Mandarin Mousse Cake with Jello (video)

One of the lightest, fluffiest and most delicious mousse cakes I’ve made to date! This delicate orange mandarin mousse cake with jello topping is made with a simple sponge cake, a very light mousse made with orange curd, whipped cream and loads of fresh mandarins. Every bite just melts in the mouth and it’s so flavorful! It’s the perfect cake of any occasion and especially great with fresh mandarins when they’re in season!

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How It’s Made – The Sponge Cake

To make this cake as light and fluffy as possible, I went with a sponge cake base and center. This easy sponge cake recipe is the one I use for all my cakes! It’s a no-fail recipe that I’ve used for years! Sponge cake itself is not very flavorful or moist, so it’s a great option for this cake. When making sponge cake, make sure to whisk the eggs for 7 to 10 minutes, until they are almost white in color and very voluminous. Sponge cakes get their volume from the eggs, so they need to be extra fluffy! Fold in the flour in small batches and fold gently but thoroughly after each addition, folding from the bottom of the mixing bowl.

I recommend soaking the sponge cake with a sweet Riesling or other sweet dessert wine. If you don’t want to add alcohol to your cake, use a simple syrup instead: mix together 1/2 cup boiling water with 1/4 cup sugar and allow the sugar to dissolve, then let the syrup cool before using.

The Mandarin Mousse

The mousse recipe is a combination of simple orange curd and stabilized whipped cream, with chunks of fresh mandarins. For the orange curd, I used my ‘Lemon Curd Recipe’ and simply  replaced the lemon juice with orange juice.  If you can get your hands on some mandarin juice, use that instead! Visit the recipe for an in-depth video tutorial! Make the curd ahead of time because it needs to cool down before being used in the recipe. Once the curd has cooled, then make the stabilized whipped cream.

For the stabilized cream, first whisk the heavy cream to stiff peaks and then prepare the gelatin. This step is important to ensure the mousse cake sets! Dissolve the gelatin in a little bit of water and heat it in the microwave in 10 second intervals for about 1 minute, until it’s dissolved. Do NOT wait for the gelatin to cool! It needs to be added to the whisked heavy cream while still hot, otherwise it will clump! Once the cream is ready, the curd and mandarins are folded in gently and voila! I used fresh mandarins for this cake but canned fruit will also work well. Just drain it well and add.

The Jello Topping

For the jello topping, I went with orange flavored gelatin, to give the cake even more flavor! Before adding the jello topping, allow the mousse cake to set for at least an hour. If you add the jello before the mousse cake starts to set, the two mixtures will combine together, creating a soupy and creamy mess! Pour the jello over the top of the mousse over the back of a spoon to leave it undisturbed.


Need some supplies to make this cake? Here are some of the tools I used for this cake recipe!

  • Acetate Cake Collar – I always use this plastic for my mousse cakes! It comes in a bulk roll that you can cut down to size.
  • Spring Form Pan – I used a 9-inch springform pan for my cake. If you will not be using an acetate cake collar, use this recipe with a 10-inch pan to fit the recipe.
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