Lemon Mousse

Lemon mousse is a fresh and easy dessert that combines the tangy flavor of lemon with a light, airy texture that’s incredibly pleasing. This, my friends, is the perfect, prep-ahead dessert for springtime. By definition, a mousse is a soft, sweet or savory, prepared food that incorporates air bubbles to create its distinct silky mouth feel that’s so memorable. But a mousse can actually be light and fluffy or thick and creamy, simply depending on the method of preparation. Food historians believe that mousse likely originated in France during the early 18th century. In French, “mousse“, pronounced “moose, translates to “foam” or “froth“, (a mass of small bubbles), and is perhaps a direct nod to the technique of mousse making itself.

lemon mousse

Sweet + Savory Mousse

Because a mousse can be sweet or savory it is a much more versatile dish than many realize. A sweet mousse, the more common of the two, is typically made with whipped egg whites, whipped cream, or a combination of both, with added flavorings such as; chocolate, coffee, caramel, fruits, herbs, and spices. Typically, a mousse is served cold which gives it a slightly denser texture. But at times, a dessert mousse can also be frozen, which is another way I love to enjoy them. Although a sweet mousse is typically served as a dessert, it can also be used as a filling in cakes. In contrast, a savory mousse can be made from meat, fish, shellfish, foie gras, (my favorite) cheese, or even vegetables and can be served either warm, cold or at room temperature.

lemon mousse

Pudding, Mousse And Custard

The world of puddings, mousses, and custards is a bit confusing and you would not be the first person if you didn’t know the difference between them. Because of their many similarities, each of these foods is frequently confused with one another, so let’s break down the differences between them. All three of these, when in dessert form, start with a base of milk and sugar. What’s added in is what accounts for the different consistency and textures of the final products.


  • Pudding is a broad term that encompasses various types of desserts, both sweet and savory, across different cultures. In some regions, pudding refers specifically to a sweet, creamy dessert typically thickened with starch (such as cornstarch or flour) or gelatin.
  • Puddings can be served hot or cold and may come in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, and more.
  • Texture-wise, puddings are usually smooth and creamy, with a consistency that can range from thick and dense to lighter and more gelatinous, depending on the ingredients and preparation method.


  • Mousse is a light and airy dessert made by folding whipped cream or egg whites into a base mixture, typically consisting of melted chocolate, fruit puree, or other flavorings.
  • The key characteristic of mousse is its fluffy and creamy texture, which is achieved by incorporating air into the mixture.
  • Unlike pudding or custard, mousse may contain, but does not require, cooking or thickening agents like starch or eggs.
  • Mousse desserts are often chilled before serving to set their texture and enhance their flavor.


  • Custard is a creamy dessert made by combining milk or cream with eggs, sugar, and flavorings such as vanilla.
  • The mixture is typically cooked gently on the stovetop or baked in the oven until it thickens and sets, forming a smooth and silky texture.
  • Custards can vary in thickness, with some being more pourable while others are firmer and sliceable.
  • Unlike puddings, custards rely on eggs as the primary thickening agent, giving them a richer and more luxurious texture.
  • Custards can be served warm or chilled, depending on the recipe and personal preference.

Lemon mousse is a beautifully balanced thing. It is airy, yet rich and sure to please just about anyone with a sweet tooth.  This effortless dessert is also great for those who like to dabble in desserts but don’t have hours to invest. This lovely lemon mousse is elegant enough to be served whenever you want to impress your guests with a light and flavorful holiday dessert. Yet, truthfully, it’s also simple enough to whip up for a Sunday night meal with the immediate family.

lemon mousse

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

2 thoughts on "Lemon Mousse"

  1. Avatar photo Janice Kelly says:

    Can I simply put the Mousse into a soufflé dish instead of the ramekins (I’m traveling with it)?

    1. Hi Janice. Thanks for reaching out. Yes, you can absolutely put this in a single dish if you prefer. I hope you enjoy it.

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