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Although mousse and pudding are both delightful endings to any meal, they are not to be confused. Both mousse and pudding can be made in a sweet or savory fashion, but mousse has a much lighter texture. Mousse is made light by whipping air into it with the addition of egg whites and often some heavy cream; unlike pudding, mousse is not usually cooked.

Mousse contains raw egg whites so you should be careful to use the freshest eggs possible. Mousse is often served chilled or sometimes frozen—the most iconic mousse, chocolate mousse, is usually served chilled with a dollop of whipped cream. Pudding is often bolstered with cornstarch, gelatin, or tapioca and thickens during the cooking process. Pudding is an easy dessert to scale up for a crowd, and occasionally includes add-ins like fruit or nuts.

Both pudding and mousse can easily be made vegan or without dairy. Looking for a quick and easy dessert or savory side dish? Pudding and mousse are versatile picks that you can quickly tailor for any occasion—check out these nine recipes and get started.

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  1. Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse

    Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Coconut Cream

    Jeanine Donofrio

If you’re looking for a dairy free recipe that’s luxurious, this is your best pick. Almond milk, avocados, cocoa powder, and 70 percent cacao baking chocolate make it hard to tell this chocolate mousse isn’t actually made from cream. Get the Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse recipe. 

  1. Easy Vanilla Pudding


An extremely simple and classic dessert, vanilla pudding is made from sugar, whole milk, egg yolks, butter, vanilla extract, salt, and thickened with cornstarch. Let it set in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Get our Easy Vanilla Pudding recipe.

  1. White Chocolate Mousse with Blackberry Compote


An elegant dessert best served in a dramatic glass, this white chocolate mousse pairs beautifully with the blackberry sauce made from fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Get our White Chocolate Mousse with Blackberry Compote recipe.

  1. Vegan Butternut Squash Pudding

    Love and Lemons

The perfect recipe for a colorful side dish, this pudding contains roasted butternut squash and is flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sea salt. Get the Vegan Butternut Squash Pudding recipe.

  1. Parmesan Mousse

Parmesan cheese with sliced and caramelized onion, rosemary, canola oil, and white wine are whipped with heavy cream for a mousse that pairs beautifully with any grain or roasted vegetables. Get the Parmesan Mousse recipe.

  1. Easy Rice Pudding


Arguably the most comforting dessert of all time, rice pudding is made with only a few ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry and can easily be dressed up with the addition of fruit, nuts, and spices. Get our Easy Rice Pudding recipe.

  1. Basic Chocolate Mousse


A dinner party standby and Valentine’s Day staple, knowing how to make a basic chocolate mousse is an admirable life skill. This quick and easy recipe comes together in a snap with five ounces of semisweet chocolate, a cup of cold heavy cream, and egg whites. Get our Basic Chocolate Mousse recipe.

  1. Salmon Mousse

easy salmon mousse recipe

Martha Stewart

Combine smoked salmon with fresh lemon juice, salt, and sour cream to create a creamy whipped texture and then serve with fresh dill and a crusty baguette.Get the Salmon Mousse recipe.

  1. Savory Bread Pudding

    The best possible reinvention for stale bread, bread pudding is easy to make for a crowd and the perfect choice for a make-ahead meal. This recipe includes spinach, cheddar cheese, and applewood-smoked bacon, making it a great breakfast pick. Get the Savory Bread Pudding recipe.

Related Video: How to Make Easy Vanilla Pudding

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Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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