Orange Mousse (A Frozen Dessert)

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: If you're looking for a showstopper to serve at your next dinner party, then consider including an orange dessert recipe on the menu. This recipe from Julia Child for Orange Mousse will be a refreshing dessert that can be served after just about any meal. If you are a host or hostess who always seems to be short on time, but still wants to serve something special for dessert, then you might want to include this recipe in mind. Simply whip up the mousse the night before and place it in the freezer so that it's ready to serve at the end of the party.

A becoming way to serve this delicate mousse is in the scooped-out halves of oranges.

Serves6 people


Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseDessert

EquipmentElectric Mixer


MoodFestive, Romantic

Taste and TextureCreamy, Fruity, Sweet

Type of DishDessert, Frozen Dessert, Fruit


  • Ingredients
  • 3 Tb orange liqueur
  • 3 or 4 bright-skinned oranges
  • ½ lemon
  • Orange juice
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 6 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tb granulated sugar
  • ½ cup chilled whipping cream
  • 6 orange-shell cups, or dessert cups, or a serving bowl
  • Decorations
  • Glazed orange peel,  angelica cut into leaf shapes, mint leaves, or whipped cream
  • Equipment
  • 1-quart measuring cup
  • 3-quart mixing bowl
  • Wire whip or electric beater
  • Wooden spoon
  • Candy thermometer (optional)
  • Bowl with a tray of ice cubes and water to cover them
  • 2½-quart, heavy-bottomed enameled saucepan


  1. Pour the liqueur into the measuring cup. Grate the colored part of the skins of 3 oranges and the ½ lemon into the cup. Strain in enough orange juice so liquid measures 2 cups.

  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until mixture is pale yellow and forms the ribbon. Beat in the cornstarch and the orange juice mixture. Pour into the saucepan and stir over moderate heat with wooden spoon until mixture heats through and thickens, but does not come to the simmer, or a temperature of more than 170 degrees. It should coat the spoon lightly. Remove from heat and beat a moment to stop the cooking.

  3. Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle in the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Fold the egg whites into the hot orange mixture, and fold over the bowl of ice until thoroughly chilled so the custard will not separate.

  4. Beat the cream until stiff, and fold into the chilled mousse. Turn into orange-shell cups, dessert cups, or bowl. Cover and freeze for several hours or overnight. Decorate the desert just before serving.


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