This coffee mousse recipe is rich yet light, and it is the mousse you need to make if you’re a fan of coffee desserts. This recipe is the perfect ending to a large meal, and a small serving really satisfies.
Coffee mousse features a rich and thick, coffee custard lightened with Swiss meringue and whipped cream. No need to worry about uncooked eggs!
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Coffee Mousse Recipe, At a Glance
✔️Skill Level: Intermediate
✔️Skills (Linked): Making Custard, Swiss Meringue, Whipping Cream
✔️Type: Foam, Individual Dessert
✔️Number of Ingredients: 8
✔️Prep Time: 15 minutes
✔️Cook Time: 15 minutes
✔️Chill Time: 4 hours
✔️Yield: 6 4-oz portions
Related Recipe: Chocolate Mousse
Jump Straight to the Recipe
This mousse is light and airy. It’s rich, thanks to the egg yolks and heavy cream, but it’s lighter in texture than chocolate mousse because it doesn’t have solid chocolate in it.
Here’s a closeup of the texture. It reminds me a bit of those whipped yogurts you can buy at the grocery store. But better!
Why Make This Recipe
In looking up recipes for coffee mousse, I was met with mostly “mocha mousse” recipes.
Mocha is a great flavor if that’s what you want, but for lovers of truly coffee-flavored desserts, you might not want to let chocolate get in the way of the coffee flavor.
This recipe uses excellent quality instant coffee (or you could use espresso powder) to add a big punch of coffee flavor without diluting the custard with actual brewed coffee.
The result is a creamy, deeply coffee-flavored mousse that is silky, rich, and delightful.
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How to Make Coffee Mousse
There are three components you need to make to make coffee mousse:
- starch-thickened coffee custard
- Swiss meringue
- whipped cream
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are the ingredients you’ll need.
- egg yolks: provides richness as well as emulsifiers to keep the mousse from weeping
- brown sugar: provides sweetness to both the custard and the Swiss meringue. You may substitute an equal amount of plain, granulated sugar if you prefer
- half and half: this is the liquid in the custard. You can substitute whole milk if you would like a slightly less-rich mousse
- cornstarch: thickens and gives body to the custard. It also prevents the mousse from weeping by binding liquid
- instant coffee: provides the coffee flavor without diluting the mousse. Use a high-quality instant coffee
- kosher salt: brings the flavors into focus and counteracts any bitterness from the coffee
- vanilla extract: rounds out the flavors, providing woody and floral notes
- egg whites: for the Swiss meringue. Lightens the texture of the custard considerably
- heavy cream: whipped to medium peaks, heavy cream further lightens the texture, and the dairy also helps to counteract any bitterness from the coffee. You may substitute regular whipping cream for the heavy cream
In a nutshell, this is how to make coffee mousse:
- Make the coffee custard and set aside
- Make Swiss meringue and fold into the custard.
- Whip the heavy cream and fold it in last.
If that’s enough instruction for you, feel free to jump straight to the recipe.
In this next section, we’ll take a closer look at each step:
For the custard
- Put all the ingredients for the custard except for the vanilla in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Whisk everything together.
- Whisk continuously over medium-high heat. The custard will get foamy.
- As it thickens and begins to boil, the foam will dissipate. Don’t stop whisking and lower the heat to keep the bubbles from erupting and burning you
- Press the finished custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl with the vanilla in it.
- Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and let it cool to room temperature while you make the Swiss meringue
For the Swiss meringue
To make a Swiss meringue, you heat the whites and sugar together in a double boiler until the temperature reaches 165F. This ensures that your whites are cooked and are safe to eat, even after a couple of days in the fridge.
Here’s my setup:
Jenni Says: I used the same pan I made the custard in as the base of my double boiler. No need to wash it–just rinse it out.
- With the water in the pan below at a high simmer, whisk together the egg whites, brown sugar, and salt.
- Continue cooking and whipping constantly, checking the temperature occasionally, until the mixture reaches 165F.
- Either place the bowl on your
stand mixeror use a hand mixer to whip the whites until they increase in volume and hold medium-stiff peaks.
For the Whipped Cream
Whip the cream to medium peaks. You can do this by hand with a whisk, in a
It is fine to use the same bowl you used to make the Swiss meringue. You can see in the photo above that a little of my meringue is still clinging to the sides of the bowl. No worries, it’s all going in the same place!
Store the filled biscuits back in the wrapper the rolls came in. They’ll be fine in the fridge for up to a week.
Putting it All Together
Take about 1/3 of your meringue and whisk it into the custard to lighten the texture and make it easier to fold in the rest.
Fold in the rest of the meringue. Then add the whipped cream and fold it all together.
The mixture is very thick, so you can either spoon it into individual servings or pipe it.
Jenni Says: If spooning the mousse into serving dishes, lightly bang them on the counter between every spoonful you add to even it out and prevent air pockets.
Equipment You May Need
As long as you have a good whisk and a strong arm, you can make this mousse.
You can also use either a
Make sure to strain your custard to get rid of any stray bits of egg.
Serve the mousse in anything from coffee cups to espresso cups, wine glasses, custard cups, ramekins, wine glasses, etc.
Coffee Mousse Q & A
Even though the eggs are cooked and the mousse will be safe to eat for several days, do not keep them past 5 days.
I used 2 Tablespoons of instant coffee. Depending on your preference, you can use as little as 1 Tablespoon or as much as 4 Tablespoons to make yours.
I recommend serving your mousse topped with some whipped cream. I made a chocolate whipped cream, because while I didn’t want to make a mocha mousse, I still love the flavors of chocolate and coffee together.
Also feel free to use coffee mousse as a filling for chocolate cake or even to ice some cupcakes with.
Other Recipes Featuring Coffee
Or try my friend Denise’s coffee zucchini bread.
A Note About Measurements
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
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Coffee Mousse Recipe
For the Custard
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 oz brown sugar
- 5.3 oz half and half
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons instant coffee
- ⅜ teaspoon kosher salt I use Morton's
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Swiss Meringue
- 2 egg whites
- 1.5 oz brown sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt I use Morton's
For the Whipped Cream
- 8 oz heavy cream
To Make the Custard
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the brown sugar, egg yolks, salt, instant coffee, cornstarch, and half and half.
- Turn the heat to medium-high, and whisk constantly as the custard heats. The mixture will get very foamy to begin with, but as it begins to thicken the foam will dissipate.
- Once the custard has come to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low, and continue to whisk constantly, allowing the custard to bubble for a minute.
- Scrape the very thick custard into a fine mesh strainer and press it through into a bowl. Make sure to scrape the back of the strainer to get all the custard into the bowl.
- Whisk in the vanilla, and then press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Set aside while you make the Swiss meringue.
To Make the Swiss Meringue
- Place a large metal bowl over a pan of water. NOTE: You can use the pan you used to make the custard. No need to wash it–just rinse it out.
- Add the egg whites, brown sugar, and salt to the pan. Turn the heat to high and let the water come up to a high simmer, whisking the egg white mixture constantly.
- Turn down the heat to keep it at a high simmer, and, still whisking constantly, cook the whites until they reach 165F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whip the whites until they thicken and get nice and glossy and have cooled to room temperature.
To Make the Whipped Cream
- Using a hand mixer, stand mixer, or in a bowl using a balloon whisk, whip the cream to medium peaks.
Bringing It All Together
- Whisk 1/3 of the Swiss meringue into the custard to lighten in. Then fold the rest of the meringue in until only a few streaks remain.
- Scrape the whipped cream into the mousse and fold together, gently but thoroughly, until no streaks remain.
- Scrape or pipe the mousse into small serving bowls. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
- keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Did You Make Any Changes?
To Save on Washing UpUse the same pan for making custard and as the base of your double boiler. Use the bowl you make the Swiss meringue in to whip the cream.
GarnishingGarnish with whipped cream. Flavor it with vanilla, more coffee, or make a coffee whipped cream by adding a bit of cocoa powder. Use a Microplane to shave some chocolate over the tops of the mousse. You could also top each one with a chocolate-covered coffee bean.
StoringKeep the mousse, well covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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I hope you enjoy the coffee mousse.
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