Mousse may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of easy desserts. Instead, it likely brings to mind stark white tablecloths, impeccably dressed servers, and jaw-dropping wine prices that are often found in uber-fancy restaurants. But here’s a little secret: Chocolate mousse is actually really easy to make. And though it’s undoubtedly delicious when it’s made from heavy cream and sweetened chocolate, it’s also great with sneaky, healthy stand-ins.
Whether looking to impress guests or your own taste buds, be bold and give these 11 chocolate mousse recipes a try. Because who needs a fancy occasion to indulge? Not us.
This recipe actually has two secret ingredients: cream cheese and avocado. While an unlikely duo, they blend to create a heavenly keto-friendly dessert that even kids will like. Heavy cream makes this mousse that much richer, while unsweetened cocoa powder and shaved dark chocolate give it that beloved chocolaty taste and color. For sweetness, use vanilla extract and a keto-friendly sweetener.
Don’t let the short ingredient list fool you: This recipe makes you work. But the result is dizzyingly delicious, and the bonus of making it yourself means you can enjoy a spoonful of DIY salted caramel here, and homemade chocolate mousse mix there. Since the caramel and mousse need to chill for at least two hours, we recommend prepping the day before—, letting the flavors sink in overnight makes the dessert even better.
Though this mousse is technically made the “wrong” way, we’re a-OK with it not being “right.” Classic mousses don’t have chunks of chocolate, but this version is full of 'em—and we’re into it. It’s also full of chocolate liqueur, giving it an adult edge. We also love subbing in coffee liqueur, Bailey’s, or orange liqueur to keep things extra interesting—and extra boozy. (But don’t worry, you hardly taste the alcohol!)
Believe it or not, you don’t actually need heavy cream to make mousse. This vegan-friendly recipe uses avocado and almond milk to create a dairy-free creaminess, and cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract for the chocolaty sweetness. Top with fresh berries, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, or cacao nibs for some crunch. (Pro tip: For extra chocolate flavor, use chocolate almond milk in place of the plain.)
With only two ingredients and taking a measly 15 minutes to make, this mousse truly does deserve its title of being easy. Simply mix heavy whipping cream until it has soft peaks, blend in melted semi-sweet chocolate, refrigerate for an hour, and top with whatever you fancy. We love the cinnamon-spiced almonds and toasted meringues used here, which creates a nostalgic s’mores-esque flavor.
Vegan, Paleo, and only five ingredients, this chocolate mousse recipe quickly became a favorite—for holidays and regular ol’ days. This recipe is sweetened with dates, made minty fresh with peppermint extract, and classically moussed with unsweetened melted chocolate and almond milk. Top with marshmallows for some holiday flair or simply drizzle with leftover melted chocolate (if there is any left over).
It isn’t difficult to make mousse just a little bit healthier. This recipe takes things to the next level by making it a whole lot healthier. (It has zero refined sugar and is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.) We love the natural sweetness from full-fat coconut milk and crunch from the pistachios—though any nut topping will do (they taste extra delicious when toasted).
Chocolate served in chocolate? Where do we sign up?! The cups are made from only the good stuff—melted chocolate—and filled with a booze-infused chocolate mousse that sticks to traditional ingredients like heavy whipping cream, egg yolks, butter, and bittersweet chocolate. Feel free to skip the booze if you want a lighter flavor, but don’t skip the sprinkle topping, which makes these bite-size treats extra fun.
Another secret ingredient, another avocado, right? Not this time. This chocolate mousse recipe uses Greek yogurt for serious richness without going wild on the cream. Sweetened with brown sugar (maple syrup works too), thickened with eggs and flour, and made extra indulgent with the likes of dark chocolate, this recipe is definitely on the richer side but leaves us fully satisfied with just one serving.
If there’s anyone you should trust when it comes to dessert, it’s Julia Child. The lover of good flavor and world-renowned chef knows a thing or two about killing it in the kitchen, and this chocolate mousse is no exception. With slightly less sugar and a richer chocolate than Julia’s own recipe, this recipe is fluffy yet filling and totally addictive. It also uses coffee to give the dessert a hidden—and much appreciated—kick.
Something delicious hides in each layer of this minty chocolate mousse. The chocolate and whipped cream are mixed with drops of peppermint essential oil and nuzzled between layers of crunchy, minty cookies. So yes, this recipe is extra minty fresh—and extra chocolaty. For easy layering, put the whipped cream in a piping bag.