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

447 Comments

  1. I’ve used this recipe many times, it’s great! I’m making cupcakes and want to use the whipped ganache and pipe it onto them. Do they need to be refrigerated or can the cupcakes sit at room temperature?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Barbara! The whipped ganache will be okay at room temperature for a few hours, but much longer than that and we recommend it’s refrigerated.

  2. I am wanting to drizzle this ganache on top of a pudding/whipped cream layer of a cake (pudding poke cake). Will ganache set up when drizzled onto a moist layer like pudding?

    1. Hi Sue, it will set but remain a bit soft (close to a rich pudding consistency). It never hardens.

  3. Hi. I want to cover the sides of an 8” round raspberry mousse cake, and thinking to try your chocolate ganache. In order to be able to spread it on the sides only, will it set thick enough to spread without dripping or should I make it whipped?

    Also for whipping, do I just let it cool completely in room temperature, or should I refridgerate it to be cold before whipping? I read a comment about not refrigerating the whipped cream, so it made me question whether that is for before whipping or after, not to refrigerate?

    Hoping to make this soon for a birthday dinner tonight. Mousse cake was made last night; I just need to cover the side by adding something, like this (whipped) ganache.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tracy, as the ganache cools it will thicken and become more spreadable / less dripy. It takes about two hours to cool completely. At that point, you can whip it — you can put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process, but then it cools unevenly. It’s best to allow it to cool at room temperature if you have the time. Hope this recipe is a hit!

  4. Hello, Excited to try this. If I wanted to add flavor to the ganache, can I add a liquid extract? When would I do that? I intend to make two batches and would like both flavored. Once whipped and one drizzled.

    Thanks,
    Michelle

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Michelle, you should be able to add a few drops of extract without any issues!

  5. Sandra White says:

    Hi I’m in the UK and we don’t have any chocolate called semi-sweet chocolate. What dark chocolate would you recommend instead?

    1. Do you have bittersweet? That’s the same I’m from England as well but live in Canada

  6. Love this ganache! I’m going to whip it to frost cupcakes next week and I was wondering if the whipped gamache will be stable and able to sit at room temperature for 24 hours? Or should I wait til the day of to make and frost? Thanks!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melanie, The whipped ganache will be okay at room temperature for a few hours, but much longer than that and we recommend it’s refrigerated (especially if it’s hot or humid where you live). Hope this helps!

  7. Hi there! Love your site! If using this ganache to drizzle onto a bundt cake, should I let it cool down a bit before drizzling it, or pour it onto the cake as soon as it’s melted together with the cream?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susan! We recommend letting the ganache cool for a bit before drizzling on your bundt cake. This will keep it from sliding off the sides. Enjoy!

  8. Hi! Was wondering if its possible to add a strawberry reduction to this recipe and if so when it should be added.

    1. Hi Michael, I haven’t tested it. I fear the mixture will separate, but again I haven’t tried it. Let me know if you test anything.

  9. If I use this chocolate ganache as a filling between cake layers can it sit at room temp for 24hrs? There will be a buttercream flood wall between each layer to hold the ganache.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karlee, usually a cake covered with ganache (or using between layers) can be left at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. If it’s especially hot where you live, though, you may want to keep it in the fridge to be extra cautious and then bring back to room temperature before serving. Hope this helps!

      1. Jennifer Kabagesera says:

        Hi, does chocolate ganache dry hard or does it keep soft even after cooling ?

      2. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Jennifer, it will start to solidify as it cools, but it will not harden and stays soft.

  10. Karen Stewart says:

    I tried making vanilla ganache using your recipe tuxedo cake. My grocery didn’t have the white chocolate bars the recipe called for, so I used an equal amount of white chocolate chips. Altho this set of instructions counsels against it, the tux cake recipe DOES NOT. I wasted a lot of time producing a sticky sweet runny mess.

    Thanks a lot

  11. Hi! I was wondering which consistency would be the best in between cake layers? Love this recipe, doing something new 🙂

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Eve! Whipped ganache is perfect for between cake layers – it acts just like frosting does. Hope you love it!

  12. Can I add gel food colouring to the ganache? I’d like to make a black colour . (for a black and gold cake)

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  13. Could I use this ganache as a drip, to make a drip cake?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maddy, Absolutely! Let it set and thicken until it’s the best consistency for a drip. (We’re definitely not pros at drip cakes, but you’ll want it to thicken a bit before using.)

  14. I don’t have a glass bowl, but plenty of ceramic stone ware bowls. Will it make a difference in the melting process if I use ceramic instead of glass?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karen! My only concern would be the ceramic bowl could crack with the heat of the cream. I would double check to ensure your bowls are heat-proof before giving it a go. Let us know how it goes!

  15. This recipe is so good. I use it all the time. From dipping biscuits to drizzling over cakes.

  16. Hi, I was wondering if it is ok to freeze the ganache if I don’t plan to use it immediately?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alison, you sure can. Once ganache cools completely, you can cover it tightly and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.

  17. Hi,

    Will this ganache recipe also work to cover Rice Crispies treats before I cover it with fondant?
    Regards
    Lizelle

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lizelle, that should work just fine. Let us know how it goes!

  18. Jinal Chauhan says:

    I have tried making ganache a couple of times but failed..I tried your recipe .it is easy to make and turns out to be perfect.thanks

  19. Hi,
    Love your recipie!
    I tried it with milk chocolate and it was lush.
    Can I whip the white chocolate ganache too? Or does it not work the same as the other chocolate?
    Thanks

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Patty, that should work just fine! Just be sure to read the recipe notes about reducing the cream if you are using white chocolate.

  20. Amanda Fletcher says:

    I’m just waiting for this to cool before using using between cakes and on top before covering with fondant icing.

    How long can the cake be out of the fridge with the ganache covered in fondant?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amanda, we don’t usually work with fondant but have seen cakes that use ganache under it. This ganache is best when refrigerated – and fondant covered cakes are typically best when they are not refrigerated. Sorry we can’t be of more help here!

    2. Thank you for your quick reply! I might ganache the cake and refrigerate tonight then add fondant icing in the morning (it’s for a birthday party tomorrow lunchtime)

  21. I’m a bit perplexed by the different variations of chocolate to whipping cream out there. I follow many recipes from both yours and another website and the ratios are way off from each other. The other ganache recipe states 375g or 12 oz milk or dark chocolate to 1/2 cup cream. I’m confused by the 2 recipes and which one to make for my graham crackers, pudding eclair layer cake. Please advise. I need the chocolate on the top layer of graham crackers.

  22. I had unsweetened Godiva chocolate. I used about 2 cups of powdered sugar. Next time I’ll use another type. Great recipe though. It’s so simple.

  23. Hello I plan to make the ganache and pour over the cake and decorate with chocolate curls. Do I have to wait for the ganache to cool before putting the curls on the cake.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sushma, we’d recommend letting the ganache cool slightly before placing the chocolate curls on top.

  24. I am doing the filling ganache and using white bark melts or candy melts..how much cream do I need in Oz or cups for this?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Teri, For every 8 ounces of pure white chocolate you use, add 2/3 cup (160ml) of heavy cream.

      1. Thank you for your help!

  25. Thanks for the recipe…can I also use this on doughnuts?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Absolutely!

  26. I had tried ganashe, twice both turned out terrible. I made all the mistakes mentioned in your notes. The chocolate seized, I used a whisk. Not using heavy cream, but a lighter one.
    I followed your recipe to the tee, finally. It is simple, but there are rules, I can’t that you enough!

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