolate cherry mousse cake? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Black Forest Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake – incredible, rich chocolate cheesecake topping with cherry pie filling and loads of whipped cream!
- Triple Lemon Mousse Cake – the best lemon cake ever, with fluffy lemon mousse!
- Pancho Torte – this unique dome cake is filled with cherries, pineapple and chocolate cake!
- Easy Honey Cherry Cake – super easy and delicious cherry cake, perfect for breakfast!
- Mandarin Mousse Cake – fruity and zesty orange mousse cake!
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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
- Acetate cake collar – line your springform pan with this plastic wrap to create tall and beautiful cakes!
- 8-inch springform pan – assemble your cake into a springform pan to make is super easy to serve!
- KitchenAid handheld mixer – this small mixer is perfect for getting lighter baking jobs done!
- Coffee Extract – this optional extract helps intensify the chocolate flavor of this cake!
Cherry Chocolate Mousse Cake Recipe (video)
For Chocolate Sponge Cake:
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coffee extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, I used Hershey’s Special Dark
- 1 tsp baking powder
For Chocolate Pastry Cream:
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For Whipped Cream:
- 3 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 1 tsp EACH: vanilla extract, coffee extract
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 to 3 fresh cherries, pitted and quarted
- 1/2 to 1 cup cherry liqueur
- Prepare the chocolate sponge cake first. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Prepare two, 8-inch/20-cm cake rounds by lining the bottom with parchment paper; do not grease the sides. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla and coffee extracts into a stand mixer bowl, then whisk on high speed for 7 to 9 minutes. The eggs need to be thick, pale in color and super fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in small increments, folding gently but thoroughly after each addition.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two baking pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops are set. They will spring back when tapped gently when done. Remove the cakes from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Immediately, run a knife along the edge of the pan and cake to release the cake from the pan. Allow the layers to cool completely before removing them from the pans. Once the layers are cooled, remove the parchment paper and use a long serrated knife to split the layers in half.
- Next, prepare the chocolate custard: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and flour; whisk the flour in until no clumps remain. Cook the milk over medium-low heat for approximately 5 minutes, until the milk is steaming hot but not boiling. Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is thick and pale and ribbons off of the whisk. In a small ramekin, combine the cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the egg yolk mixture and whisk for 30 seconds.
- Once the milk is hot, slowly temper the hot milk into the egg yolks. Add a little at a time and whisk well after each addition. Once the two mixtures have been combined, pour the custard base back into the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Custard is ready when it holds its shape on the back of the spatula. Avoid cooking over high heat; this can cause the custard to separate. Remove the custard from heat and add the butter, chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Whisk the butter and chocolate into the hot custard until it’s completely melted and smooth. Cover the custard and let it chill completely in the refrigerator.
- Once the cake and the custard are done and cooled, prepare the cherries. Pit the cherries first, then quarter them and place into a medium bowl. Pour the cherry liqueur (or juice) over the cherries and let them stand.
- Next, prepare the whipped cream for the mousse. Pour the chilled heavy cream into a mixer bowl and add the vanilla and coffee extract and confectioner’s sugar. Whisk on medium to high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Reserve 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream in a pastry bag for garnishing the top of the mousse cake later; keep it refrigerated. Meanwhile, combine the gelatin and 2 tablespoons water in a small ramekin. Heat the gelatin in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour the HOT gelatin into the remaining whipped cream, with the mixer running on medium speed. Whisk for 1 minute.
- Gently fold together the stabilized whipped cream and completely cooled chocolate custard. Do this in steps, adding 1/3 of the custard at a time and folding gently but thoroughly with a spatula. Watch my video recipe to see how it’s done!
- To assemble the cake, prepare an 8-inch springform and line the sides with an acetate cake collar or foil doubled over. Add the first chocolate cake layer into the bottom of the pan, then add approximately 1/3 of the cherries and cherry liqueur. Soak the sponge cake with extra liqueur if desired. Add 1/3 of the chocolate mousse and spread it evenly to the sides. Top with the second cake layer and repeat the process for the third layer, too. The fourth and final layer is optional; I opted to leave it off the top for my video recipe.
- Refrigerate the mousse cake for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight for best results. Once the mousse is set, remove the springform and use a cake lifter to transfer the cake onto a stand. Once transferred, remove the acetate cake or foil. Garnish the top of the cake with the reserved whipped cream. I used Ateco tip #823. Add fresh cherries on top, if desired.
- More tips: keep the cake in the cake collar and in the pan until ready to serve, or if transporting. The cake will stand in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and can also be stored in the freezer and enjoyed as a delicious ice cream cake!