This fresh strawberry mousse is a delightful, refreshing dessert that is perfect for any occasion, from dinner parties to special celebrations. It's airy and light, made with fresh strawberries, sugar, and whipped cream (no gelatin!), which are blended together to create a smooth and creamy texture.
Personally, I feel like mousse is an underrated dessert. It's about time we give it the love it deserves.
This strawberry mousse is one of my favorite treats! It's super refreshing for Spring and Summer and easy to make with only 3 ingredients, all of which are pantry staples. What could be better than that?
The combination of sweet, tangy ripe strawberries in a velvety mousse is just chef's kiss. It's the perfect way to end any meal! Whether you want to savor it on its own or pair it with sliced fruit, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings, I guarantee this mousse will have you licking the jar and wanting more!
This recipe makes just enough mousse for 3-4 servings. For more small batch recipes, check out my mini carrot cake, small batch vanilla cupcakes, small batch brownies, and small vanilla cake.
What is Mousse?
Mousse is a light and airy dish with a smooth, velvety texture. It can be prepared as a dessert or as a savory dish. The word "mousse" comes from the French word for "foam", referring to its texture. In the case of dessert mousse, it's usually made by blending ingredients like whipped cream, egg whites, sugar, and a flavoring (like chocolate, fruit, or coffee) to create a frothy, fluffy texture.
Savory mousse, on the other hand, can be made with a variety of ingredients like seafood, poultry, or vegetables, and is typically set with gelatin or another stabilizing agent. It's often served as an appetizer or as part of a main course.
Mousse can be served on its own or used as a base for other desserts, such as cakes or pastries. For example, this fresh strawberry mousse recipe is perfect served on its own, in a trifle, or in strawberry mousse cake!
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Chopped fresh strawberries- Make sure your strawberries are rinsed, hulled, and roughly chopped before putting them in the blender. This insures that no dirt or leaves will end up in your mousse! Use ripe strawberries that are bright red and still quite firm.
- Granulated sugar- White sugar helps enhance the natural sweetness of the strawberries. You can substitute caster sugar or organic cane sugar if you need to. I don't recommend brown sugar or coconut sugar since they'll drastically change the flavor and not compliment the strawberries well.
- Heavy whipping cream- Heavy cream makes this mousse super rich and creamy. Use full fat cream that is 36-40% fat. Also make sure your cream is cold before whipping it. If the heavy cream is cold, the fat globules emulsify faster and stay emulsified longer. In simpler terms, your whipped cream will set up faster if the cream is chilled.
- Fresh strawberries: If you don't have any fresh strawberries on hand, you can use frozen ones. They'll take 6 hours to thaw in the refrigerator. Another way to thaw them is by placing them in an airtight container and then placing the container in a large bowl of cold water. The strawberries should be thawed after 15-30 minutes. Pat the thawed strawberries with a paper towel before blending them to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
- Heavy cream: Substitute coconut cream to make the mousse vegan! While sour cream, Greek yogurt, and mascarpone are common substitutes, I don't recommend them since I can't guarantee any would be thick enough.
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- You will need a high powered blender or food processor to puree the strawberries. Either works just fine.
- Use an electric hand mixer to whip the cream. A stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment works too.
- You'll need some containers to serve the mousse in. I used a few of these tulip jelly jars, but you can use mason jars, Pyrex containers, small bowls, or whatever else you have.
How to Make Strawberry Mousse
Here are the step by step instructions to make homemade mousse. Before you start, wash and dry your fresh strawberries, roughly chop them, and set them aside.
STEP 1: First, puree the chopped strawberries and granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth.
STEP 2: If you want, pour the strawberry puree through a mesh strainer into a bowl for ultra smooth mousse. This will get rid of any seeds. Remove ½ cup from the puree and set aside.
STEP 3: Add the heavy cream to a large mixing bowl. Beat the cream on medium-high speed with your electric mixer. Medium-high is perfect since high speed can over-whip the cream easily and low speed under-whips it.
After 3-4 minutes, soft peaks form (peaks that barely hold their shape) and quickly turn to medium peaks (peaks that hold their shape well but curl at the ends when the mixer is lifted up). Medium peaks are what we want!
STEP 3: Gently fold the strawberry puree (reserving ½ cup!) into the whipped cream with a rubber spatula, being careful to not deflate the air we just whipped into it.
STEP 4: Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved strawberry mixture to the bottom of each of your 3-4 serving cups. Spoon the strawberry mousse on top. Place the mousse cups in the refrigerator for 1 hour to set. Once they're set, top with sliced strawberries, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream and enjoy.
- Use cold utensils. For the best results, I recommend using a cold bowl, cold whisks, and cold heavy cream for this recipe. Place everything in the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes beforehand. Plastic bowls will not stay as cold as glass or stainless steel.
- Don't over whip. Keep a watchful eye on the mixer as the mixture can easily transition from soft peaks to stiff peaks to being overwhipped in no time. Once over-whipped, the cream will become dense and clumpy.
- Fold gently. Fold the strawberry puree into the whipped cream gently so that the cream doesn't deflate and ruin the fluffy, airy texture.
Additions & Variations
- Chocolate: Add a layer of melted chocolate or chocolate chips to the bottom of the jar before adding the strawberry mousse for a delicious chocolate covered strawberry flavor.
- Lemon: Add some fresh lemon juice or zest to the mousse for a tart, citrusy flavor.
- Mint: Mix in some finely chopped fresh mint leaves or peppermint extract to give the mousse a cool and refreshing taste.
- Vanilla: Add a splash of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to the mixture for a subtle and sweet flavor.
- Coconut: Mix in some shredded coconut for a tropical twist.
- Raspberry: Replace some or all of the strawberries with fresh raspberries for a delicious raspberry mousse.
- Almond: Add some almond extract or chopped almonds for a nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
- Spices: Add some cinnamon, cardamom, or other spices to the mousse for warm and cozy vibes.
- Layering: Create a layered dessert by alternating the mousse with layers of crushed Oreos, graham crackers, cream cheese, cake, or fruit. My small vanilla cake, strawberry vanilla cake, or strawberry crumb cake would be so good for this!
Storage & Freezing
Leftover mousse stays fresh in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Mousse can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Be aware that the texture might change and not be as light and fluffy! Let the mousse thaw in the refrigerator for a couple hours before enjoying.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make no bake mousse thicker for a cake filling or another dessert, I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of gelatin or cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon of water. Whip the cream until soft peaks form, add water to a small pot on low heat and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let it bloom for one minute and then whisk until the gelatin dissolves (don't let it boil). Let the mixture cool for a bit and pour it into the cream. Continue to whip it until firm peaks form and continue on with the recipe. Another tip is to let the mousse set up in the refrigerator longer, about 3-4 hours.
Whipped cream will deflate and look curdled if it's over whipped, but you can save it! Slowly pour cold heavy cream into the bowl as the mixer runs on low until the whipped cream is fluffy again. The amount of additional heavy cream you'll need varies from 2 tablespoons to ½ cup.
Yes! If you're prepping mousse for a party or other occasion, it can be made 1 day in advance. Make sure the containers you store it in are airtight or cover them tightly with plastic wrap.
More Small Batch Recipes to Try
Fresh Strawberry Mousse
- 1 blender
- 300 g chopped strawberries
- 67 g granulated sugar
- 237 ml heavy whipping cream cold
- Wash, dry, hull, and roughly chop your strawberries if needed. Add them and the granulated sugar to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.300 g chopped strawberries, 67 g granulated sugar
- Beat the heavy whipping cream on medium-high speed with your electric mixer for 3-4 minutes until medium peaks form.237 ml heavy whipping cream
- Remove ½ cup of strawberry puree from the blender and set aside. Pour the remaining puree into the whipped cream and fold it in gently with a rubber spatula.
- Add 2 tablespoons of reserved strawberry puree to the bottom of 3-4 small serving cups. Layer the mousse on top.
- Let the mousse cups set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight. Top with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings and enjoy.
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