Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake

Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Last week I made a Génoise, the classic ethereal cake that is the perfect base for so many desserts. It is a cake just begging to be flavored with a syrup. If left all alone it can be a bit on the dry side. In fact, it is also known as a sponge cake, because it soaks up the flavors you add and holds them perfectly. The trick is knowing how to add the flavors so the cake is moist but not soggy. I decided to go with a simple syrup flavored with cinnamon, I layered the whole thing with milk chocolate mousse, enrobed it in a cinnamon buttercream and covered it in rolled fondant for my much hyped blog-iversary cake. 😉 Here’s how I made the cake and all its layers.  Next I will decorate it, I promise!:

Some equipment you will need:

8 Inch Cardboards Round

8 inch Cake Ring Stainless Steel 8″ diam. 3″ deep or an 8 inch spring form pan without the bottom

clear acetate band and tape (or you can use wax paper around the inside of the mold. This will allow you to lift the mold away from the cake, but is not as clean as the acetate strips.)

Pastry Brush

Offset Spatula small and large

Rubber Spatula

Stand Mixers or hand held mixer

Cake Turntable

To assemble the cake you will also need:

Cinnamon stick | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

cinnamon simple syrup:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 cinnamon stick

In a small sauce pan bring the sugar, water and cinnamon stick to a boil. Allow to cook until all of the sugar has dissolved. Cool and set aside.

1 recipe génoise

I made a single recipe in two 8-inch pans and then split them in half as I did with this carrot cake.

Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Buttercream | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

1 recipe cinnamon Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

1/2 cup egg whites

1 cup sugar

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

To make the buttercream stir together the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water to form a double boiler. Stir the egg mixture with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape all of the sugar off the sides of the bowl. Cook until all of the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is smooth when felt between your fingers. No grains of sugar should be felt!

Remove from the double boiler and place bowl on stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until the meringue is fluffy, shiny and cools to room temperature. Turn down the mixer to medium-low speed and add the butter a 1/2 stick at a time. There will be a point when the buttercream looks like lumpy soup and you may think it is ruined. Have no fear, just keep adding the butter and in the end it will come together and be glossy and beautiful. Once all of the butter is added, put in the vanilla and cinnamon. Mix on low for 2 minutes. (you can freeze any leftovers).

Prepare the mold with the cardboard round and the acetate or wax paper, set aside on a sheet tray.

Milk Chocolate Mousse by Sherry Yard from The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts


10 ounces high quality milk chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon corn syrup


3 large eggs, separated

pinch (less than 1/8 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cognac

Chocolate Ganache Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

To make the ganache, heat the cream and corn syrup in a small pot on low heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate in a large bowl. Shake the bowl so that the chocolate is totally submerged, let sit for about 3 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Stir the ganache gently until smooth and no lumps.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Whisk the 3 egg yolks together in a small bowl and then add them into the warm ganache.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Stir to combine then set bowl aside.

In a clean mixing bowl beat the 3 egg whites on medium speed until frothy, add the cream of tartar. Continue to whip until they reach the soft peak stage, about a minute. Then slowly add the sugar and

whip until the whites reach medium peaks, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the whites to the ganache in 3 additions. Folding them gently in.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Don’t worry if there are still streaks of white through the ganache. You want to err on the side of folding too little. You still have to add the cream so the whites will be well incorporated by the end.

In the same bowl whip the cream for about 2 minutes on medium speed until it reaches medium peaks.

Fold the cream into the ganache mixture in 3 additions.

Now the mousse is ready to be layered into the génoise.

Patting simple syrup on genoise cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Place a single layer of your cut génoise in the ring mold. With a clean pastry brush pat the surface of the cake with the simple syrup. You want the syrup to soak into the cake layer, but not so much that it is soggy.

Spreading milk chocolate mousse on cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Add 1/3 of the Milk Chocolate Mousse and

Spreading milk chocolate mousse on cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

spread it evenly right to the sides of the mold. Repeat this with the rest of the layers. As you can see in the picture I ended up adding another layer of acetate so that the cake would be well protected on the sides. Finish with a layer of génoise and soak with the simple syrup. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight so the mousse can set.

Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Unwrap the cake and peel off the acetate to reveal the lovely layers of set mousse.

Frosting My Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Put about a cup of buttercream on the top of the cake and spread it evenly, so that it is nice and flat, don’t worry about smooth yet.

Frosting My Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

The top should come over the sides just a bit, then put buttercream on the side of the cake all the way around. Just apply it in big globs, yes globs. In other words don’t worry about smoothing it out, you just want all of the cake covered.

Frosting My Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Now that the whole thing is covered you can start to smooth out the sides. Hold the metal spatula straight up and down, but at a slight angle away from the cake. (see the shadow behind the spatula, it is because it isn’t pressed flat to the cake.) Turn the cake stand and leave the spatula steady. Using almost no pressure your spatula will begin to smooth the buttercream.

Frosting My Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Once the sides are as smooth and straight as you want, then you do the top. Again your spatula isn’t flat against the cake but at a slight angle as you see above.

Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Voila! You are now ready to decorate the cake, which I will do in my next post! Thanks for tuning in and watching me go through this process of making a cake from beginning to end. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do! 😉

Come Twitter with me! Such a great way to share ideas.

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24 thoughts to “Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Cake”

  1. I agree with Patricia – those step by step instructions and photos are insanely helpful. I am incapable of icing a cake prettily – will have to give it another shot. The flavors in this cake sound fantastic!

  2. This looks amazing…absolutely AMAZING.

    Can you use cinnamon simple syrup for anything else? I’m thinking it would be amazing on pumpkin pancakes instead of maple syrup but might it be too sweet?

  3. That’s beautiful and I’m sure it tastes wonderful!!! Congratulations on your blog-iversary – what a special cake to celebrate with!!

  4. Love the step by step. I know how hard it is to recreate that for us. Just letting you know I certainly do appreciate it.
    All your creations are gorgeous.

  5. What a wonderful lesson in photographs! Such a great way to truly get a sense of technique. I am eagerly anticipating a look at the finished cake, the sneak peak was such a tease!

  6. Zoe, your posts are always so informative! I never have enough patience to illustrate every step.
    The cake looks and sounds delicious; a perfect dessert for such important celebration! Happy Blog-iversary again!

  7. If I were to substitute dark for the milk chocolate in the mousse- how would I adjust the ganache base to reflect this change?

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