How to Make Chocolate Ganache

Use this as your complete guide for making homemade chocolate ganache. Chocolate ganache is a 2 ingredient recipe with virtually endless uses. For the best tasting ganache, I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate.

chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache

Chocolate ganache is a 1:1 mixture of chocolate and warm cream. Stirred until smooth, silky, and shiny, ganache is a staple in any baker’s kitchen. It’s not only easy and quick, it’s uniquely versatile. Chocolate ganache can be a filling, dip, spread, frosting, topping, or layer in a cake. The uses are virtually endless!

Uses for Chocolate Ganache

Let’s dive into an in-depth chocolate ganache tutorial. If you don’t care to read through the tutorial, feel free to jump straight to the recipe below.

strawberry dipped in chocolate ganache


Chocolate Ganache Video Tutorial


2 Ingredients in Chocolate Ganache

  1. Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream: Do not use half-and-half, whole milk, or any other liquid because the ganache won’t set up properly. For a non-dairy alternative, use canned coconut milk. See recipe note.
  2. Pure Chocolate: You can use semi-sweet chocolate (recommended), bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate. See recipe note.

When making homemade ganache, you need a 1:1 ratio of cream to chocolate.

Did you know that chocolate ganache is the base for chocolate truffles? I actually use less cream when I make chocolate truffles because the 1:1 ratio is too thin and sticky. Instead of a 1:1 ratio, use 8 ounces of chocolate and 2/3 cup (160ml) cream for truffles.

2 images of chopped chocolate and cream in a glass measuring cup

Best Chocolate to Use in Chocolate Ganache

The best chocolate for chocolate ganache is a pure chocolate baking bar, such as Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. Pure chocolate is sold in 4 ounce bars in the baking aisle near the chocolate chips. Do not use chocolate chips because they will not melt into the best ganache consistency. If you absolutely must use chocolate chips, make sure they are higher quality chocolate such as Ghirardelli brand semi-sweet chocolate chips.

For traditional chocolate ganache, I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate. This is the most commonly found chocolate in the baking aisle. Semi-sweet chocolate contains 35 – 45% cacao and is usually sweeter than bittersweet or dark varieties and darker than milk chocolate and white chocolate.

I almost always use Bakers brand semi-sweet chocolate bars. (Not sponsored, just a genuine loyal customer!)

TIP: The best tool for chopping chocolate is a large serrated knife. The grooves help chip away the hard chocolate bar texture.

chopped white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate on a cutting board

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate into a heat-proof glass or metal bowl.
  2. Heat cream on the stovetop until just simmering. If it’s boiling, the cream is too hot and could separate or even burn the chocolate. Once you see little simmers around the edges, turn off the heat and immediately pour the warm cream over the chocolate.
  3. Let the two sit for a few minutes before stirring.
  4. Stir until smooth.

After you stir the chocolate and warm cream together, use the ganache right away as a fruit dip or drizzle on top of cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, ice cream, and more. But if you wait about 2 hours and let it cool completely, the ganache can be scooped with a spoon, spread onto desserts, or piped with piping tips.

warm cream and chopped chocolate in a glass bowl

chocolate ganache in a glass bowl

Piped Chocolate Ganache

If you’re craving a pure chocolate topping for your desserts, choose chocolate ganache. Once it cools and sets, you can pipe it onto your favorites including chocolate cupcakes. Super intricate piping tips aren’t ideal. Wilton 1M piping tip or Ateco 844 piping tip are my favorites for piped chocolate ganache. I used Ateco 844 in these photos.

chocolate cupcakes with piped chocolate ganache

Whipped Ganache

Let’s take chocolate ganache 1 step further. Did you know that you can beat ganache into a whipped frosting consistency? Think whipped buttercream, but not as sweet or heavy. Once the chocolate ganache cools completely, whip it on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy in texture, about 4 minutes. Now you have a decadent mousse-like frosting without an onslaught of extra sugar. It’s REALLY good!

whipped chocolate ganache in a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment

You can pipe the whipped ganache, too. I used  Ateco 844 piping tip in this next photo.

whipped chocolate ganache frosting on top of chocolate cupcakes

These 2 Tricks Make Chocolate Ganache Even Easier

Here are my 2 super simple tricks that make ganache even easier to make.

  1. Chop the chocolate as fine as possible. The finer you chop the chocolate, the quicker it melts with the cream. If the chocolate is in large large chunks, it won’t fully melt. And if the chocolate is not melting, reference Troubleshooting Chocolate Ganache below.
  2. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit before stirring. After you pour the warm heavy cream over the chopped chocolate, let it sit for a few minutes. During this time, the chocolate will soften and begin to melt which means that you won’t need to over-stir it. I’d rather spend extra minutes doing nothing than extra minutes stirring chocolate that won’t melt. Wouldn’t you?!

thickened chocolate ganache on spoon

Troubleshooting Chocolate Ganache

After writing an entire cookbook (Sally’s Candy Addiction) on chocolate and candy, I’ve seen it all when it comes to making chocolate ganache. Seized chocolate? Yep. Grainy ganache. Yep, that too. Here are 3 problems you could encounter and how to fix each.

  1. Chocolate Isn’t Melting: If the chocolate isn’t melting, it wasn’t chopped fine enough or the cream wasn’t warm enough. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and warm the cream until it’s just simmering. The microwave doesn’t evenly warm cream like the stove does, so I always recommend the stove. If you’re left with chocolate chunks swimming in cream, do not microwave it. Instead, place the mixture into a double boiler OR place the glass bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the surface of the simmering water touch the bottom of the glass bowl. Stir the ganache constantly over the indirect heat until it’s smooth.
  2. Chocolate Seized: When chocolate seizes, it creates a gritty and solid mass of chocolate. Simply put, seized chocolate will not melt. Chocolate seizes when it comes into contact with water. Don’t let even a drop of water into the bowl! Here is a wonderful article on overheated and seized chocolate.
  3. Greasy or Grainy: Use a glass or metal bowl. A plastic bowl could melt or leave you with a dull or grainy ganache. Use real chocolate; cheap chocolate chips result in a grainy ganache. Use a spoon or small rubber spatula to stir the chocolate and warm cream together. Do not use a whisk. The whisk incorporates too much air into the delicate melting chocolate, which could cause the fat to separate and turn greasy.
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chocolate ganache in a glass bowl

How to Make Chocolate Ganache

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stirring
  • Cuisine: American

Description

You only need 2 ingredients and a few minutes to make pure chocolate ganache. For ganache success, I encourage you to read the troubleshooting tips above and recipe notes below before beginning.


Ingredients

  • two 4-ounce quality semi-sweet chocolate bars (113g each), finely chopped (see note about using white chocolate)*
  • 1 cup (8 ounces; 240ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to gently simmer. (Do not let it come to a rapid boil– that’s too hot!) Pour over chocolate, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate.
  2. With a metal spoon or small rubber spatula, very slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted. The finer you chopped the chocolate, the quicker it will melt with the cream. If it’s not melting, do not microwave it. See Troubleshooting Chocolate Ganache in blog post above.
  3. Ganache can be ready to use as a drizzle or you can let it sit at room temperature to cool and thicken. It will fully cool within 2 hours. Refrigerating speeds this up, but the ganache will not cool evenly. Stir it a few times as it sets in the refrigerator so it remains even and smooth.
  4. Once completely cool and thick, the ganache can be piped with a piping tip or scooped with a spoon. You can also beat the cooled thickened ganache with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until light in color and texture, about 4 minutes on medium-high speed.
  5. Cover tightly and store ganache in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Once ganache cools completely, you can cover it tightly and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. To rewarm or thin out again, stir constantly over low heat on the stove in either (1) a double boiler or (2) in a heatproof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the simmering water.

Notes

  1. Chocolate: Ganache will only set if the correct chocolate is used. You can use high quality chocolate chips if needed (I prefer Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips), but I recommend using pure chocolate baking bars. You can find them right next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle. They are sold in 4 ounce bars. I like Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. You can use other varieties of chocolate too, such as milk chocolate (aka German Chocolate) or Dark Chocolate. If using white chocolate, reduce the cream to 2/3 cup (160ml). White chocolate is softer, so you need less cream.
  2. Halve or Double: You can easily halve or double this recipe. No matter how much ganache you are making, you always need equal parts chocolate and cream.
  3. Dairy-Free Alternative for Heavy Cream: Use full-fat canned coconut milk. Shake it up before opening. Whisk on the stove as it heats and bring to a simmer. Measure 1 cup (8 ounces; 240ml). Use instead of warm heavy cream.
  4. Yields 1 and 1/2 cups liquid/drizzle/scoop-able ganache. This is enough to cover 1 dozen cupcakes. For piped cupcakes, you may want to double the ganache to ensure there is plenty for piping. If whipping the ganache, you’ll have close to 3 cups. This is enough for 1 dozen cupcakes.

Keywords: chocolate, sauce, frosting

290 Comments

  1. Made this tonight after seeing what could be made with my quarantine pantry stock. The cake is amazingly moist-inside and then has the crackly brownie goodness on the edges. Made the ganache and chowed down with fresh strawberries and whipped cream just to make it extra indulgent!!! It’s a must make for any chocolate lover!!!!

  2. Hey sally! Could I use this ganache recipe to do chocolate drips on a 3 layer cake??

    1. Absolutely! Let it set and thicken until it’s the best consistency for a drip. (I’m definitely not a pro at drip cakes, but you’ll want it to thicken a bit before using.)

  3. Hello! I have a question about coconut milk. Did you use normal coconut milk or light coconut milk?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Z! Use normal (full fat) canned coconut milk.

  4. I have Baker’s 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Bar Tips on adding sweetness if needed.

  5. Can this ganache be frozen on top of an ice cream cake?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Sure can!

  6. Hi, can I combine milk chocolate and dark chocolate for my ganache? I can’t find semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolates here. I’m going to use it as my icing for my chocolate sheet cake. Thank you.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, that should work. Enjoy!

  7. I need to make it lactose free so I’m using lactose free heavy cream and dark chocolate. It’s for kids though so is there any way of increasing the sweetness?

    1. Hi Emily, a little liquid sweetener such as honey or light corn syrup will work.

  8. Can this be made with 85% cacao bitter chocolate bar? If so how much sugar do I add? I want it to be rich but not very sweet. Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Renee, You can add a little liquid sweetener such as honey or light corn syrup until you reach your desired level of sweetness.

  9. I like to line a baked pie shell with chocolate before I do the rest of the details for a Banana Cream pie. I have tried a variety of chocolate products with varying degrees of success. A friend has suggested chocolate ganache or whipped chocolate ganache. The pie filling would be at least room temperature or it could be cooler before being added to the chocolate covered pie shell. What do you think… would it work?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary, A chocolate ganache layer between the crust and the filling would be delicious in banana cream pie! You may wish to chill the chocolate layer before adding your filling. Let us know how it turns out!

      1. Thanks Mary and Sally! I have a banana cream pie nut who visits several times a year. She’s going to love this!

  10. Yesenia Macias Guzman says:

    Hi Sally,

    I’m making your 6 inch chocolate cake. I want to use the ganache as a filling and the rest for a drip cake, would this be enough? In what form do you suggest I make the filling?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can set some ganache aside to use for the drip and then whip the rest (see above) for the filling – Yum!

  11. Michelle Reyes says:

    Hi. Can i use ganache as filling for the crepe cake?

    1. Hi Michelle! You can, but it will be a little heavy between the delicate crepes. You usually want something a bit fluffier. I recommend using it as a topping instead.

  12. How much will I need to fill 40 macaroon cookies?

  13. Hi Sally,

    Love your blog! I’m baking my way through it! I’m making a 5 layer, 6” Halloween cake this weekend (using your two layer white cake recipe which fits perfect, with your buttercream proportions from your flower vanilla cake). I want to do a chocolate ganache drip on top so I turned to your blog. Do you think I’ll be able to add black Wilton food gel to the semi-sweet ganache to make it black? If so, would I add it right before I stir to incorporate the cream and chocolate? Thanks so much!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jessica, You can add black food coloring to your ganache. I highly recommend using a gel food coloring as you don’t want to add too much liquid. Have fun!

  14. Hi, would the whipped chocolate ganache be enough for frosting your Zebra cake?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jeanne, If whipping the ganache, you’ll have close to 3 cups. If you use it to fill the layers of the cake and frost the outside you may wish to 1.5 or double the ganache depending on how thick of a layer you want.

      1. Ok, thank you!

  15. Will your whipped Ganache be sturdy enough to use as frosting and filling for a 6”, 4-layer cake? I’m looking for a sturdy alternative to buttercream. I want a cake with a clean, smooth side and a razor sharp top. I’m concerned about it softening up too much once it reaches room temperature. Any advice?

    I love your creative recipes and your exhaustive research. I’m a baker at heart and so appreciate your tips, the science behind them and your honest warnings about your failures and how to avoid them. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Susanne, thank you so much for the kind comment. I really appreciate it. The whipped ganache should be plenty for that size cake. Since it’s made mostly from liquid, it’s ok at room temperature for a few hours, but should really be kept in the refrigerator after that. You can try my swiss meringue buttercream if you’d like instead. See the “Can I add flavors?” section for the chocolate recommendation.

  16. Should the ganache be chilled on the flourless cake after each application; say, two applications, for example?
    Thanks for your answer!

    1. Hi Karen! I’m not sure I understand your question. If you’d like to add two separate layers of ganache topping, you can chill the cake after applying the first layer, then add another. Sorry if I misunderstood.

  17. Patricia Guilkey says:

    I want to make a chocolate ganache ice cream. I would use sweeten condensed milk and heavy cream for the ice cream. How would i incorporate the chocolate ganache to make it super rich and chocolatey smooth?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Patricia, This is our no churn ice cream recipe – really anything goes with what you add in! You can leave out the blueberry crumble and add in chocolate. Let us know if you give it a try!

  18. Hi Sally!
    Thank you for sharing your recipes and tips with all of us. Your site is the first site I check if I need a recipe.
    Do you think it’s possible to pipe flowers/petals with whipped ganache?
    Will they hold their shape like buttercream?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Joana, You can definitely pipe large simple roses like in this post with the whipped ganache (see the photo above of the cupcakes using a star tip). To pipe more realistic roses like we did to decorate this coconut cake you need a very stiff buttercream or Swiss meringue.

  19. Carol Prescott says:

    Hi Sally,

    I am going to make your death by chocolate cupcakes into mini bundtlettes. I’d like to add mint extract to the ganache. How much would you recommend I add? I don’t want to ruin the consistency and I want the taste to be subtle.

    1. Hi Carol, I recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon at first. Pour it over the chocolate before you add the warm cream. Mix everything together then taste it. Add another 1/4 teaspoon if you’d like. 1/2 should be enough, but feel free to add more after that.

  20. Hi,
    My next project is a 2 layer 9 and a half inch round cake. I was wondering with the whipped ganache If it will yield enough to fill the inside layers and to add small details and decorations to the outside of the cake?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alex, If whipping the ganache, you’ll have close to 3 cups. This should be enough to fill the cake and for some decorations on the outside. If you are going to cover the outside of the cake also you may wish to double the recipe. Enjoy!

  21. For the whipped ganache, you recommend it just being cooled (at room temp), and not chilled in the fridge before whipping?

    1. Hi Ginny, as long as the ganache is completely cool and thickened, you can whip it. It can cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

  22. Hi Sally,

    Can I use the chocolate ganache instead of the cheesecream filling for your chocolate-cheescake bundt cake? I am looking to fill up this bundt cake of your with something else than cheescake.
    Do you think this will work? Do I have to whip the ganache?
    Thank you very much,
    Vanessa

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vanessa, Unfortunately we don’t recommend baking this ganache. You can definitely skip the cheesecake filling and then add this ganache to the top of the baked and cooled cake.

  23. Brian Hellickson says:

    This will be my first time making a ganache. I’d like to use it as a topping for my cheesecake and have it just barely run over the sides but be even on top. Would I need to let it cool first?

    1. Hi Brian, yes let the ganache cool first. To get that exact thickness and consistency, I recommend at least 20 minutes before using.

  24. What do you recommend for nice, thick layers of frosting between a 3 layer 8″ round cake? Buttercream or ganache? I’m thinking of ganache between layers and buttercream for top & sides? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Deb, You really can’t go wrong either way, it really just depends on the flavor you prefer! To fill the cake with ganache you can follow the directions for whipping the ganache for thicker layers! Filling the cake with ganache and frosting the outside with buttercream sounds like the best of both 🙂

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