Vegan mousse cake is a perfect special occasion cake. This is a dairy free strawberry mousse cake that is light and airy and sure to be a crowd pleaser. Finding a great recipe for a strawberry mousse cake without gelatin is no easy feat but here it is!
Why We Like This Vegan Mousse Cake Recipe
This is a recipe my mum used to make us as kids. The Strawberry mousse cake was one she would make for my sister. I don't know what the original recipe was or where it was from. Mum adapted the recipe to be sugar free for my sister after she developed Type 1 diabetes as a child. The recipe we use now isn't sugar free anymore. Finding sugar free and top 8 allergen free foods can be really tough.
One reason I love this dairy free strawberry mousse recipe is that we have adapted it for another generation of kids in our family. It also reminds me that living with food restrictions isn't singular to just those with allergies. Many people have health issues or ethical stances that influence what they eat and what they don't or cannot.
It makes me happy to know our kids are not alone. My sister had many foods she couldn't eat as a child. Yet she turned out to be an extraordinary and happy person. Having or not having a type of food or kinds of food didn't hamper my younger sibling. My sister never felt she was left out of anything.
I, like my mum, will keep adapting recipes and making our own to keep our kids feeling that they are not missing out on anything. Adapting recipes isn't a huge thing I do though, I cook and bake a lot. Other than a few of my mum's recipes and our first few recipes we adapted (they are noted as adaptations) all our recipes are our own concoctions.
This recipe uses aquafaba in place of egg whites to keep the dairy free strawberry mousse cake vegan and top 8 allergen free. Whipping it as you would egg whites into a stiff meringue gives the mouse the airiness to keep it very light.
Replace the dairy with very chilled coconut cream. This ingredient is pretty difficult to replace if coconut isn't safe for your family. There isn't much that is both dairy free and has a high enough fat content to work in place of dairy cream or coconut cream. This recipe needs coconut cream in place of real dairy.
For more on the types of vegan jelly in the following sections. If a type of gel other than a packaged one is used the flavouring will need to come from boiled down and sieved strawberries to form a concentrated strawberry juice. It would be roughly 1 C of berries to 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 mins, pass through a fine mesh sieve to extract the juice. Bring the juice back up to a boil and add the gelling agent ( carrageenan or agar).
Directions and Tips
My favourite way to serve this is to put sliced strawberries around the outside line spring form with parchment and place strawberries around the edge right before pouring the finished mix into the pan. It gives it that wow factor when you un-mould it. It looks like a Frasier cake but doesn't have a base like a Frasier cake, though you could add a crushed cookie crust.
Use an 8 inch spring form pan for the best set on the cake. A smaller pan will take longer to set as the middle will be deeper and take longer to be chilled through. Using a spring form pan that is larger will chill faster than smaller ones but they won't have a good height on the cake and slices will be more like pancake triangles than cake.
Chop some of the strawberries, as per the recipe and slice others to use around the outside of the pan. Make sure they are around the same height and cut flat on the bottom so they stand up when you pour in the mousse.
Adaptations for the Strawberry Mousse Cake Without Gelatine
Don't limit yourself to strawberry. There are lots of flavours you can make this. Other flavours like pomegranate or lime would be super tasty. Use chilled pomegranate or lime juice instead of cold water. Use plain agar or Simply Delish plain jel or flavoured gels in the vegan mousse cake. Pineapple, mango, figs, ginger root, papaya, guava, and kiwi are known for not setting jellies. They do not set properly due to an enzyme in their fruit.
Some fruit flavours that will make a lovely mousse cake are:
- and more
If doing chocolate, mix water and your chosen gel together and mix melted chocolate into the whipped coconut cream before whipping, but let it cool a few minutes before whipping. The cream will have to be super cold before whipping to get the most height off it if melted chocolate is added to it. The other option is to use a Vegan chocolate pudding mix in place of the strawberry jel. Using safe chocolate shavings from a top 8 allergen free chocolate bar product like Enjoy Life.
Vanilla works well with the caviar (the teeny tiny seeds from inside the vanilla pod) and vanilla sugar along with a vegan and dairy free pudding mix. Using extract, which is alcohol based will make for a soupy mess rather than a cake.
Vegan Gelling Agents Explained and Alternatives
Agar Agar powder- to substiture this vegan alternative to gelataine it can be used in a 1 to 1 ratio for grlatine. It produces a softer gel than gelatine does, so keeping the dessert chilled until serving is imperative. Adding agar powder to water while boiling is essential to getting this algea product to firm the best. It is a really common ingredient in custards and desserts in Asia. Agar Agar or katen or even simply agar as it is sometimes called is usually the preffered vegan alternative for making jellies, like homemade Jello.
Carrageenan powder - is another vegan gelatine substitute that firms up dessert a a bit better than agar and gelatine. There are people who cannot tolerate carrageenan or are allergic to it. It can be called Irish moss or red seaweed and is found in man food products.
Vegan jels- products like Simply Delish are the easiest and closest alternative for Jello. There are many kinds of jelly/gel or gelatine-like products some aren't vegan, like Jello. The one I like to use and at time of publish is top 8 allergens free is the Simply Delish Brand. It comes in a number of flavours and puddings.
Substitutions in the Vegan Mousse Cake
Use other fruit flavours for both preference and allergies. Some fruits have an enzyme in them called proteases that will not allow the mouse to set properly if using either vegan or animal based gelling agents. Steer clear from kiwi, pineapples, mangos, figs, papaya, guava, and ginger root as the jelly will not turn out properly. A list of flavour ideas can be found above in the strawberry mousse cake recipe adaptations section.
For allergies to agar and carrageenan powders in non vegans you can use a pure beef or pork gelatin powder in a 1 to 1 ratio with the agar powder. Beware of kosher gelatins and mixed source jelly powders and sheets as they may contain shellfish in some cases.
If you cannot have agar or carrageenan boiling pectin powder, which is a fruit derivative might be a last ditch option. It would be for vegans and vegetarians with allergies to the other vegan jelly powders. We haven't tried this option and it often is not a 1 to 1 ration. Therefore, will take quite a bit of fiddling to find the correct amount so it gels without being rubbery. Pectin liquid is extremely finicky and not recommended at all.
Storage of the Strawberry Mousse Cake
Store the dairy free strawberry mousse cake should be stored in the spring form collar up until ready to serve and kept in a fridge. Cover the vegan mousse cake in the pan with plastic wrap. Ensure the wrap doesn't touch the mousse or it will leave a mark. Cover with well chilled coconut whipped cream and extra strawberries. To fix if a mark is left on the top of the mousse cake.
The vegan strawberry mousse cake will keep covered in the fridge for 48 hours. Making it the night before is a big time saver.
Unfortunetly, the Strawberry Mousse Cake doesn't freeze well and isn't recommended to be stored in the freezer.
Do not reheat the mousse cake. No actual reheating is needed as you want the cake to be chilled right up to the point of serving to give the best looking slices. The vegan mousse cake doesn't need to come up to a serving temperature out of the fridge. Serving chilled is ideal.
What To Serve With
This dairy free strawberry mousse cake is perfect for a spring time or early summer birthday. It is best served with a pot of tea or cup of coffee. The vegan mousse cake is light enough to be eaten after a big meal no matter the time of day.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- 1- 8 inch springform pan
- ½ C boiling water
- 1 packet vegan strawberry gelatin packet
- ½ C extremely cold water
- 2 C whipped coconut cream 1 ½ C coconut cream chilled overnight and put in chilled mixing bowl and whipped with 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, or 1 tablespoon icing sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsps Aquafaba chilled
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar added as soft peaks form
- 1 C Strawberries 1 cm cubed
- 12 whole strawberries for garnish more if you wish to line the springform pan around
- Stir strawberry gelatin packet into boiling water until dissolved.
- stir in cold water in a large bowl.
- chill 15 mins in refrigerator until semi-set in the bowl.
- whip chilled coconut cream, adding vanilla sugar as it whips fold 2 C of whipped coconut cream into partially set gelatin that has been just removed from the fridge. Once cream is added return to the fridge until step 6.
- using a whisk attachment on a mixer, beat aquafaba until soft peaks form, spoonful by spoonful, add in the granulated sugar, keep beating until shiny stiff peaks form.
- fold stiff peaked aquafaba into gelatin and whipped coconut cream mix.
- fold in cubed strawberries
- pour into an 8 inch spring form pan or gelatin mould.
- cover with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or until firm.
- un-mould just prior to serving and top with reserved strawberries for garnish.
- Can do other flavours like pomegranate or chocolate using chilled pomegranate juice instead of cold water and use plain agar agar. If doing chocolate mixer water and agar agar together mix melted chocolate into cream before whipping, but let it cool a few minutes before whipping.