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Chocolate Ganache – 4 Ways

Anytime I include chocolate ganache in a recipe, I always get lots and lots of comments in the questions. I know it’s because I’m always so vague in the instructions for making it. But the reason I’m so vague in my instructions is because my approach to ganache has always been so intuitive. It’s made of two ingredients, simple enough, so I just eyeball the amounts depending on how I want it to turn out.

The beautiful (and confusing) thing about ganache is that there are so many different ways to make it. The consistency can really be as thick or as thin as you want it to be, but that does make it a little difficult to put into an exact recipe.

But, in the spirit of sharing all my favorite basic recipes with you, I have to include a recipe for ganache. I use it ALL THE TIME. It’s gorgeous in all forms and adds elegance and decadence to just about any dessert. In fact, it’s my favorite way to cover up mistakes. It hides lumps and bumps and other ugly messes perfectly.

The trick to ganache is simply understanding how it works at different temperatures. And, really, that’s easy enough.

So let’s dig in! And I do mean with a spoon…

The two ingredients that make up a ganache are: chocolate and heavy whipping cream. You can also use flavored creamer, which opens up all sorts of fun flavor possibilities!

The ratio is always different, depending on how thick you want the ganache to be. For a thicker ganache, which would be more “spreadable,” use less cream. For a thinner ganache, like for pouring on an ice cream sundae like hot fudge, use more cream. Easy, right?

I know, some of you don’t like that. You need a specific measurement right? Otherwise the world might implode. I get it.

Which is why… I measured for you! And I found that my favorite “starting” ratio is 2 cups of chocolate to 3/4 cup of cream. As I said, that shifts a bit depending on the thickness I want. But it doesn’t change too much. Just a tablespoon or two less if I’m going thicker. And maybe as much as a 1/4 cup more if I want a thinner ganache.

If you liked Hostess Cupcakes in your lunchbox as a kid, you'll love this cake version that's all grown up!

4 Different Stages of Ganache:

1) Very Thin: a very thin ganache can be achieved in one of two ways. First, by keeping the ganache warm. Or, second, by using more cream. If you’re using my original starting ratio (2 cups chocolate : 3/4 cup cream), the ganache would need to be warm to pour or drizzle. If you used more cream to make it thin, the ganache can be cooler and still pour and drizzle. This is also a great-for-fondue stage!


2) Somewhere in the Middle: excuse the nondescript title of this stage, but I don’t know what else to call it. This stage is my favorite… it’s sort of like a frosting, but not quite so thick or heavy. Here, it’s room temperature using the original starting ratio (2 cups chocolate : 3/4 cup cream). It’s like part fudge sauce, part frosting. It’s really beautiful at this stage, because you can pour it smoothly. But it’s still very controlled, even spreadable. You could pour it over a cake, but it won’t run all over the edges into a puddle at the bottom. It will “pile” nicely at the top, and allow for spreading. Does that make any sense at all? You may just have to play with it to understand. But you can trust me– it’s beautiful.


3) Chilled: a lot of people use a chilled ganache for the center of their truffles. Chilled ganache can be scooped (as pictured), rolled, and dipped in chocolate, cocoa powder, or sprinkles. As long as it stays refrigerated, it can be handled. If you’re using ganache for truffles, I’d definitely suggest making a thicker ganache to start with. Also, you can make curls with chilled ganache. It’s a lot like play dough when chilled. The curls I used in my simple chocolate mousse were simply strips of chilled ganache that I curled by hand. So easy!


4) Whipped: This is the stage I’ve worked with the least. But it’s super simple. Once the ganache has reached room temperature, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whisk the ganache until it reaches a frosting consistency, and then use it the same way you would frosting! The few times I’ve used whipped ganache, I’ve kept it refrigerated. So that’s my recommendation here.


Speaking of how to store…. ganache can stay out for up to a day. Honestly, I’ve left it out longer and eaten it. And it was fine. But I’m nervous recommending that to anyone else, so I won’t say to leave it at room temperature for longer than a day. Longer than that– keep it chilled and re-heat as you need it.

I BIG, puffy, heart chocolate ganache. So give it a chance and whip up a batch today. Now. Right away! You won’t regret it.

Easy Perfect Ganache

Use this quick and easy ganache on cakes, donuts, in truffles, fondue, and so much more!


2 cups high quality chocolate

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream


Over medium-high heat, stir the chocolate and the cream consistently. Be sure to scrape the bottom and edges well. Stir until melted and smooth (I like to use a whisk).

You could also heat this up in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each rotation in the microwave until smooth and melted.

Have you made a Something Swanky recipe? Post it on Instagram and tag me @somethingswanky or use the hashtag #somethingswankyrecipes. I’d love to re-post!

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The BEST ganache and so easy to make! Use it on cakes, cupcakes, pies, donuts, and so much more!

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

30 comments on “Chocolate Ganache – 4 Ways”

  1. I’ve been looking forward to this post. I also am a lover of ganache. Thank you for showing us the many beautiful stages of ganache.
    My favorite way to eat it… with a spoon!

  2. Fun post! I’ve been waiting to see this since I saw your pic on Instagram! I LOVE ganache!!

  3. Ooh this is a great post. I agree, ganache is such a funny thing, because it’s such a staple, but it has so many different states or matter. SCIENCE! Love the different states of ganache on the plate =) Thanks for including my Dark Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes.

  4. I absolutely love chocolate ganache, you can’t go wrong with it. Great post!

  5. What a fabulous post! I’ve been making ganache forever and there’s nothing more luxurious. However, you may want to correct the actual recipe to show 3/4 cup of heavy cream instead of 2/4 cup of heavy whipping cream. It happens . . . :D

    • Thanks! I knew that was going to happen somewhere!

    • I knew what you meant, but you are so wonderfully specific about how to make the perfect ganache, I thought you’d want to recipe to read correctly. Your blog is amazing. I love every minute I spend reading it and your delicious recipes!

  6. I love ganache and now that you’ve made this post I want to use it in EVERYTHING!

  7. This is such a great post! Didn’t know ganache could be done 4 different ways only really knew about 2.

  8. This is so helpful, thanks for the great visuals and descriptions!

  9. I have heard a lot about ganache but I have never used it. I have heard of using it to crumb frost cakes before using fondant or even for buttercream. How does it taste with different flavors of cake and fondant or even buttercream. I am interested in learning more and have read many things about it but never really knew how to use or handle it. Thank you for this article it explained a lot.

  10. I am so happy that you posted this wonderful pin to use in decorating so many yummy deserts. Your instructions are great and your examples are so easy to understand. Thank you!!!

  11. For whipped ganache, I have only had success when u chill it for a bit first. I also find that it doesn’t produce a high volume so if I’m trying to use it as a filling for a cupcake, I start with a larger batch. Great write up Ashton!

  12. This is great! I love ganache too and have yet to try it whipped but would love to!

  13. Love this post to death! Thanks so much Ashton :)

  14. Love this post! I think this is my first time visiting your blog, but I’m sure I’ll be back often. Surprisingly, I’ve never made ganache, but I “BIG puffy heart” it! tehehe. I’m going to give it a try soon!

  15. I never knew there were so many different ways to make ganache! Pinning :)

  16. Pingback: 50 Shades of Chocolate! {50 Chocolate Recipes Round-up} - Call Me PMc

  17. I’ve used primarily whipped ganache for most of my cakes as I like to try to keep desserts on the lighter side if possible. It’s easy to over-whip ganache, when it starts having a granular appearance, so it’s best to keep a very close eye on it. Overwhipping the ganache can affect mouthfeel, but is most noticeable when you’re piping as it doesn’t come out cleanly.

    The stability of the whipped ganache depends a lot on the chocolate-to-cream ratio, and I’ve found that, weight-for-weight, a higher quality chocolate will give you a much more stable ganache than a cheaper, lower-quality chocolate (presumably from the greater amount of chocolate solids). I haven’t found any issues with leaving a whipped ganache cake unrefrigerated, but this would depend on what other fillings are being used and the number/frequency of the cake layers that are there to hold it all together.

  18. What a great website. Thanks for all the info on making different types of ganaches. I’m making a chocolate cake for a Christmas dinner. I was wondering if the ganache in stage 2 and stage 4 would be good to make designs on a cake using a pastry bag. Thanks!!

    • They might if you have very cold hands :) The heat from our hands tends to melt anything in a pastry bag if it has a low melting point, which ganache does :)

  19. Hi, I have never made chocolate ganache before and am going to try it on some cupcakes but I was planning of freezing the cupcakes and was wondering how this would affect the taste of the ganache.

  20. This was a great post. I was wondering, can you make Ganache out of white chocolate chips?

    • You can, but it’s not quite the same as far as the consistency goes… at least I can never get mine to have the same consistency. And you should start by using drastically less cream than this recipe calls for in proportion to the white chocolate.

  21. Hi, this recipe and its variations look beautiful but I was wondering if anyone has made the recipes and weighed the quantaties of chocolate for the different stages of the ganache. Thanks :)

  22. I made whipped ganache for my vegan cupcakes. I used almond milk instead of cream. And then I whipped the cooled ganache over a bowl of icy water. It’s so amazingly rich and delicious

  23. This is my first time making Ganache, I was wondering when you say heavy cream so you mean
    whipping cream or 1/2 and 1/2 cream? Please advise…..Thanks

  24. Lee, for a two tiered 23cm (9in) cake I use 300grams (12 oz) of chocolate and 300 mls of cream. For whipped ganache to use as a firm thick filling and for cake covering and decoration I add a little icing sugar and then chill.

  25. Hi, Ashton! I wanted to ask if you know the quantities of this recipe in grams, because I’m not really the best as measuring and would like to be accurate. And approximately how much does one batch make? I’m looking for a whipped ganache recipe for my Christmas cupcakes, and yours looks fantastic!

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