Super Easy Chocolate Ganache

I have something amazing on deck for Friday. It is my ultimate special occasion cake. Are you my favorite person in the universe? Is it your birthday? Love chocolate? Then I will make you this cake. And since it’s our birthday this week, what better way to celebrate than with my favorite cake and with lots of chocolate?

This magical mystery cake is topped with chocolate ganache (it’s pronounced “guh-NOSH” in case you’re curious.)Β  And in case you’ve never had ganache before, it’s a silky-smooth, shiny, not-too-sweet layer of chocolate that can be found on cakes, cookies, Sara’s amazing Chocolate-Glazed Cupcakes with Vanilla Creme Filling, marshmallows, graham crackers, strawberries, fingers, you know. Just about everything.

The kind of chocolate you choose is a matter of personal taste. Traditionally, ganache is on the slightly bitter side of the spectrum, so the Ganache Mafia might hunt you down if they discover you’ve used milk chocolate in your ganache. My feelings? Yeah, milk chocolate isn’t the traditional choice, but who am I to judge you and your chocolate choices? Chocolate is chocolate. It’s kind of like when my brother had kind of wild hair in high school and I told my parents that if that was the worst thing he was doing, things were in pretty good shape. If your options are milk chocolate or drugs, go for the milk chocolate. Feel validated enough?

What you want is equal parts chocolate and whipping cream. Before someone jumps on me, when I say “equal parts,” I don’t REALLY mean equal parts. You’re wanting, say, 8 oz. liquid (heavy cream) with 8 oz. net weight chocolate chips. So unless you’re going to do 1 1/2 c. heavy cream with a 12-oz. bag of chocolate chips, you’re going to need a kitchen scale. Now…there are some pieces of kitchen equipment that I don’t have or find completely essential–don’t tell Sara, but I’ve never even touched an actual Silpat. But every kitchen needs a scale. Period. The good thing is that you don’t need a fancy scale–mine was purchased at Target 7 years ago for about 8 dollars and it still works beautifully. Off my soapscale. Soapbox. Something.

Anyway, all you need to do is combine the heavy cream and the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl that’s big enough for the mixture (I think mine is about 2 1/2-3 c. here). Doesn’t it kind of look like cereal? Only instead of cereal you have chocolate chips and instead of milk you have heavy cream. The true Breakfast of Champions…

Heat it in the microwave over high heat for two minutes. Whisk. You may wonder if you’ve done something horribly wrong. Pop it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds and whisk and repeat every 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted and you can incorporate it fully into the cream.

If the ganache is on the thin side, wait a few minutes and then whisk it up again. It thickens REALLY quickly, so you won’t have to wait too long. When it’s “solid,” it will be more like fudge. You can use the solid form a little more like regular frosting or you can use it in its liquid state to drizzle over chocolate, pound, or angel food cake. It also works great as a fondue–just dip berries, cookies, pieces of cake, marshmallows, etc.

If you don’t use it all at once, you can store the leftovers in an airtight container and just heat it up until your ganache reaches the desired consistency.




  1. Yum! I didn't realize ganache was so easy – I've always been hesitant to try it. No longer!

    Lol at "breakfast of champions." πŸ™‚

  2. I have one of those chocolate fountains and it calls for chocolate chips mixed with canola oil. Does anybody think this ganache recipe would work in there?It keeps it warm and I usually run it for about 2 hours.

  3. My ganache never set up for me. I did use milk chocolate, so maybe that is the problem… but it ended up just being chocolate syrup. (Not necessarily a bad thing, kids loved it on ice cream!)

  4. Jenny, how long did you wait? It can sometimes take quite a while to thicken. If you have that problem again, try putting it in the fridge and stirring it periodically until it's the thickness you need. Or you could also decrease the cream by a little bit.

  5. Thanks, Sara. I stuck it in the fridge, I stirred the heck out of it, I made a second batch and had the same luck using a little less cream! When I started over I just put a little cream in the bowl and added a splash every 30 seconds when I took it out to stir. Also added some orange zest and then put it over your chocolate mousse crunch cake… and Loved it!

  6. This recipe is amazing! So simple and so decadent! I'm making it for a church youth group fundraiser since it looks and tastes like something straigh out of a high end bakery! Thank you!

  7. This was so easy I may never make chocolate frosting again. It took longer to set up than I anticipated, about 3-4 hours at room temp, for a good icing consistency. I put this on a triple chocolate birthday cake for a friend. I added in some Creme de Minthe (Lorann) Flavoring – I anticipate pure birthday goodness (if the “sneak” taste of the ganache is any indication – there won’t be any leftovers)!

  8. Thanks for this recipe – and for the hilariously detailed instructions. I *did* use a cup ad a half of heavy cream and a 12oz bag of semi-sweets because I did not have a scale. It had to chill in the fridge for the better part of 30 mins until it was the right consistency for frosting my husband’s birthday cake. I made a 3-layer cake out of 8” rounds, so it took almost all of the ganace I made. It’s soooooo good and I will definitely make it again. And again and again…!

  9. My daughter and I found a recipe for a salted caramel chocolate pie. Looked so good we decided to make it for Easter. We switched out the coconut crust for a graham cracker crust, and used your ganache over the very complicated method suggested by the recipe. Oh, and the caramel from the original didn’t work either…so we made our own from brown sugar and butter…So, we ended up up using the recipe for the idea only! But your ganache was perfect and delicions!

  10. I made this tonight for the Chocolate Mousse Cake and it separated into a big mess. I had never seen how much butter fat was in dark chocolate until tonight – YUCK! I cooked it for less than 3 minutes total but that last minute botched the whole deal. Not to fear – I melted some more choc chips, added a tablespoon of greek yogurt and spread it on the cake. It wasn’t as pretty but it gave a nice dark chocolate taste.

  11. Hey..nice recipe.but just wanna know HEAVY CREAM n WHIPPING CREAM,the same isn’t?cause ya recipe above stated as whipping cream,where else d other one, u stated there as heavy cream.which one my dear?? thanks in advance!

  12. I Just love your recipes! I get a kick out of your blogging as well keep up the good work. I also have loved baking all my life and my husband convinced me to open up my own cupcakery and I love it! Thanks for all your great ideas and I look forward to seeing more.

  13. I guess I’ve never commented on this before…. have this recipe bookmarked and it is my “go-to” for making ganache. Yum. And, how easy it is! Going to use it today as a filling for a chocolate layer cake that will be frosted with a traditional icing. But, I thought the ganache would be nice between the layers. Also, used it last week as a topping for a flourless chocolate cake. Whipped it after thickening in the fridge for a half hour, unbelievable. Thank you so much, I, too, had been afraid of “ganache making”.

  14. Ooh this is a great post. Ganache is such a funny thing, because it’s such a staple, but it has so many different states or matter. SCIENCE!

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