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

329 Comments

  1. Debora I Diggins says:

    Hi Sally! I would like to make shiny dark chocolate and white chocolate glazes for cookies. The ganache recipes are shiny but they do not completely harden. What would you suggest I use as cookie glazes that will harden and also look shiny? Thank you!

    1. Hi Debora, How about using the glaze from Black and White Cookies?

      1. Debora I Diggins says:

        Thank you! I will try the dark chocolate glaze. I’m looking for a white chocolate glaze too. Perhaps just melting the white chocolate and adding a small amount of corn syrup will suffice.

    2. I have now made this recipe twice and each time it was wonderful!! However…I must admit that I used a triple dark chocolate boxed mix instead of making my own from-scratch cake!! Please forgive!! I followed the mousse and ganache recipes to a T…it was wonderful in the end! ❤

  2. Nanci Carvill says:

    I’m making a chocolate cheesecake with your chocolate ganache as the frosting. I’m going to pour the ganache on top of the cold cheesecake.
    Should I let the ganache cool first, and I want it to slightly drizzle down the sides slightly. Any suggestions on how to not make aa mess?
    I really appreciate your detailed and thorough suggestions, hints and tips, they take the stress out of Baking. ❤️

    1. Hi Nanci, Sounds delicious! Make sure your cheesecake is completely chilled. Let the ganache cool first so that it doesn’t melt your cheesecake but not enough that it’s too thick. Enjoy!

  3. I want to make a chocolate filling for a king cake but want a true chocolate taste and consistency (not a pudding like). Would the ganache work

    1. Though I haven’t tried this, I would simply use pure melted chocolate— not ganache.

  4. Hi sally, can i use your choc ganache recipe to cover a cake for fondant base? Or the whipped choc ganache will be better for fondant base?

    1. Hi Sarah, I don’t usually work with fondant but I have seen cakes that use ganache under it. I think either would work!

  5. On my first try I tested for doneness at 25 minutes. Cake was very dry. On my second try I baked for 20 minutes and it was perfect. I turned it our on a plate to cool and it has stuck to the plate. Any suggestions on how to remove it? I wanted to put it on a wire rack and pour ganache over it, let cool, and slice before putting on a permanent plate to carry to a party. I made 2 cakes because I need 16 slices. Will top with ganache and fresh strawberries.

    I have used many of your recipes and really like them. Thank you.

    1. My previous comment referred to making the flourless chocolate cake recipe. I want to use ganache on top but cake is stuck to my plate.

    2. Hi Darla, For the flourless chocolate cake it is very important to line your pan with a parchment paper round. In the post for that recipe see the section “How to Make Flourless Chocolate Cake” and the first step details how to do this. You can also watch exactly how I prepare the pan in the video above.

  6. Can I reheat Ganache to drizzle over the cake at a later time?

    1. Yes you can!

  7. Cheryl Porter says:

    What about using evaporated milk in place of heavy cream? Everyone in my area is out of heavy cream!

    1. Hi Cheryl! I honestly haven’t tried it, but I fear the ganache won’t thicken properly. Let me know if you test it!

  8. Hello! If I am using unsweetened chocolate bars, at which point do I add the sugar please?

  9. Hi! Do you know if I can make whipped ganache with full fat coconut milk?

    1. Hi Rachelle, Yes the coconut cream (sold in a can) actually whips up nicely!

  10. Hi sally.
    I’ve made this chocolate ganache multiple times and love it.
    I’m planning to make it with white chocolate next to cover confetti cake for my twins 1st birthday.
    Please suggest if this would work, if I should whip it or things go watch out for if I’m making the white chocolate ganache instead of milk chocolate

  11. Could you use coating chocolate?

    1. For the best taste and texture, I don’t recommend it.

    2. Hi Sally – can this ganache be used to fill macarons? Thanks!

  12. Hi Sally I want to do a double layer chocolate cake for my daughter’s birthday. I like the sound of your cake with buttercream frosting recipe. But the butter cream may be a bit too creamy for my daughter’s taste. How do I substitute butterc ream with ganache, especially between the cake layers

    I would also like a runny ganache so that it drips over the cake. But in order to do this, must I cover the outer part of the cake with ganache too.

    Thank you.
    Susan

    1. Hi Susan, See the section in the above post called “Whipped Ganache.” If you follow those instructions you can use this ganache between and on the outside of your cake layers just like frosting. Then you can use some of the un-whipped ganache to create the drip. Enjoy!

  13. Hi Sally! Is this recipe enough to cover a 9-inch round cake?

    1. Hi Beatrice, This recipe yields 1 and 1/2 cups of ganache. It should cover the outside of your cake but how far it will go will really depend on how it’s applied (drip, piped, whipped, etc.).

      1. If whipped, would one batch be enough to cover and frost?

  14. For an 8 inch square cake (or 9 inch round cake), can you suggest ingredient size for ganache ?

    1. I would halve the recipe to make enough topping for an 8 inch square cake.

      1. Thank you.

        Can we make ganche the previous day , store it in refrigrator and reheat it on the day of use ?

        How long does the ganache look fresh on the cake before hardening ?

        Please reply.

        Thank you.

      2. You can store this ganache covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It will set on the cake but it will never fully harden like plain melted chocolate would.

  15. HI Sally

    Is the recipe for ganache given in this post which is 2semi sweet chocolates @113 gram each and 240 ml heavy cream sufficient for frosting your triple chocolate cake recipe? That chocolate cake has frosting between the 2 cakes and frosting on top and around the cake.

    Would love some help here. Thank you

    1. It’s enough for the filling and outside of the cake (a thin layer), but I recommend making a thicker ganache for the center/filling (such as by whipping it to make whipped ganache). Or using less cream.

  16. Hi Sally – I’ve read I can use 3 parts whole milk, 1 part butter to substitute for heavy cream. I know here you’re saying here whole milk on its own won’t set. Will the butter help that?

    1. Hi Robert, I haven’t tried it that way – let me know if you do!

      1. I haven’t tried it for Ganache, but I did for caramel and it seems to have worked!

  17. Just wondering if I can add more chocolate to the 240 ml cream to get a thicker consistency ganache
    When I used yr measurements of ganache it yielded a nice tasting frosting but it was a very thin frosting. Looked like there was not enough ganache. I did a 2 layered cake. How do I overcome this without doubling the ganache recipe

    1. Hi Asha, yes you can either reduce the cream or add more chocolate for a thicker consistency. Remember that the ganache thickens considerably once it’s fully cool and set.

  18. Hi Sally! I love your recipes and I always read every part even when you say “you can skip“ , I never skip anything lol, I love the way you write it . About this ganache I want to try a “ Piggy mud bath cake” but I’m not sure the temperature of the ganache to use it. Thank you

    1. Hi Viviana, Depending on the look you are going for you can either use it right away for a thinner drip look or let it cool a bit so that it’s thicker. I hope enjoy it!

    2. Hi Sally,

      Is it possible to make ganache using cocoa powder for a more intense chocolate taste?

  19. Emma Smith says:

    Tried this whipped pipable ganache because I really dont like the sweetness or texture of buttercream. It tasted amazing. Made an error by putting the whipped frosting back into the fridge because I wasnt using it for a couple of hours and it chilled into a really hard almost truffle like texture. Managed to save it by whipping in more cream but I think it split, it still tasted nice and piped but was grainy (disappointing after I made such a silky smooth ganache). What’s your advice on chilling once its had the first chill and been whipped?

  20. Jessica Sather says:

    Love this recipe! Is it possible to add sugar to sweeten the ganache before whipping?

    1. Adding sugar isn’t necessary. If you are looking for a sweeter frosting I highly recommend my Favorite Chocolate Buttercream!

  21. Have you experimented with using 100% cacao and sweetening the ganache yourself? I was curious about trying this, but I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it.

    1. I haven’t, though I’m sure you can make a chocolate ganache substitute with cacao, cream, and your desired sweetener.

  22. Hi Sally,
    Can I make the ganache ahead and freeze it? Can it be later on thawed and whipped into whipped ganache for filling a cake? Or should I whip it and then freeze it till I need it?

    1. Hi Kirti, you can freeze the ganache– see the last step. You can whip it after it comes back to room temperature after thawing.

  23. Hi Sally,
    How to explain how much I love your recipes and how you share of yourself in all of the notes, it is so comforting to have a friend in the kitchen and one who guides us methodically through all of your incredible food and recipes Impossible to say how consistently solid your recipes prove to be with their detailed notes and instructions. I have made soooo many things from your website and every time my family moans with delight during the first forkful!!! I love it. Wish I would have commented on all of them but I am new to this commenting thing.
    This is a request for a simple thing but not so simple as last night I had to go to another website because you didn’t have hot fudge sauce. It was terrible, once again reinforcing why I only use your recipes. They didn’t test the simmering time enough. I don’t think it should have have been simmered at all because the cocoa separated from the fat 🙁 awesome homemade ice cream ruined by this bad sauce. Maybe sometime down the road you could devise a hot fudge sauce?? And best method for shaving chocolate chips for chocolate chip ice cream.
    Sorry for such a long note for a small thing!!
    Thank you for all you do!

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for the kind and thoughtful comment! I appreciate it so much. I don’t have a hot fudge recipe on my website at this time but that’s a great recipe suggestion. Thank you for sharing it and I’m sorry the recipe you tried was disappointing!

  24. Hey! Can I use this ganache recipe to drip my cake? If yes, what are the changes should I make?

    1. Definitely! Let the ganache cool for at least 15 minutes before using as a drip.

  25. About to frost a cake that is cooling and I was a little concerned it was going to be too thin. I used 12oz chocolate, about 9oz of heavy cream and added 1/2 tsp vanilla. I have had it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. To my surprise the consistency is perfect! If your a choc-a-holic this is the recipe for you!

  26. Lisa Yeadon says:

    Love how easy this is 🙂 thank you!

    If you whip the ganache does it go further than if you don’t?
    I only had 100g of chocolate so haven’t been able to make a lot of ganache.

    1. Hi Lisa, Yes you are incorporating air into it when you whip it so the volume does increase.

  27. Lisa Yeadon says:

    Hi Sally,
    I made this today (100g of milk chocolate and 120g coconut milk) and let it stand for 2hours but it was still really runny, I tried whipping it to see if it thickened but ended up having to add some flour
    Is there something I can do better next time? X

    1. Hi Lisa, This won’t set up with regular coconut milk that comes in a carton. Are you using full-fat canned coconut milk?

      1. Lisa Yeadon says:

        Hello Sally,
        Yea I used the canned full fat kind, it was my first time making any kind of ganache though so I may have done something a bit wrong? I just wasn’t sure if you had to leave it longer or anything? X

  28. Hi Sally, I am planning to make a chocolate cake for my mom’s birthday, and cover it in ganache. Can I fill between the layers of cake with whipped ganache and pour regular ganache over the top? Or do I need to frost the cake first before pouring ganache on top? My mom isn’t a big fan of too much frosting, and she loves ganache, but I have never made it. Thanks!

    1. Yes that would work well! I hope she loves it!

  29. Hello Sally,

    I am an amateur baker. This would be my first time trying to frost a cake. I am planning to do a 4 layered 6 inch cake with your whipped ganache for filling and frosting. Will this recipe yield enough whipped ganache for this requirement, or would you suggest increasing the ingredient quantities? Please advise…

    1. Hi Gayatri, for a 4 layer 6 inch cake, I recommend 1.5x the recipe just to make sure you really have enough for each layer and plenty to work with for the exterior as well.

  30. Hi Sally,
    So I had a question. At one point I found a recipe for a cheesecake with a caramel layer between the crust and the batter. A friend of mine is graduating and wanted a cake like this but with chocolate instead. I was wondering if you thought using a ganache layer would be doable and if you had any tips for that.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Catherine, do you mean a layer of chocolate ganache in a cheesecake? I don’t recommend it baking it– the ganache under the cheesecake layer will be too wet. Additionally, the crust will likely be soggy from the layer of ganache on top.

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