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.
Hey so I can use semi sweet chocolate chips for this ?
Absolutely! Just make sure to use an equal weight of chocolate chips, I believe 4 ounces is about 2/3 cup. Also, keep in mind that chocolate chips have stabilizers in them so it won’t be *quite* as smooth but they will work fine! 🙂
I use them all of the time. You can even use the flavored chips. So if Your looking to make a 2 color or light and dark chocolate look, try the dark chocolate chips which are larger chips than semi sweet so measure carefully.
I have been making Ganache for years using this recipe. It’s not that complicated. I have never had it fail me.
How do I make it so it dries like a shell coating? Like for a peanut butter and choocolate “reeses” cup
For something like that, I would just melt chocolate down with 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Ganache would be far too soft.
Would this recipe be firm enough to put inside of a cakepop once completely cooled? If not should I use a recipe that contains coconut oil or add gelatin to it?
I’m not quite sure what you mean. How exactly are you wanting to use it in the cake pop?
I am looking to make a thin, but completely coated shell over frozen gelato balls. Which ratio would you recommend? Thanks!
Hi, Vicki! For something like that you may want to use a recipe like my homemade magic shell. Here is a link to it: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/homemade-magic-shell/.
What if i still have clumps
It’s likely that the cream wasn’t warm enough or it didn’t sit long enough. You can microwave the mixture for 15-20 seconds and see if that helps.
I want to do a gradient with the ganache, and I’m using it as an icing. I’m just trying to determine how to make it lighter without compromising the integrity of the ganache. I’ve also whipped the ganache after letting it cool in the past, would you recommend doing that? Thanks!
Hi, Jessica! Do you mean you’re wanting to do an ombre effect with the ganache? I’m honestly not sure how to lighten it without changing the ganache too much. If you whip it, it will lighten it some but it will make it thicker and more like a frosting you can pipe/spread. Something like a buttercream frosting may be better for something like that. I have a post on how to make some different buttercream flavors here: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/how-to-make-buttercream-frosting/.
For an ombre effect you could make 3 separate ganaches. One with milk chocolate, one with semi-sweet and one with dark chocolate. That should turn out slightly differents shades. If it’s not noticeable enough try adding a few white chocolate chips to the milk or semi-sweet batch.
Put it in the refrigerator or the freezer. Fridge for 20 min. Freezer for 7-20 min.
Thank you for the recipe. I’m making a few chocolate cakes and want to make a chocolate ganache for my son and daughter in-law anniversary.
You’re welcome, Tina! I hope everyone enjoys the ganache!
Can you use sweetened condensed milk instead of cream
Sweetened condensed milk would create more of a chocolate fudge, I suggest using cream for this recipe.
Thank you for the recipe. I want to cover a cake with ganache and then cover it with fondant. What measurements should I use. Also I don’t know what bittersweet chocolate is it like dark chocolate 72% cocoa? x
Hi Rita! I’ve never worked with fondant, but I’m not sure how well it would work to cover the cake in ganache and then fondant. Also, I use semi-sweet chocolate for this ganache.
I’m making a chocolate naked cake with a chocolate glaze between each layer. I need chocolate ganache to pipe around the glaze to hold it in. What ratio should I use the be sure it’s thick enough to pipe?
Hi Stacey. The recipe as written would likely be too thin and the truffle version would be too thick. Are you using some kind of frosting for the top of the cake? If so, it may be best to use that to pipe around the cake layers, then fill them with the chocolate glaze.
will this work as a “glue” to hold cake layers together? Im making a mincraft cake, and cutting the layers of different colors and piecing them together to make the cake look like the pixels.
Hi, Cathy! It may be a little too thin and come out of the sides of your layers. Something like a thin layer of buttercream frosting may work best.
Is the 1 to 1 ratio right to pour over a 2 layer cake so it’s completely coated & covered?
You can use that ratio to coat a cake, but it will stay soft. You may need to use an offset spatula to make sure it fully coats the sides too.
Can I use Bakers German chocolate
It might work, but I haven’t tried it.
Made this Ganache 1 to 1 ratio to cover a chocolate ring, even though I let it cool down room temperature, it seeped through the chocolate ring, any suggestions? As I thought it would dry out to a nice set coating of icing.
I’m not sure, Sheila. When you say a chocolate ring do you mean a chocolate bundt cake or something else?
I am making a chocolate chip brownie and I want to cover the top with a thick-ish ganache and then a drizzle of white chocolate. What ratio would you suggest so it hardens a little but not too much?
Are you making a batch of brownies and you’re just wanting a layer of ganache on top? If so, the 1:1 ratio would work. You can refrigerate them and it will stay soft and be easy to cut into.
Hello, I’m making a lava cake for my sons birthday. What ratio should I use to make it thick enough to ooze out when cut? Not to thick or not to thin I’ll be using chocolate chips. I don’t want to partially baked the cake . I’d rather make ganache and put it in the cake after baked. Thank you.
Are you going to bake them and then cut out a spot to add the ganache? If so, I think the 1:1 ratio would work well. I do have a molten lava cake recipe on my site as well!
Thanks for the recipe. I’m looking to make a chocolate tart. Will the 1 : 1 ration work for a no-bake tart? And to what extent will this mixture firm so it can be sliced? Thanks!
Yes, but it kind of depends on how firm you’re wanting the tart to be. The 1:1 ratio will work and you can slice it, but it will be soft.
Hi Danielle – thanks for sharing this recipe! I’d like to use the ganache to pour over a raspberry pound cake. I don’t want to coat the cake in ganache, but want I do want it to be more than a drizzle. A few questions for you: 1) Will the 1:1 ratio work best for that? If not, what ratio should I use? Also, when should I pour it over the cake? 2) Will the recipe be enough to cover an entire pound cake the way I want to pour it on? If not, should I double the recipe? 3) Should I let the ganache cool completely before pouring it over the cake or maybe cool for more than 10-15 mins, but not completely?
I think the 1:1 ratio would work best. I would add it to the cake just a little before you plan to serve it, but it’s okay to add it a little ahead of time too. I think this recipe should be enough and I would let it cool about 15 minutes or so before you drizzle it on the cake.
I am making an Eclair Cake which calls for canned chocolate frosting. Which you put on top of the graham crackers. I was wondering if this would work instead of the canned frosting?
The 1:1 ratio would probably work, but it’s not the same as canned frosting.
Can I use this for cookies ? I want softer chocolate to dip butter cookies and cover with sprinkled without it being crunchy.
I think this would be too soft. You could melt some chocolate down with a 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil for something like that.
Must try this!!! Do you perhaps have a recipe for salted caramel topping sauce?
Yes! You can find it here: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/homemade-salted-caramel-sauce/.
I want to make some heart shaped brownies and pour a chocolate coating over them that will allow the brownies to be picked up with fingers. Will ganache work for this?
Ganache will stay soft, so it probably wouldn’t work well if you’re wanting to serve them as finger food. I would suggest dipping them in some melted chocolate to coat them.
Just a tip for fellow Aussie ganache makers. I found the ratio of 125grams of dark chocolate too thick for dripping down the side of my cake. Even after reheating a couple of times in the microwave. I experimented and found I could thin it by heating thickened cream to warm it and then gradually adding to my exiting ganache. Also fellow Aussies make sure you use a good quality thickened cream WITHOUT GELATINE, having ganache seize on me last week using cream with gelatine. Apart from that Danielle thankyou for your recipe and instructions.
Greetings from Down Under!
Thank you for sharing, Debby!
Can i replace the heavy cream with full cream milk? does it produce the same result?
Thank you 🙂
I would suggest using heavy cream, if you use whole milk the ganache will probably be thinner.
Can I use regular whipping cream instead of heavy cream? Do you know what the ratios would be? Thank you
Whipping cream has slightly less fat in it, but I think it would be okay to use the same amounts.
Hi! I wanted to use this as a drip around the edges of a cake I’m making! Would the 1:1 ratio be too thin for that? Thanks so much!
The 1:1 ratio would be best for a drip, just make sure to let it cool some before you use it.
am wondering if this recipe could be used to dip homemade donuts with as a glaze for them to dip into?
Yes, absolutely! It won’t fully harden like a regular glaze on donuts, but it would work fine.
I want to put a small mound on top of mini cheesecakes and tip that with pieces of chopped Andes mints. Should i use the 2:1 ratio? Will this freeze for 2 weeks?
Hi, Deb. It kind of depends on what you’re going for with the topping. The 2:1 ratio will be much thicker and is meant for truffles. I prefer to use the 1:1 ratio on cheesecakes, you won’t be able to make a mound with that ratio but it’s easier to cut into. I have a chocolate buttercream frosting recipe here that you could pipe on top of them.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, that should be fine. You can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
I would like to make a white chocolate drip to put on a cake, but it must be able to set coz I will need to paint it gold, can you please give me a recipe with quantities or do you perhaps have a better idea of doing this, thanks
I’ve never tried it, so it’s hard to give suggestions. You would likely need to use more chocolate to heavy cream for something like this though.
if i was to use milk or white chocolate would you still use the 2:1 ratio?
It depends on what you’re going for, are you wanting something similar to truffles like the 2:1 ratio? White and milk chocolate will require a little more chocolate to heavy cream than semi-sweet.