How To Make Chocolate Ganache
Learn how to make chocolate ganache with this easy tutorial. You only need chocolate, heavy whipping cream, a microwave, and 5 minutes to make this simple ganache recipe!
I used to think that chocolate ganache sounded like a difficult or fancy thing to make. But the truth is that chocolate ganache is actually really simple to make and it only requires two ingredients. Yes – just two!
What Is Ganache?
Chocolate ganache is made by adding warm cream to chopped chocolate, then mixing it together until it’s completely smooth. You can adjust the amounts of chocolate and cream to use it in various ways. Depending on the ratios of each ingredient that you use, ganache can be used as a pourable glaze, filling for cakes or pastries, truffles, and so much more!
In today’s post, I’m breaking down everything you need to know for how to make chocolate ganache. Plus, how to turn it into a frosting for cakes and cupcakes!
For this recipe, you’ll need two ingredients – semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream:
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate: I really like Bakers brand chocolate bars, but Ghirardelli is another great option. You may also use semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe, which I’ll explain later.
- Heavy Cream: Also known as heavy whipping cream, this helps to thin out the chocolate. For best results, stick with a cream that’s at least 36% milk fat.
As I mentioned earlier, you can adjust the ratios of chocolate and heavy cream in this recipe depending on how you’re wanting to use it. In this post, I’m showing you how to make the 1:1 ratio. Here’s a breakdown of the different ratios:
- 1:2 Ratio: With this ratio you’re using 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and 8 ounces of heavy cream. This ratio is great for a thinner, pourable glaze.
- 1:1 Ratio: This is the ratio that I used for this recipe, which simply means that you’re using equal amounts of chocolate and heavy cream. In this case, I used 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and 4 ounces of heavy whipping cream. This ratio is great for a thicker glaze and works well as a drip on cakes too. You can see how I used this as a drip on my chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.
- 2:1 Ratio: For this version, you would use 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and 4 ounces of heavy cream. This will create a much thicker ganache, which is great for making candy like chocolate truffles.
How To Make Chocolate Ganache
To make this chocolate ganache, simply chop the chocolate and add it to a heat-proof bowl. Set the chocolate aside while you warm up your heavy whipping cream.
Next, add the heavy whipping cream to a microwave safe measuring cup. I typically just use the microwave to heat up the heavy whipping cream because it’s easier, but you can use the stove too. If you’re using the microwave, be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. I find that somewhere between 45 seconds to 1 minute is enough time.
Then, pour the warm heavy cream on top of the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Once the chocolate has softened, use a whisk or spoon to stir the chocolate and cream together. It’s best so start stirring in the middle and continue stirring in one direction until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
How To Make It Into A Frosting
Another thing that you can do with ganache is whip it and use it to make a frosting. To make chocolate ganache frosting, you want to use the 1:1 ratio.
I recommend adding the chocolate and cream to a bowl that you can mix the frosting in to make things easier. Once you’ve mixed up the ganache, transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. Then, remove it from the refrigerator and beat it with an electric mixer until it’s thickened, fluffy, and lightened in color like the picture above.
Then, you can use the frosting to frost a cake or add it to a piping bag and pipe it onto cupcakes. Super simple, right?
Can I use white chocolate?
You can use white chocolate, but it is much different than semi-sweet chocolate so you will need to adjust the amount of each ingredient. For a drip similar to the 1:1 ratio in this post, I prefer to use 6 ounces of white chocolate (or 1 cup of white chocolate chips) and 1/3 cup (80 ml) of heavy whipping cream.
Can I use semi-sweet chocolate chips?
I prefer to use bars of semi-sweet chocolate versus chocolate chips because chocolate chips have stabilizers added to them. However, you can use chocolate chips to make this ganache. 2/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips is equal to about 4 ounces.
Does chocolate ganache harden?
Although ganache will firm up some as it cools or if it’s refrigerated, it will continue to stay soft.
Does it need to be refrigerated?
It’s okay to leave it at room temperature for up to 2 days. However, I do prefer to keep it refrigerated to help it stay fresh longer.
- It’s best to chop your chocolate into small pieces, this will help it melt quickly and make a smoother ganache.
- If you warm your cream in the microwave make sure to keep a close eye on it. If you heat it for too long, it can bubble up and spill over.
- Let the warm cream sit on the ganache for at least 2 to 3 minutes before mixing it together.
Different Ways To Use It
- On top of chocolate cupcakes (1:1 ratio)
- As a filling for cookie cups (1:1 ratio)
- For chocolate truffles (2:1 ratio)
- As a topping for ice cream (1:2 ratio)
- As a drip on a chocolate cake (1:1 ratio)
How To Make Chocolate Ganache
- 4 ounces (113 grams) semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
- Chop the chocolate and add it to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.
- Pour the heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl (or a glass measuring cup) and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't bubble over in the microwave.
- Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Start whisking slowly in the middle of the bowl, and continue whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
- Allow to cool completely before using on a dessert.
Hi Danielle! This looks easy even for a noob like me. Could I substitute semisweet chocolate chips instead of a bakers bar of chocolate? Thx!
Hi, Cindy! You can use semisweet chocolate chips, but I do suggest using a bar of chocolate if you can. Chocolate chips have stabilizers in them, so regular chocolate is a little better in this recipe. If you do use chocolate chips, you can use 4 ounces (about 2/3 cup).
Can vanilla flavoring be added and can it be reheated to pour over ice. Team?
You can add vanilla extract if you like, Judy. You can also reheat it and pour over ice cream.
Danielle, I love this tutorial! Ganache is something that’s so easy to mess up – so your step-by-step instructions and pictures are incredibly helpful!
Thank you so much, Nora! 🙂
Hi Danielle for this ganache after set for while will it set hard like chocolate ?
Hi, Janey! The recipe as written does not set hard, it’s really easy to slice into.
Hi, can i use this for my chocolate cake?
I am a begginner, pls help.
Thanks a lot!
Once it cools, it’s thick enough to kind of use as a frosting. It won’t be the same as buttercream though, I have a post for how to make that here: http://www.livewellbakeoften.com/how-to-make-buttercream-frosting/.
Can you use Ghirardelli unsweetened baking cocoa if you don’t have prices or a bar?
Unsweetened cocoa powder won’t work in this recipe. You can use chocolate chips though, 2/3 cup is equal to about 4 ounces.
a really great chocolate frosting using cocoa: 1 stick butter 2/3 cup cocoa powder 3 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup milk 1 tsp vanilla melt butter stir in cocoa add powdered sugar alternatively and milk and beat to a spreading consistency enjoy! I sometimes use heavy cream instead of milk if I have it extra creamy!
That sounds fantastic, Maria!
I’m using the ganache to top my rainbow cookies. Will this work. I need for it to set
I think this ganache would be fine on cookies, but it doesn’t harden it stays soft.
What can I do or use so it hardens. Any advise
Are you wanting to use it on a specific dessert (cake, cookies, etc)?
Italian rainbow cookies is what I would like to use it on.
I’ve never actually made Italian Rainbow Cookies, but I think they’re usually just topped with melted chocolate which will harden again once its cooled.
Which ratio would I use if I am wanting to use this on a chocolate cake? I am wanting it to be more on the pour able side but not too runny for the covering.
I know I want to use the 1:1 ration for between the layers…I think.
I am so new to this.
I would use the 1:1 ratio for the top and between the layers. That one is kind of pourable, but it’s not super thin and holds up pretty good if you’re drizzling it down the sides of the cake too.
Hi Danielle. Great recipe, super easy! Quick question….would this work with dark chocolate? How high a percentage could I go? 85%?
Hi, Christine! It may work okay to use a darker chocolate, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. The ganache may be a bit more firm since there’s less sugar in dark chocolate.
Hi Christine. Have you tried it with dark chocolate? How was it? And could you tell me what’s the ratio you use? Thank you. Lucia.
Hi! I just tried fondant and failed terribly then thought chocolate ganache would be perfect on the cake I made. Would this recipe work for s baked cake? To cover the whole thing?
You can use it on a cake, but it will stay soft. I would say it’s better for covering the top and just drizzling down the sides though. When it comes to frosting a cake I like to use this homemade buttercream recipe: http://www.livewellbakeoften.com/how-to-make-buttercream-frosting/.
Could you use chocolate almond bark
Chocolate almond bark is not the same as regular bars of chocolate, so I wouldn’t suggest it. You can use chocolate chips.
Hi, great simple recipe! Can I use sugar free chocolate chips for this?
I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure. If you have both, you could scale the recipe down and try a smaller batch to see how it turns out first.
Hi Danielle. I’m looking for a filling for macarons. Can I use white chocolate instead with vanilla extract. And would it be a 1:1 ratio.
It would be fine to use white chocolate, but you may want to use a little more chocolate if you’re wanting a thicker filling.
What’s the ratio of ganache for chocolate cupcake topping?
Do you mean to glaze the top of the cupcakes or as a frosting to pipe on the cupcakes?
Hi Danielle! This looks super easy to make, which is perfect! I wanted to know if I could put it in to a cheesecake (before cooking it) & then swirl it around to give it a marble look? Thanks!
I’m not so sure that would work well, Nikki. The chocolate wouldn’t firm up like the rest of the cheesecake. You can bake the cheesecake, then top it with this ganache once it’s cooled. You could also just melt some regular chocolate and swirl it on top of the cheesecake (or mix melted chocolate in with some of the cheesecake batter and make a marbled cheesecake).
Just wanted to ask how long do you let the ganache set before pouring it in to a cake?
I would let it cool for 15-20 minutes or so, just until it’s not too hot to pour on top of your frosting.
Thank. Would the ratio also need to change if I use milk chocolate?
The ratios would stay the same with milk chocolate.
If you make a thicker ganache and chill it for awhile until it is like a thick paste, you can use a hand mixer to whip it for a couple minutes and it will become fluffy like a frosting. Then you can use it between layers and to frost the outside of a cake.
Yes! I’ve been meaning to add some photos and directions for that as well to this post. Definitely need to do that soon! 🙂
Hi! Can i use ganache to fill in revel bars?
What is the proportion?
Revel bars are typically filled with more of a fudge filling, this would be too thin. I have an easy fudge here recipe here: http://www.livewellbakeoften.com/smores-fudge/, you can omit the marshmallows and graham crackers. It makes a pretty thick layer of fudge for an 8×8 pan, so depending on how much you’re making you may need to scale the recipe down.
Sorry for the garbled words.
Thank you so much. However fudge for the revel bars using condensed milk is too sweet. Any suggestions on how to lessen the sweetness?
To be honest, I’m not sure. I don’t have a revel bar recipe on my site, it may be best to search for one with a fudge layer that’s not quite as sweet.
Hi Danielle, what’s the shelf life of a chocolate ganache on a cake?
Hi, Margaret! It should be fine for 3-4 days on a cake, I would just make sure to refrigerate it.
Hi Danielle, I’m hoping to attempt this cute penguin cake over the weekend. What ratio would you suggest for the ganache please? I haven’t used to fully ice a cake before. Thanks!!!
Hi, Emma! It looks like it’s a 1:1 ratio that’s just been cooled, but I’m not 100% sure. If the video provides a recipe it may be best to use that one. Or you could use the chocolate buttercream frosting in this post: http://www.livewellbakeoften.com/how-to-make-buttercream-frosting/. I hope that helps!
I flavor my ganache with amaretto or creme de mint liquor. I make chocolate cups with semi sweet chips and fill them with the flavored ganache. Just made them for our grandsons wedding today.
That sounds fantastic, Jan! I’ll have to try that out sometime soon!
I will use a buttercream icing on my cake can this be poured over the icing
Yes, absolutely! Just make sure to let the ganache cool before you add it to your cake.
Does it have to be refrigerated
If you make it pretty far ahead of time, then yes I would refrigerate it. You can let it come back to room temperature or heat it in the microwave. If you’re topping it on a cake or using it for something else, it’s fine to leave it out for a little while.
Hi again Danielle, 🙂 I want to know how much cup for the 2:1 ratio for ganache? Thanks 🙂
I mean what is the equivalent of ounces to cup?
1 US cup is equal to 8 ounces or 240 ml.
Was wondering if this would set up, in drip form, if I put it over a fondant covered cake instead of a frosted cake? Would it deform the fondant or melt it even?
The recipe in the post will set up in drip form if you spread it on top of a cake and let it go over the edges. I’m not sure about using it with fondant, I haven’t tried it.
Can regular milk be used instead of cream
I imagine that you could, but the ganache won’t be quite as thick. I would stick with heavy cream if you can.
I have the Bakers German sweet chocolate. Would that work
I haven’t tried it, but it would probably work. German chocolate isn’t quite the same as semi-sweet chocolate though.
Hi Danielle, thank you for sharing you awesome recipes with us!
So I’m planning on using ganache with your layer chocolate cake recipe for my uncles birthday tomorrow and I was wounding if I should make has is for a cake or should it be thicker? I’ve never done a chocolate ganache cake before and I’m excited! My uncle is a double chocolate lover and I think he would love a chocolate ganache cake.
Hi, Raquel! The 1:1 ratio will work good for topping on a cake, just be sure to let it cool before you top it. Hope everyone enjoys the cake!
Ok sounds good thank you so much for all you help!???
So I made it with your chocolate cake recipe and is was delicious!!! Everyone loved it!! Thank you for your recipes, help and tips!!
So happy to hear that, Raquel!
How much ganache does this recipie make?
About 1 cup, but it varies depending on the ratio of ganache that you use too.