Home Food What’s the difference between pudding and mousse?

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Assorted Desserts © Alpha

Pudding and mousse (and custard) are dessert foods which are closely related to each other mostly. That similarity is due to the similarities in their ingredients and (sometimes) in how they are made.

However, both desserts are different from each other. There are some ingredients that spell out all the differences between the two, and even in processes in making it. To note on what are these, let’s try to understand further what these two desserts are. By the end of the article, you can easily identify the difference between the two; that when you see or taste one, you’ll know for sure if it is either a pudding or mousse.

Silky tofu chocolate pudding © llsimon53

Silky tofu chocolate pudding © llsimon53


If we’re going to trace the history of this dessert, you’ll be surprised to know that a pudding wasn’t originally a dessert. The term pudding referred to any processed meat which is mixed in any binder agent–grain products, flour, cereal, eggs, or butter–and is steamed, baked, or boiled to solidify the mixture.

Since puddings can be made with any ingredient, the factor that determines whether a pudding should be a main course or a dessert is their main ingredient. If the main ingredient is meat, fish, liver, or alike, it could be eaten as main course. But if its main ingredient is something sweet or fruity, then it should be taken as a dessert.

For this discussion’s sake (comparing it to mousse), let’s consider pudding as a dessert.

As a dessert, pudding is made with milk, sugar, flour or cornstarch. These are mixed and heated so that the ingredients will bond together and stirred so that no lumps would form. Pudding can be mixed with any desired main ingredient but most people prefer something sweet like chocolate and vanilla or any desired fruit.

However, for those who are a bit lazy with the heating and stirring, there are instant pudding mixes that they can use.

Tofu Chocolate Mousse © Alpha

Tofu Chocolate Mousse © Alpha

Unlike pudding, mousse is always considered  a dessert. Mousse is lighter than a pudding since it is mostly whipped–letting air incorporate in the mixture. The ingredients used in mousse consists of milk, sugar, beaten egg whites or whipped cream which makes a mousse really creamy and thick. Often, unflavored gelatin is mixed into a mousse mixture to give and maintain its shape or form.

Mousse, just like pudding, can be served warm or chilled. Savory mousse, which uses pureed fish, seafood, meats, vegetables, and cheese as main ingredient, is served warm. Sweet mousse (usually chocolate or coffee flavored) are served chilled.


People said it is much preferable to have a home-made pudding and mousse. So we searched through YouTube and found Joy of Baking’s YouTube Channel. Here are two videos which demonstrates how to make your own pudding and mousse.

Image credits: (Featured Image) © Alpha (CC BY-SA 2.0); (R) © llsimon53 (CC BY 2.0); (L) © Alpha (CC BY-SA 2.0.

Resources: “Pudding” and “Mousse” by Wikipedia.org; “Difference Between Pudding & Mousse” by Cassie Damewood; “Puddings, Mousses and Custards” by Valorie Delp.


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