Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

If there was ever a luscious bit of airy, foamy heaven this Lemon Curd Mousse Cake has got to be it! Crumbled shortbread cookies form the bottom crust, topped with a creamy, dreamy Lemon Mousse filling. What really seals the deal, though, is the bright lemon curd shimmering across the top. Just to pretty it up, it’s decorated with rosettes of the lemon mousse and slices of lemon.

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

This is my go to Easter dessert. I’ve had friends that have begged for this. Literally begged. And of course, I’m not going to let anyone down if I can help it. The presentation is gorgeous, simple enough and very appealing.

I’m not big into cake decorating (I wish I had more talent in that area!) but I can pipe a little star or rosette. I love that with this Lemon Mousse Cake you can get great results, dare I say, professional looking results, even if you’re like me and a bit of a klutz with the piping bag.

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake- note that this was cut after the cake was refrigerated.

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake- note that this was cut after the cake was refrigerated.

This recipe, originally from Bon Appetit, has a lot of steps, but with a little planning can be easily pulled off. I’m including a lot of notes on a printable pdf here because a couple minutes of reading will save you some time and help you to avoid any potential pitfalls.

Don’t let  my notes deter you and keep in mind that the Epicurious rating is four out of four forks and 89% would make it again. I’ve made it for years to rave reviews – seriously I don’t know what’s wrong with that other 11 percent, lol!

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

One issue I address in my notes is the curd and how to get it to “behave” and stay in place. A little extra refrigeration makes the difference between the slice above, where the curd all stays put and the slice below, where the curd drips down. Personally, I like it either way.

This Lemon Curd Mousse Cake is a showstopper and perfect to make ahead for any Spring Gathering. Make it and people will clamor for the recipe and you might just be a bit embarrassed fending off all the compliments!

For a special occasion dessert, this is fairly inexpensive to make. Make sure you have a use for those extra egg yolks or freeze them for another time.

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

  • Servings: 10 - 12
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (about 7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream


  • Lemon slices, cut into quarters

For curd:

Mix sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium sized saucepan. Gradually add lemon juice, whisking until all cornstarch dissolves. Whisk in eggs and yolks. Add butter.

Stir over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 12 to 15 minutes. You’ll want to make this on the thick side – make sure it coats the back of the spoon well and leaves a very distinct line.

Transfer to medium bowl, press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd and chill until cold. The chilling time will vary, usually four to six hours. May be made a week ahead.

For crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 8 or 9 inch diameter spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Blend cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press onto bottom of pan. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool.

Note: Cookies can easily be made into crumbs by placing in a large ziploc bag and crushing with a rolling pin.

For mousse:

Pour 5 tablespoons water into small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over, If necessary, gently press down on the gelatin to submerge. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir  3/4 cup curd in another small saucepan over medium-low heat until very warm.

Place an additional 1 3/4 cups lemon curd in large bowl.

As soon as the gelatin has softened, stir over low heat until dissolved and liquid is clear (do not boil).

Whisk warm gelatin mixture into the 3/4 cup warm curd. Gradually whisk gelatin-curd mixture into the 1 3/4 cups of curd in large bowl.

Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until whites are thick and glossy. Fold whites into curd mixture in 3 additions.

Using same beaters and bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg white-curd mixture in 3 additions.

Spoon enough mousse over cooled crust to fill pan completely, but make sure to save at least a cup and a half into small bowl and reserve. Cover and chill mousse cake, reserved mousse, and remaining curd overnight.

Note: if there is a concern about the raw egg whites, use pasteurized eggs or heat the whites and the sugar over a double boiler, whisking constantly until temperature reaches 160 degrees. immediately remove from heat.

To serve:

Using long thin knife, cut around cake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Gently spread 3/4 cup of remaining curd over cake. (I prefer to refrigerate the cake at this point and take the reserved mousse out to warm up to room temperature or close to it, about an hour.)

Transfer reserved mousse to pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe rosettes of mousse around top edge of cake. Chill cake until ready to serve. (Can be made up to 8 hours ahead.)

Note: I have a set of notes on a printable pdf on the blog post that will really help in making this a success.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com, adapted from Bon Appetit


You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #29 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

I will also be bringing this over to Angie’s Link Party, Fiesta Friday # 110, Hosted this week by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Apsara @ Eating Well Diary, as well as to to Freedom Fridays,  Weekend Potluck, What’s Cooking Wednesdays & Lou Lou Girls’ Fabulous Party.

43 thoughts on “Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

  1. Pingback: Lemon Curd Mousse Cake | TheCompanySheKeeps

  2. Oh my! This looks divine. I like lemon, but I’ve always shied away from lemon curd. Your step by step instructions and PDF pointers are perfect. I will keep this close on the horizon. Thanks for sharing!

      • Tera

        hi there, I’m wondering if I add some lemon flavor to the mousse, it would A) be too much of a lemon overload and/or B) make the texture of the mousse too runny. ?????

        • The mousse is light, fluffy and only vaguely lemony in this recipe, the curd carries most of the lemon flavor. If you a very small amount I don’t think it would overpower or make it too runny – just be careful when you fold it in. Of course, you could add a few drops, taste, add a bit more, taste…:)

  3. Pingback: What's Cookin' Wednesday #158 — Buns In My Oven

  4. Okay, first of all, this is absolutely gorgeous! Your rosettes are piped perfectly. AND…it sounds so sinfully delicious. I adore lemon curd. And on a mousse cake? Over the top! Awesome job!

    • Thanks, it’s really become a favorite of mine! The only problem is that I usually make this for Easter but I wanted to get it out before for my blog, so now we’ll have two this year. 🙂 Wait, maybe that’s not a problem after all, lol!

  5. You had me at “creamy, dreamy lemon mousse” 🙂 The rosettes look very cute! Thank you for bringing this dessert to the Fiesta Friday party!

  6. AS a professional cake decorator, I can say that becoming a good cake decorator is just a matter or practice, practice, practice. And maybe a cake decorating class or two from your local hobby store, i learned by practicing on Styrofoam blocks. Julie your cake is beautiful as is though.

  7. It’s beautiful and I’m sure it’s absolutely delicious. So perfect for Easter. As a matter of fact, everything on your blog looks gorgeous, beautiful and delicious 🙂

  8. That is absolutely gorgeous and looks perfect for Easter! I wish I could stop by and try a slice. Pinned and yummed until I have the time to give it a try!

  9. Oh my goodness, this looks delicious enough to attempt sometime if I am ever in need of something this impressive! I do appreciate you cut down all the notes for us let’s say, “challenged” bakers. 😉

    • It is one of my go to desserts when I want to pull out all the stops and I did actually just alter the post to include the notes on a printable pdf – I’m laughing a bit at the challenged part because it’s really just like making a pudding – but I’m a grandma and grandmas like to look over your shoulder and give you helpful hints – or at least this grandma does, lol! 🙂

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