Heavenly No-Bake Lemon Mousseline Dessert Recipe

Heavenly No-Bake Lemon Mousseline Dessert Recipe

In summer, it’s hard to turn on that oven, but, fortunately, there are many delicious no-bake desserts that keep the heat down and the flavor up.

This is a recipe from Jacques Pepin in his book Heart and Soul in the Kitchen. I saw him make this on a PBS show, and I had to run out immediately to buy the book to get this recipe. Pepin is one of my favorite chefs, and I would give anything to have his knife skills. You should find videos of him right now and marvel at his alacrity. And his beautiful French accent.

Now, in classic French cooking, ‘mousseline’ usually names a savory sauce. It’s actually a Hollandaise sauce with heavy cream folded in. This savory mousseline is normally served over fish or eggs, something with a lighter texture and taste, not something heavy like pork or beef. Another type of dish that carries the mousseline title is a mousse, whether sweet or savory, such as eclair filling or salmon mousse.

Well, Jacques Pepin makes this sweet dessert version, and it couldn’t be more wonderful.

‘Mousseline’ translates as the fabric ‘muslin’ in English. That’s because the soft, delicate texture of muslin is what you should strive to achieve in a mousseline sauce.

In any case, this wonderful, creamy dessert is perfect served with cookies, as in the recipe below, or as a filling for cream cakes—just about anything you can think of that a sweet mousse would be appropriate for. I’m going to try using it for a pie filling in a graham cracker crust one of these days.

Lemon Mousseline

Creamy, dreamy no-bake lemon dessert from heaven


  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier optional
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • sugar cookies


  • Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, and condensed milk in bowl and mix well. The mixture will thicken after a few minutes.
  • Stir in Grand Marnier, if using.
  • Whip the cream in a separate bowl to a soft peak. Do not overwhip.
  • Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture.
  • Cover and place in refrigerator; chill for at least an hour.
  • Serve with sugar cookies crumbled in the bottom of the bowl or on top of the mousseline. Garnish with more lemon zest.


For the lemon juice, 1/2 cup is approximately the juice of 2 small lemons.
The zest of one lemon is about a tablespoon (3 teaspoons).
Variation: Instead of the zest of two lemons, use the zest of one lime and one lemon for a more tropical flavor.
I like to use Vienna Fingers cookies with this, but almost any crunchy cookie will do, including granola.

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