Cake Chocolate Desserts

Black Tie Mousse Cake – Olive Garden Copycat

Happy Boxing Day!

It is the day after Christmas which also means the day after Maddox’s birthday and Jesus’ birthday.  So we have a cake either way!  This year he (Maddox, not Jesus) requested Black Tie Mousse Cake from Olive Garden.  It runs about $10 per slice at the restaurant, but I just knew it would be in a “Top Secret Recipes” book – and it was!  I used Todd Wilbur’s recipe as a base.  I simplified this massive 4-part cake recipe which uses 6 major steps and put them into one cohesive — and sane — way to make something that tastes amazing.

Even I liked it!  And if you know me – you know I’m not a huge fan of chocolate.  So it’s gotta be amazing!  This might be almost as complicated as the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Devil’s Food Cheesecake made almost 10 years ago.  But we’ll get there – I promise!  It won’t be bad at all and it will taste like a $150 cake which is what this would yield since you can get about 15 slices out of it.  Olive Garden still sells this cake.  They do not sell the Lemon Crumb cake anymore though – bummer!


Update on Reading:  I finished “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir!  It was a prize after we completed the Gingerbread Cookie Escape room at the library…which was really just a Breakout Box that they called an escape room.  Sneaky library!

Update on Sourdough:  My sourdough starter is still alive 2 years later kicking and screaming.  He’s an active little guy and eats anything you give him …. as long as it’s unbleached all purpose flour.  I have updated my sourdough recipe to 227 grams of sourdough starter instead of 100 grams.  Increasing the baking time from 40 minutes total to 45 minutes (lid on) and 10 minutes (lid off) gave me a loaf that was cooked all the way through.  The top looked better as well!


I made this recipe over two days, but you could make it in one.  The cake was kept cold in the freezer until the ganache topping to make sure everything stayed put.  The white chocolate mousse is probably the least sturdy – yet delicious – part of the cake.  The alternative is to create a custard using egg yolks and cream and tempering the eggs….. The cake already had so many pieces I wanted something easier.  So I used the good ol’ Jello pudding trick on the fluffy white layer.  This is where you add less milk to the jello pudding to get a thicker consistency.

You will notice I didn’t put mini chips on the sides.  I thought the sides looked fabulous and didn’t want to cover them up.  I still have the mini chocolate chips to do this, and it is totally doable!

When trying to re-create the white lines on top, I tried to use white chocolate chips and butter.  This was a BAD idea!  The butter caused the white chocolate to seize, so I started over.  I used only white chocolate chips the second time (and the time I photographed this cake).  This did not work because the white chocolate solidified on the cake within seconds — even with warm ganache apparently.  So, I solved this problem with a tablespoon of cream in the white chocolate chips.

There are various ways to make chocolate mousse and white chocolate mousse from scratch.  These methods involve gelatin and whipping cream and all kinds of fun stuff.  But this stuff isn’t fun around birthday/travel/Christmas time.  So hence the shortcuts I made included using a box mix for the base instead of a homemade chocolate cake.  If you want homemade chocolate cake, we love this Chocolate Cake recipe using coffee instead of water for the liquid.  You will not taste the coffee, I promise.


Black Tie Mousse Cake - Olive Garden Copycat

4 layers of chocolate decadence cake - perfect for a birthday, holiday, or Valentine's day!
Servings 15


Cake Base

  • 1 box devil's food cake mix plus ingredients on package

Chocolate Cheesecake Layer

  • 8 oz. cream cheese or neufchatel softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream or 1 cup Cool Whip or prepped Dream Whip

Fluffy White Layer

  • 1 box instant white chocolate pudding mix 3.3 ounces (Jello)
  • 1 cups milk
  • 1.5 cups whipping cream or 2 cups Cool Whip or prepped Dream Whip
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar if using whipping cream instead of Cool Whip

Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • 1 and 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 Tb whipping cream


Cake Layer

  • First, take a 9 inch springform pan and spraying with cooking spray. Take another pan such as a 8 or 9" round pan or 8x8 or 9x9 pan and spray this as well. Also line the bottoms of the pans with a layer of parchment. Spray with cooking spray again. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make the devil's food cake per the directions on the box. Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the springform pan. Pour the rest into the other pan. This other pan will not be used. You can freeze the small cake for another day.

Chocolate Cheesecake Layer

  • Once the cake in the springform pan is cooled. Start makign the chocolate cheesecake layer. In a mixer on medium speed, mix softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix. Add melted (but cooled to room temperature) dark chocoalte chips. Mix until completely mixed together.
    At this point, if you are using whipping cream, you will need to whip that with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form. If you are using Cool Whip, use it out of the tub. If using Dream whip, you'll need to make that according to the box now. I would use 2 packages.
    Finally, with a whisk attachment if you have one, whisk in the whipping cream or Cool whip on low to medium-low. It looks chunky at first and then it becomes a single color. Pour onto cake and level with offset spatula. Cover and put into freezer.

Fluffy White Chocolate Layer

  • For the white chocolate layer, mix the pudding and milk on low.
    Again, using a mixer you may need to whip the whipping cream together to soft peaks then add to the pudding. Or add the Cool Whip or prepped Dream Whip. Fold in.
    Add this to the top of the very cold chocolate cheesecake layer. Level with an offset spatula. Cover and put into freezer.

Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • This step is like magic!
  • In a large mixing bowl, pour the 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips.
  • Heat a medium saucepan with the cream. Put over medium heat. Once it starts to steam and start to boil, remove from the heat. Pour onto the chocolate chips.
  • Cover the cream/chips bowl with a lid and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk together the cream and chocolate chips. Keep whisking! It will turn into magic chocolate -- shiny and beautiful ganache!
  • Allow to sit for 15 minutes and cool. While waiting, prep a cookie sheet and cooling rack on the cookie sheet. Remove the ring around the springform pan.
  • Carefully, pour about three-fourths of the ganache onto the cake. Use an offset spatula to genty move it to the sides. If you choose to do the mini chocolate chips on the sides, make sure to cover the sides. Then you will simply press the chocolate chips into the sides of the cake. Now, put into the freezer or fridge uncovered.
  • To create white zigzags, melt the white chocolate and cream together in the microwave. Take a sandwich bag and snip the corner off. Pour white chocolate into bag and make zigzags onto the top of the cake. You can use a toothpick for feathering too.
  • To create the chocolate swirls on top, let the ganache cool until it is thick like cupcake frosting. Place a 1M tip inside a pastry bag or cut ziplock bag and pipe swirls onto the top.
  • Finally, I cover the entire cake in a dome and store in the fridge until ready to eat. A sharp, hot knife would be best to cut it cleanly. Enjoy! Keep it cold in the fridge for storage.


Copycat attempt of Olive Garden's famous Black Tie Mousse Cake

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