Mousse vs. Pudding 

delectable dessert can send your taste buds soaring. Whether you enjoy the creamy and smooth texture of vanilla pudding or mousse's light and airy flavor, dessert lovers everywhere can agree that these desserts are delicious. Moussee and pudding are a tasty way to end a hearty meal. Chances are you enjoy at least one of these two types of dessert, but do you know what the difference is? It all comes down to their thickeners, contributing to the texture and flavor differences. 

Are Mousse and Pudding the Same Thing?

It can be easy to mistake these two desserts for each other. After all, they look similar, can have the same base, and can be the same flavors (chocolate, anyone?), but there are some apparent differences. So, no, they are not the same thing. 

The differences lie in how each dessert is prepared. While it is possible to use pudding as the base of your mousse dessert, these two desserts have different cooking methods, textures, and tastes. Let's look below at some of the main factors that cause these two look-alikes to be completely different. 

Mousse vs. Pudding: What is the Difference?

The main difference between mousse and pudding is all in the preparation. Mousse and pudding are thickened differently. For starters, did you know that mousse doesn't even require cooking? If you have ever enjoyed a mousse dessert, you know the light, airy taste that comes with it. Air is a contributing factor to the creation of mousse! Pudding, on the other hand, is cooked on the stove. As a result, it has a very creamy texture that is rich in flavor. 

The preparation method of mousse is typically very simple. It requires two or three different ingredients and often involves no cooking on the stove. On the other hand, pudding has to be cooked and thickened on the stove and then cooled in the refrigerator. The taste of mousse is often described as delectable, airy, and light. Pudding, however, has a rich flavor and a very creamy texture. 

Chocolate mousse spoon on a white background
Mousse is light, airy, and has a melt-on-your-tongue texture. On the other hand, pudding is thick, creamy, and rich.


What is Mousse?

Let's take a look at mousse. There are many different ways to prepare this yummy dessert. However, you only need two things. A base and an aerator. An aerator is folded into the base, adding air and contributing to the delicious light and rich flavor. Aerating in cooking and baking takes an ingredient and adds air to it, creating more fluff and volume. When it comes to mousse, there is a long list of base ingredients that you can use. Here are the most common bases: 

  • Chocolate
  • Curd
  • Fruit that has been pureed 
  • Custard
  • Pudding 

Next, you need an aerator. Here are a few standard aerators to add to your delicious mousse dessert.

  • Whipped cream
  • Whole eggs and sugar
  • Egg whites and sugar

Often gelatin is used to thicken mousse up. When making mousse dessert from scratch, start with your flavor base, and add the thickener. After you allow the base to thicken, you can add your aerator. Sometimes you will add more than one aerator to your dessert. One important factor to remember when making mousse is that you never stir. Instead, you will gently fold the aerators inside the mousse, being sure to work quickly so as not to deflate the aerators. The more deflated the aerators become, the less volume your dessert will have. 

 While making a mousse dessert, the ingredients are few and straightforward; this dessert is challenging. It can take several practice tries before you can perfect your mousse. However, many will agree the effort put into making the perfect mousse dessert is worth it! 

Vegan chocolate mousse glass on a wooden board with a spoon on a dark background. Top view. Flat lay
Chocolate mousse is a delicious way to end your day.


What is Pudding?

Pudding is often an enjoyed past time for kids and adults alike. The creamy texture can be hard to beat. You can also eat pudding with fruit or cookie crumbs added to them. Kids also enjoy pudding as “dirt pudding,” with gummy worms and Oreo crumbs added in. The popular banana pudding is creamy and sweet after a tasty meal. There are many different ways to dress up and eat this simple yet decadent dessert! Pudding can come in several different flavors. Some favorite flavors of pudding are:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Banana
  • Strawberry
  • Cheesecake
  • Oreo
  • Butterscotch

How to Make Pudding

There's a whole host of delicious flavors and recipes for pudding in recipe books, on the internet, and on the market today. However, what exactly is pudding? Pudding is a creamy dessert that uses cream or milk, eggs, a thickener such as corn starch, and flavoring. It cooks on the stove, is then chilled in the refrigerator, and is often eaten cold. 

There are many gelatin pudding bases that you can buy from the store, where the only extra ingredient you need is milk. These are great for a quick dessert. However, if you want to make your pudding from scratch, you will need a few extra ingredients. 

Pudding is made from cream or milk, sugar, flavoring, and a thickener like corn starch. These are the basic ingredients; your recipe may call for more. When making pudding from scratch, you will want to start with the thickener and sugar, add the cream or milk and cook gently on the stove. Take precautions to cook on medium heat, constantly stirring not to burn the pudding. Afterward, bubbles start to form. Next, add your egg yolks, stirring for about two minutes. Now, you will add your flavorings, such as chocolate or vanilla. Cook on low and stir until the desired consistency and thickness is reached. 

The pudding is then poured into a large bowl, wrapped, and cooled in the refrigerator. Pudding is an excellent and flavorful dessert to enjoy with your family! 

Vanilla pudding, sticks and flower on light background
Pudding is a great base for many yummy desserts, including banana pudding and “dirt pudding.”

©New Africa/

Can You Substitute Mousse for Pudding or Pudding for Mousse?

If you want to switch up your dessert or do not have the ingredients for one or the other, you may ask yourself, can you substitute pudding for mousse or mousse for pudding? The short answer is yes, but the texture and flavor will differ. Mousse provides a rich yet airy and light texture that seemingly melts on your tongue. Pudding, on the other hand, has a more dense and creamy texture. These delicious desserts are excellent for families or a date night! 

Some mousse recipes even use pudding as the base! This is a delicious way to bring yummy desserts together. 

One Final Note

If you are a fan of decadent, mouthwatering desserts, you cannot go wrong with either mousse or pudding. Although both desserts seem similar, there are some important differences. Mousse is very airy, light, and delectable. This dessert almost feels like it is melting as soon as it hits your tongue. Pudding, contrarily, offers a creamy texture and rich flavor. Both mousse and pudding can be dressed up in many different ways. Add fruit, cookie crumbs, different flavors, and more to these desserts. There are many delicious ways to make mousse and pudding; there are endless ways to try each dessert! So, if you are a fan of yummy dessert that melts in your mouth and sends your taste boards soaring, mousse and pudding are delicious dishes to try with your next meal! 

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