Refreshing, light and whipped up in minutes this easy lemon mousse recipe has a creamy texture and tangy flavor that is perfect to enjoy during warm spring and summer days. Made with only 5 ingredients, this no bake dessert is delectable and sure to brighten the season!
Soft and creamy with a light, fluffy texture, this easy lemon mousse is bursting with bright lemon flavor. It’s the perfect make-ahead summer dessert as it can be whipped the day before and then chilled until ready to serve it after a light meal, picnic or BBQ.
While not a traditional mousse because this version does not contain any eggs or require standing over a stovetop stirring for hours, it comes together in minutes and is completely no-bake just like my fresh strawberry mousse! It’s a quick and practically effortless airy mousse that comes together in only 10 minutes and is just as creamy and smooth as the classic.
If you love lemon flavor like me, you will also love these lemon squares, Italian lemon cookies and no-bake lemon cheesecake! They are perfect for serving during warmer months or anytime you need to satisfy a sweet craving.
What is Lemon Mousse?
Mousse is a light and airy whipped dessert that is smooth and flavorful! You can flavor it with anything from chocolate, like I do in these chocolate mousse tarts or it can be made with fruits or even spices.
A classic lemon mousse from scratch is made with eggs and heavy cream. It requires a lot of stirring over the stove with chilling time in between steps. In comparison, this easy version takes just minutes to whip up!
- Mascarpone cheese: This is similar to cream cheese but made with whole milk for a richer, creamier texture.
- Whipping cream: Your heavy cream or heavy whipping cream needs to be chilled so plan accordingly. Do not use whole milk or half and half as they will not whip properly.
- Powdered sugar: Also called confectioners sugar. This adds the perfect amount of sweetness to balance the tart lemon flavor.
- Lemon zest and lemon juice: Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice add tart taste! Reserve some lemon zest for garnish.
Substitutions and Additions
- Lemon curd: Replace your mascarpone cheese and lemon juice with lemon curd instead.
- Cream cheese: Use cream cheese in place of mascarpone cheese, it won’t be quite as creamy as mascarpone is made with whole milk but it will still be great.
- Vanilla extract: Just a small amount can add a touch of sweet to balance the tart lemon flavor.
- Garnish: Garnish with fresh berries or crushed shortbread cookies.
How to Make Easy Lemon Mousse
Place your cold heavy cream in a large bowl and using an electric mixer whip the cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
Next, in a medium sized bowl, beat the mascarpone, powdered sugar, juice and zest until combined and creamy.
Combine the two by gently folding the lemon mixture into the whipped cream mixture.
Spoon the fluffy lemon mousse into 4 serving cups or bowls and chill for at least an hour. This allows the mousse to properly set.
Before serving, top with a dollop of whipped cream, chopped white chocolate or lemon zest. Enjoy!
- Chilled cream: For the best homemade whipped cream, your heavy cream needs to be really cold. Cold cream helps your lemon mousse whip better, you could even place your bowl and beaters in the fridge or freezer too.
- Whipping your cream: For best results when whipping your heavy cream, use medium speed. This decreases the chances of over mixing as well as being less messy.
- Serve cold: Mousse tastes best cold which makes this a great make ahead dessert!
- Serving size: This mousse recipe with lemon makes four ½ cup servings, which I find to be the perfect amount after a summer meal.
How to Serve Lemon Mousse
Serve your lemon mousse in small clear cups, bowls, parfait glasses or even martini glasses! Before serving, top each glass with your reserved whipped cream, lemon zest and white chocolate.
You could also serve your mousse with a lemon wedge and mint garnish or try fresh berries! Just remember to keep it chilled until ready to serve as that will taste best.
Make Ahead and Storage
This is a great make ahead dessert as it will stay good for 2-4 days when stored properly. To store, cover each bowl or glass tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Add any additional garnish right before serving and if you are serving a crowd you may want to double or triple the recipe based on the number of guests.
Can this be used for individual lemon mousse cheesecakes?
Sure! Place a thin layer of crushed vanilla wafers, graham crackers or digestive biscuits into the serving cup or parfait dish then spoon your fresh lemon mousse on top and chill until ready to serve.
How do you keep the mouse fluffy?
The best way to keep your mousse fluffy is to start with it fluffy! Ensure that you are whipping your cream correctly and only gently combining it with the mascarpone mixture. Keeping your mousse chilled helps it stay fluffy as well.
Why did my mousse turn out like a pudding?
The light texture in mousse comes from whipping air into the mixture. The airy consistency comes from whipping your heavy cream correctly. If your mousse is deflated or pudding like, your heavy cream may not have been cold enough to reach the right consistency or you did not whip it until a stiff peak formed.
Is this a traditional mousse?
No, because this does not contain eggs it is not considered a traditional mousse, but after one taste I think you agree that is the best method for making an easy mousse!
So when you are looking for an easy no bake dessert recipe I hope you try this creamy Lemon Mousse and of course let me know what you think. Enjoy!
More No Bake Dessert Recipes
- No Bake Pineapple Cream Dessert
- No Bake Berry Cheesecake
- Toffee Caramel No Bake Cheesecake
- No Bake Tiramisu Truffles
Easy Lemon Mousse
- 7 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup cream whole, whipping or heavy cream cold
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- In a large bowl whip the cream until stiff. ( set aside 1/2 cup of whipped cream for the topping).
- In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone, sugar, juice and zest until creamy. Fold the mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream until combined.
- Spoon the mousse into 4 cups or glasses and chill for 1 hour. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle with chopped white chocolate or lemon zest before serving if desired. Enjoy!