Strawberry Mousse Bars
This is one of my absolute favorite summertime desserts. Aside from being delicious, these strawberry mousse bars are almost too pretty to eat! They're sure to impress at your next gathering-- perfect for outdoor barbecues, bridal showers, or just a casual Saturday. I never need an excuse to indulge-- and there's fruit in it so it's kind of healthy-- right?!
This recipe starts with a simple graham cracker crust and is topped with a smooth, creamy cool mousse filling that is bursting with strawberry flavor. You can use fresh strawberries when they're in season, but I tested this recipe using frozen berries so that you can have that taste of summer all year round!
Strawberry Mousse Bars
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 sleeve (9) graham crackers
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1.5 lb frozen strawberries, thawed
- 1 envelope (2 teaspoons) gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- fresh strawberries for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepared a 13 x 9 baking pan by lining with aluminum foil, allowing sides to overhang, then spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Process cracker pieces in a food processor until finely ground. Add flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine. Slowly add melted butter and pulse until evenly distributed.
- Firmly press crumb mixture in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let crust cool completely.
- Strain strawberries over a bowl, reserving juices. In a small shallow bowl, mix 1 tbsp lemon juice with 2 tbsp reserved strawberry juice and sprinkle gelatin over juices-- let sit for about 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat remaining strawberry juice and cook until it reduces to 3 tbsp, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add gelatin mixture, and stir until gelatin has dissolved. Add cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Process strained strawberries in food processor until smooth. Add juice-gelatin mixture to processed strawberries and mix until evenly combined.
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream on medium-low speed for about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes longer. Gradually add sugar and salt and whip until stiff peaks form. Whisk whipped cream into strawberry mixture until just combined. Pour mousse evenly over prepared crust and chill for 4-6 hours.
- Slice into bars and serve. Garnish each bar with a fresh strawberry slice.
- Make sure the cream cheese is completely softened prior to baking so that you don't end up with chunks. If you still have trouble getting the mixture completely smooth, try using an immersion blender.
- To get bars with clean slices, use a sharp slicing knife and wipe it off with a slightly damp towel in between each cut. This will make all the difference in presentation!