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Meaningful Eats

Gluten-Free Chocolate Mousse Cake

With a brownie-like cake layer and cream-cheese-based chocolate mousse, it's a chocolate lover's dream. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time: 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10


For the Cake:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped or use chips (see note)
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup gluten-free 1:1 baking flour

For the Chocolate Mousse:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped or use chips (see note)
  • 1 ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream see note

For the Whipped Cream:

  • ¾ cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Grated chocolate, for garnish (optional)


Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan.
  • Combine the chocolate and butter in a saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt over low heat (on the stovetop) or on 50% power in the microwave at 1-minute increments, stirring in between.
  • Cool the mixture to lukewarm, then whisk in the sugar until smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and salt. Add the flour and mix until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake just rises in center (a tester inserted into center will not come out clean) and springs back lightly to the touch.
  • Cool the cake in the pan completely (the center may fall which is normal).

Make the Chocolate Mousse:

  • Melt the chocolate - over low heat (on the stovetop) or on 50% power in the microwave at 30-second increments, stirring in between.
  • Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla and mix until completely smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom 1-2 times.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then increase the speed of the mixture to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Spread the mousse on top of the cooled chocolate cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 1 day.

Make the Whipped Cream:

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the cake. Dust with grated chocolate, if desired. Chill for up to an hour or serve immediately.


Heavy Cream: Be sure to use “heavy cream” because it contains a milk fat percentage of 35% (or higher). Many brands of heavy whipping cream only have 30-35% milk fat, whereas heavy cream has 35% or higher. This mousse needs the extra milk fat to be sure it turns out thick and creamy. I prefer Darigold heavy cream (40% milk fat). Not all brands or cartons label the milk fat percentage, so to be safe, look for a brand that has 35% (or higher) written on the carton. 
Chocolate Chips: A high-quality chocolate chip works best here. I like Guittard Semi-Sweet best!
Chocolate Shavings: I like to make simple chocolate shavings using a bar of chocolate and a vegetable peeler to decorate this cake. 


Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 686IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg