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

375 Comments

  1. Hi Sally,
    If I use this as a glaze for baked cake donuts, should I let the donuts and ganache cool before dipping?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Mia, let the donuts cool until easily to handle before dipping. The ganache is pretty liquid right after mixing, so I recommend letting it thicken for several minutes before using as a topping.

  2. Can ganache be stored in the refrigerator? Can it be frozen? Can you freeze it when it is on a flourless cake?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Deborah, See recipe step 5 for refrigeration and freezing instructions. Yes, it can be frozen on top of a cake also. Enjoy!

  3. Hi there! I want to make a fudge filled cheesecake – a favorite of mine from my hometown. The copycat recipe (or as close to it as I’ve found) says to use 12 oz semi-sweet mini morsels. The person who made it said that the morsels didn’t melt quite enough. They pondered if using a ganache next time might do better. So, my question to you is – do you think this ganache would work well as the layer in the cheesecake? Or do you think it would melt too much? Any other thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kellen, Unfortunately we don’t recommend baking this ganache. You can certainly use it as a topping for a cheesecake, or even as a layer in a no bake cheesecake. Let us know what you try!

  4. I made the ganache but when I added the whipping cream to the chocolate and let it sit a film was on top. I don’t know what happened. My cream didn’t boil. Did it get it too hot? I continued to stir the chocolate anyway. It is cool on my flourless chocolate cake. There are just a few little grains wildly dispersed. It is not as smooth or shiny as yours. I learned something. Can you tell me what it is? I am a newbie and because you are able to give expert advice in an encouraging way,I am still having fun!

    1. Did you use pure chocolate or chocolate with hydrogenated palm kernel oil? That will make a difference. The latter is not meant to melt well, it is made to withstand heat and maintain shape

  5. Hi Sally! Thanks for this detailed recipe. I just made this for your chocolate peppermint thumbprints. It was delicious!

    I hadn’t planned ahead, so all I had to work with was cheap chocolate chips. I was soooo afraid it wouldn’t work, but I went ahead with it. I mashed up the chocolate chips before starting in hopes that it would melt better that way. It actually worked!!!! This is sooo delicious! So, if any of you are working with cheap chocolate chips, it works! 🙂

  6. Does this work the same with white chocolate ? Couldn’t find that info here .

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dave, If using white chocolate, reduce the cream to 2/3 cup (160ml). White chocolate is softer, so you need less cream. Enjoy!

  7. Can I use this receipe to cover marshmallow pops? Cooking with grandaughters and this is one of my go to ganache recipes

  8. Hello Sally,
    I’m in a pinch, as in pennies.. can you substitute cocoa powder to make the ganache?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We haven’t tested ganache with cocoa powder so I’m uncertain of the results. However, keep in mind that cocoa powder is unsweetened so you would likely need to add in some sugar. Let us know if you find a good recipe for making it this way!

  9. I wouldn’t use cocoa powder by itself. You’ll make chocolate milk; Even adding sugar to it will just make it sweet. One of the components of chocolate chips, or bar chocolate is cocoa butter. That, and the cocoa powder, MIGHT make a ganache. But, for the expense of buying cocoa butter, and if you really need to pinch pennies, please stick with in-expensive chocolate chips. It’s a lot easier, and in the long run, cheaper. Good luck…

  10. If using semi sweet ghirardelli chocolate chips, how many cups should I use?

    1. I used a cup for 1 batch.

  11. This cake is Amazing!!! I made it gluten and almost dairy free and it came out beautifully. I subbed Cup for Cup flour, Kite Hill almond cream cheese and Forager cashew sour cream. I kept the buttermilk since it seemed critical to the recipe success. The chocolate batter was very thick but cooked up fine. I topped it with the chocolate ganache and got rave reviews. Will definitely make this again.

  12. Do not use this recipe. I have made ganache for over twenty years. I pulled up a recipe quickly off the internet to get the ratios, as I could not remember. This recipe fails. The ratios are wrong, and it doesn’t use a double boiler method. I tried it, as it is something new, but I should have stuck with my instinct and not wasted my chocolate.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Silv, Thank you for trying this recipe and we are sorry that you had trouble with it. Can you tell us exactly what went wrong? We are always happy to help troubleshoot! The ratio should be equal parts good quality chocolate and cream.

    2. First time using this recipe and came out amazing

  13. Clarissa K Evert says:

    Tried and true. And delicious in cream horns!

  14. I would like to whip the ganache onto a fluffy frosting. Should I add more cream than the recommended 1:1 ratio? Thank you.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Diane, no matter how much ganache you are making, you always need equal parts chocolate and cream. See the section titled “Whipped Ganache” for more details. I hope this helps!

  15. I have carpal tunnel and would have trouble chopping the chocolate. Can it be done in the food processor with either the grater or the metal blade?

    1. I had to make this yesterday for my birthday cake, so I googled and got lots of conflicting information. I ended up chilling the chocolate and using the grater. I have a high-quality food processor; it could not handle two of the 4 ounce Baker’s chocolate bars, but it worked fine one at a time. I was able to chop the leftover pieces that got stuck above the grater. The ganache was easy to make and delicious! The stated amount was just right for a 9×13 cake.

  16. I would like to use this as a filling in my chocolate molds and then give as gifts. Do the completed chocolates need to be refrigerated or can they stay at room temp? How long? If refrigerated does that affect the chocolate? Thank you!

  17. If I don’t have heavy whipping cream, can I use half and half?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Aisha, we don’t suggest it as the end result won’t be as rich and thick.

  18. This was perfect! My daughter and her husband wanted me to make chocolate layer cakes with chocolate ganache between the layers. It was so easy to make and tasted delicious.

  19. Hi Sally,

    I want to add sea salt to this to make truffles with, when do you suggest I add the sea salt?

    1. Hi Ryan, I strongly recommend using our chocolate truffles recipe instead. The recipe is pretty similar, but they form a little easier. You can add sea salt to the chocolate before pouring over the cream.

  20. I plan on using this recipe as a topping for an ice cream cake – any pointers? Should I pour it on while still warm, etc? Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shawna! This is a perfect ice cream topping. We find it’s delicious when still warm because it melts the ice cream underneath just a bit. So tasty!

  21. I’d like to frost a two layer 9 in round cake with whipped ganache. I’m thinking of using 12 oz of chocolate to 12 oz heavy cream based on this recipe, but I’m seeing a lot of conflicting information from different recipes about whether to use 12 oz chocolate to 12 oz or 10 oz heavy cream (a few recipes even say only 8 oz cream!). Will a 1:1 ratio of chocolate to cream be stable enough to support a 2 layer cake?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Nora, I’ve used the whipped ganache from this recipe to fill a layer cake with no issue but if you are nervous, feel free to make a thicker ganache by reducing the cream. If using 12 ounces of chocolate, try 10 ounces of cream instead.

  22. I’m planning on making this (whipped) as icing for a two layer regular size cake. Should I double it or make it as is? Thank you!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary! 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!

  23. First time making ganache. Turned out beautiful and delicious! Have some patience when the chocolate and cream are melding. Stir once in a while. It’s wonderful and so simple. Thank you, Sally.

  24. Sally this ganache looks amazing can’t wait to try it. I am looking for strawberry ganache and raspberry ganache. What do you suggest. I am gonna also try your red wine ganache. Have you made ganache using liquors to fill cupcakes or any type of fillings that have a liquor in them.

    1. Hi Polly, we haven’t tried strawberry or raspberry ganache. Red wine ganache is our only other published flavor. For a flavored liquor– you can stir liquor into the warm ganache right after you stir in the heavy cream until it’s smooth. Start small, such as 2 Tablespoons, and leave out 2 Tablespoons of cream.

  25. I want to do a whipped ganache frosting with a ganache drip on a cake. Will the Whipped Ganchache (after being chilled on the cake) be stable enough or will it melt under the ganache drip?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lys, It should be just fine! Make sure your ganache for the drip isn’t too warm and you can even chill the frosted cake before you add the drip to make sure it’s solid enough.

  26. I’d like to flavor to this ganache. What kind of adjustments (if any) do I need to make to allow for the extract?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  27. Hi..I made the recipe with milk chocolate chips and it is not thickening. Can I add some melted chocolate? How can I fix this?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Marylin, this ganache will only set if the correct chocolate is used. You can use high quality chocolate chips if needed (we prefer Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips), but we really recommend using pure chocolate baking bars.

    2. Hi again…so there’s no hope for my “ganache”?
      If I whip it will I be able to use it between the layers of my cake?
      I have a 2 layer red velvet cake with cheesecake in the middle but I need something to go around the cheesecake and seal it in…then I’ll ice the whole cake. The cheesecake will hold up the top layer but I need something to fill in.
      Thanks for any help you can give.
      Marylin

  28. It would probably make sense to specify that the mixing should be done with a spatula or something other than a whisk in the recipe as opposed to only mentioning this in the troubleshooting section. I would also specify that any kind of European chocolate is WAY WAY BETTER to use than the poor quality American chocolate – even Baker’s or Ghirardelli don’t quite make the cut :/

  29. I made whipped ganache as a frosting for a cake. Used bittersweet baking chocolate. After one day under a sealed cake dome, it was fairly dry and not supple. Did I do something wrong?

    1. Hi Chris, did you use any less cream than called for? It sounds like the ganache thickened too much after whipping. If you ever try it again, see if adding 1-2 extra Tablespoons of cream helps keep it creamy.

  30. Peggy Desiderio says:

    Sally can I use coconut milk and whip that into a frosting as well? Or do I need to use the heavy cream for that purpose?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Peggy! Yes, for a non-dairy alternative, use canned coconut milk. See recipe note for details.

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