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Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

With three shades of chocolate, these cakes are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the sweet tooth.

  • Yield: Makes 8
Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2006


  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Individual Chocolate Mousse
  • 2 ounces solid semisweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place eight 6-ounce (3 1/2-inch diameter) ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, and coat with cooking spray; set aside.

  2. Stir flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and 1/4 cup water; mix on medium-low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.

  3. Divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Run a knife around sides of cakes; unmold. Cakes can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic, up to 1 day.

  4. Trim each cake to 1 inch high. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut eight 10 3/4-by-4-inch strips of parchment paper. Wrap a parchment collar around base of each cake, keeping bottom flush with baking sheet. Secure each collar with tape; set aside.

  5. Transfer bittersweet-chocolate mousse to a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (such as Ateco #808). Pipe a 1-inch layer of mousse into each parchment collar. Refrigerate until mousse is set, about 20 minutes. Repeat with milk chocolate mousse, piping on top of the bittersweet chocolate mousse. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

  6. Microwave semisweet chocolate until slightly warm but not melted, about 30 seconds. Scrape at a 45-degree angle with a vegetable peeler, forming curls. Before serving cakes, remove parchment collars, and garnish with chocolate curls.


Reviews (20)

  • Grace Massa Langlois 25 Apr, 2013

    I thought I would put this review here tos as well as on the mousse recipe. These cakes are a huge hit every time I make them. The milk chocolate mousse does have a thinner consistency but I provide a few tips on my site for making these cakes look as Martha's presented them

  • Bekiferments 16 Mar, 2013

    Delicious and discouraging to make:
    -the 2 mousses are yummy. It is a ton of work to have to wash & dry all that equipment in the midst this project.
    -I overcooked my sugar syrup the first time & it crystallized, causing me to waste most of my b-sweet chocolate in the sieve. Be careful with your cook time.
    -the cakes were only okay. They provide a good, sturdy base for the mousse but get hard & lose flavor with all the refrigeration.
    -Consider doubled parchment & wrap-around packing tape.

  • Savka Todorova 28 Jan, 2013


  • Wenderbread 30 Dec, 2012

    Okay, my first and biggest complaint is that tape doesn't stick to parchment paper. I ended up having to smear corn syrup on the outside to keep the parchment paper together while the mousses were in the fridge.

    Also, as someone else said, the milk chocolate really didn't set nicely. I had to serve mine with the parchment paper still wrapped around to keep it from falling apart.

    Otherwise, these were delicious. I don't think I'll be making them again, though.

  • GustatoryDelight 31 Jul, 2011

    This recipe is so fantastic! Tastes delicious and very impressive to look at. I recently made it for a dinner party as part of a dessert trio and my guests were blown away. Check out pictures here

  • THEBLONDECHEF 13 Dec, 2010

    I'm a caterer and sometimes I have a hundred individual desserts to do. I like to bake a the cake in a lined sheet pan and cut out the cake rounds using a can or buscuit cutter. If you are using a can (a clean vegetable can with top and bottom cut out) then you can actualy keep the cake in the bottom and pipe the mousse right on top then freeze until solid. When ready to serve push out frozen dessert from can onto serving plate and let thaw:)

  • 11866409 3 Nov, 2010

    video won't run

  • DessertFanatic 24 Feb, 2010

    This recipe is time-consuming, but well worth it. It is de-LISH! I had a hard time dumping the cakes out of the ramekins. I was thinking maybe next time I should grease and flour them? For some reason, my milk chocolate mousse didn't set up as well as the bittersweet mousse, and I did it exactly the same way. I garnished it by melteing some white and dark chocolate, piping them into hearts, and let them harden. I highly recommend this recipe.

  • Parvin 6 Nov, 2009

    I tried this recipe and it was excellent, easy to make and delicious to taste. Thanx Martha please demonstrate some more recipes on video.

  • Swissroll 29 Jan, 2009

    I used this recipe to make a 9 inches cake. It was very delicious. However, the mousse was too soft so I used chocolate to make a barrier to hold on the mousse.

  • Semilove 21 Dec, 2008

    I did not double the mousse part of this recipe, instead, I did 1/2 dark and 1/2 milk and proceeded as directed. It held up very well and impressed my guests so much at Thanksgiving 2007 that I will make these for Christmas Eve this year. Beautiful and truly delicious!

  • juliette2381 10 Nov, 2008

    These were amazing! The mousse was very rich - I used Ghiradelli's milk and bittersweet chocolates - and very smooth. It was a bit tricky getting the tape to stick to the parchment paper, I ended up using packing tape but it still didn't work great. Oh well, they were beautiful and delicious!

  • foodandmooddoteu 13 May, 2008

    This is perfetct for my mood :-)

  • foodandmooddoteu 13 May, 2008

    This is perfetct for my mood :-)

  • bsweetcookie 11 Mar, 2008

    One of my favorite desserts to wow the table at dessert time! Used the best quality chocolate I could get my hands on and each time this has turned out sublime!

  • mmsrjs 31 Dec, 2007

    HI Bito: dont wait so long before eating. I wait overnight, and Just before serving remove collars, garnish then serve and eat immediately. Don't let them set and melt. Just enjoy. you saved some good recipes, and I got them. thanks

  • neenee49 28 Dec, 2007

    Extremely time consuming and not worth the effort. The cakes were dry and I undercooked by 12 minutes. After chilling they are very hard too. The bittersweet mousse set ok after whipped to stiff not soft peaks. The milk chocolate did not set well even after 5 hours in fridge. When unwrapped they started to melt quickly. They looked picture perfect for about 10 minutes. The taste was just OK. I'm not a huge mousse fan and they just tasted like mouthfuls of mildly flavored whipped cream.

  • theamaceda 19 Nov, 2007

    I can't wait to try this recipe. It's perfect for a candlelight dinner in your house for your husband's birthday or your wedding anniversarry.

  • Bito 18 Nov, 2007

    I tried this cake and it tasted like chocolate heaven.The only problem I faced though was that the mousse was quiet runny, even after refrigrating it for 4 hours! When I wrapped off the parchement, the mousse looked well structured and firm, but almost 10 minutes later, the mousse started melting and collapsing...It was a disaster, but people didn't seem to care since they loved the taste...I followed the mousse recipe exactly, so I dont know what went wrong...Any suggestions?

  • kimmiekins520 12 Nov, 2007

    I may not be the first one to make this suggestion, but I figured I'd have a go at it anyway.
    I found the step where we are to wrap the cake with parchment paper, a bit messy.
    Today, I discovered that the mouth of the larger SOLO cups fits the size of the ramekins that I used (which is probably about the same size that you used in the show as well). I cut off the bottom of the SOLO cup and set the cup around the cake, mouth-side down. This way, the "mold" for the mousse is more structured.

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