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Can you use a basic chocolate mousse as frosting for a cake? Would it be stable enough or is my layered cake going to fall apart?

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My favorite chocolate mousse recipe uses gelatin as a stabilizer. I've used it as a filling between cake layers and it works really well. I don't see why you couldn't use it on the outside of the cake as well.

You'll want to keep the cake refrigerated. I don't know exactly how long it will remain stable, but I've kept it in the fridge for several days without a problem.

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    Just a warning -- a chilled cake can be a problem in humid areas. When you take it out of the fridge, you can get condensation on it which can mess up the frosting (especially if it's more decorative / colored). You want to let it come back up to room temperature covered, and then unwrap it. – Joe Jun 21 '18 at 1:57
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    @Joe That's a very good point. Thanks! I recommend a rigid container, if you have one. I learned the hard way that foil and plastic wrap tend to stick to frosting, making a real mess of it when you unwrap it. If you have to use plastic wrap, I suppose you could lay it over the ends of skewers stuck in the cake. – mrog Jun 21 '18 at 16:26
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    Some frostings will crust up as they dry -- if it does, you can get away with draping it with plastic wrap or similar, but you shouldn't try to tightly wrap it. If you have a sufficiently large hard-sided container, you're right, it's a hell of a lot easier. – Joe Jun 21 '18 at 18:53

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