How To Make Chocolate Ganache

Giving your desserts a decadent, shiny finish with chocolate ganache is easier than you think.

Chocolate ganache
Photo: Lilechka75/Getty Images

What is Ganache?

The word "ganache" sounds fancy and you may feel like a culinary pro when the word rolls off your tongue, but its meaning is quite simple: Ganache is a silky smooth blend of chocolate and heavy cream. Butter is often added for extra richness. When chilled, ganache may have a firm and almost chewy consistency but, when it is warm, ganache flows like chocolate lava. Here is how to make a simple ganache to use as a frosting, filling, or mousse.

How do you pronounce "Ganache?"

Ganache is a classic French preparation of chocolate and heavy cream that was first introduced as a Parisian truffle in the late 1800s. In the beginning of the word, the "ga" makes a "guh" sound. The emphasis of the word is on the second syllable with a soft "ch," and the back half of the word is pronounced like "nosh." Originally, the term stems from the Italian word for "jaw"— ganascia.

What Makes a Silky Ganache?

The ratio of chocolate to cream determines the texture of the ganache and how it will be used.

How to make ganache for truffles

When you use more chocolate than cream, ganache cools to a firm texture, perfect for making into chocolate truffles.

How to make ganache for glazing a cake

Change the ratio to more equal parts chocolate and cream, and you'll have medium-consistency ganache, just right for glazing and filling cakes.

Chocolate peanut butter cake sits on a plate with two slices cut out of it.
Photographer: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

How to make whipped ganache

When you use more cream than chocolate, you will have a soft ganache that can be whipped into a mousse-like consistency.

What Is the Best Chocolate to Use in Ganache?

It's okay to experiment with chocolate morsels in making ganache; however, stick to semisweet and splurge on a more premium chocolate like Ghirardelli or Guittard. Because there are so few ingredients in ganache, the shiny glaze will benefit tremendously from using a premium chocolate bar. Bars melt differently than chocolate morsels, which contain stabilizers that impede on the melting process. For the best ganache, pick a premium, semisweet baking chocolate bar.

How to Make a Simple Ganache

Try this easy and delicious method when making a ganache to be used as a glaze for your favorite layered cake or bundt cake.

Step 1. Melt the chocolate.

Place 1 (12-ounce) package of semisweet chocolate morsels or 12 ounces of a baking chocolate bar in a microwave safe bowl, then pour ½ cup whipping cream over the chocolate. Microwave on medium power for about two to three minutes, just until that chocolate is melted. Do not let the mixture come to a boil.

whisking melted chocolate
Molly Bolton/Southern Living

Step 2. Add the cream.

Remove the bowl from the microwave and whisk the cream and chocolate together, making sure the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Step 3. Add the butter and rest the ganache.

Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the butter, whisk until melted, and let the ganache sit for about 20 minutes. The mixture needs to be lukewarm and pourable yet cool enough so it will stick to the sides of the cake layers.

Step 4. Decorate with the ganache.

Pour the ganache onto the center of the cake and spread to achieve a smooth coating, then smooth the sides of the cake last. Let the cake stand for about an hour so it is easier to slice, or pop it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

spreading ganache on eclair cake layers
Molly Bolton/Southern Living


  • 12 oz. Premium chocolate baking bar or semisweet chocolate chips

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter


  1. Place chocolate chips and whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl.

  2. Microwave on medium power until the chocolate is melted, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Remove the bowl from the microwave and whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth.

  4. Whisk in the butter until melted.

  5. Rest the ganache until lukewarm, about 20 minutes. The mixture should be pourable but cool enough to stick to the cake.

  6. Pour the cooled ganache onto the center of the cake and spread until smooth. Once the top is smooth, smooth out the sides of the cake.

  7. Let the cake rest for an hour on the counter or 20 minutes in the refrigerator before slicing.


Chocolate chips melt differently than chocolate baking bars due to added stabilizers, so for the best ganache results, try using a premium semisweet chocolate baking bar if possible.

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