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Strawberry Rhubarb & Vanilla Cheesecake Mousse Cups

These exquisite strawberry rhubarb & vanilla cheesecake mousse cups are the PERFECT summer treat! They’re so simple to make and pack easily into your picnic basket. Just don’t forget the spoons!

Strawberry rhubarb cups with vanilla cheesecake mouse on a marble table with a few strawberries beside them.

I usually make these desserts for picnics (because few desserts could be more picnic-perfect) but I made these particular desserts for a bachelorette party this time. My friends rented a big lake house in the Poconos for the weekend and we were all asked to bring a dessert.

Most desserts are pretty tricky to transport, and I didn’t want mine to have to travel on my lap in the car, so I just fit these cups into a small cooler with a few ice packs, popped them in the trunk and off I went!

sliced strawberries and rhubarb covered in sugar and tapioca in a mixing bowl.

A Few Tips!

1. You can substitute minute tapioca with cornstarch, but it’s not as tasty.

You need something to soak up all the liquid that gets released from the fruit when it bakes, and cornstarch is a common ingredient to serve that purpose but it tastes like… well, cornstarch. Minute tapioca is flavorless and simply absorbs all that tasty juice into a texture that isn’t gel-like or jiggly. It just keeps it from getting too runny. If you’re not sure where to find it, check the jello isle if your grocery store.

2. Use fresh strawberries and rhubarb for this recipe.

Frozen strawberries and rhubarb will release too much liquid and become softer than you want them to be when thawed. If this were a pie, it wouldn’t matter too much because the crust would provide that solid texture, but in this case, the crumbles absorb a bit of the moisture and the mousse is obviously quite soft. The most satisfying texture is when there’s a bit of firmness in the fruit.

3. Give the cups at least 2 hours to set properly.

Once your cups are filled, they’ll be the most heavenly texture after 2 hours in the fridge, and any time after that.

cooked strawberry rhubarb in a baking dish.

A Few Common Questions:

1. How long do they last?

They’re tastiest after setting for just 2-3 hours, but they’ll keep their texture for 24 hours. From then on, the crumbles will begin to absorb moisture from the strawberry rhubarb and become a bit soft, but honestly, I still think it’s delicious for at least 4 days in the fridge, even after the crumbles absorb some moisture.

2. What do I need to make this recipe?

  • 6 8 oz. mason jars or glasses
  • cutting board with sharp knife
  • whisk
  • mixing spoon
  • 2 medium-size mixing bowls
  • 8″ pyrex baking dish
  • hand mixer or standing mixer
  • food processor/small blender
  • sauce pan (optional) – if heating butter on stovetop
  • pastry piping bag (optional) – it makes it easier to add mousse to cups than a spoon

a top-down shot of vanilla cheesecake mousse in 5 cups on a lace-covered table top.

How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb & Vanilla Cheesecake Mousse Cups – Step by Step

For the Strawberry Rhubarb mixture

1. Preheat oven to 375. Slice strawberries into half-inch slices and down the center. Add sliced strawberries to one of the mixing bowls.

2. Slice rhubarb into half-inch slices. Add to the mixing bowl with strawberries.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar and 3 tbsp. tapioca.

4. Pour into strawberries and rhubarb. Mix gently until coated. Don’t worry if the tapioca still looks a little gritty once stirred nicely.

A step by step process showing how to slice fruit and mix in sugar and tapioca.

5. Pour strawberries and rhubarb into an 8″ square pyrex and bake for 25-30 minutes.

6. Once done, mix gently once more and refrigerate for 1 hour. (While the strawberry rhubarb mixture bakes, make your mousse and crumbles).

a side-by-side image showing uncooked and cooked strawberry rhubarb.

For the Cheesecake Mousse

1. Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in a blender until it’s thoroughly whipped. You’ll know it’s ready when it stops spinning in the blender. Add whipped cream to a mixing bowl.

2. Add 12 oz. whipped cream cheese, 1½ tbsp. real vanilla extract and ½ cup condensed milk to the bowl. Whip mixture on high with a standing mixer or hand mixer until thoroughly mixed. Place in the refrigerator for an hour to set. (Make your crumbles while your mousse begins to set and your strawberry rhubarb continues to bake).

A side-by-side image of whipped heavy cream and hand-mixing mousse.

For the Crumbles

1. Heat 4 tbsp. of salted butter until melted. Set aside.

2. In a food processor, crumble Nilla wafers until you have 2 cups of crumbles. Don’t crumble for so long that they become too fine. You want them to be a tiny bit chunky. Add them to a mixing bowl with the melted butter and stir until thoroughly mixed. Place in refrigerator until both your strawberry rhubarb mixture cools and your cheesecake mousse sets.

A side-by-side image showing melting butter and a bowl of Nilla wafer crumbs.

To Assemble the Cups

1. Once everything is cooled and set, add 2 tsp. of crumbles to each of your 6 cups.

2. Gently pat them down with a kitchen utensil. I just used the end of my wooden lemon juicer.

3. Add 2 tsp. of strawberry rhubarb and make sure it’s spread into a nice, even layer.

4. Add a layer of cream cheese mousse. You can use a spoon or a pastry piping bag to make things a little easier, like I’ve done. Repeat with another layer of crumbles, then fruit, then mousse and allow them to set in the fridge for another 2 hours before serving.

A step by step process showing how to layer the dessert in cups.A closeup of a strawberry rhubarb cup with vanilla cheesecake mouse on a marble table with a few strawberries beside it.

Help Yourself to More Summer Dessert Inspiration:

• Pumpkin Flan with Chai Whipped Cream
• Beautiful Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
• Layered Raspberry & Peach Crisp
• Sunshine Lavender Lemon Bars

And for even more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you ever make any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see!

5 from 5 votes
Strawberry rhubarb cups with vanilla cheesecake mouse on a marble table with a few strawberries beside them.
Strawberry Rhubarb & Vanilla Cheesecake Mousse Cups
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Cooling & Setting
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 55 mins
 

These exquisite strawberry rhubarb & vanilla cheesecake mousse cups are the PERFECT summer treat! They're so simple to make and pack easily into your picnic basket. Just don't forget the spoons!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Strawberry Rhubarb
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 582 kcal
Author: Genevieve Morrison
Ingredients
Strawberry Rhubarb Mixture
  • 2 cups strawberries (about 1 package) - sliced
  • 2 cups rhubarb (about 4-5 large stalks) - sliced
  • 3 tbsp. minute tapioca
  • ½ cup sugar - granulated
Nilla Crumbles
  • 2 cups Nilla wafers - crumbs
  • 4 tbsp. butter - salted
Cheesecake Mousse
  • 12 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • tbsp. real vanilla extract
  • ½ cup condensed milk - sweetened
Instructions
For the Strawberry Rhubarb mixture
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Add sliced strawberries and sliced rhubarb to a mixing bowl. In separate mixing bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar and 3 tbsp. tapioca. Pour into strawberries and rhubarb. Mix gently until coated. Pour strawberries and rhubarb into an 8" square pyrex and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once done, mix gently once more and refrigerate for 1 hour. (While the strawberry rhubarb mixture bakes, make your mousse and crumbles).

For the Cheesecake Mousse
  1. Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in a blender. Add whipped cream to a mixing bowl. Add 12 oz. whipped cream cheese, 1½ tbsp. real vanilla extract and ½ cup condensed milk. Whip mixture on high with a standing mixer or hand mixer until thoroughly mixed. Place in the refrigerator for an hour to set. (Make your crumbles while your mousse begins to set and your strawberry rhubarb continues to bake).

For the Crumbles
  1. In a food processor, crumble Nilla wafers until you have 2 cups of crumbles. Add to a mixing bowl. Heat 4 tbsp. of salted butter until melted. Pour melted butter into Nilla wafer crumbles and thoroughly mix. Place in refrigerator until both your strawberry rhubarb mixture cools and your cheesecake mousse sets.

To Assemble the Cups
  1. Once everything is cooled and set, add 2 tsp. of crumbles to each of your 6 cups. Gently pat them down with a kitchen utensil like the handle of a wooden lemon juicer or hand zester. Add 2 tsp. of strawberry rhubarb and make sure it's spread into a nice, even layer, then add a layer of cream cheese mousse. Repeat with another layer of crumbles, then fruit, then mousse and allow them to set in the fridge for another 2 hours before serving. 

Recipe Notes

For this recipe, you'll require:

 

  • 6 8 oz. mason jars or glasses
  • cutting board with sharp knife
  • whisk
  • mixing spoon
  • 2 medium-size mixing bowls
  • 8" pyrex baking dish
  • hand mixer or standing mixer
  • food processor/small blender
  • sauce pan (optional) - if heating butter on stovetop
  • pastry piping bag (optional) - it makes it easier to add mousse to cups than a spoon
Nutrition Facts
Strawberry Rhubarb & Vanilla Cheesecake Mousse Cups
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 582 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 17g85%
Cholesterol 84mg28%
Sodium 267mg11%
Potassium 345mg10%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 45g50%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 940IU19%
Vitamin C 32.3mg39%
Calcium 143mg14%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Abler
    May 28, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    If I wanted to use cornstarch instead of tapioca, how much should I use?

    • Reply
      Genevieve Morrison
      May 29, 2019 at 1:11 am

      Simply use a 1 to 1 ratio 🙂

  • Reply
    Katherine
    May 27, 2019 at 11:29 pm


    It’s hard to describe how delicious these were! Such a simple recipe! Thank you! I love your whole site!

    • Reply
      Genevieve Morrison
      May 27, 2019 at 11:35 pm

      Aww, thank you very much!

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