This 4-ingredient vegan coconut chocolate mousse is rich and creamy. The creaminess comes from a hefty dose of coconut cream, while the rich chocolate flavor is from dutch processed cocoa powder. Add a little vanilla extract and agave to the mix, and we’re in business. Fire up those stand mixers, and read on!
The creaminess comes from a hefty dose of coconut cream, while the chocolate flavor is from dutch processed cocoa powder.
This vegan coconut chocolate mousse requires some machinery…I do not recommend making this mousse without a stand mixer or hand mixer. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment or hand mixer for whipping coconut cream. This is a must, stand mixer is preferred.
- Dry measuring cups for your cocoa powder
- A rubber spatula for scraping every last bite of mousse out of your bowl
That’s it! Not too bad, right?
While this creamy vegan chocolate mousse only requires 4 ingredients, there are a few pitfalls to avoid. Do NOT skip this section, it’ll save you a lot of headache, and trust me it’s worth the extra effort.
First, you’ll need some coconut cream. There are two ways you can get your hands on some:
- In a can of coconut milk, preferably refrigerated overnight
- In a can of coconut cream
Both work, but the key is to refrigerate overnight so the solids separate from the liquids. Try to handle gently when removing from the fridge to prevent re-mixing.
When scooping coconut cream into your mixer, avoid adding the watery liquid (aka coconut water) at all costs. It’s ok if you leave some coconut cream in the can if it’s surrounded by liquid. If too much liquid gets into your bowl, your cream will not whip. Put it away and add it to your curry later.
Next, you’ll need some dutch processed cocoa powder. What’s the difference between natural cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s) and dutch processed cocoa powder, you ask? It’s a little complicated, but for the purposes of this recipe, we’re going for taste, and I found that natural cocoa powder tasted a little too bitter. Dutch processed cocoa powder was a little more mild. Look for the words “dutch processed” on the label. See the FAQ below for more info!
Now you’ll need some good vanilla extract to complement the chocolate flavor, and some agave to sweeten. That’s it!
Frequently asked questions
My mousse won’t thicken, what gives? Make sure you’re ONLY using the coconut cream for this vegan chocolate mousse recipe. Refrigerate your can of coconut milk overnight, or better yet, buy a can or two of coconut cream. Trader Joe’s 14 oz cans of coconut cream worked best for me. Scoop out the solid part with a spoon. Don’t get greedy and try to get every last piece of coconut cream, it’s not worth it.
I don’t like coconut – will I like this chocolate mousse? Probably not – there are definitely some nutty and cinnamon-y notes in this mousse. Try my best-ever vegan chocolate chunk cookies instead!
How do you serve chocolate mousse? Serve this vegan chocolate mousse in small cups or glasses. Something a little larger than a shot glass is perfect – this stuff is SUPER rich. Aim for a 2-3 oz serving (¼ cup or a little bigger.) Pro tip: before adding chocolate, pull out some of your whipped coconut cream to top your mousse cup OR buy some coconut Reddi-whip from your local supermarket. Top with dark chocolate shavings for extra decadence.
What’s the difference between natural cocoa powder and dutch processed cocoa powder? There are a few key differences in the way these cocoa powders are processed that affects the way they react with other ingredients. For the purposes of this chocolate mousse recipe, we care about taste. Dutch processed cocoa powder has a milder, less bitter flavor than natural cocoa powder, so we’re going with dutch processed for that reason.
WARNING: science rant ahead from your resident Chem TA ahead…(we’re not baking today, so this isn’t essential to our mousse, but it’s interesting nonetheless).
The two different types of cocoa powder serve different purposes in baking. In baking, we often want our cakes and cookies to “rise” a bit in the oven. This requires a chemical leavener, like baking soda or baking powder.
Put on your glasses folks, let’s talk about chemical properties for a sec.
- Baking soda – this is a base, sodium bicarbonate to be specific, meaning it will react with acid to produce gas (aka bubbles). Think about what happens when you mix vinegar (an acid) with baking soda (a base). Usually recipes that call for baking soda need an acid to react with – think buttermilk, yogurt, or lemon juice.
- Baking powder – baking powder contains both baking soda (a base) and cream of tartar (an acid). So, it nets out to neutral. Baking powder is typically used in recipes that don’t call for inherently acidic ingredients.
Back to our cocoa powders…
- Dutch processed means that the cocoa beans were washed in an alkaline solution (chemistry talk for a basic solution), which strips the beans of their acidic properties. So the best leavener for dutch processed cocoa powder is baking powder. (Note: basic in the context of the opposite of an acid, NOT like “this technique is so basic, anyone could do it.”)
- Likewise, natural cocoa powder has acidic properties, so it’s leavening partner is baking soda, a base.
Science. is. cool. Rant over, moving on…
Can I make this mousse with aquafaba (chickpea juice?) I tried a couple iterations with aquafaba, but there’s quite a bit of variability in the composition of different aquafabas depending on the brand of chickpeas you buy. Some are soaked in brine (aka salt water) while others are more neutral tasting. Trust me, you don’t want a brine-y aquafaba mousse, it is no bueno.
I also found that the mousse tastes better and has a more consistent creamy feel with coconut cream.
Can I use melted chocolate in this vegan coconut chocolate mousse? I wouldn’t recommend it. Melted chocolate is inherently warm, which will melt the coconut cream, ruining all the hard work we did to whip the coconut cream.
Can I add coffee to this coconut chocolate mousse? Though chocolate and coffee are typically a great flavor combo, I would not recommend it. There are a couple ways to add coffee flavor to a chocolate dish:
- A fresh batch of coffee will not work given the liquid would not mix well with the fatty coconut cream, not to mention the heat would melt it.
- Fresh coffee granules make the mousse far too bitter. No matter how much agave I added, it didn’t taste good. The cocoa powder is bitter enough, trust me.
- 2 14 oz cans of coconut milk (or coconut cream) refrigerated for 24 hours
- ¼ c dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1–3 Tbsp agave
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Coconut whipped cream (such as reddi-whip)
- Chocolate bar (for shavings)
1. Scoop out coconut cream: in the bowl of a stand mixer, carefully scoop out the white solids (coconut cream) from your cans. Avoid adding the liquid in the bottom of the can as much as possible. Don’t get stingy here – it’s not worth adding extra coconut cream if it means also adding more liquid. Add vanilla extract.
2. Whip the cream: using the whisk attachment, whip for 5-ish minutes, stopping to scrape down sides with a spatula as needed.
3. Add chocolate & agave: Mix until combined, scraping down sides as needed, and taste. Add additional Tbsp of agave if needed & mix until combined.
4. Scoop & serve: Scoop carefully into small cups. ¼ cup or a little larger (2-3 oz) is the perfect serving size, this stuff is rich! Refrigerate if desired, top with whipped cream & chocolate shavings.