How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache

How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache

I made a really yummy chocolate and cherry cake last week and finally had a go at covering it with chocolate ganache. Up until now whenever I have made ganache it’s always been mixed in with buttercream for a cake filling or just as a really delicious layer of chocolatiness before a fresh cream filling but this time was different!
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
Chocolate ganache is basically dark chocolate mixed in with double cream and some butter. It’s rich and seriously best when licked straight from the mixing spoon…. I mean when added to a cake!
Anyway, here’s how I did it.

How to cover an 8″ cake in Chocolate ganache.


Buttercream Ingredients

  • 100g butter – at room temperature
  • 200g icing sugar
  • a drop of vanilla essence
  • 50g cocoa powder (add more if you want it really chocolatey)

 Chocolate Ganache ingredients

  • 75ml double cream
  • 125g Unsalted butter,
  • 250g plain chocolate  broken up into little pieces
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
Start off with your baked cake. Mix up your buttercream by adding the sieved icing sugar and cocoa powder to the butter and whisking till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence and whisk again. If it’s a little too stiff you can add a few drops of milk to loosen it up a bit.
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
Use a pallet knife to spread a thin layer of the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. This will be your base layer so make it as flat as you can.
I use an icing smoother to get the sides nice and even. (This is a great way to discuise a bumpy cake!) If you drag the smoother along the edge of the cake whist resting on a flat surface you’ll get a nice 90° edge.)Pop the cake in the fridge to firm up the buttercream. This will take around 20 minutes.
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
While the cake is in the fridge make the ganache. You can melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water but I just heat up the double cream in a pan until just before it’s going to boil. Then take it off the heat and stir in the chopped up chocolate pieces until it’s all melted and combined. Add the butter till that’s melted and incorporated too and leave to cool a little.
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
Once the buttercreamed cake is firm remove it from the fridge and place it on a wire rack which is over some greaseproof paper.
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
Pour the ganache over the cake so that it fills up the whole top and flows over the sides. I found this strangely good fun. I always did love messy play! Use a spatula to create a soft ripple look if you want. This is my little trick which means that the top layer doesn’t need to be perfectly flat!
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
Leave the cake till the ganache stops dripping. I added the cherries at this stage so they would sit firmly on the cake as it had to travel in the car later that day.
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
Leave the ganache to set. Weather dependant this can take between 30 – 60 minutes. It will firm up quite a bit, but will remain soft so don’t be tepmted to stick a finger on it to see if it’s done. You’ll ruin the look!
How to cover a cake in chocolate ganache
Once set carefully transfere it onto your cake plate.
I was pretty happy with how this turned out. It’s really fun.  I made double the amount of ganache – just in case I had to start again! But you can scoop up the overspilled ganache and keep it in an airtight container for a week in the fridge if you need to. When you are ready to use it again just warm it through slowly in a pan but make sure it doesn’t boil or burn.  I pretty much spooned my leftovers – with some small people’s help, straight into my mouth. I couldn’t leave it alone!


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EmmaMT from

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  1. What do you do with the tray below that catches all the drips??? MMMMMMMMM

    1. EmmaMT from says:

      Don’t tell anyone but I eat it all up!, well most of it anyway. B & D had a good go at it too.

  2. Hi emma,I really need your help to get a good cake recipe for children birthday.thank u.

    1. EmmaMT from says:


      I always bake a Madeira cake as it tastes great and is easy to decorate. Have a look at my recent post with different ingredients for different size cake tins. Here

      I hope that helps


  3. Hi I am using your chocolate madeira cake recipe to make a 12 inch square birthday cake and would like to have chocolate buttercream in the middle and then covered in ganache icing before covering it with sugarpaste would you recommend this and if so would you be able to tell me the ingredients amounts for the buttercream and ganache needed for a 12 inch square cake please
    Thanks Sarah
    Ps is ganache icing the best way to get the sugarpaste to stick to the cake

    1. EmmaMT from says:


      Sorry for the crazily late reply- School holidays and all that!

      I’m sure you’ve made your cake by now but for future reference…that sounds amazing!

      Here’s my post of buttercream

      To make ganache you have equal quantities of dark chocolate and double cream. Heat up the cream in a saucepan then remove from the heat and add the chopped up chocolate and stir till it’s melted.

      You can then add the buttercream to the cooled ganache or apply them separately. I recently mixed them together as it made it easier and quicker to handle and make. It was delicious! (see this cake )

      Sorry for the late reply but I hope that’s of help for the future


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