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! Here are the main components of this dessert:
- White Chocolate Mousse
- Cranberry-Orange Sauce
- Sugared Cranberries
None of these are hard to make, but they do take some time. So make sure you have set aside enough time to prep things and let them cook and cool.
Simple Cranberry Orange Sauce
The first step in this recipe is making the cranberry-orange sauce. This a major component in the dessert and will need to be done first so it can chill before layering. So, add your cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, and sugar to a pan and heat over medium heat.
Once the sugar has dissolved and the cranberries have cracked open, it is ready to be blended. You can always leave these whole, but I prefer smoother sauce for the dessert.
Place in a food processor or blender. Pulse until fairly smooth. This will be hot, so BE CAREFUL! Ask me how I know.. Pour back into the pan and continue to cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened. It shouldn't take long, I think mine took under 5 minutes.
These candied cranberries are optional but are such a pretty topping, I recommend using them! Make a simple syrup, that is equal parts sugar and water, heated until the sugar dissolves. Pour it over the fresh cranberries and mix until they are coated.
Let the cranberries sit for about 30-45 minutes, then sprinkle with sugar. Mix well, let them sit a few minutes, then sprinkle with another few tablespoons. Mix again and they are ready to go! They aren't hard to make, but do take a little time.
Making the White Chocolate Mousse
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.
Assembling the Layered White Chocolate Mousse and Cranberries
It's time to put it all together. Let's assemble the layered white chocolate mousse and cranberries. You can either pipe or spoon in the white chocolate. Your layers can be as thick or thin as you want.
Spoon in the cranberry-orange sauce.
Finish with more white chocolate mousse.
Top with those gorgeous sugared cranberries. That is it and it is done! I know there were a few steps to make this dessert, but I promise it is well worth it.
The Finished Layered White Chocolate Mousse and Cranberries
That's it. It is done!! I told you, even though there are several steps to this dessert, they are all simple ones. The finished dessert is worth every single dish you had to dirty:). This one is a stunner!
The mousse is creamy and delicious. The sauce is the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
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!
- 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
- 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 cups cranberry-orange sauce The variation in amounts is a personal preference, how much sauce you like in your dessert
- 1-2 cups sugared cranberries These are for topping, so use as many as you think look good!
- 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!!
- 1 cup granulated sugar you will use ½ for the simple syrup, then ½ cup for coating
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups cranberries
- Combine ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar in a small saucepan. On low heat dissolve the sugar. You will want to keep this below a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour over your cranberries. Mix well. Spread the cranberries over a cooling rack and allow them to sit for 45 minutes- 1 hour. Add the cranberries to a bowl and pour over about ⅓ cup of sugar. Mix to coat with the sugar. Allow them to sit for a few minutes. Then sprinkle over the rest of the sugar and mix carefully again. They are ready to use! It is best to use these within 24 hours as they can get a little weepy. Now, sit back and enjoy these beauties. You deserve it!
Small Batch Cranberry-Orange Sauce
- 1 ½ cup fresh cranberries
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar you can always taste the sauce after it has pureed. If you need to add more sugar, you can add it. I generally like my sauce a little more tart.
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup water
- Add all ingredients to saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved and most of the cranberries split, pour into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, or fairly smooth, depending on how you like your sauce.Return to saucepan. Cook again over medium heat, this time stirring more frequently. Allow the sauce to cook until it has thickened. Mine didn't take long, about 5 minutes. If you need to add more sugar, check it now. If you do add in more, allow it to cook another 3-5 minutes for the sugar to dissolve. This sauce holds well in the fridge for up to 5 days stored in an airtight container. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!