Chocolate Ganache Cake
This Chocolate Ganache Cake recipe features decadent layers of my easy chocolate wacky cake and whipped chocolate ganache frosting. A glossy chocolate drip ganache drapes prettily over the top and it’s finished with fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings, sure to satisfy any chocolate cravings!
Rich & Decadent Chocolate Ganache Cake
This Chocolate Ganache Cake recipe features chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate! I created this chocolate layer cake using my mom’s chocolate wacky cake recipe (quick and easy, my favorite chocolate cake!) and my 2-ingredient chocolate ganache. The cake is layered and frosted with whipped chocolate ganache, then finished with a gorgeous chocolate drip. It’s a perfect special occasion cake, yet easy enough to make “just because”!
Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is a classic and beloved cake, definitely a favorite of mine. Here’s why you’ll love this chocolate ganache cake recipe:
- Rich and chocolatey. When you pair rich, moist chocolate cake with silky ganache frosting, it’s the ultimate dessert treat that will satisfy even the most discriminating chocolate lovers.
- A one-bowl cake + easy ganache. You only need one bowl to make the cake batter. And then just warm some cream for melting the chocolate, to create the ganache.
- Simple ingredients. You only need 2 ingredients for the ganache. And the chocolate cake doesn’t even call for eggs or butter…which might leave you skeptical. But I promise you, it’s awesome. I’ve been enjoying this cake since I was a kid – Mom made it for every birthday celebration!
- Easy to adapt. Use this cake base as a jumping-off point for other adaptions. Make the recipe as written, or serve it as a single-layer cake, topped with peanut butter frosting or chocolate buttercream, or even bake it into cupcakes.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this chocolate ganache cake recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
For the Cake
- Flour – Flour is the base of the cake batter, and gives the cake structure. Make sure to measure using the spoon and level method.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar sweetens the cake.
- Cocoa powder – Unsweetened baking cocoa adds the rich chocolate flavor to the cake.
- Baking soda – This ingredient helps the cake rise perfectly.
- Salt – This is a lovely contrast to the sweetness, plus it enhances the chocolate flavor.
- Vegetable oil – This keeps the cake moist and adds rich texture.
- Vinegar – White vinegar activates the baking soda so the cake rises properly. (You won’t taste the vinegar in the cake.)
- Water – Cold water adds moisture and helps bring the cake batter together.
- Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract enhances the sweetness and flavor of the chocolate.
For the Ganache & Garnish
- Chocolate – Make sure to use good quality chocolate bars such as Guittard or Ghirardelli, as this will give you the best flavor and silky smooth texture.
- Cream – Warmed heavy cream melts the chocolate gently, to create a luxurious ganache when mixed together. Do not substitute lower-fat milk as this will not allow the ganache to set properly.
- Raspberries and chocolate curls – These are optional garnishes that I adore, but you can decorate the cake however you like.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache Cake
Follow along with my photos below to guide you through making this recipe. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card lower down in this post.
- Prep. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 9” round cake pans with parchment paper.
- Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt – then make three large wells in the mixture. Combine the oil and vinegar, and pour it into the wells.
- Add water and vanilla. Then pour the water and vanilla extract over the top.
- Combine. Mix with a fork until combined.
- Bake. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
- Gently melt the chocolate. Heat the cream, then pour it over the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir the chocolate and cream together until smooth.
- Whip. Reserve ½ cup of the ganache. Whip the rest until it’s light and fluffy.
- Assemble. Spread ¾ cup of the whipped ganache on top of one cake layer. Top with the other cake layer.
- Frost. Now frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of remaining whipped ganache. Chill the cake.
- Add the drip ganache. Then heat the reserved ½ cup of ganache and spread it over the top, letting it drip over the edge of the cake.
- Chill and garnish. Place the cake in the fridge to set the ganache, then garnish with raspberries and chocolate curls.
Tips for Success + Variations
A few easy-to-follow tips will help ensure optimal cake success! Here are a few best practices to refer to when making this cake:
- Measure the flour properly. To create a moist and tender crumb, make sure to measure the flour sing the spoon and level method, rather than scooping out the flour from the bag. This helps to ensure the flour doesn’t become compacted, which results in using too much flour – and thus, a dry cake.
- Use fresh ingredients. Using fresh ingredients will help your cake taste its best and will help it rise properly. Check the expiration date on the baking soda to make sure it’s fresh.
- Line your baking pans with parchment paper! This helps the cakes bake evenly and release easily from the pans.
- Chill. Chilling the cake in Steps 7, 13, and 15 is optional but highly recommended. Chilling helps ensure that the finished cake has clean edges and that the ganache isn’t runny or lopsided.
- Add a crumb coat. A crumb coat is an easy step that helps avoid crumbs ending up in the frosting. To add a crumb coat, simply coat the top and sides of the cake in a very thin layer of ganache – then place the cake in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. While the cake chills, keep the remaining whipped ganache covered tightly with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Then, when the crumb coat has set, remove the cake from the fridge and frost the top and sides with a thicker layer of whipped ganache.
- Try other chocolate. I prefer to use semisweet chocolate to make the ganache, but you could try milk chocolate or a less concentrated dark chocolate if you prefer.
- Use other berries. After raspberries, my next choice would be fresh strawberries. Whatever you use, just be sure the berries are super fresh and deliciously sweet.
Chocolate cake, stored correctly, will keep very well for a few days in the fridge. Or, freeze it for another time. Here’s how to store your chocolate ganache cake:
- Fridge – Place chocolate cake with chocolate ganache in an airtight container or cake saver, or cover it tightly with plastic wrap and a layer of foil, and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let the cake sit on the counter at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before you serve it for the best flavor and texture. (If you like cold chocolate cake – like I do – just dig right in!)
- Freezer – You can also freeze this cake. Freeze it in an airtight freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. Or wrap individual slices of cake in plastic wrap, then foil, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake completely in the fridge before serving.
More Decadent Cakes To Try
- Chantilly Cake
- Pumpkin Layer Cake with Creamy Cinnamon Whip
- Dark Chocolate Cake with Chili-Chocolate Buttercream
- Mom’s German Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Ganache Cake
For the Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 cups cold water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Ganache
- 20 ounces good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (such as Ghirardelli pure chocolate baking bar – do not use chocolate chips)
- 2½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1½ cups fresh raspberries for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chocolate curls for garnish
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease two 9” round cake pans very well with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Make three large wells in the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and white vinegar. Pour the mixture evenly into the three wells.
- Next pour the cold water and vanilla extract evenly over the surface. Mix using a fork until no large lumps remain.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and turn them out onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
- While the cakes cool, make the chocolate ganache.
- (Optional) Wrap the cooled cake layers tightly in plastic and freeze them for at least 30 minutes – this will help make frosting the cake easier and cleaner!
For the Ganache
- Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream in a medium saucepan until it is steaming and just beginning to bubble around the edges. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for 2 minutes.
- Whisk the ganache until it is smooth and fully combined. Set the ganache aside and allow it to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, or until it has solidified.
- Place all but ½ cup of the ganache into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy and pale brown, about 5 minutes.
- Place one of the cake layers on your serving platter and dollop about ¾ cup of whipped ganache on top. Spread the whipped ganache all the way to the edges and then place the second cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides with the whipped ganache.
- Place the frosted cake in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes to allow the whipped ganache to set before adding the drip ganache.
- Once the cake has chilled, reheat the remaining ½ cup ganache in the microwave in 10 second intervals until it is thick but pourable (similar consistency to caramel sauce or honey). Pour the drip ganache over the top of the cake and spread it to the edges, allowing just a little bit to drip down the sides of the cake.
- Return the cake to the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes to set the drip ganache.
- Garnish with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls. To make chocolate curls, run a vegetable peeler along the long edge of a chocolate bar.