This No Bake Orange Mousse Cake is an easy, light, delicious cake that can be made all year round when you need to make a dessert but you do not want to bake. This is a cake built upside down, refrigerated overnight, and flipped on a cake platter the next day.
A recipe that will surprise you
There is no need for decorating, and there is no baking involved. How awesome is that?
It is also an easy recipe that doesn't require you to be in the kitchen for hours. If you move at an average speed, you should have this cake together and in the fridge in no more than one hour.
This is an old recipe that I have had in my pile of recipes for many years now. I made this cake multiple times in the past for birthdays, New Year's Eve, summer celebrations, and anything else in between.
The cake is built with ladyfingers that mimic cake layers, a filling made of egg yolks, sugar, and orange juice cooked on the stove until thick, mixed with gelatin and whipped cream.
The face of the cake is covered in thin slices of orange that give the cake a beautifully elegant look.
Also, there is no need to decorate the cake, as it will come out of the springform already beautiful.
It is a perfect option for non-bakers or during hot summers when you don't want to heat the oven or for any event where you prefer a light, beautiful dessert to impress your guests.
I researched this recipe, and I could not find many versions out there. It seems to be a Romanian cake that is very popular, but there are not a lot of recipes out there written in English.
The original recipe is made with raw eggs, but I am not a fan of raw eggs in a cake, so I adjusted the ingredients and how it is made.
I think this is a much safer recipe to make, like the other very popular cake recipe I have on my blog: Charlotte Russe Cake- a classic European cake that is also very easy to make.
How to make this no-bake orange mousse cake
First of all, this is an upside-down cake built in a springform pan. I used a 9-inch springform pan and lined the bottom and the inside walls with foil.
We use foil so we can unmold the cake easier when it is ready to plate.
If you are a professional baker, you probably know already about the clear acetate role that would help you line the inside walls of a cake pan when you make a mousse cake.
That clear acetate is a lifesaver, as the cake gets a smooth and elegant finish when used. (see the tool that I used at the bottom of the recipe or visit my store here)
If you do not have that acetate roll, don't worry. Just use plastic foil to line the cake pan. It should be good enough.
Grab two oranges, wash them well, then grate the peel because we will need the zest from both of them.
Peel the oranges one by one and remove the white layer as much as possible. Slice the oranges about ¼ inch thick.
Grab the springform pan and place the orange slices on the bottom of the pan and around.
Try to choose orange slices that are pretty enough, as that layer will basically be the decoration on top of the cake.
For the next step, start with the gelatine that needs hydration. For 2 ½ tablespoons, you will need more or less ½ cup of cold water. While the gelatine is hydrating, cook the filling.
You will need to separate the eggs and place the egg yolks in a saucepan together with the orange juice, salt, sugar, and orange zest. (Save the egg whites to make this delicious cake)
Place the saucepan on medium-low heat and cook, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens.
It is ready when the mixture is coating the back of a spoon and holds a line when you draw your finger through it.
Remove the mixture from the heat and add the gelatine. Stir well to ensure that the gelatine is entirely incorporated into the mix. Set aside to cool.
In the meantime, whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer.
Incorporate the whipped cream into the orange cream and mix well.
It should look like this:
How to assemble the cake
Pour half of the filling over the oranges you placed in the springform.
On top of that filling, place half of the ladyfingers. The ladyfingers will mimic the "cake" layer.
During the overnight refrigeration, the ladyfingers will soak part of the mousse's moisture and become softer and more delicious.
Try not to leave a lot of space in between the ladyfingers. They expand a little bit while soaking the moisture, but it is nice when you have a cohesive layer of cake between the layers of mousse.
Repeat the procedure with the other half of the mousse and another layer of ladyfingers, which will become the bottom of the cake when you flip it upside down the next day.
Cover the springform with foil and place it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4-5 hours. That gelatine needs to be set, and the ladyfingers need to soak a little bit of the moisture from the mousse.
The next day, or when ready to serve, remove the foil and place the serving plate on top of the springform.
Grab the plate and the springform with both hands and flip them upside down so the cake ends on the plate.
Remove the springform and the plastic foil.
Your cake should look like this now:
Isn't that beautiful?
You will end up with at least 12 slices of cake, but you can definitely cut the cake thinner if you have more guests.
Some people are nervous working with gelatin desserts, but you should end up with a beautiful cake that everyone will love if you follow the instructions.
This No Bake Orange Mousse Cake is light, fluffy, and melts in your mouth. The combination of whipped cream and orange cream is sweet enough to calm down a sweet tooth without being overwhelming.
I did serve it as it was, but some people add a dollop of whipped cream to each slice.
Can I use some other fruits instead of oranges?
Yes, you can. Just replace the amount of orange juice with some other fruit juice. For example, strawberries are good, or CANNED pineapple.
You can still use oranges but replace regular ones with blood oranges or make a combination of regular and red oranges for a more dramatic look.
NOTE: DO NOT USE pineapple, kiwi, papaya, mango in a raw form. These fruits contain bromelain, an enzyme that destroys the gelatine in the mixture.
The cake will not be set, and you will end up with a "soup" cake.
Trust me, it happened to me at the beginning of my baking career, and we ended up eating the cake from soup bowls with spoons. 🙂
Finally, if you are interested in making more desserts that are not baked, here are some ideas:
More recipes to enjoy:
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Enjoy and HAPPY NOT Baking, everyone! 🙂
No Bake Orange Mousse Cake
- 5-6 medium oranges
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- orange zest from 1-2 oranges
- 2 ½ tablespoons of Knox unflavored gelatine (2 ½ bags) or 9 gelatine sheets (230bloom)
- ½ cup cold water for blooming the gelatin
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 17 ounces ladyfingers
- Line the bottom and the insides of a 9 inches springform with foil. If you have an acetate cake collar, use it inside the springform and cover just the bottom with foil.
- Before peeling the oranges, grate 1-2 for the orange zest. Preserve the orange zest for the cream filling.
- Peel the oranges making sure also to remove as much of the white layer. Slice the oranges about ¼ of an inch thick wheels.
- Select the slices that are the prettiest ones and place them on the bottom and the springform's walls. This will be the decoration and the face of the cake, so make sure you arrange them nicely inside the pan.
- Set aside.
Make the filling for the cake:
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the unflavored gelatine over ½ cup of cold water, mix and let it stand for few minutes while you make the filling for the cake. (If you use gelatine sheets, place them in a bowl with ice-cold water and let them hydrate, then squeeze and use in the filling)
- In a saucepan, put the egg yolks, add orange juice, sugar, salt, and orange zest from 1-2 oranges.
- Place the saucepan on medium-low heat and cook, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens. It is ready when the mixture coats the back of a spoon and holds a line when you draw your finger through it.
- Remove from the heat and add the gelatine. Stir well to make sure that the gelatin is blended properly into the mixture. Set aside to cool.
- Separately, use an electric mixer to whip the heavy cream.
- Add the whipped cream to the cold egg yolk cream and mix well.
- Pour half of the mousse inside the springform over the orange slices. Place a layer of ladyfingers over the mousse.
- Pour the other half of the mousse over the ladyfingers and place another layer of ladyfingers on top of it.
- Cover the springform with foil and place the cake in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours or overnight.
- The next day, remove the foil that covered the cake overnight, then place the serving plate on top of the cake and, holding the plate and the springform with both hands, flip it upside down.
- Open the springform and remove the foil. Your cake should have a beautiful layer of orange slices covering the surface of the cake.
- Slice the cake and serve it as is or with more whipped cream.
- It is a refreshing, easy-to-make, and delicious cake that can be made all year round for any celebration.
- This cake needs refrigeration. You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.