Best Chocolate Ganache Cake Recipe


Will Dickey

Looking for the best Valentine’s Day dessert of them all? It’s this way: the chocolate ganache! Of all the delicious chocolate desserts, this simple yet elegant cake is one of the most amazing. And the best part is that it’s surprisingly easy to make! All you need is a 9-inch cake pan and a rimmed baking sheet with a wire cooling rack for supplies, and you’re ready to go.

What is ganache?

Although it sounds fancy (it’s French, after all), the ganache couldn’t be simpler. You start with cream which is heated to a boil (combined with a little butter and sugar or corn syrup, if desired), then poured over a bowl of chocolate and left to sit for a minute. The two are whipped together into the beautiful shiny mixture we call ganache. It can be used to make truffles, coat candies or, in this case, serve as an easy and elegant coating for a chocolate cake.

What’s the best way to melt chocolate for a ganache?

The best, surefire way to melt chocolate for ganache is to simmer the cream in a saucepan, then pour it over the chocolate (which is placed in a heatproof bowl, of course!). Although you can microwave the cream and chocolate in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, gently heating the chocolate ensures a shinier finish.

How to make a perfect chocolate ganache?

It is very important to let the cake cool completely before pouring the ganache on top. Place a cooling rack with the cooled cake on a rimmed baking sheet (this will allow the ganache to completely cover the cake without pooling around the bottom). Slowly pour the ganache over the cake, tilting the pan as needed to encourage the ganache to drip onto the cake and completely cover the top and sides. The cake will be more brilliant if served immediately. You can also refrigerate it to allow the chocolate to set, which will make the ganache more matte, but no less delicious! Our chocolate ganache cake takes one final fancy step by swirling in a simple peanut butter ganache. It’s optional until you try it once, so we guarantee you’ll find it mandatory!

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8 – 10


Preparation time:





Total time:





For the cake

1/3 tsp.

Cocoa powder without sugar


large egg, at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp.

vanilla extract

1/2 tsp.

freshly brewed strong coffee

For the chocolate ganache

1 ea.

sweet and sour chocolate chips

1 1/2 tsp.

light corn syrup

For the peanut butter ganache swirl (optional)

1/2 tsp.

peanut butter chips

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set the pan aside.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into large bowl; whisk to combine. In another large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture to buttermilk mixture and whisk until well blended. Add coffee and whisk until evenly incorporated.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely, 1 hour.
  4. For the chocolate ganache: In a heatproof 4-cup liquid measuring cup with a pour spout, combine the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon butter. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and light corn syrup to a simmer over medium-low heat. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate mixture and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir until very smooth. Set aside until slightly cooled but still runny (about 105°), 2 to 5 minutes.
  5. While the chocolate ganache cools, place the cake, still on the rack, in a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Once the ganache has cooled slightly, pour it over the cake, making sure to completely cover the top and sides, letting the excess drip onto the rimmed baking sheet. Smooth the top of the cake using a large offset spatula.
  7. Immediately transfer the cake to the refrigerator to harden the ganache, 30 minutes. Using 2 large spatulas, carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.
  8. For the peanut butter ganache swirl (optional): While the chocolate ganache cools in step 4, combine the peanut butter chips and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power until mixture is melted and smooth, 30 seconds, stopping stirring after 15 seconds. Transfer peanut butter mixture to a small Ziploc bag with a 1/4 inch hole cut in the corner. Immediately after covering the cake with hot ganache in step 6, draw 6 equally spaced lines of the peanut butter mixture on top of the cake. Using a paring knife or skewer, slide the tip through the peanut butter and ganache in 7 evenly spaced lines perpendicular to the peanut butter, alternating the direction of each line. Skip to step 7 and let cake cool as directed.

The cake layer can be prepared up to a day in advance. Let cool completely then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. The assembled cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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