This Layered White Chocolate Mousse and Cranberries is the perfect winter dessert. The smooth and creamy white chocolate is the best balance for the tart cranberry-orange sauce. While this dessert looks and sounds kind of complicated, it is much more simple than you think!
Why Make This Dessert?
This is such a great seasonal dessert. It is the perfect blend of creamy white chocolate and cranberries.
It is a really beautiful dessert. The layers of red, white, and sugared cranberries are just beautiful!
You can easily make this ahead of time. If you have a party or dinner in the evening, make these in the morning and they are ready to go when you are!
- Heavy Cream- don't skip here, it is high calorie, but so worth it!
- White Chocolate- You can use chocolate chips or white chocolate baking bars.
- Cream Cheese- If you have not used cream cheese in a mousse, let this recipe change your mind!
- Powdered sugar- this is the best sweetener for the mousse.
- Vanilla- It only takes a touch, but it is worth it.
- Cranberries- you can use fresh or frozen
- Granulated Sugar- for sweetening the sauce and sugaring the cranberries.
How To Make
This recipe is 3 different recipes, so I will break them down this way- the white chocolate mousse, cranberry sauce, and sugared cranberries
Let's start with the cranberry sauce as it will need to cool. I have written a post all about cranberry sauce, if you want a little more instruction, check that one out.
Add your cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, and sugar to your pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Once the sugar has dissolved and the cranberries have cracked open, it is ready to be blended. You can always leave this whole, but I prefer smoother sauce for the dessert. Set it aside to cool or place it in the fridge to speed up the process.
Next, let's do the sugared cranberries if you are using them. Add the water and sugar to a pan and heat it over medium heat, mixing occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove it from the heat.
Stir in your cranberries and mix to coat. Then spread them over a cooling rack to let the excess drain off. This will take about an hour. Once they are ready, sprinkle and coat with the extra granulated sugar.
While it is draining, start the mousse. Beat your heavy cream to stiff peaks.
This white chocolate mousse is much easier than the classic version. It is made with cream cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla. Pretty simple, right? This white chocolate mousse recipe is so easy. No eggs, no gelatin. Just a quick mix of a few ingredients and it's done!
In one bowl, whip your heavy cream to stiff peaks. I used this new hand mixer I got last month. I needed a new mixer but didn't want to spend a fortune. This hand mixer had great reviews on Amazon and has been great for me so far.
In another bowl, add in the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix until they are light and fluffy. Then pour in your melted white chocolate. Mix again until they are combined.
Add the cream cheese mix to the whipped heavy cream, then fold to combine. Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge.
Then it is time to assemble. Start with the white chocolate mousse, then a layer of cranberry sauce, then another layer of mousse, and finish with the sugared cranberries.
Make sure to give your cranberry sauce time to chill before assembling. It will turn into a mess if you don't! It will make the mousse melt and it won't hold up.
You do not have to use the sugared cranberries, I just think they are really pretty. They hold well for at least 48 hours, so you can make them well ahead of time.
This can also be made as a single dessert. You will just need something that a 1-quart dish for this.
There is no gelatin, but this mousse is still pretty sturdy.
You sure can! They work just as well as fresh.
You do not. If you don't like orange, omit both. Just be sure to add in about 2-3 tablespoons of water instead.
Other Cranberry-Orange Ideas
Is cranberry-orange your thing? I have a few other recipes I can suggest, as I love this flavor combo so much!
- Cranberry Orange Sauce
- Maybe you are looking for a Cranberry-Orange Mocktail?
- Cranberry-Orange Muffins?
- What about a beautiful Cranberry-Orange Swirled Brioche?
- Or how about that loaf made into a Cranberry-Orange Star Bread?
White Chocolate Mousse with Cranberries
Cranberry Orange Sauce
- 3 cups cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
White Chocolate Mousse
- 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup granulated sugar You will use ½ cup for the simple syrup, then ½ cup for coating the cranberries.
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- In a medium-sized bowl, whip whipping cream to stiff peaks. I like to use a hand mixer, but you can also use a whisk and whip it by hand as well. Once it is whipped well, place in fridge while you mix the rest.In another bowl, but using the same beaters and hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Now, place white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted. Mine took about 1 minute and 15 seconds, remember to mix every 30 seconds, it will burn easily. If you have a microwave that runs really hot, make sure and check every 20 seconds. Mix carefully until smooth.Pour the white chocolate into the cream cheese mix. On medium speed, mix until smooth. Pull your whipped cream from the fridge and add in half to the cream cheese mix. Blend until smooth. Add in the rest of the whipped cream, but this time use a spatula and fold in. If this doesn't get it as smooth as you would like, you can always blend on low speed with the hand mixers for just a minute. Cover and place in fridge. I like to let it sit about an hour. Now, pipe into small serving dishes. I like to fill it about halfway, then add 2 tablespoons of cranberry orange sauce. Then pipe the remaining white chocolate mousse on top. I also topped mine with some candied cranberries. These aren't necessary, but are really pretty! That recipe is also included in the post. If you won't be eating these right away, you can always store then in the fridge for 24 hours. They can hold for up to 48 hours, but know it get a touch watery with the cranberry sauce. Just know if you are topping with the candied cranberries, don't add then until right before serving. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!!
- Add ½ cup sugar and the ½ cup water to a small saucepan. Cook it over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. This is your simple sugar.
- Place the cranberries in a bowl and pour the simple sugar over the berries and mix them well.
- You will need to let the cranberries sit for a time, I like to Pour them over a cooling rack, spread them apart, and let them sit for 30-45 minutes.
- Now, add them to a bowl and sprinkle them with the remaining sugar. Mix until they are coated and spread them back out on the cooling rack. They are ready to go at this point!
Cranberry Orange Sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the cranberries have burst and the sauce is thickened just slightly.
- Add them to a food processor or blender and blend until it is smooth.
- Allow it to cool before using it in the dessert. This can be made up to 7 days in advance!