Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 24th February 2012

I love to entertain and these mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cakes are the types of desserts I like to prepare for a cocktail party or a barbecue. I usually make a trio of mini desserts, including a cake option and a couple of “spoon” desserts (what Italians like to refer to as “Dolci al Cucchiaio“). This provides a variety from which my guests can choose and because they’re small enough, they can (and usually do) indulge in more than one.

A photo of 4 Simple Cakes, Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cakes garnished with Fudge Sauce and chopped peanuts on a white rectangular-shaped dish.

And I’ll tell you a secret about me. I actually enjoy the preparations as much as the party. I love everything from choosing the menu, to cooking and setting the scene for the party. I used to drive Moe crazy during the preparations. That’s because everything always had to be “just so” and he would always say, “You’re making way too much food!” He was usually right but I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much food or drink at a party. It’s better to have too much rather than not enough, don’t you agree?

A cropped photo of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cake on a glass cake stand.

Plus you never know when you’re going to have a few extra guests join in on the fun. The last thing I want to be worrying about when my family and friends are here is if I have enough food to feed everyone. And I’ve never met a guest that wasn’t happy to take treats home. We used to entertain often especially outdoors in the warmer summer months. We even designed our backyard around the whole concept of entertaining. Our family and friends refer to it as our “resort”. At times it felt like we were entertaining every weekend.

It sure was a ton of work.

Here’s another secret about me. I miss those days.

A photo of 4 mini Peanut Butter Parfaits served in shot glasses with pink and brown ribbon tied around glasses holding the dessert spoon.

I learned a valuable lesson from entertaining so often. It’s called KISS – keep it simple, stupid!

It took me a while to come to that conclusion. I had to be dragged along kicking and screaming, but I eventually got there. And thankfully so. Entertaining can be stressful in and of itself, but if you make it too complicated you end up missing all the fun because you’re worried about one thing or another.

A photo of a Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake decorated with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Fudge Sauce on a glass cake stand.

Now I’ll let you in on yet another secret. These Mousse Cakes are one of my favourite simple recipes for entertaining.

How can Mousse Cakes be considered simple, you ask?

They actually take only a little time to prepare and they can be prepared ahead of time. This recipe also makes quite a few servings and can easily be doubled. Another big plus in my book is that there’s no baking involved. And the cakes can also be served frozen. That makes it a perfect summer dish!

If you think I’m done listing the reasons why these Mousse Cakes are the perfect “simple” party dessert, well, I’ve got another little surprise for you.

A photo of 4 mini Peanut Butter Mousse cheesecakes garnished with Fudge Sauce and chopped peanuts served on Chinese spoons placed on a dark wooden board.

I’ve saved the best for last. What’s the best reason for serving these peanut butter delights? – The taste! I love the salty-sweet combination and I like the play on textures. For the crust I used a combination of Oreo crumbs and pecans making sure the pecans weren’t processed too finely to give the crust a bit of a crunch. The pecans also gave the crust a nutty flavour. In fact, there’s a nutty motif throughout the dessert; first in the pecan crust, then in the velvety mousse and finally again when garnished with the chopped peanuts.

A close up photo of an Oreo Cake decorated with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

You can accuse me of gilding the lily on this one, but it had to be done. I added just a touch of chocolate lusciousness with a fudgy ganache.

So, why am I sharing with you this perfect summer dessert today? It may be a mild winter, but it’s still February!

Well, my nephew, Corey, is visiting for the weekend. Corey lived with us for a while a couple of years back and he hasn’t been for a visit since moving back to Ottawa. Our house always seems full of friends (I have two teenagers), but since Corey’s here it feels even more festive than usual. Corey came with a few cravings, such as Aunt Grace’s “famous ribs” and homemade pasta.

A photo of 4 Mini Oreo Cheesecakes with Fudge Sauce and chopped peanuts displayed on Chinese spoons.

I knew the house would be filled with young adults so I made a mess of ribs and Texas cut fries for dinner last night. I opted to serve the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cakes frozen and they were the perfect sweet ending to the meal.

A photo taken looking down on a Cake Mousse on a glass cake stand.

I wanted to show you the versatility of this simple dessert recipe so I plated it three different ways, mini mousse cakes, mini Peanut Butter Parfaits and also cheesecake style with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Enjoy!

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Mini Desserts, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte

Comments (51)

51 Responses to “Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cakes”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    Gosh, the teenagers in your house are very lucky! What a splendid array of desserts. I have the same mindset when it comes to entertaining and I always make far, far more food than I need but I rather like living off the leftovers for a couple of days!

  2. Grace Says:

    Exactly Kathryn leftovers are especially nice to have the next day, entertaining is hard work.

  3. Erica Says:

    I, too, love the “planning” part of entertaining. Nothing is more fun than designing a menu and décor around a theme or seasonal ingredients! Thanks for this great make-ahead dessert. I love to have many make-ahead dessert options for entertaining!

  4. Grace Says:

    Erica I completely agree, my family tease me at times saying I enjoy the planning stage more than the actual event, not true but I can definitely understand why they say it. Outdoor entertaining and cocktail parties are my favourite.

  5. Blog is the New Black Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! (And delicious!)

  6. suestopford Says:

    Somebody was saying just today that people don’t really do dinner parties anymore and that our entertaining has become very casual and last minute. I am like you and love the whole preparation and planning.

    These deserts look amaaaaaazing!

  7. Liz Says:

    I love the planning, too! I am making desserts for a bridal shower in April and I keep adding potential recipes to the file…so much fun. These mousse cakes look fabulous~

  8. Priscilla M Says:

    Delicious dessert, lovely presentation and stunning photos :)

  9. Emily @ Life on Food Says:

    These are beautiful pictures. I have the sudden desire to go get some of those mini spoons.

  10. Judith Says:

    So, I’m not alone!!! I too love the whole planning, prepping, creating a gorgeous table worthy of the delicious food ……. Such fun!

    But in case you didn’t know, these recipes are pure, unadulterated wickedness. Will try the little devils soon. JD ;-)

  11. Marly Says:

    OK. Well, I’m not into planning parties, but I think I would LOVE going to one that you planned. You’re a natural at entertaining, Grace! Looks so yummy!

  12. Pudding Pie Lane Says:

    I just stumbled across this post from another site, as I saw the peanut butter cups had to see the recipe! Well done, this is amazinggg!
    And I hope your nephew had a good time with the yummy food :)

  13. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    You I know I have a weakness for chocolate and peanut butter! These are certainly no exception, they are gorgeous but definitely not too pretty to eat:-)

    I’m the same way with entertaining. I absolutely love the planning process and always plan so much more food than we need. But then again, leftovers are sometimes the best part!

  14. Sandra Says:

    Gracie I felt everything you said. I love to entertain and I adore the planning and tying together all the details. It truly is being in the zone for me. Your presentation here is spectacular, and you have a style that is truly unique. This recipe is over the top decadent, yet seemingly simple to do. I look forward to making this.

  15. Kiri W. Says:

    Oh these are so pretty! I love all the different presentations – mouth watering!

  16. El Pasticcio Says:

    Beautiful pictures and amazing idea! So many varaition for the same preparation!

  17. Daisy@Nevertoosweet Says:

    These are sooooo cute and adorable ;) YUMMY! Thanks for sharing and being Top 9!

  18. Dmarie Says:

    oh, me, oh, my, these look great!!

  19. Crystal @ Crystal's Cozy Kitchen Says:

    I just found your blog (the cake caught my attention on foodgawker… can’t wait to surprise my husband with it!)
    I’d have to say that if we got our husbands together and they discussed party preparation, I’m sure they’d have a lot in common! I do the same thing that you do, and it can drive my husband crazy (plus he’s not so much into entertaining…)

  20. Kim Bee Says:

    Oh my goodness, I wish I was part of your family right now. This is incredible.

  21. Carol Says:

    Where do you buy the molds?

  22. Grace Says:

    Carol I usually buy my moulds online here – or here – but I also improvise with things found around the house. These cakes are not baked and I don’t have moulds this size yet so I used kitchen paper towel rolls that I cut 2-inches high and I line them with acetate paper (parchment paper works too). You could also use small empty tomato paste cans, these are perfect for oven use.

  23. Rebecca@A Dusting of Sugar Says:

    Helloooo, beautiful desserts. I only have one cake ring, it’s 2″x3″. They’re kind of expensive. Someday I’ll get more.

  24. Grace Says:

    Rebecca no worries because I don’t have any ring moulds this size so I improvised and used a couple of kitchen paper towel rolls. These cakes aren’t baked so you don’t need heatproof moulds. I cut each roll into 2-inch high pieces and lined each mould with acetate paper, you can also use non-stick baking paper to line them. They worked perfectly. I also save small tomato paste cans, they are perfect for mini cakes and they can be used in the oven. I’m in the process of re-organzing all my kitchen stuff and my sisters were over a couple of weeks back helping me and I couldn’t find where we put them so I used the paper towel rolls and they worked great. Hope this helps.

  25. Kita Says:

    I am a sucker for a good peanut butter dessert. And I can admit, I love planning a party just as much as the party itself too. I get into cooking and cleaning waaay too much. ;D

  26. what katie's baking Says:

    omg this is UNREAL!! so gorgeous and delicious!

  27. Kristina Says:

    omygoodness I’d like one of each please! These look incredible and so pretty for a party! I’m craving a slice of that cheesecake!

  28. Janelle King Says:

    For the cheesecake how much cream chesse did you use? Looks devine

  29. Grace Says:

    Janelle I used 1 brick (250 g or 8 ounces) and made 7 mini cakes, 4 parfaits & one mini cheesecake (7 x 3-inch or 18 x 6.5-cm). The filling goes a long way.

  30. Javelin Warrior Says:

    Grace, these mousse cakes are crazy decadent – and I’m sure I’d eat a whole tray on my own! I love how you’ve managed to keep a very crisp contrast between the mousse filling, crust and fudge topping… I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), so please let me know if you have any objections. It’s always a pleasure following your food…

  31. Dessert recipes! « Take Flight Says:

    […] Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake (with multiple ways to serve) […]

  32. Rumana Says:

    I just can’t take my eyes off from this!!! It looks so beautiful.

  33. TJ Says:

    Wow, this cake looks incredibly delicious. I’m saving this recipe.

  34. Jacqueline (CakeBoule) Says:

    OK I can not take it any more I have to try and make a mousse and go from there you torture me too often! I will be back…

  35. Grace Says:

    Jacqueline this is an easy one to start with, just warning you once you start making them you can’t stop.

  36. Cooking@itsbest | Pearltrees Says:

    […] Peanut Butter Cake-Mousse Recipes-Mousse Cake-Cake Mousse-Mini Cakes | La Mia Vita Dolce I love everything from choosing the menu, to cooking and setting the scene for the party. I used to drive Moe crazy during the preparations. […]

  37. katie Says:

    WOW–this looks and sounds amazing. I agree with you over the past few years I’ve learned the “KISS” rule as well. THe simple things in life are what keep people happy. It was nice meeting you last weekend at Food Blog Forum.

  38. Grace Says:

    Thanks Katie it was wonderful to meet you too! By the way I am loving your profile pic.

  39. Hannah Says:

    OMG This looks liks a mix of calory bomb and heaven!!!! LOOKS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

  40. Nisren Says:

    these look absolutely DIVINE, can’t wait to try them!!! I have a few quick questions for you, what mould or springform tin size should I use for the large mousse cake?
    and… is the peanut flavour subtle?

  41. Grace Says:

    Nisren are you planning to make 1 cake or to make the variety like I did? You could make the mini desserts into one large 23-cm (9-inch) or you could make a smaller 16-cm (6 1/4-inch) like I did with a variety of mini cakes. It’s difficult to judge the flavour for another, I would add 1/2 of the peanut butter, taste and then add the rest in two additions, tasting as you go. Or you could use the entire amount of peanut butter and fold in more whip cream if you think it’s too strong a taste. I hope you enjoy!

  42. Jacqueline Says:

    Wow. Congratulations on such a beautiful website. The pictures are fantasic! This cake is going to be dessert for our easter dinner. Just wondering when you say to line with nonstick paper – would wax paper or parchment paper work? I worry that I won’t be able to remove the cake from the molds.

  43. Grace Says:

    Jacqueline parchment paper is perfect. I always pop my mousse cakes in the freezer for about 30 to 60 minutes(depends on size), it makes it much easier to un-mould.

  44. Nisren Says:

    I’d like to make just the 1 large cake, and do you think a spring form tin would be good for this? yum peanut butter! no personally I’d probably want the whole 1 cup in there but I’m just worried that the rest of the fam wouldn’t like it. thanks for the tip I’ll do that then.
    I’m making this on Friday, I’ll let you know how it all goes, thanks so much:)

  45. Grace Says:

    Nisren a springform pan would be perfect, if you have acetate paper or parchment paper it would be great to line the sides of the tin for easy removal.

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