Ganache instead of buttercream? UPDATED

Posted in November 15th, 2009, under Food, Recipes, Sugar Art

 

DSC_2438ganache 1

Many people ask me how I get sharp edges on my fondant cakes. Other than sharing my smoothing techniques, I also tell them that I use ganache under fondant (check tutorial below). Although you can perfectly achieve sharp edges using buttercream under fondant, I find that it is easier to use ganache to achieve that perfect sharp look. Note: The picture of the cake above has nothing to do with ganache. I just felt like putting it there–but all my cakes in my gallery has ganache under fondant.

Ingredients:

Heavy whipping cream

Semi sweet or dark chocolate

 

Nope, I did not forget the measurements. It depends on how much you will need. You should always follow the 2:1 ratio of chocolate to heavy whipping cream when making this type of ganache. That means, if you use 2 pounds of chocolate, you will have to use 1 pound of  cream. So, if you have 5 pounds of chocolate, you will use 2 1/2 pounds of cream–you get the drill. It is important to only measure by weight. If you are planning on using white or milk chocolate, you will HAVE to follow a 3:1 ratio of chocolate to cream. Milk and white chocolate tends to be softer.

Directions:

Let your cream simmer below medium heat for a minute or so. When that is done, turn the heat off and throw in the chocolate.  Let it sit for a minute (to soften the chocolate). When ready, stir and keep mixing until incorporated and smooth. You should not have any chunks of chocolate. You may have tiny bubbles but that is okay. Check below for the microwave version.

Your ganache at this point will be runny and thin. You will have to let it set overnight until it thickens to a slightly thicker peanut butter consistency. Since I don’t have the patience to wait, I just let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover because you might get condensation). It would  usually set in the fridge for about an hour or two. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).

I would like to thank my friend, Michelle Rea of Inspired by Michelle Cake Designs for making the video tutorials below. I do it exactly as she does it, except for the microwave part (which I think is so clever). Oh, and check out here lovely blog: Michelle’s blog

How to make ganache using a microwave:

How to cover cake with ganache:

How to finish a cake:

103 Responses to “Ganache instead of buttercream? UPDATED”

  1. I’m planning on making a cake tomorrow. How much does the four pound chocolate morsels make.

  2. No problem Lily.

    Sandra, 4 pounds of semi sweet chocolate with 2 pounds of cream can cover a 10″, 8″ and 6″ cakes(all 4 inches tall. I would usually have some left overs but it all depends on how thick you apply it (I apply mines between 1/4″-1/2″ thick.

  3. Wow, awesome tip! I’ve never used ganache under fondant before….only buttercream. So good to know!

  4. This is a very helpful tip! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I also think ganache tastes roughly a bazillion times better than fondant :D I never understood the obsession with cakes with pristine, artificial-looking edges. They’re cakes!

  6. Ganache would be a great change from buttercream. Thanks for the tip and the recipe.
    Mimi

  7. French tend to use more ganache than buttercream, so I am more familiar with using ganache on my pastries :-) the photos are gorgeous!

  8. I am definitely going to try this next time I make a fondant cake – thanks for the tip!

  9. I love coming to your blog ~ you have great food recipes and nice pictures. Ganache is always my first choice and I would like to try this on my fondant cake. Thank you :D

  10. This is such a delicious blog and thanks so much for sharing some secrets. I much prefer ganache to buttercream so that works in my favour. What a gorgeous cake!

  11. Thanks for that great tip!
    I answered your question on my post :)

  12. Great tip! Would never have thought to use ganache instead of buttercream under fondant. I’m new to your blog and am loving it!

  13. Hey Rylan, you’re Filipino too. That’s cool! Go over to Trissaliscious who has started a Filipino cooking group with monthly challenges if you want to join. Everyone, Flip and non-Filipinos, is welcome!

  14. Hi Rylan Thanks for sharing your tips – now can you tell me when would you use buttercream? Is there a time buttercream is better to use?

    Thanks!

  15. That’s a fantastic tip! Thankyou so much for sharing it with us! :D

  16. I have never thought to use ganache in place of buttercream…great tip

  17. I have never considered myself a baker but with your awesome suggestions maybe I can come close. Thanks so much for the hints and tips!

  18. I do very often ganache for my cake, ganache simple or “ganache montée”(with whipped cream) is always appreciated.
    The butter cream is used less in France or blended with whipped cream to make a “crème mousseline”
    Always nice pictures, congratulations and thank you
    Sorry for my bad English!

  19. Great tip on the icing! I am completely new to frosting cakes, but I would love to get into it. I’m nervous to start though!

  20. Great advice. I’m not up there to do a fondont cake, but if and when I do.. I will definitly remember this advice!

  21. Another grand dessert from you, the master in fab food!

    Wow!

  22. A fabulous cake! Great tip.I love both ganache and buttercream for my cakes…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  23. Rylan, great tip. I’m going to try that next time.

  24. Popped in to say hi! I LOVE your blog! So gorgeous and delicious.

  25. This is great advice for those who love to bake! This blog is eye candy :-)

  26. Do fluid oz. of cream equate to weight? i.e. is 16 oz still a pound of cream? I don’t really have a way to weigh cream so any help with the conversion would be appreciated!

  27. Hi and thanks to everyone for the kind words. I really appreciate it. I hope you are all having a wonderful Monday.

    Cheryl, I’m not really sure how much an ounce of cream weigh. I usually just measure it. When making this type of ganache that will go under fondant, it is important to measure both ingredients by weight. Even the chocolate. Somtimes the weight stated on labels/bag of the chocolate are not accurate. So if you are measuring your chocolate, why not measure you cream as well. Good luck.

  28. You know, I’ve heard that before, but I am way too impatient for that :/ That said…such gorgeous photos and I’m sure that your cakes are way more awesome than mine will ever be!! Thanks for the lovely post :D

  29. Everything looks so delicious here in your blog ;)

    Saludos,
    Clau!

  30. Excellent tip! And I love ganache, prefer it over buttercream for sure.

  31. What a great tip! And ganache just tastes sooooo gooooood…

  32. I know I’ll love the moist cake for sure!

  33. beautiful and droolicious looking!

  34. oh yep…Ganache is for me a better alternative to buttercream. I am not a fan for fondant cake, don’t get me wrong here..I love how they look, and I admire people who can do such an artwork, but they are simply just too sweet for me, and it kills me to see them turned bad and went to the garbage bin.

  35. Adore these tips…really delicious ones for a man with sweet weakness :)
    Irresistible cake!!

    Cheers,

    Gera

  36. Thanks so much, been searching for the exact procedure to prepare the ganache and you give what exactly I need…thanks..

  37. hi rylan
    I vote for ganache and the photo is superb and delicate
    cheers Pierre

  38. I agree, that ganache is the best way for a perfect base under fondant.

  39. Hi, Thanks for the website. I’ve read it several times. I am going to use ganache for the first time this week, because of you, this website and your postings on CC but I have a couple of questions,well more than a couple, my apologies but I’ve never frozen a cake before and I am scared the moisture will mess up the chocolate.

    Does my cake layers need to be totally thawed before putting on the ganche?
    Do you do a crumb coat?
    How long do you wait after putting the ganache on to put your fondant on?
    Do you put your cake in the fridge to harden the ganache?
    Will 2 bags of chips (approx 20 oz) make enough to frost a 9″ x 4.5″ cake?

    Thank you so much for any help…I’m so nervous.

  40. oh thanks for the recipe and all the useful tips!!!

  41. That’s a great tip to use ganache, which I also think tastes better!

  42. My computer was broken :( What I was missing a lot :S

  43. Trissa, I must have missed your comment. I usually use ganache all the time. I never use buttercream. I think it’s just a personal preference.

  44. Yollie, sorry for the late reply. I haven’t been on here for a while. I’m back now though. Here are my answers.

    Does my cake layers need to be totally thawed before putting on the ganche?

    I’ve done thawed and unthawed with no problems.

    Do you do a crumb coat?

    I usually don’t crumbcoat, unless my cake is really crumbly. If you were to crumbcoat, crumbcoat just like you do with buttercream.

    How long do you wait after putting the ganache on to put your fondant on?

    It depends. I usually refrigerate my cakes until it forms a firm shell and then I lay my fondant.

    Do you put your cake in the fridge to harden the ganache?

    Yes, I always do.

    Will 2 bags of chips (approx 20 oz) make enough to frost a 9″ x 4.5″ cake?

    Hmmm, I’m guessing you can make it work–although I am not sure. Sometimes it depends on how thick you put your ganache.

  45. Thanks for the great tip! And those are some amazing pictures! Great job!

  46. gr8 tip i am new to the cake world and i had question have you tried modeling chocolate to cover your cake instead of fondant? and do you know any forums or websites where i could find cake recipes at?

    Thanks in advanced!

  47. If I have unsweetened chocolate, can I add granulated sugar or corn syrup to ganache to sweeten it a little? Perhaps dissolve it in the cream before the chocolate?

  48. Hi rylan, Thank you for this tutorial! :)
    I’ve use the above recipe and tips… but I whipped it first. Are you saying to just let it set and then apply it? That would be much easier. Also, if you let it set overnight, do you need to refridgerate it because of the heavy cream, or can you just cover it and leave it on the counter?

  49. Hi, Rylan. Love your cakes! They are all masterpieces! If I use ganache as a filling, will it get hard like the outside, like a shell, or will it stay soft? Or is there another ratio to use for filling?

  50. Rylan, sorry to ask a silly question, but how do you apply your ganache to the cake? Do you spread it and let it run over the sides? Or, just spread it on — or is there another way? Many thanks — your cakes are absolutely gorgeous! :)

  51. Cool! this is a great idea thanks Rylan for taking your time to do this.

  52. Sorry for not getting back asap.

    Amber, check out http://www.cakecentral.com for recipes. I have not tried covering a cake with modelling chocolate but you can mix it to your fondant so it will taste so much better.

    Maria, you may add some sugar but not cornsyrup. It might have the same reaction as making chocolate clay.

    Darthburn, I think I answered you this through a message…but yes, you can leave in on the counter until it thickens.

    Miriam, it will turn into a hard shell if refrigerated. If left on the counter, it will be somewhat soft. I haven’t tried using this as a filling but I know people who whip this up to make it light and airy.

    Diana, I apply the ganache after it thickens. Once it thickens, I spread it exactly like buttercream using a metal spatula and a bench scraper.

    Conchita, no problem.

  53. Love the ganache under the fondant. Tried it for the first time last night. However, can you share some of your smoothing techniques with us?? Thanks! Love your cakes!! I’m such a fan!!

  54. Hi Rachel, Thank you so much.

    I’ll post smoothing techniques on ganache and fondant soon. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

  55. Hello
    I love your cakes ans this post very much.

    Can you please tell me how long after making ganache it can stay out of the fridge? Ie if I ice a cake with ganache and fondant, how long until it goes bad?

  56. Does using chocolate ganache under white plastic RTR icing or fondant show through the icing?

  57. Rylan,

    I found this site from you on Cake Central. Very beautiful cakes. I was planning on trying white chocolate ganache under my fondant cake. I have always used butter cream, but would like to try to get that nice sharp edge on my cake like yours. I wanted to know, how far in advance can I make the ganache and let it sit out before I make the cake? Thanks in advance.

  58. Rylan,
    You’re so talented, I love your cakes. I made a white chocolate ganache today with the 3:1 ratio (150g white chocolate:50g heavy whipping cream). It’s thickened really fast, only within an hour, I didn’t even put it in the fridge. Once I put it on the cupcakes, it’s pretty set and dry to the touch, but soft enough to bite. It’s very cold today, like winter, not sure if there’s something to do with the weather. My problem is the ganache is too thick and a bit hard to cut without smashing the cake. Thank you in advance.

  59. Hi Francisca, sometimes when you use very good quality chocolate, this happens. And yes, it could also be the weather as well. When that happens, try microwaving it in 5 second intervals in the microwave, stirring it everytime it comes out.

  60. Hi Nancy, sorry for the late reply. I usually make my ganache a day in advance. If not, I do it on the same day but I refrigerate it so it sets up faster.

  61. Nope, it does not.

  62. Anita, sorry for the late reply. I don’t know how long it would stay out the fridge. I suggest you call and ask Karen about it: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/food_safety_education/ask_karen/

    I usually refrigerate my cakes so it doesn’t stay in the counter very long.

  63. Rylan,

    I found this site from you on Cake Central. Very beautiful cakes. I was planning on trying white chocolate ganache under my fondant cake. I have always used butter cream, but would like to try to get that nice sharp edge on my cake like yours. I wanted to know, how far in advance can I make the ganache and let it sit out before I make the cake? Thanks in advance.

  64. Hi,
    Your ‘ganache under fondant’ formular has really helped alot. Thanks a million.
    Just one question…will the ganache turn very hard under fondant (like if I put a 1/4 inch ganache coating)…will it be a little difficult while cutting a findshed cake?

  65. Rylan,
    I stumbled on this site through Baking Central. I tried the White Chocolate Ganache with the 3:1 ratio, it’s thickened really fast, only within an hour. How how should I let it sit out?

  66. Can I use store bought(regular) chocolate for baking… to make Ganache or does it have to be the ones in the Sugar craft shops. thkx

  67. totally off topic from ganache,but the chocolate cake in your photo is sooo dark. What kind of chocolate/cocoa do you use?

  68. I am having trouble whipping my Ganache. I have made it before and had no problem, but for the last few times I have tried, it doesnt get to a smooth texture, instead it looks like cottage cheese! what am I doing wrong? I’ve tried letting it set in the refridgerator for an hour or two, I’ve tried setting it out on the counter….and I get the same results. HELP! I LOVED how it looked and tasted the first times I made it, and now for the life of me I cant do it again.

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  70. I made ganache for the first time the other day. I measured per volume. I used one cup chololate to one cup whipping cream. I was in a hurry and after it hadn’t set in an hour, I whipped it with the mixer. It changed the color from dark to medium brown, but it then spread much like BC. You use a much higher ratio of chocolate to cream. I used mostly semi-sweet chips with some dark chololate from Trader Joes. Do you think I got lucky? Do you see any problem whipping it like I did and putting under fondant?
    thanks much for your time.

  71. Gr8 idea would wann try this for sure but have a doubt . i have dark cooking chocolate can i use this to make the ganache and will i need to add sugar in it as i am covering the cake with mmf. thanks

  72. Can I frost with bc before or after I frost with ganache? client really wants buttercream but I would love the sharp edges the ganache gives wondering if frosting with bc first then ganache might be better?

  73. Hi,
    I wanted to make chocolate cupcakes with a ganache filling to take over to a friends place over the weekend. Well its a 5 hour drive to her place, so i was wondering how long will ganache stay the max at room temperature. Any advice would really help!! Thank You

  74. Thank you for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it :-) Great blog, I love your cakes, they are gorgeous!!

  75. thanks for this useful info :)

  76. I tried this and it was great. I’ve been asked about dairy free. Is there a dairy free ganache recipe that you can recommend that I can use as a crumb coat under fondant and get the same results?

  77. Thanks for the great tips! I’m adding you to my favorites. I am curious now…. What about a wedding cake that is exclusively frosted with White Chocolate Ganache? I have one coming up in September and my girlfriend, the bride, says she trusts me – should I trust myself and do it?

  78. Can you place the ganache covered cake in the fridge and cover with fondant the next day? I will have a cream cheese filling and am worried of it spoiling.Thanks so much for all you help!

  79. Wow. I loved watching your tutorial. Thank you! I have a couple of questions. First, I have always left my cakes out overnight with buttercream fillings to let gravity have it’s way before I trim cake and cover. Do you do that? Second, can you explain about the 4millimeters; I didn’t quite understand that when you were saying you measure 4 mm with the tool you have. 4mm from the cake board to the actual cake? Also, you keep the cake refrigerated overnight, after you apply ganache and then apply the hot water and then, the next day you take the cake out of fridge and apply hot water with a brush and then cover with fondant? Do you let the cake come to room temp first? I have never put a cake in the fridge but I have also never used ganache. Thanks for all of your help!

  80. HI! I used dark chocolate ganache to cover a cake and also filled the layers with ganache. Although I loved the sharp edges on the cake, I find that using ganache as filling it too hard! Is there an alternative? i would love to use buttercream as filling, perhaps I can dam it? Thanks! Love this site!

  81. Loved the youtubes! I have a few questions. How far in advance can I make the ganache – I am going to be out of town until the day I have to finish my cake. I was hoping I can make a week in advance and refrigerate. Also, I will only have 1 evening to put my cake together. Is there anyway I can cover with ganache and then with fondant in the same evening? THe video said to let the ganache covered cake set over night. I am hoping I can get by with maybe only a few hours??? Also, I put buttercream between my layers (then froze them) Is this going to be a problem? Thanks!

  82. this is awesome… ill try it and let u know later..THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  83. Hi, I always use chocolate ganache under my fondant but have just been asked to make a red velvet cake which in my country is not a very common cake. I am cautious about using ganache on the cake as every site seems to recommend cream cheese or buttercream frosting but I dont want to lose the sharp edges as it will have damask sides. any suggestions?

  84. Could anyone tell me how long should i leave the ganache at room temp before putting it in the fridge? Thanks for the tips!

  85. I can’t wait to try ganache under fondan. However, I’m confused about measuring cream by weight, as I am used to measuring liquid by volume. How does it compare? Does 8 oz of cream by volume also weigh 8 oz? I just tested it with water, and that seemed to be equal. Sorry for the dumb question!

  86. oops, forgot the “t” on fondant!

  87. I have only used ganache on my cakes as it seemed easier ( plus i make mostly mud cakes)When i first started out i made a cake as a test to see how long it would keep so i could work out time frames for decorating. The mix i used was still moist after a week ! Took me a few days to finish ( 12″ & 8″ top) Almost a week later the cake was cut and i got so many compliments . Once a cake is sealed with either the ganache or fondant it makes it air tight so it keeps fresh longer. Storage must be cool & dry as far as I can work out . If it sweats its ruined. Also when taking cake from fridge , bring to room temp before covering ( best done in cardboard box to absorb excess moisture apparently) Another excellent base for fondant is coconut ice ! I made cake with this as a finish but decided to decorate as the coconut absorbed all the colouring and looked dull, well it was great to work with and excellent results!

  88. Awesome tip for a beginner. I often wondered and have tried several tricks to make cakes smoother and apply fondant evenly. This has been most helpful. Thank you!!

  89. Help Rylan!

    I woke up to an air bubble/pocket in my white choc ganached cake, I popped it and it seemed fine, but after covering in fondant I thought all went well,but I ended up with a huge growing air bubble on a different part of the cake! I tried popping with a pin, but it seems the bubble was under the ganache maybe and the ganache started to pull away from the cake. I couldn’t squish it back in it just kept growing, I eventually just had to dissect that section. I specifically use SMBC for this reason as it never seperates from the cake and just always keeps everything in tact, however I want the sharpness of the ganache. I have been doing cakes for 3 yrs now and have only had this problem before when using a crusting BC under fondant. What’s the deal? Even beginners seem to be getting flawless ganached/fondant cakes! What am I doing wrong?

  90. Thank you so very much!!
    Question #1: When you let the ganached cake sit overnight, is that at room temp?

    Question #2: Can the fondant cake go in the fridge? (say if you have a cream cheese filling in the middle)

  91. Great tips!When you place the cake in the freezer, how long is that for each time? Thankyou! (:

  92. Hi,
    when you say let the cake with the ganache dry overnight… where in the table of the kitchen with normal air temperature ? or in the fridge ? also your fondant look so nice which brand is it ?
    Thank you for your videos it is so helpull!!!

  93. This is all fantastic – I’ve learnt so much from this. Thank you very much…I will now attempt this for myself and see how I get on!!!

  94. Hi there, sorry if this question has already been asked and answered, i wanted to ask how much of the cream and choc i would need to use to cover a 12 inch cake please

  95. I love the sharp edges on cakes but never had the patience or the know-how to achieve the same. Today, for the first time I used white choc ganache on some cupcakes and had an easier that ever decor. However, I just happened to stumble across your site tonight and I’m so impressed. I’ll be making a princess cake in 2 week’s time and would like to use this method. I hope I’m not biting off more than I can chew, but if I don’t try, I wont know. Thank you ever so much for the time and preciseness of making this video tutorial. You are a genius.

  96. Hi! Loved your videos, I’ve never tried ganaching a cake before (used buttercream) and after seeing your video I decided to try but I had a problem, in the moment I apply the ganache onto the cake, it hardens immediately and I can’t scrape it, do you know why it might happen? I used coverture chocolate, is that ok? Thank you very much!!

  97. Fabulous tutorial. Only hope when I start my cake tomorrow it turns out as great as yours! Fingers crossed! Thank you so much for sharing this x

  98. hi rylan,

    I am making a barbie princess cake for my daughters birthday would it be achievable using ganache as a coating?
    please advise
    thank you

  99. [...] 1) Cover the cake with chocolate ganache to ensure smooth covering and prevent air bubbles http://www.artandappetite.com/2009/11/ganache-instead-of-buttercream/ [...]

  100. Hi, I think this website is awesome! I just start baking and am planing to make and 3D owl I want to use ganache instead of buttercream and then apply the fondant circules around my cake but my question is how can I make the fondant circules to stick to the ganache, I have no idea could you please help me, sorry for my bad English!

  101. Hi., it’s the first time I’m gonna do ganache under fondant ..my only question is what do u apply on the ganache to make the fondant stick ..coz I normally use apricot jam over the marzipan before I lay my fondant. Pls help

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  103. I use The 2 to 1 when I use dark chocolate. It works beautifully.
    I have used 3 to 1 for milk chocolate but have found this way to firm .
    Same with the white chocolate.
    I microwave mine as in the YouTube tutorial by Michelles designs. 2 to 1 is fine with the milk chocolate. The white chocolate has to be estimated depending on the brand chocolate you use. I have used this method for a long time now. I hope this is useful.