White Chocolate Mousse Cups with Sour Cherries
July 28, 2022
If you want your dessert to look extra impressive, serve it in an edible dish, of course! These adorable white chocolate cups are an excellent chaser to their filling, a creamy, white chocolate mousse layered with a sour cherry compote-style filling.
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I’ve always had a soft spot for any cooking competition show where contestants make mind-blowing chocolate sculptures, and this dessert is nowhere near that level of complexity. But molding and shaping white chocolate does kind of make you feel like a professional pastry chef — and bonus, it’s not too hard!
Plus, once those cups are done, you can fill them with anything (as long as it’s not warm) and you’ve got yourself a fun dessert everyone is sure to ooh and ahh over. In this recipe, I leaned into the white chocolate, making a creamy mousse. Then, for just a pop of tartness, I decided to feature a summer favorite, sour cherries.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for these sour cherry and white chocolate mousse cups at your grocery store:
- Pantry: White chocolate chips, Sugar, Cornstarch
- Fridge: Heavy cream
- Produce: Sour cherries
- Equipment: Double boiler or heat-proof bowl, Silicone muffin cups, Muffin pan (optional), Hand mixer or stand mixer, Cherry pitter (optional), Demitasse spoons (or other small spoons)
How to Make White Chocolate Cups
Once you learn how easy and fast it is to melt down chocolate and make it into fun shapes, you’ll be out there adding every mold to your wishlist. Consider the silicone muffin cups used here to be your introduction, because they are a very forgiving shape. It’s chocolate molding made easy, even for those of us that are not super artistic.
To get started with making your chocolate cups for this recipe, you’ll need to melt down the white chocolate using a double boiler. This creates distance between the direct heat of your stove and the chocolate, allowing it to melt slowly without burning. Instead, the steam from the water boiling in the bottom pot provides a gentler heat.
If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a heat-proof mixing bowl on top of a small pot. There should be at least an inch or so of space between the bottom of the bowl and the bottom of the pot, so there’s room for the water to boil.
Add some water to the bottom pot, so that it doesn’t touch the bowl or upper pot, and then bring that up to a boil. When it’s hot, add your white chocolate into the upper half of your double boiler.
When it comes to white chocolate, I generally use chips. For me, these are less expensive and easier to find in larger quantities than the designated white chocolate baking bars. Either will work, but avoid candy melts, which can include other ingredients for stability that take away from that cocoa butter flavor.
I didn’t color or flavor my cups, but feel free to experiment with adding a few drops of gel food coloring or a flavor extract for a fun twist on this dessert.
When the white chocolate has melted and it’s fully smooth, use a spoon to transfer it into each of your silicone muffin cups. Then, use the back of the spoon to coat the entire inside of the cup.
Ideally, you’ll have a slightly thicker layer of white chocolate on the bottom, since that will be the base. However, be sure you are coating the sides well also. You shouldn’t be able to see the colored silicone through the spread white chocolate.
Once the cups are coated, gently place them into a muffin pan so they hold their shape even better. Note that it can be hard to remove these cups from the pan. So try adding a thin strip of parchment paper underneath each silicone cup, with about an inch of the ends of the parchment peeking out over the edges.
Place the entire muffin pan in your freezer, and let the white chocolate cups set up for at least ten minutes. If you are planning ahead, you can leave these in the freezer in their silicone cups for up to an hour.
Once chilled, gently remove each silicone cup from the pan. Then peel the cup away from the white chocolate. Don’t squeeze with too much pressure, as that could cause the chocolate to crack. If you do lose a little bit of the top edges, don’t worry about it. They will still taste delicious.
For long-term storage, the white chocolate cups can be stored in the fridge for up to four months, without their silicone wrappers, in a sealed container. Freezing doesn’t extend the life of white chocolate any more than the fridge does, but it will work as well.
White Chocolate Mousse and Cherry Filling
Now it’s time to prepare your fillings! These cups layer two different filling types: a sweet and light white chocolate mousse, and a tart sour cherry compote. Both will need to chill in the fridge for about half an hour, so it doesn’t matter which you make first.
Let’s start here with the white chocolate mousse. My favorite technique for any type of chocolate mousse is to fold a ganache into some whipped cream. This gives you a uniform mixture of flavor and that famous airy and fluffy mousse texture.
To whip the heavy cream, use the whisk attachment on your mixer. I normally use my hand mixer for this, but a stand mixer will work as well. Either way, start on a low speed and gradually work your way up to avoid splashing.
Continue mixing at the highest speed until peaks begin to form and the whipped cream can hold its own shape. For more information, I have a full guide on how to make the perfect whipped cream, so you may find a few hidden tips there as well.
To make the other half of the mousse, you will be combining warmed heavy cream with white chocolate chips, until you get a smooth and silky ganache. First, heat the heavy cream in the microwave for just under a minute until it’s warm but not scalding. Feel free to do this in increments as needed.
Then, stir the white chocolate chips into the warm cream until they begin to melt and lose their shape. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth and uniform, with a distinct off-white color. Set this aside to cool for at least ten minutes before adding it to the whipped cream, as the heat can cause it to collapse.
When you’re ready, slowly pour the white chocolate ganache into the whipped cream, folding it in as you go with a flexible spatula. Be sure not to stir vigorously, or you’ll collapse those lovely air bubbles that make it mousse. Chill this in the fridge for at least half an hour. Or, store white chocolate mousse for a few days in a sealed container in the fridge.
Meanwhile, you can also make the sour cherry compote-style filling. Be sure to wash, destem, and pit your cherries first. A cherry pitter is a huge help here, but you can also use a paring knife to carve out the pits.
Add the cherries, sugar, and some water to a medium saucepan, and stir to combine them together. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Then cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer for about two minutes. This will let the cherries soften. Uncover and continue cooking an additional few minutes until it’s slightly thickened, then turn off the heat.
Next, we’ll add some cornstarch to thicken it up more. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and an equal amount of water. While keeping the cherries moving, pour the cornstarch slurry into the pot and stir everything together. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least a half hour. If needed, store this sour cherry filling for about a week in a sealed container in the fridge.
Let’s Assemble the Cherry White Chocolate Cups
We’ve made it to the last step, putting it all together. To start, grab your white chocolate cups and place them on a level surface. Then, you can fill these using either a piping bag or a spoon. Try piping with a star tip for a fancier presentation.
You’ll add just around three quarters of the white chocolate mousse into the cups. Then, spoon a a layer of the cherry filling on top of that. Finally, top with another dollop of the remaining mousse.
Feel free to top these with some white chocolate chips or shavings, a fresh cherry, some red sparkling sugar, or just leave them as is. If you need to make these in advance, the assembled cups can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days.
If you want to try something a little bit different, mix the white chocolate mousse and cherry filling together first, and then spoon the whole mixture into each cup. You can mix it lightly for a fun swirl, or thoroughly for a pinkish combo mousse.
You can also skip the white chocolate cups, if your prefer. Simply serve the mousse and cherry filling layered in small custard bowls or clear dessert cups instead.
This no-bake recipe is perfect for summer parties! It features seasonal sour cherries and sweet white chocolate mousse, nestled into a fun white chocolate cup.
How to Serve Cherry White Chocolate Mousse Cups
These personal-sized treats are perfect for parties! I always love any excuse to break out the tiny demitasse spoons, and a sweet white chocolate mousse cup is exactly what they are made for. These are elegant enough, thanks to the molded chocolate, to end a fancy dinner, but still fun for a kid’s birthday. Or anything in between.
You can easily make these part of a summer dessert bar. Try featuring other bite-sized selections in fruity flavors of the season. Start with blueberry cupcakes with hibiscus buttercream, peach ice cream sandwiches with ginger molasses cookies, and some strawberry balsamic chocolate tartlets.
Or let this dessert shine on its own by pairing it with a complementary beverage. Try a birthday cake martini to lean into the white chocolate flavor, or an ultra-classy mandarin cherry French 75. For something with a bit more contrast, serve these each with a chocolate old fashioned.
Sour Cherry Recipes to Try
- Oat Streusel Cherry Pie Bars with Shortbread Crust
- Chocolate Covered Cherry Amaro Manhattan Cocktail
- Fresh Cherry Cobbler with Sour Milk Biscuit Topping
- Super Moist Cherry Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sour Cherry Cheesecake Napoleons
More White Chocolate Treats
White Chocolate Mousse Cups with Sour Cherries
White Chocolate Cups
- 2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
White Chocolate Mousse
- ⅔ + 1 Cups Heavy Cream Divided
- 1 Cup White Chocolate Chips
Sour Cherry Topping
- 2 Cup Sour Cherries destemmed and pitted
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 8 tsp Water
- 2 tsp Cornstarch
White Chocolate Cups
- Heat up a double boiler (or heatproof bowl on top of a pot of boiling water) until bubbling. Add the white chocolate chips into the top. Stir until melted.
- Use a spoon to spread the melted white chocolate into silicone muffin cups, in an even layer, thick enough that you are not able to see the silicone through the white chocolate.
- To hold the shape better, place the silicone cups in a standard muffin pan. Note that you may want to add a small strip of parchment paper underneath the cups, hanging over the edge for easier removal. Freeze for at least 10 minutes.
- Remove the silicone cups from the muffin pan and carefully peel the silicone away from the white chocolate. Set cups aside in a cool place until ready to fill.
White Chocolate Mousse
- Heat the ⅔ cup of heavy cream in microwave 45 seconds to a minute until warm but not scalding. Stir in the white chocolate chips until melted to make white chocolate ganache. Set aside to cool at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use the whisk attachment of a mixer to whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to the highest speed, until peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape.
- Slowly add the white chocolate ganache into the whipped cream, folding it in as you go. Chill the mousse in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Sour Cherry Filling
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan add the cherries, sugar, and 6 tsp of water, and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cover and cook for two minutes, allowing the cherries to soften. Then uncover and continue cooking an additional 3 minutes until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and remaining 2 tsp of water. While stirring the cherries, pour the cornstarch slurry into the pot and stir until fully incorporated. Chill cherry filling in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Assemble the Mousse Cups
- Use a piping bag or spoon to add about ¾ of the mousse into the white chocolate cups. Top with a layer of the cherry filling, and then top with another dollop of the remaining mousse.
- Serve each chilled with a demitasse spoon.
- Make ahead tips:
- Freeze white chocolate cups for up to an hour in the silicone cups. Then store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for up to 4 months.
- Store white chocolate mousse for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Store sour cherry filling for 5-7 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Assembled cups can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in a sealed container in the fridge.
- The white chocolate mousse and cherry filling can also be mixed together, for a more cherry-white chocolate combo mousse.
- If you do not want to make the white chocolate cups, the mousse and cherry filling can be served in small custard bowls instead.
- Double boiler or heat-proof bowl
- Silicone muffin cups
- Muffin pan (optional)
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Cherry pitter (optional)
- Demitasse spoons (or other small spoons)