This chocolate ganache cake is an easy and elegant dessert. It's a moist, tender 8 inch chocolate cake that's sliced horizontally and filled with creamy whipped chocolate ganache. The entire cake is then covered in a velvety smooth ganache glaze. Both the whipped ganache filling and ganache glaze are made with just dark chocolate and heavy cream, making this a recipe that's decadently rich but simple to put together.
This dark chocolate ganache cake is an adaptation of my one bowl chocolate olive oil bundt cake. It's made with basic pantry ingredients that are easy to find.
Instead of olive oil, you'll use a mix of neutral vegetable oil and melted butter in the cake batter. This combination ensures a moist, tender cake with a rich, buttery flavor. It also means there's no creaming required, so you can make this one bowl cake without a mixer.
This easy 8 inch chocolate cake recipe (20 cm) is torted (sliced in half horizontally) to create two layers. A simple combination of dark chocolate and heavy cream makes both a creamy whipped chocolate ganache cake filling, and a velvety smooth poured ganache glaze to cover the cake.
It's a simple, sophisticated cake that isn't too sweet, and is versatile enough to be decorated and served in a wide variety of ways. See serving suggestions for some pairing ideas! Whether you're serving it at a dinner party or enjoying it with a cup of coffee, this cake is sure to impress.
For more chocolate cakes, try this decadent triple chocolate drip cake, this flavorful, single layer chocolate orange cake, and this rich chocolate walnut snacking cake.
You can explore the entire collection of cake recipes here.
- Unsalted butter - Melted butter is easy to incorporate and doesn't require using a mixer!
- Vegetable oil - I prefer using a neutral vegetable oil (such as canola or grapeseed) in order to let the chocolate flavors stand out.
- Dutch process cocoa powder - This recipe calls for Dutch process (alkalized) cocoa powder for the darker color and more intense chocolate flavor.
- Coffee - I use freshly brewed, hot coffee as the liquid in the cake batter. If you prefer not to use coffee, substitute hot water, hot black tea or even hot milk. Using a hot liquid is a great trick to help the cocoa powder "bloom" by dissolving the cocoa powder and releasing additional flavor.
- Dark chocolate - For the ganache, I use a dark chocolate with 65% cocoa. If possible, avoid using chocolate chips. They often contain fillers intended to prevent them from melting and losing shape, which could impact the texture and consistency of the ganache.
- Heavy cream - Use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. Do not substitute with milk, half and half, or other similar consistency non-dairy milks as they don't have the fat content required to create a thick ganache.
* See recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.
Learn how to make chocolate ganache cake! These photos provide visual cues. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card.
For chocolate cake: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, olive oil, sugar and cocoa powder. Mix well and add coffee and whisk to combine.
Add eggs one at a time, whisking well between additions to ensure they are fully incorporated.
Add dry ingredients and whisk again. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain.
Add sour cream and vanilla, and whisk until completely blended and batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Rap pan firmly on countertop several times to remove air bubbles that may have formed in batter. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
For whipped chocolate ganache: In a microwave safe container or small (1 quart) saucepan, heat cream until almost simmering. Remove from heat and add finely chopped dark chocolate. Let sit for 3 minutes.
Slowly whisk ganache mixture until no lumps remain. Cool until room temperature and thickened but still soft. Do not let ganache firm up. Once cool, beat cooled ganache in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy.
Use a long serrated knife to horizontally divide the cooled cake into two even layers. Spread the whipped ganache in an even layer over the bottom layer of the cake. Place cake top on ganache layer and press gently to seal the layers together.
Use a mini offset spatula to smooth the whipped ganache filling layer so that it is flush with the outside edge of the cake layers. This will help ensure the poured ganache has a smooth surface to cover.
For ganache glaze: Heat cream and pour over chocolate to make the glaze. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Stir with a whisk until fully blended together and no pieces of chocolate remain. Place the cake onto a metal cooling rack with a baking sheet underneath.
Pour ganache glaze onto top of cake, and use a mini offset spatula or spoon to swirl it outward over the edges of the cake. Continue spreading until enough ganache has run down edges to cover the sides of the cake. If desired, make a swirl design on the top of the cake using a spoon or metal spatula.
While the glaze is still soft, carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. Slide a large offset spatula or the side of a chef's knife under the cake and lift it carefully onto the nearby platter. Use a small spatula or knife to retouch the sides if needed. Sprinkle top edge of cake with chocolate shavings and flaky sea salt if desired.
Allow 60 minutes for ganache topping to set at room temperature prior to serving.
Hint: For the whipped chocolate ganache, cool the ganache until set. You can quicken this process by placing the ganache in the refrigerator for 10 minute intervals, stirring after each. It should be ready in 20-30 minutes. When beating, do not overwhip or the ganache may turn grainy. Make sure the cake is fully cooled before adding g
While this cake is delicious as is, feel free to choose one of the following variations:
- Espresso ganache - add 1-2 teaspoons of espresso powder to the heavy cream before making the ganache. Add it to only the whipped chocolate ganache, or double the espresso flavor by adding some to the ganache glaze as well.
- Whipped ganache add-ins - Fold finely chopped toasted nuts or mini chocolate chips into the whipped chocolate ganache filing (after it's been whipped) for added texture and flavor.
- Fruit jam - For a fruity twist, spread a layer of fruit jam (such as raspberry, cherry, or orange marmalade) onto the whipped ganache filling before adding the top layer of cake.
- Crushed peppermints - For a holiday twist, crush candy canes or peppermint candies and sprinkle them onto the whipped ganache layer and on top of the chocolate ganache glaze.
Here are some ideas for pairings with this chocolate ganache cake!
- Whipped cream - Serve slices of cake with a scoop of very lightly sweetened whipped cream. For extra flavor, add orange or peppermint extract, espresso powder, vanilla bean paste or liquor such as whiskey or rum to the heavy cream before whipping. For extracts, start with ¼ teaspoon per cup of heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon for liquor or liqueurs.
- Ice cream - This is a simple cake that would pair very well with a scoop of ice cream! Go with classic vanilla, or try salted caramel, coffee, or a fruit flavor such as raspberry or blood orange ice cream or sorbet.
- Fresh berries - This dark chocolate ganache cake would be the perfect canvas for a serving of fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries.
- Caramel sauce - Add a drizzle of warm salted caramel sauce or dulce de leche.
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Cake pan - I bake my cakes in these aluminum pans - they are great quality and don't require greasing as long as you use parchment paper on the bottom. I always run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen the sides before I turn the cake out onto a cooling rack.
While my pan is 8 inches by 3 inches tall, it's fine to bake this recipe in an 8 inch by 2 inch tall pan. You can also use an 8 inch springform pan if that's what you have on hand.
Parchment paper - Parchment is so helpful for lining cake pans. The cake shouldn't stick if you place a circle of parchment paper in the base of the pan.
Small offset spatula - A small offset spatula makes spreading the whipped ganache and ganache glaze layers very easy. It's an indispensable tool for frosting cakes too.
Store: Store this cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, store any leftovers in the refrigerator covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Freeze: Wrap individual slices of cake in plastic wrap and store in a zippered bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Make ahead: Although this is a straightforward cake to make, it's always helpful to break a recipe up into smaller steps.
Bake the cake in advance. Once fully cooled, wrap well in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or zippered storage bag in the freezer for up to 1 month. If you're simply baking the cake layer a day or two in advance, wrap it and store at cool room temperature.
It's best to make the ganache immediately before adding it to the cake. If desired, you can make the entire cake 24 hours in advance. Store under a cake cover (affiliate link) at room temperature. Note - if you store it in the fridge, condensation may form on the ganache glaze.
Ganache is a smooth mixture of chocolate and heavy cream that is made by melting the chocolate in the heated cream. It is used as a filling, frosting, or glaze for cakes, pastries, and other desserts. It can be made with different types of chocolate, and can be flavored with various ingredients like liqueurs, extracts or fruit purees.
This recipe uses Dutch process cocoa powder for a darker color and deeper chocolate flavor.
Don't have any? You can most likely substitute with natural cocoa powder here. There's enough baking soda in this recipe that it should neutralize the added acidity from natural cocoa powder and also provide the needed leavening.
That said, since natural cocoa powder is lighter in color and flavor, you may find that the cake is lighter in both color and flavor.
My preference is to stick with Dutch process cocoa for this recipe.
Yes! You can easily make this cake as written and divide the batter into two 6 inch (15 centimeter) pans for baking. This will make a narrower, somewhat taller cake that doesn't require torting (cutting the cake in half horizontally). The bake temperature should remain the same. Start checking for to see if it's done 5-10 minutes earlier.
Use the ganache recipes as written. You can either apply a thicker center layer of whipped ganache, or divide it and put some on each cake layer. If using it on the top layer of cake, carefully level the whipped ganache to provide a smooth surface for the ganache glaze.
Yes. If you are looking for an extra easy chocolate cake with chocolate ganache, simply omit the whipped chocolate ganache layer. Do not torte the cake (slice in half horizontally.) Make and apply ganache glaze recipe as written. You'll have a tender, moist chocolate cake with a top layer of silky smooth chocolate ganache.
Yes. You can easily double this chocolate ganache cake recipe using the 2x button in the recipe card. You'll have two 8 inch (20 centimeter) cake layers.
Triple (3x) the whipped ganache so that you can have three layers of whipped ganache, one between each of the torted cake layers, and one between the cake layers) and double (2x) the ganache glaze to ensure coverage on the sides.
If you prefer less whipped ganache, use the recipe as written for whipped ganache and spread a single layer between the two 8 inch cake layers. You'll still need to double (2x) the ganache glaze to ensure coverage on the sides.
More Chocolate Cake
If you liked this chocolate ganache cake recipe, you'll want to try these other chocolate cakes, too!
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Chocolate Ganache CakePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 160 grams (1⅓ cups) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (sifted)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 113 grams (½ cup; 4 ounces) unsalted butter (melted)
- 30 mL (2 Tablespoons) neutral vegetable oil
- 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 20 grams (¼ cup) Dutch process cocoa powder (sifted)
- 166 mL (⅔ cup) strongly brewed coffee (hot)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 80 grams (⅓ cup) sour cream (full fat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING
- 125 mL (½ cup; 4 ounces) heavy cream
- 113 grams (4 ounces) dark chocolate (finely chopped; I used a 65% chocolate bar)
CHOCOLATE GANACHE GLAZE
- 125 mL (½ cup; 4 ounces) heavy cream
- 113 grams (4 ounces) dark chocolate (finely chopped; I used a 65% chocolate bar)
- Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C, Gas Mark 4).
- Line the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan with a circle of parchment paper. Grease your pan if needed (mine don't require greasing - depends on your cake pan!)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.160 grams (1⅓ cups) all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, vegetable oil, sugar and cocoa powder. Mix well and add hot coffee (or water) and whisk to combine.113 grams (½ cup; 4 ounces) unsalted butter, 30 mL (2 Tablespoons) neutral vegetable oil, 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar, 20 grams (¼ cup) Dutch process cocoa powder, 166 mL (⅔ cup) strongly brewed coffee
- Add eggs one at a time, whisking well between additions to ensure they are fully incorporated.2 large eggs
- Add dry ingredients and whisk again. Scrape the bowl with a spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain. Add sour cream and vanilla, and whisk until completely blended and batter is smooth.80 grams (⅓ cup) sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Rap pan firmly on countertop several times to remove air bubbles that may have formed in batter. Bake in center rack of oven for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, cake bounces back lightly when touched with a finger, and cake is beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan.
- Cool cake in pan for 10-15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and remove parchment circle. Cool cake completely.
- Once cake is fully cooled, torte the cake (divide it into two equal horizontal layers.) Using a large serrated knife, cut a guiding mark about 1 inch deep around the whole circumference. Then slowly cut through the cake, using the cut mark on each side to keep your knife level.
- Place the bottom layer of cake onto a metal cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Set top cake layer aside.
WHIPPED CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING
- In a microwave safe container or small (1 quart) saucepan, heat cream until almost simmering. Remove from heat and add finely chopped dark chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until all chocolate has melted and no lumps remain. Cool the ganache until set. You can quicken this process by placing the ganache in the refrigerator for 10 minute intervals, stirring after each. It should be ready in 20-30 minutes.125 mL (½ cup; 4 ounces) heavy cream, 113 grams (4 ounces) dark chocolate
- Add the ganache to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk the ganache for 1 minute on high, scraping down the bowl several times to make sure the chocolate is evenly whipped. Whipped ganache should be much lighter in color and fluffy. Do not overmix or it might become grainy.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the whipped ganache in an even layer over the bottom layer of the chocolate cake, making sure to extend the ganache fully to the edges. Place the top layer of cake on top of the whipped ganache, with the exposed crumb side facing down. Press down gently to adhere the layers together.
- Use a spatula or knife to smooth the sides of the whipped ganache layer so that it's even with the sides of the chocolate cake (see process photo for reference). This will form a uniform, smooth surface for the ganache glaze to run down.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE GLAZE
- In a microwave safe container or small (1 quart) saucepan, heat cream until almost simmering. Remove from heat and add finely chopped dark chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until all chocolate has melted and no lumps remain.125 mL (½ cup; 4 ounces) heavy cream, 113 grams (4 ounces) dark chocolate
- Pour ganache glaze onto top of cake, and use a mini offset spatula or spoon to swirl ganache outward over the edges of the cake. Continue spreading until enough ganache has run down edges to cover the sides of the cake. If desired, make a spiral design on the top of the cake using a spoon or metal spatula.
- While the ganache glaze is still soft, carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. Slide a large offset spatula or the side of a chef's knife under the cake and lift it carefully onto the nearby platter. Slide the spatula out slowly, without lifting, to avoid marring the glaze. Use a small spatula or knife to retouch the sides if needed. If desired, sprinkle top edge of cake with chocolate shavings and flaky sea salt.
- Allow 60 minutes for ganache to set at room temperature prior to serving.
The Floured Table
Recipe Author: Kathleen Culver
The lovely little chocolate cake is perfection! Rich, moist, with just the right amount of sweetness. And, the whipped dark chocolate ganache? Brilliant. Thank you!
Thank you so much, Kelly!
I'm a big fan of the whipped chocolate ganache too.
I appreciate your review.