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

448 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,
    I’ve made your ganache recipe quite often and it always turns out great. I was wondering if I could scoop little balls of it and put it in the centre of bread dough and bake it. Does this recipe work for this? Thank you!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Allison, We don’t recommend baking this ganache, but you can certainly fill your bread after it bakes. To scoop into balls you might want to try making these chocolate truffles, but again, I’m not confident they would be ok baked into bread. Alternatively, you can make chocolate swirled babka (see recipe notes for chocolate filling instead of Nutella). Let us know if you try anything!

  2. Laurie Lehman says:

    Is the ratio the same for German Chocolate as for semi sweet? I’ve seen your comments about white chocolate ratios but I’m making a panache with Bakers German chocolate so want to be sure. Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laurie! German’s Sweet Chocolate is sweetened, so it’s not pure baking chocolate. We haven’t tested ganache with this particular chocolate so can’t say for sure. Let us know if you give it a try.

  3. Is there any reason not to use a food processor to chop the chocolate bar?

    1. Hi Laurie, a food processor really just chips tiny shreds off the chocolate– you really can’t achieve uniform chopped pieces. However, all processors are different and maybe you have the perfect one that will work!

  4. Can this ganache be used for piping decorations? I want to make some trees or maybe some bark and let it harden for a design on the black forest cake I just made (also your recipe). Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kandis, to pipe this follow the instructions in the post above for Whipped Ganache. Enjoy!

  5. Sancia Fernandes says:

    Hey I’ve made chocolate ganache many times for my cakes n so…however, a few times the ganache doesn’t set…even when I’ve measured the ingredients well…it’s thick but it melts off when I put it on the cake(cake has been cooled completely) can you let me know how can I get this ganache to set nicely?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sancia! In order for the ganache to properly set, you’ll want to make sure you’re using heavy cream (around 36% fat) and good, quality chocolate baking bars. Using a lower fat cream or chocolate chips may not set as well. Also, it might help to let the ganache sit for a while before spreading on the cake. The longer it sits, the more it should set / harden. Hope this helps!

  6. OMG thank you for these wonderful recipes and not to mention the easy to follow instructions! This was my first time making ganache. It turned out perfect. I used it for a giant doughnut I was making for my granddaughters birthday which I also used the recipe for the vanilla cake. Absolutely delish!
    You will be my baking go to from now on! Thanks again!

  7. Thank you so much! As a beginner baker, your blog has helped and inspired me! I used the whipped ganache as a filling for my cream puffs! It was a hit!

  8. I never realized how easy ganache was, and I now find an excuse to use it every time I bake. I’m going to make a batch later and whip it. I know you can add corn syrup for shine, but how will adding corn syrup affect the whip? Is it I’ll advised to add corn syrup since I’ll be whipping it?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Savannah, We like to add corn syrup to keep the ganache silky and shiny, but that’s not necessary if you’re whipping it since the ganache changes color and consistency in the whipping process. However, it won’t hurt the whipped ganache if you add it.

      1. I made the whipped semi-sweet Ganache. It is amazing and so light and fluffy! I want to make it with milk chocolate. How much milk chocolate baking bars and heavy cream do I use?
        Thank you!

      2. Elizabeth Anderson says:

        I see a comment about adding corn syrup, how much should be added?

      3. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Elizabeth, 1-2 teaspoons of corn syrup adds a lovely shine to ganache.

  9. Can’t wait to try this on my Chocolate Fudge Kahlua Cake!
    Thank you! Susan

    1. Elizabeth Anderson says:

      Help, I just baked this and the layers raised on the sides but not in the middle! I will have to remake it for a birthday party tomorrow and don’t want to make the same mistake twice, what did I do wrong?

      1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Elizabeth, I’m unsure what cake recipe you’re referring to, but I’m happy to help! When cakes sink or deflate, they’re usually not completely cooked through. Or the leaveners (baking powder and soda) may have been close to expiration. Avoid opening and closing the oven door during bake time as well, which can also deflate the center of the baked cakes. We hope all of this helps!

  10. If I am using the ganach as a filling, should I whip it or just spread the cooled ganach as is?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Suzanne, you can really do either — regular ganache will be much thinner, while the whipped ganache would be more like a traditional frosting filling. Depends on the look and texture you are hoping for!

  11. Hey many cupcakes will be enuf for please thanks

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Samina, this recipe yields 1 and 1/2 cups liquid/drizzle/scoop-able ganache. This is enough to cover 1 dozen cupcakes. If whipping the ganache, you’ll have close to 3 cups. This is also enough for 1 dozen cupcakes.

  12. Okay, so first of all, LOVE THIS RECIPE, O MY WORD SOOO GOOD!!!!
    So I made it the first time round, cause I made the Yule log and it tasted SO GOOD!!!
    And then I made it again today to use as a filling in my cupcakes.
    I used the whipped one but I made a mistake.
    *WARNING*
    Do NOT, let me repeat myself, DO NOT refrigerate the whipped chocolate ganache, it turns all doughy and yeah, bad idea.

    Thankfully I added cream and got it to a pipeable consistency, but it was still grainy, which stank.
    But that didn’t change the taste and it was still delicious and it tasted REALLY good before I made that mistake so yeah!
    LOVE THIS RECIPE

  13. hello is this recipe good or macaron filling?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Absolutely! Chocolate ganache is a delicious macaron filling.

  14. Can ganache be frozen and then brought back to room temp later on to use again?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kate! You bet – see step 5 for freezing instructions.

  15. Stephanie says:

    I’m making more of a torte, using the ganache as the base for the nut crust bottom. Would you recommend this DPD of recipe?
    Thx!

  16. Ronnie Franken says:

    I want to make my chocolate ganache black. Can I add black food gel to the recipe??

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ronnie, you can add black food coloring to your ganache. Have fun!

      1. Ronnie Franken says:

        Great! Thank You!

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