This creamy salted caramel cheesecake mousse has a deep caramel flavor, a touch of salt, and caramel corn garnish. It’s an individually portioned dessert that not only looks gorgeous, but tastes amazing, too!
Guys, this cheesecake mousse is SO good. The salted caramel flavor is perfect and the mousse has a light and airy texture. Then, there’s the crunchy caramel corn garnish – how cute is that? This is what heaven tastes like!
While creating this recipe, I wanted to keep a balance between the flavors and textures so the mousse isn’t overly sweet or dense. The balance of sweet and salty combined with tangy cream cheese and light and fluffy whipped cream makes for an incredible dessert that everyone will love.
How to make salted caramel cheesecake mousse
- Make the caramel sauce. Heat sugar and water over medium heat in a medium-sized, heavy bottom saucepan. Swirl and shake the pan occasionally (but not too much) to cook evenly and prevent the caramel at the edges from burning. Allow the mixture bubble until the sugar turns into a deep golden caramel. Add the butter very carefully, keeping your face away from the pan, and whisk vigorously until butter has melted and fully combined. Immediately remove from heat and carefully add cream. Whisk until combined. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool before using. Add sea salt flakes, to taste.
- Make the filling. In a large bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese and caramel sauce, whisking well until smooth. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a handheld mixer, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Then, use a spatula to gently fold half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the other half.
- Portion and chill. Divide mixture evenly between 6 serving cups/dishes and allow to chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator
- Garnish and serve. I love topping the mousse with leftover caramel sauce and a few pieces of caramel popcorn right before serving.
Baker’s tip You can add a bit more salt to the caramel if you like, or more caramel to the mousse if you want an even stronger flavor. 1/2 teaspoon of salt is enough for me, but you can play with the amount. Just add it to the caramel until you like the result (Note: If you only have fine sea salt instead of coarse, than you’ll have to use much less than the ½ teaspoon suggested).
Tips for making caramel sauce
If you want to learn more about making caramel, check out my caramel guide. But here are a few things to keep in mind when making caramel sauce:
- Have all of your ingredients measured, ready, and close to the pan so that they can be added immediately when the sugar caramelizes. Also, keep a constant eye on the stove; caramel can burn quickly!
- The temperature of the caramel will be very high, so keep your face and body away from the pan.
- For safety reasons, slightly warm the heavy cream before adding it in, either in the microwave or on the stove. Adding cold cream will result in the caramel bubbling up a lot and possibly splattering.
- To prevent the sugar from crystalizing while cooking, add a bit of lemon juice to it before getting started. About 1/8 of a teaspoon should be enough – it won’t affect the flavor at all, but acid inhibits crystallization.
More of my favorite mousse recipes
- Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse: Creamy, dreamy mousse with toasted hazelnuts and milk chocolate.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Parfait: Layers of heavenly peanut butter mousse layered with chocolate ganache.
- French Silk Pie: Buttery, flaky pie crust filled with rich dark chocolate mousse and whipped cream.
- 10-Minute Strawberry Mousse: Light, airy and bursting with strawberry flavor.
Creamy cheesecake mousse with a deep caramel flavor, a touch of salt, and caramel corn crunch.
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons (40g) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream, slightly warmed
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes (or leave out for regular caramel mousse)
- 1 cup (225g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- Caramel popcorn (homemade or store-bought), to serve
Make the caramel: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan heat sugar and water over medium heat. Swirl and shake the pan occasionally (but not too much) to cook evenly and prevent the caramel at the edges from burning. Let the mixture bubble away until the sugar turns into a deep golden caramel. Add the butter very carefully, keeping your face away from the pan, and whisk vigorously until butter has melted and fully combined. Immediately remove from heat and carefully add cream. Whisk until combined. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool before using. Add sea salt flakes, to taste.
Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and caramel, and whisk well until combined and completely smooth (if grainy, beat with an electric mixer until smooth).
Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks form. Avoid overbeating. Using a spatula, gently fold half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the other half. Divide mixture evenly between 6 serving cups/dishes. Chill for at least one hour.
Before serving, top with caramel popcorn and a drizzle of caramel if you have leftovers.
Mousse will keep for 3 days in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.
Denisse | Le Petit EatsNovember 23, 2016 at 5:50 pm
This looks incredible! So creative to garnish it with popcorn, I bet the crunchy texture adds the perfect touch to this!
MartineDecember 31, 2016 at 7:52 am
Hmm. I’ve tried this a couple of times now and have read your caramel guide too, and am finding that I can’t get the sugar and water mix to turn brown at all. It just stays white/clear until the moisture akk bubbles away and the sugar starts to burn. Is there anything obvious that I’m doing wrong? Thanks!
ShiranJanuary 9, 2017 at 6:10 am
Hi Martine, it’s hard to know exactly what goes wrong in the process, but I can tell you from experience that the kind (and size) of pan can affect that, so maybe try to use a different pan. Also, avoid mixing the sugar too much. It takes a few tries to understand how it’s done, but I’m sure you’ll get there! Just try again, and maybe watch some videos.
AllyJanuary 6, 2017 at 11:18 pm
Oh my goodness! if I wasn’t comfortably parked on the couch for the night, I’d be making this right now! These look beautifully decadent!
Ann RysonJanuary 9, 2017 at 6:26 am
I added 1/2 tin condensed milk and five drops of vanila extract to add its taste..It was perfect. I tried your chocolate hazelnut cake(my son ryanloves netuella) for the first time, and my he loved it. We love your carrot cheesecake recipe too.
I shared this recipes with my colleague Natalie, who just loves trying out these types of awesome recipes.
TMJanuary 14, 2017 at 11:33 am
Is it possible to freeze these when done and if so for how long? (without the popcorn)
ShiranJanuary 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm
I haven’t tried it, but I freeze cheesecakes and mousses all the time, so I’m guessing you can, for up to 1-2 months.
NicoleSeptember 16, 2017 at 11:04 am
These look so good. Such a great idea!
SunitaSeptember 26, 2017 at 11:16 am
Hi. It looks delicious. Just a question- Is it a soft mousse or does it set. I want to make these in individual molds like an entremet.
ShiranSeptember 27, 2017 at 10:04 am
Hi Sunita, the mousse is quite soft because it doesn’t have gelatin.
EllieOctober 29, 2017 at 3:21 pm
This looks amazing and I’d love to make for my treat day at work. I’m wondering if I could replace home made caramel with a store-bought caramel sauce, to cut down on time? Would this work, and how much would I need?
ShiranOctober 30, 2017 at 11:14 am
Hi Ellie, it depends on the brand, but if it’s a thick sauce like classic caramel, and if you like its flavor, then it should work. Use the same amount as in the recipe.
JeffSeptember 27, 2018 at 5:29 am
How much gelatin to turn into a filling tart filling
LanaFebruary 13, 2020 at 8:41 pm
This is probably a silly question, but once i make the salted caramel do i wait for it to cool completely over night or do i use it straight away, thank you!
ShiranFebruary 16, 2020 at 6:12 am
Hi Lana, you only need to wait until it’s at room temperature, then you can use it.
IslaJuly 9, 2022 at 8:56 am
Is there anything I can substitute the heavy cream with?
Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.July 11, 2022 at 3:23 am
Hi Isla, the heavy cream makes the mousse light and fluffy. Without it, it would be very dense. It’s possible whipped coconut cream could work too, but I can’t say for sure because I haven’t personally experimented with it 🙂
BeebsOctober 16, 2022 at 8:04 am
Do you think this would work piped into a chocolate shell, ie enclosed within the chocolate outer, to make a soft centred filing??
Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.October 20, 2022 at 2:53 am
Hi Beebs, it could definitely work! I think it’s a really creative way to serve the mousse. Just keep in mind that because the mousse contains dairy, it will still need to be kept refrigerated even if it encased in chocolate 🙂