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Strawberry rhubarb cups with vanilla cheesecake mouse on a marble table with a few strawberries beside them.
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5 from 6 votes

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!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling & Setting2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 582kcal

Equipment

  • 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

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 white granulated sugar

Nilla Crumbles

  • 2 cups Nilla wafers - when crumbled
  • 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

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar and 3 tbsp. tapioca.
  • Slice 2 cups of strawberries and 2 cups of rhubarb into half-inch slices. Add strawberries and rhubarb to the mixing bowl, and gently stir to coat in sugar and tapioca.
  • Pour into an 8″ square pyrex and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once done, gently mix once more, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • While strawberry-rhubarb cools, whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a blender for about 30 seconds, or until it appears to stop splashing. Add whipped cream to a clean mixing bowl.
  • With the whipped cream, add 12 oz. whipped cream cheese, 1½ tbsp. real vanilla extract and ½ cup condensed milk. Whip mixture on high with a hand mixer until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set.
  • In a food processor, crumble 2 cups Nilla wafers (that's 2 cups, once crumbled). You want them to be a tiny bit chunky, not fine. Add them to a mixing bowl with 4 tbsp. melted, salted butter. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  • Once strawberry-rhubarb is cooled and the mousse is set, layer into glasses with the crumbles. Start with crumbles, using a kitchen tool to flatten them down (I used a lemon juicer, but you can use a spoon). Then, simply layer strawberry-rhubarb, mousse, crumbles, strawberry-rhubarb then mousse.

Notes

1. You can substitute minute tapioca with cornstarch, but it won't be 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 fruit 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.
4. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 940IU | Vitamin C: 32.3mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 0.3mg