This Strawberry Mousse Cake is incredibly light, fresh and creamy. This delicious Summer cake combines a French Sablé base, light Strawberry Mousse Filling packed with fresh Strawberries and a Strawberry Jelly topping.
Why we love this recipe
If you are looking for a deliciously flavourful and light Summer dessert that is sure to impress, look no further. This Strawberry Mousse Cake is exactly what you've been looking for!
Combining a Sablé Breton Base (French Salted Butter biscuit), a light Mousse layer packed with fresh Strawberries and a colourful Strawberry Jelly topping, this cake is perfect for a special occasion or Summer celebration.
This mousse cake is like an easier version of this classic French Fraisier Cake. But instead of a Diplomat Cream filling, it uses a super light and fresh Strawberry Mousse - quite similar to my Strawberry Mousse Cups.
More Mousse Cake Recipes:
Sablé Breton base:
- Egg Yolks: one of the specificity of this cookie is that is uses Egg Yolks only. Keep the Egg Whites to make Meringue or Financiers for example.
- Icing Sugar: or powdered sugar, preferably sifted.
- Salted Butter: another specificity of this cookie is that it is made with Salted Butter, Brittany style! If you prefer to use unsalted butter, simply add a little bit of salt to the dough. The butter needs to be very soft.
Strawberry Mousse Filling:
- Strawberries: you can use both fresh or frozen Strawberries for the actual mousse, but I recommend using fresh Strawberries for the decorative ring.
- Vanilla Bean: you will get the best flavours from a fresh Vanilla pod. Alternatively, use Vanilla Paste. Vanilla Extract will work too but you won't get as much flavour.
- Gelatine: I used Gelatine Powder rehydrated in a little bit of cold water. Gelatine leaves will work too. They will need to be bloomed in very cold water for a few minutes then well drained before used. As a general rule, 1 tablespoon (or 3 teaspoons) of gelatine powder equal 4 sheets of gelatine. This might vary based on the strength of the gelatine.
- Cream: thickened or heavy cream (whipping cream) - with at least 30% fat or it will not whip.
Strawberry Jelly Topping:
A simple mix of a Strawberry Puree (blended strawberries), Sugar, Lemon Juice and Gelatine Powder. You can add some vanilla too if you want.
How to make Strawberry Mousse Cake
Sablé Breton Crust
The first step is preparing the Sablé crust base, which is quite similar to a rich shortbread.
- Place a large 9 inch / 23 cm cake ring over a small baking tray lined with baking paper (parchment paper) or a mat.
- Photo 1: Place the Egg Yolks and Icing Sugar in a small mixing bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes until thick.
- Photo 2: Add the very soft Butter and stir well until combined.
If the butter is too cold, you will struggle to mix it in so make sure it is at room temperature.
- Photo 3: Add the Flour (and salt if using unsalted butter) and mix with a spatula until the dough resembles the consistency of a thick paste.
- Photo 4: Press the dough at the bottom of the Cake Ring until well packed and even. You can use the back of a cup or small offset spatula to help even out the dough.
- Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes, then preheat your oven on 160'c / 325'f.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Place the tray on a cooling rack and set aside to cool down completely.
Strawberry Mousse Filling
The second main step is preparing the strawberry mousse filling.
- Photo 5: Place the Strawberries in a bowl and blend until smooth with an immersion blender (or directly in your blender).
Optionally, pour through a thin mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
- Photo 6: Place the blended strawberries, Sugar and the seeds of the Vanilla Bean in a small saucepan. Whisk and heat up on low heat until it starts to simmer (you can bring to a boil, but a simmer is sufficient). Turn off the heat.
- Photo 7: While the mixture is heating, place the Gelatine Powder in a small bowl with a little bit of very cold water. Mix well then set aside until the paste looks thick.
- Photo 8: Put the bloomed gelatine in the hot strawberry puree mixture and whisk well to dissolve it.
- Transfer into a clean bowl (or preferably a shallow pan such as a brownie pan or loaf pan) and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until it doesn't feel warm to the touch anymore.
If the gelatine has started to set, whisk well until smooth and loose again.
- Photo 9: Once the strawberry mixture is cool, place the Cream in the bowl of your stand mixer (or large bowl if using an hand electric mixer) and whip it until you reach stiff peaks.
- Photo 10: Place the strawberry mixture in a large bowl and gently fold in the whipped cream in 3 or 4 times.
- Place a 5 cm / 2 inch high Acetate Strip (sometimes called cake collar) on the inside of the Cake Ring. This will give you a clean finish when it is time to unmold the cake.
- Photo 11: optionally, slice fresh Strawberries in half and place them on the inside of the ring (sliced side touching the ring). Make sure they are packed quite tight so no mousse can pour through it.
- Photo 12: Pour the Strawberry Mousse into the Cake Ring. Make sure it is well distributed between the fresh strawberries. Spread it around to have a smooth top.
The mousse will appear quite runny at this point, it's normal!
- Place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours, or until the mousse appears to be set. You can chill it overnight as well.
Strawberry Jelly Topping
The last step is the strawberry gel topping. This step is optional, but it adds a great strong strawberry flavour and sweetness to the cake that is rather light otherwise.
- Photo 13: Blend the Strawberries until smooth (in a blender or with an immersion blender). Pour it through a thin mesh sieve into a small saucepan (to remove the seeds) and whisk in the Sugar and Lemon Juice.
- Turn on low to medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Photo 14: In the meantime, bloom the gelatine powder with a little bit of very cold water until thick. Turn off the heat and add the gelatine paste.
- Photo 15: Whisk well until the gelatine has melted. Set aside for 30 minutes to slightly cool down.
- Photo 16: Pour the jelly over the Strawberry Mousse layer and spread it around until flat. Place back in the fridge to set again for another 3 hours minimum, preferably overnight.
Absolutely, you can use any type of biscuit or cookie crust such as a shortbread crust or a graham crackers crust if prefer. You could also do a no bake cookie crust like you would for a cheesecake or pie.
- use your favourite gluten-free cookie base recipe to make this recipe gluten-free.
- use an eggless shortbread cookie base to make this mousse cake with no eggs.
Unfortunately, no - the mousse is not stable enough to be made without the gelatine. It will remain quite liquid and not set fully without it.
Simply use a large Springform Pan - with or without the bottom plate! Make sure to use the same size pan though - or you will need to adjust the ingredients measurements.
The mousse is still rather soft and creamy, but it could be used as a cake filling if the cake layer over it is not too heavy! Simply chill the mousse for a few hours after you've folded in the whipped cream. you can then use it as a cake filling, cake topping, inside a pie or even a strawberry buttercream substitute! Note that it needs to remain refrigerated though.
Tips & Troubleshooting
- Timing is key to succeed this cake. Make sure to give the different layers enough time to chill and set to get those clean layers. Because it requires quite a long chilling time, this cake is perfect to make ahead 24 to 48 hours before serving!
- The temperatures are important as well here. The strawberry puree has to be warm enough to dissolve and activate the gelatine. But it needs to be cool enough when you fold in the whipped cream or it will melt it.
- You can use smaller cake pans or rings if you need to make a smaller cake. The chilling / setting times will remain about the same, but make sure to adjust the quantities accordingly.
- You can discard the fresh Strawberries used to decorate the mousse layers and simply add them on top of the jelly layer instead if preferred.
- Love Chocolate and Strawberry together? Replace the Strawberry jelly by a layer of Chocolate Ganache! This can can also be made with Raspberries instead of Strawberries.
Storing & Freezing
This cake should be stored in the fridge and is best eaten within 3 days. It will have the best texture and strawberry flavor after 24 hours in the fridge. If you plan on serving it for a dinner or special occasion, it will be perfect to make in advance!
I do not recommend freezing this cake.
Made this recipe?
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Strawberry Mousse Cake
- 23 cm (9 inch) Cake Ring (or pastry ring / mousse ring)
- 5 cm (2 inch) high Acetate Strip (or soft plastic cake collar)
Sablé Cookie Crust
- 2 Egg Yolk - at room temperature
- 50 gr Icing Sugar - sifted
- 75 gr Salted Butter - very soft
- 120 gr Plain / All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt - if using unsalted butter
Strawberry Mousse Filling
- 375 gr Strawberries - fresh or frozen & thawed
- 90 gr Caster Sugar
- 1 Vanilla Bean - or 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Paste
- 7 gr (2 1/4 teaspoon) Gelatine Powder - with 2 tablespoon cold water
- 400 ml Heavy / Thickened Cream - 30% fat content min.
- 200 gr Fresh Strawberries (optional) - for decorating the edges
Strawberry Jelly Topping
- 200 gr Strawberries - fresh or frozen
- 50 gr Caster Sugar
- 15 ml Lemon Juice
- 3 gr (1 teaspoon) Gelatine Powder
I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.
Sablé Cookie Crust
- Place a large 9 inch / 23 cm cake ring over a small baking tray lined with baking paper or mat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the Egg Yolks and Icing Sugar until smooth and thick (about 1 to 2 minutes). Add the very soft Butter and stir it in (see note 1).
- Add the Flour (and salt if using unsalted butter) and mix with a spatula until combined. It should have the consistency of a thick paste.
- Press the dough at the bottom of the Cake Ring until well packed and flat. Chill for 30 minutes, then bake for 30 minutes in an oven preheat on 160'c / 325'f. Set aside to cool down completely.
Strawberry Mousse Filling
- Blend the Strawberries (fresh or frozen, thawed and drained) until smooth. Optionally, pour through a thin mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
- Place the blended Strawberries in a small saucepan with the Sugar and the seeds of the Vanilla Bean (see note 2). Whisk to combine them bring to a simmer on medium low heat. Remove from the heat.
- In the meantime, mix the Gelatine Powder with a little bit of very cold water (about 2 tablespoons) in a small bowl. Set aside for a couple of minutes or until it resembles a thick paste.
- Add the Gelatine paste into the warm Strawberry mixture and whisk well until fully dissolved. Transfer into a clean bowl or shallow pan and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour or until it doesn't feel warm to the touch anymore (see note 3)
- Whip the Cream in your mixer (or with a hand mixer) until you reach stiff peaks. Place the chilled strawberry mixture in a large bowl and gently fold in the whipped cream in 3 or 4 times.
- Place a 5 cm / 2 inch high Acetate Strip on the inside of the Cake Ring (see note 4). Optionally, slice the fresh Strawberries in half and place them on the inside of the ring - sliced side touching the ring (see note 5).
- Pour the Strawberry Mousse into the Cake Ring and spread it around until smooth on top. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight / until the top of the mousse appears to be set.
Strawberry Jelly Topping
- Blend the Strawberries until smooth. Pour it through a thin mesh sieve place over a small saucepan to remove the seeds. Whisk in the Sugar and Lemon Juice, and bring to a simmer on medium low heat. Turn off the heat.
- In the meantime, bloom the gelatine powder with a little bit of cold water (about 1 tablespoon) in a small bowl. When it resembles a thick paste, whisk it in the warm strawberry mixture until fully dissolved.
- Set aside for 30 minutes to slightly cool down, then pour it over the mousse Mousse layer. Spread it around gently, then place back the cake in the fridge to set again for another 3 hours minimum, preferably overnight.
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- Gelatine Powder: can be replaced with Gelatine Sheets bloomed in very cold water then well drained. As a general rule, 1 tablespoon of gelatine powder (or 3 teaspoons) equals 4 sheets of gelatine.
- If the butter is too cold, you will struggle to mix it in so make sure it is at room temperature and soft.
- To get the seeds of the Vanilla, slice it in half lengthwise with a small knife. Scrap the seeds from the inside of the sliced bean with the small knife and place them in the saucepan. If using Vanilla Paste, place it directly in the saucepan.
- It is important for the mixture to not be too warm or it will melt the whipped cream when you fold it in. This would result in a mousse that is less airy and fluffy. If the gelatine has started to set, whisk the mixture well until smooth again.
- This is optional, but it will give you a clean finish when it is time to unmold the cake.
- Make sure the strawberries are packed quite tight so no mousse can pour through it.