Looking for a show-stopping dessert? Look no further. Mini Lemon Mousse Cakes start with a shortbread crust and a tart lemon mousse, topped off with a white chocolate mirror glaze.
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Last week the first day of Spring arrived! I think that lemon desserts are just perfect for Springtime. Normally I crave chocolate desserts, but every so often I want a light, fruity dessert. These Mini Lemon Mousse Cakes hit the spot for me!
This dessert would be great for Easter or just for having some friends over. You’ll definitely wow everyone when you pull out these cakes!
These cakes start with a simple shortbread crust. It’s a rich, buttery shortbread that complements the lemon perfectly.
Next is the highlight of this dessert: the lemon mousse. If you’ve never made a mousse before, don’t worry! It’s actually simple to make and I’ll show you how in the instructions below.
The lemon mousse is so light and fluffy! It has just the right amount of tart lemon flavor thanks to a homemade lemon curd.
The cakes are finished off with a white chocolate mirror glaze as well as a garnish of lemon zest and white chocolate shavings.
Mirror glaze is one of my favorite baking skills to use lately! It is absolutely magical to watch it being poured on to the cakes.
If you enjoy learning new baking skills, you should definitely give these mousse cakes a try. I had so much fun making them!
Love this recipe? Be sure to check out my Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cake with Mirror Glaze too!
I used these silicone molds to create these mousse cakes. You can order them on Amazon or if you would rather use ramekins, see the alternate instructions for assembling in the recipe notes.
Recommended Tools and Supplies
For the shortbread crusts
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
For the lemon curd
- 2-3 lemons
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
For the lemon mousse
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- 3 tsp powdered, unflavored gelatin
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar, divided
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup lemon curd (from the previous step)
For the white chocolate mirror glaze
- 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin powder
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- lemon zest and white chocolate shavings for garnish
- 2 Silicone Molds, rounded shape with 6 holes, (see link above to purchase)
For the shortbread crust
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Slowly add in the flour and sea salt, mixing until a crumbly dough forms.
- Press the dough into the prepared 9x13 pan as evenly as you can. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until just golden brown. Don't let it cook too long! You don't want it to be too crumbly. Let cool completely while you work on the next steps.
For the lemon curd
- Zest the lemons and then juice them. You will need about 1/4 cup of lemon juice (if you have any extra lemon juice, save it for the lemon mousse). Set aside. Reserve about 1 tbsp of the lemon zest for garnishing the cakes.
- In a heat-safe bowl that is the right size to set on top of a sauce pan (or a double boiler if you have one), whisk the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until combined. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Fill your sauce pan with about an inch of water and bring to a simmer. Place the bowl of lemon mixture over the sauce pan and stir until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Cut your butter into slices and add one slice at a time, stirring until melted. Once all the butter has melted, strain the curd. Place in a storage container and refrigerate until cooled. You will need 1/2 cup of curd when you make the lemon mousse in the next step. You may have extra, so you can use the extra in another recipe or even eat it plain, it's so good!
For the lemon mousse
- Pour the lemon juice and water into a small bowl. Whisk in the gelatin and let sit for 5 minutes so that it blooms.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in about a third of the powdered sugar, whip again until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- Switch out the bowl on your stand mixer for a new one, and in this bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Mix in 1/2 cup of the lemon curd that you made in the previous step and the remaining powdered sugar.
- Microwave the gelatin mixture for 15 seconds or until it is liquid again.
- Turn on the mixer with the bowl of cream cheese mixture to a slow speed. Pour in the gelatin and blend until combined.
- Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl. Use a spatula to gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture, then add in the rest of the whipped cream and fold until combined.
- Use a small mason jar or glass cup with straight sides to make cut 8 circles out of the shortbread. You should use something that makes a circle that is the same size as the openings of your silicone molds or just a bit smaller. Set the shortbread circles aside.
- Place your silicone molds on a baking sheet (if you don't have this, see the alternate instructions in the notes below for using ramekins). Fill 8 of the cavities of your silicone mold with the lemon mousse almost to the top.
- Place 1 shortbread circle at the top of each mousse-filled cavity, pressing down just a bit. Place the baking sheet with the silicone molds on it into the freezer to set for 2-3 hours.
For the mirror glaze
- Once the cakes are close to being done in the freezer, get started on the mirror glaze. Whisk together the powdered gelatin and cold water. Set aside to bloom. Place the white chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Place sweetened condensed milk and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a bowl and then remove from the heat. Stir in the gelatin mixture until it is dissolved.
- Pour the saucepan mixture over the white chocolate chips. Let sit, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Pour the glaze through a sieve to remove any lumps. Let cool for a few minutes until just above room temperature.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cooling rack on top of the parchment paper. One the mirror glaze is ready, take the silicone molds out of the freezer. Pop the cakes out of the mold and place them on the cooling rack. Pour the mirror glaze over the cakes. Transfer to a serving tray and place in the refrigerator so that the mirror glaze can set and the cakes can thaw, about an hour. Take the cakes out of the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before serving so that the shortbread isn't too hard.
If you don't have the silicone molds, you can buy them on Amazon or use ramekins instead. Here are the alternate assembly instructions if using ramekins: Use one of your ramekins to cut out 8 circles from the shortbread. Place 1 circle in each ramekin. Spoon in the lemon mousse, filling to the top of the ramekin and spreading evenly. Repeat for each ramekin. Place in the refrigerator to set for 3 or more hours. Skip the mirror glaze. You will probably need to serve the cakes in the ramekins rather than removing them.