How To Use Ganache

How To Use Ganache

Everyone knows I am a die-hard SMBC user (swiss meringue buttercream) but every now and then I need to use ganache. I prefer ganache for some cakes that need super sharp edges that will hold up or when I’m doing some gravity defying cakes. The ganache actually acts as part of the support system for the cake.

Another great thing ganache works well for is the acrylic method for getting those super duper sharp edges on your cakes. The leading expert on this method is Kara Bustos of Sift by Kara. You can get her tutorial on how to achieve these sharp corners.

I got this recipe from the lovely Avalon Yarnes of Avalon Cakes who is a sculpted cake master! I like this recipe a lot because it includes things in the instructions that I feel people normally don’t tell you like how do you mix this? When is it ready? What are these lumps from? lol Especially to someone who is new to using ganache.

Ganache Recipe
2:1 ratio (2:1 ratio means that however much cream you use, you use twice as much chocolate. Just remember to use lbs and fluid oz so 8fl oz of cream would take 16oz of chocolate) For white ganache I use 4:1 ratio. Using higher quality chocolate, not melties, will result in a better ganache. One batch of 32 oz (2lbs) of choc and 16oz of cream will fill and cover one 8″ round cake.

16oz Guittard Semi-Sweet Chocolate (or any choc that is 55% cocoa butter or higher)
8 fl oz  of heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
(sometimes I add 1 Tablespoon of butter for extra shine)

Put your chocolate in the bowl of your stand mixer (or if you don’t have a mixer you can do this by hand). Bring your cream JUST to a boil in a pan on the stovetop, make sure you watch it so it doesn’t boil over. Pour the heated cream into your mixing bowl with a paddle attachment. Let stand for 2 minutes. Turn your mixer onto low and let stir until nice and glossy. Scrape the bowl as necessary with a spatula to make sure that no chunks are left on the bottom. Let ganache set for 2-4 hours or until it is a peanut butter consistency. If you let the ganache harden all the way, it will need to be warmed before use. If you leave it in the mixing bowl, you can put it over a pot of boiling water (bane marie) to carefully re-melt or if you transfer the leftovers to a plastic bowl you can re-warm in the microwave. Be careful not to burn. Always melt in 15 second intervals.

Ganache 101

When you first make ganache it is very liquid, this is what you would use to drizzle onto a cake to get that delicious drippy look on your cakes.

After you let your ganache set up for 2-4 hours and it is a peanut butter consistency, this is when it is ready to frost onto your cake

After you let your ganache set up for 24 hours and it is firm, this is what chocolatiers use to make truffles. You can infuse your milk with flavors like mint or hazelnut and your ganache will take on that flavor in the truffle.




  • cooky05

    Hi, my question is after I ganache the cake can I refrigerate the ganached cake overnight then apply the fondant the next day and do I bring cake to room temp or can I apply fondant as soon as I remove from fridge? Thanks a million!

    • Liz Marek

      You can put fondant on but the ganache will be hard and not sticky so try and spray the ganache with water to make it stick. Make sure your ganache is very smooth before refrigerating or you won’t be able to get the lumps out later.

  • John Fox

    Hi, I recently tried a brownie like ganache cake, very fudgey and smooth. Does anyone have a recipe for this type of ganache? Thanks John

  • Kayla Nielsen

    Is 53% cacao okay? It is significantly cheaper than the higher percentage at my grocery store.

    • Elizabeth Marek

      It’s definitely ok, you might need to experiment with the ratios of chocolate to cream. Maybe do a little less cream

      • Kayla Nielsen

        Thank you! And thank you so much for responding! I have recently discovered you and Sugar Geek Show and you are so inspiring. There are quite a few cake decorators who I admire, but your the only one I’ve encountered that is so down to earth and will answer so many questions from novices! Thank you again.

        • Elizabeth Marek

          awww Thank you! I LOVE talking cake with people who want to learn :-D It’s basically the best job ever :)

  • DeAnne Peterson

    How long (how many days) is a ganached cake good to sit out at room temp for?

    • Elizabeth Marek

      I would say no more than 24 hours because the cake could mold but the ganache will be totally find

  • Barbie Garcia

    So for white chocolate ganache ratio of 4:1 is better than 3:1 to ganache cakes?
    So for 48oz of white chocolate it would be
    12oz of cream is that correct?

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Yes white chocolate is very soft so you have to use twice as much as you would for regular ganache 2:1 ratio

  • Kylie

    Hi, I found this after watching your Heart of Gold cake video. I’m having an issue though! When I put the ganache on, it initially spreads on ok, but then it’s as if it’s reacting with the buttercream and sliding off. The ganache seems to melt the buttercream, so it won’t stick to the cake. If I let it cool too much it is harder to spread. Any suggestions?

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Sounds like your ratios of ganache might be off? Try adding a bit more melted chocolate to it

  • Christina Martinez

    Hi Liz,
    Thank you for the many tutorials you make! I have a quick ganache question. I’d like to use it for the filling of my cake, can I use the piping consistency for that and will it set firm enough to hold the cake up? I appreciate your help!!


  • Esunabruja Loca

    can i freeze ganache to set faster???

    • Elizabeth Marek

      yes you can but you only need to put it in the fridge, you dont want to accidentally freeze it

  • Beckie Bone Dunning

    if u put it in fridge how do I get it back to the dripping constancy and or the piping.. just sit it out..??

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Ganache is made of chocolate which is firm at room temperature or colder. If you want it to be drippy again you’ll have to microwave it or melt it on a double boiler. :)

  • Holly

    LOVE your tutorials! Where do you buy your acrylic boards?

  • Marie

    Hi Liz! Thanks for the tips on ganache and ALL your tutorials as well…My problem is when I use ganache (same recipe as yours) to frost my cakes, it tends to harden very quickly after the 2-4 hours waiting time for it to become peanut butter consistency. I start to frost my cake, the ganache is fine and then before I have time to finish forsting the cake, my ganache is to hard and I have to re-melt it again. Do you know why that is?

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Ganache hardens faster if it is colder in your room. That has happened to me before too. Work on ganaching faster (should be able to finish one cake in 10-20 minutes, turn up the heat in your room or work with cakes that are not chilled.

  • Helen

    Hey Liz! Thanks for all the info :-) If we decide to make truffles should they be stored at room temperature? Also, how long would they be good for?

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Yes they are stored at room temperature. I am actually not sure how long they are good for. If you buy truffles from the chocolate shop, they are at room temp. I suppose you could store them in the fridge to be safe, just make sure they are served at room temperature. After you roll them into a ball, you should roll them in some cocoa powder, powdered sugar, melted chocolate or even nuts for a difference in texture.

      • Helen

        Awesome, thank you!

  • GrossMisunderstandings

    Hi Liz :) When you say let is set for 2 to 4 hours, is that at room temp or in fridge?

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Room temp. Keep the ganache out of the fridge.

      • GrossMisunderstandings


  • Rosie Eder

    Anytime I make ganache there are always big lumps in it. I have never tried making it in my mixer. Maybe that will help with the lumps. Plus I use a milk chocolate that comes in the huge blocks. Will try Avalons recipe to see if that helps with the lumps

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Sounds like your choc just isnt getting melted enough. Just pop the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds until it’s melted and stir more.

      • Rosie Eder

        I shall try that. Thanks sweetie

      • Rosie Eder

        Another question for you. Don’t be shocked lol. If my chocolate isn’t in chip form but from a huge block should I chop it up? I think so but thought I would ask

  • sheila Baldwin

    Hi Liz, your recipe says to ad flavour to milk, do you mean add to cream? please

    • Elizabeth Marek

      What I was talking about is if you wanted to flavor your ganache then add the flavoring to the heated cream. Sorry. Sometimes my mouth doesnt pay attention to my brain

      • Caroline

        Hi Liz. I am a big fan of your work. After your cake has been covered with ganache do you leave it at room temperate overnight before you cover with fondant or do you refrigerate and cover with fondant while it’s still cold. I like to work on cold cakes but I do struggle with air bubbles. Also what is the ratio when using milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate

        • Elizabeth Marek

          I like to refrigerate and work with cold cakes as well. Make sure your room is cold too while working to avoid air bubbles and bring it to room temp slowly. I am not sure about the milk choc, I never use it. I would maybe start with 1.5 choc to cream and see how that sets up.

  • Priscila Carvalho

    Hi Liz,

    Do you have any recipes for ganache w/out milk?

    I´ve heard of people that use jam, but not sure of how to do this…

    Thank you!

    • Elizabeth Marek

      Sorry I dont :(

  • Jarid Altmark

    Thanks for the recipe Liz! Do you just use the Ghiradelli chocolate chips you find in the grocery store in the baking isle? Or do you order the chocolate online or something that I guess would be classified as “true chocolate”?

    • Elizabeth Marek

      I buy them in the bulk section locally. Inexpensive and readily available :)

      • Jarid Altmark

        Perfect! Thanks Again

        • Elizabeth Marek

          any time

          • Brandy Marie Johnson

            Hi Liz. I absolutely love how you answer so many questions for amateur cake decorators. Thank you. I was wonder how you made the design on the side of your ganache cake?

          • Elizabeth Marek

            I painted it straight onto the fondant with white food color and a fine brush