White Chocolate Ganache Drip Cake Recipe + Tips

drip cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow

Ever since I shared this recipe and tutorial for semi-sweet chocolate ganache drip cakes, I’ve gotten so many questions about making white chocolate ganache drip cakes. I’m so excited to share these tips with you because I know how finicky white chocolate ganache can be if you don’t get the ratio and timing just right. In fact, the first time I made it (using a super popular recipe that won’t be named) the ganache was so thin and runny that the drips just ran down the side of the cake and pooled at the bottom, even after cooling it to below room temperature! I have since experimented with white chocolate ganache to find the perfect ratio of chocolate to heavy whipping cream, and have found some handy tips for making it extra white and beautiful.

white chocolate ganache recipe by sugar and sparrow

The first thing you need to know about white chocolate is that it’s not a true chocolate, meaning there’s a lack of chocolate solids and therefore doesn’t behave the same as semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate. Instead, it’s made from a mixture of sugar, cocoa butter, milk products, vanilla, and some sort of fatty substance called lecithin. Although I’ve never tried making white chocolate ganache with anything fancier than Hershey’s white chocolate chips, you can feel free to go as branded or non-branded as you want. Generic white chocolate chips or a white chocolate bar chopped into small pieces will work just fine.

white chocolate chips ganache recipe

With the absence of chocolate solids, the ratio of heavy whipping cream to white chocolate chips is going to be different than other ganache recipes. I’ve found a 3:1 ratio to be absolutely perfect (exact recipe below), meaning three parts chocolate to one part heavy whipping cream. Just bring the cream to an almost-boil, pour it over the white chocolate chips, whisk it together until it’s uniform, and you’re good. Here’s the recipe, and you can continue reading below for all of my tips on working with white chocolate ganache:

drip cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow
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White Chocolate Ganache For Drip Cakes

The perfect white chocolate ganache ratio for creating drip cakes. 

Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup (190g) white chocolate chips, or white chocolate bar chopped into bits
  • 1/3 Cup (79ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp food color gel or whitening gel (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place white chocolate chips into a heat resistant bowl (glass or metal). If you’re starting with a white chocolate bar, chop it into small pieces until they’re about the size of chocolate chips. 

  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm heavy whipping cream until it just starts to boil. I always look for small bubbles forming around the edge and a soft boil starting in the middle. When you see that it’s just starting to boil, pour it over the white chocolate and let sit for about five seconds. 

  3. Whisk it together until it’s uniform in consistency and there are no bits of chocolate left on your whisk. Whiten or color the ganache (optional), then cool ganache at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache itself is room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead Tips: this ganache can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, microwave it in 10 second increments, stirring after every interval until your ganache is room temperature and uniform in consistency.

Tip 1: Whiten Your Ganache If It’s Too Yellow

The thing about white chocolate chips is that they aren’t exactly as white in color as they seem to be. To whiten the ganache, I swear by Americolor Bright White food color gel. It works like a dream every time, and you only need about half a teaspoon per batch of white chocolate ganache to get a perfectly bright white.

how to whiten ganache

Some bakers like to use white candy melts in place of white chocolate chips to make white ganache, but I don’t like the taste of candy melts. So the whitening method is my favorite option.

Tip 2: Be Patient With The Cooling Process

Once you’ve whisked the ganache together, it’s crucial to let it cool on your countertop until it’s room temperature, about 20-30 minutes depending on how cold your environment is. Trying to speed up this process by placing ganache in the refrigerator doesn’t usually end well – I’ve found that it cools unevenly, leading to thick, globby drips.

white chocolate ganache temperature

Cooling in the fridge also leads to the urge to stir it too often. Ganache (especially white chocolate!) does not like to be stirred too often, and the end result can mean that your whipping cream starts to separate from the chocolate. You’ll know that this has happened because the ganache will look grainy and dull, or even separated like oil and water. To fix situations like these, you’ll need to reheat the ganache to 92ºF to melt the fat crystals and re-whisk to bring it back together.  

Tip 3: Chill Your Buttercream

There’s a science to this tip. Since molecules move more slowly at cooler temperatures (and warp speed at higher temperatures), it makes a lot of sense that you can better control how far the white chocolate ganache drips when the buttercream is chilled. Make sure that after you do your final coat of buttercream, you chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Tip 4: Start With A Test Drip

When your buttercream is nice and chilled, do a test drip by letting the ganache run down the side of your cake. If it travels rapidly and pools at the bottom, your ganache is too warm. Continue to cool the ganache for another 5-10 minutes and try your test drip again. If it’s globby or doesn’t travel very far down the side of the cake, it’s too cold. Reheat the ganache in the microwave for about 10 seconds, stir, and try again. Repeat the reheating process as needed until you get the perfect consistency.

how to drip cake with white chocolate ganache

The good thing about a test drip is you’re able to see how the ganache will behave. That way you don’t have to commit until you like what you’re seeing.

Tip 5: Drip The Sides Before Filling In The Top

Whether you’re using a spoon to create drips (like I am!) or you’re into the squeeze bottle method, it’s best to drip the sides of the cake before filling in the top. Although it might be tempting to just dump all of the ganache on the top of the cake and let the drips fall where they may, you’ll have more control over the length of each drip by starting with the sides (after a successful test drip of course).

white chocolate ganache drip cake tutorial

Try not to add too much ganache to the top when filling it in, because if you add any more to the drips you’ve created, it will make them travel farther than you’d like. Instead, try to use just a little ganache and spread it so that it just touches where your drips begin. The ganache on the top should self-level a bit, so don’t worry too much about getting it super smooth.

white chocolate ganache drip cake tutorial

And there you have it – everything I know about dripping cakes with white chocolate ganache. It’s a really good skill to have in your cake decorating repertoire, especially with how versatile white chocolate ganache can be color-wise. Adding a little food color gel can turn it any vibrant color of the rainbow! And whether you keep it white or color it up, I promise it’ll taste a million times better than candy melts.

white chocolate ganache recipe

Is there anything else you’d like to know about drip cakes? I’m certainly not an expert per se, but if you have more questions, let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer!

82 Comments

    • Hi Karina! You can use melts, but as I mentioned in the post, I never do because I don’t like the taste. The ratio for making ganache with candy melts is the same recipe though.


  1. Thank you so much!

    So, when I did a white chocolate drip recently, 2 things happened.

    1) the frosting swirls that I put on the top of the cake slid off. (The chocolate was not warm and the cake was in the fridge over night)
    2) even with the cake sitting in the fridge, and the drip being room temperature, the drip kept dripping even after the cake had been taken out of the fridge. The chocolate never stopped dripping. (Slowly..but it kept moving)

    Any ideas?

    • Hi Amy, what ratio did you use for the white chocolate ganache recipe? It sounds like there was too much cream added to the white chocolate, making it too runny in consistency (that’s happened to me before when I’ve used a 1:1 ratio and even a 1:2 ratio). If the ganache is too runny even at room temperature, the drips will continue running and making other decorations (like the swirls on top of your cake) slide.

  2. Donna B Oliphint

    How do you get that perfectly smooth buttercream? I’ve tried and tried, but it always has an uneven look.


  3. I am a home-baker and I am soooo happy for this tutorial!!!

    Love your cakes! Thanks again

  4. Hi there, I’m about to attempt this as my first drip cake but it is for tomorrow so I’m worried about how to store the cake overnight. Some websites have said if I put the completed cake in the fridge overnight that the chocolate ganache will bubble and look bumpy for tomorrow. Can you please advise what best. (It’s very humid currently where I am so I’m worried about the chocolate continuing to drip if it stays too warm).
    Thanks

    • Hi Paula! No need to worry about storing the cake in the fridge overnight. I do it all the time with no problems at all! The drip always looks the same after storing in the fridge (no bubbles or anything!). Just follow the steps in this tutorial and make sure that your test drip yields perfect results before completing the drip and you’ll be good to go!

  5. Hi I’m wondering if white chocolate Ganache be infused with anything? Like Thai tea or earl grey !

    • Hi Noora! Although I’ve never done it before, I’m sure you could soak a tea bag in the heavy whipping cream and infuse it before (or while) bringing it to a boil. I’ve definitely added spices like cinnamon to my heavy whipping cream before bringing it to a boil and pouring it over the chocolate and it’s worked amazingly as well. Let me know if you try infusing it with a tea bag, I’m so curious now!

  6. Hi there,
    I’ve tried this method twice and it worked wonderfully at first. Glass like texture on top- perfect drips. I then stored the cake in the fridge and the ganache has become completely rippled. Like waves running across the entire top. Any idea why this happened? I used your buttercream recipe- and chilled the cake in the fridge for two days prior to dripping. Could it be the frosting dried out and it’s sucking the moisture from the ganache? I’m just at a loss.

    • Hi Megan! I’ve never ever had white chocolate ganache ripple before – it always looks just like when I first dripped it after storing in the fridge. I’ve never added a drip after chilling a cake for two days though. Typically I add a drip after chilling the cake for thirty minutes or overnight at the most. So your theory on adding the drip after the cake has had too much time in the fridge might be where things are going wrong. Did you use the same ratio in the recipe on this post or alter the ingredients in any way? Is it only the top of the cake that ripples or the drips as well?

      • I used the same ratio and have only noticed the ripples on the top. So odd! Fingers crossed the next one turns out- it’s resting with a crumb coat tonight- I’ll frost tomorrow and drip in the afternoon! Let’s see if that helps. For storage afterward would you suggest cover and refrigerate or room temp? Thanks!

        • Let me know how it goes!! After I drip the cake I usually pop it back in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes to let the ganache set up before continuing to decorate the cake. After I finish decorating I put it right back into the fridge until I’m ready to deliver it or bring it to room temperature for serving. I spent some time googling wrinkly ganache but I’m not finding concrete answers. The best guesses seem to be that the cake is too cold and makes the chocolate set too fast. Hoping this next round with less chilling time on the cake is perfection!

  7. Hello and thanks for the tips! White chocolate is so fussy haha. Two questions: what size cake did you use and where do you get your large bottles of Americolor? I wasn’t sure if Amazon’s were good quality or not. Thank you!

    • Hi Nikkole! Americolor sells their products on their website at https://www.americolorcorp.com/ and you can also find them directly from Americolor on Amazon. Both channels are totally reliable because they’re from the same company (as long as you make sure Americolor is the Amazon seller), just different means of selling them.


  8. Thank you very much!!! It worked perfectly on my first try! I have been having so many issues with white chocolate until now! I really appreciate it, you were right it was all about patience with the cooling process.

  9. So glad to have found this , but I have one question; Can this be used to “ganache” a cake? Would it be hard enough, or do you think it would be better to use less cream to give a “harder” finish? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Hi Iman! I have never covered an entire cake with white chocolate ganache before, but after a little research, it seems this recipe would be the right ratio with a few additional steps. First, after making the ganache, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 hours so it can set. Next, remove the ganache from the fridge and leave it out on the counter to soften slightly, then whip with your stand mixer on medium for about 30 second. It should then be the consistency of peanut butter, which will be perfect for frosting the cake. After frosting the cake place it back in the fridge to make it extra firm. Like I said before, I haven’t done this with white chocolate ganache before but after reading several other blog posts this is the same ratio of white chocolate to heavy whipping cream that other bakers are using to ganache their cakes. Hope that helps!

  10. Hi Whitney! Thank you so much for your straightforward advice and instructions. I have a question… can you substitute the heavy cream for whole milk? I am assembling the cake now for my daughters birthday tomorrow. I can’t find any heavy cream where I live believe it or not lol… Thank you in advance!

  11. Hi
    I am looking to use a dark chocolate ganache as my crumb coat, do you think it will be OK to then apply a white chocolate ganache as drip on my cake on top?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Mandy! I’m sure it would work to do a white chocolate ganache drip on top of a dark chocolate ganache finish. I would just follow the same instructions as detailed above 🙂

  12. Worked great first try! The only issue I had is that it was on the cool side in my kitchen that day (probably around 65F), so letting it cool for 20 min was too long and it wouldn’t drip. I simply put the squeeze bottle full of chocolate in a hot water bath for a minute or two and it worked great after that. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  13. Is Americilor water-based? I thought that kind of food coloring didn’t work with white chocolate? I’d love if I was wrong, I’m having a hard time finding oil-based or powdered color in store anywhere

    • Hi Ashley! Americolor is water-based, but it works really well for coloring ganache. I think it’s because the process of making ganache involves adding so much liquid, it changes the chemistry of the mixture. While melted chocolate will seize if you add water-based food color, chocolate ganache won’t since it’s so liquid to begin with. And since Americolor gels are so concentrated, you don’t need to add a ton to get a rich color. Hope that helps!

  14. Emma Horgan

    Hello. This question is not really relevant, but what food dye did you use to get that colour of buttercream on the cake? I’m guessing you use americolor but I just would like to know what the name of the colour is because the colour is really amazing 🙂 Thanks in advance.

  15. Kassandra

    I would like to couloir the drips gold. Can I paint over the ganache with lustre dust (mixed with solution)?

    • Hi Kassandra! I’ve never tried a gold drip before, but after a little research it sounds like painting on ganache won’t work (it doesn’t set hard enough). Instead, you’ll need to drip the cake with melted white chocolate or Candy Melts and refrigerate it afterwards to let the drip set firm. After that, you can use an edible gold paint to paint the drips. Here are my recommendations for edible gold paint: https://sugarandsparrow.com/metallic-gold-buttercream/


  16. Hello. Amazing cake Whitney!
    I would like to make this ganache for a drip cake but would like it light blue. I’d prefere not to use whitener, do you know if adding blue color the ganache will turn green?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Eva! To get a pure light blue, you’ll need to whiten the ganache first. Since the ganache is yellowish in nature, adding blue will make it more of a light green.

      • Ok, thanks a lot for your response. Then I will maybe try a dull shade of light blue since I prefere to avoid the whitener… it woukd make a light green or with a little chance, a light turquoise ganache.


  17. Sorry, I have another question… How much chocolate do I have to use to drip a cake?

    Thanks again!

    • This recipe makes enough to make two drip cakes, so you can either try halving the recipe or do what I do: make the full amount, drip the cake, save the rest of the ganache in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for a future drip cake (it’ll last two weeks).

  18. One question … after placing the ganache in the sponge cake, do I have to put it in the fridge and when it is out of the fridge in the activity and it is hot it will melt?

    • Hi Janet, the ganache shouldn’t melt outside of the refrigerator unless it’s sitting above 85 degrees for several hours. It’s best to keep it in an air conditioned environment but it should be fine outside for a few hours.

    • Hi Linet! You definitely can make the ganache a day ahead. See the recipe notes above for how to store it. You can also drip the cake the day before you add more decorations and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to move on.

  19. Will any gel color work. I was u see the impression the chocolate might seize if didn’t use powders it oil based colors.

    • Hi Sarah! Since ganache involves whisking chocolate together with heavy whipping cream (liquid), it changes the chemistry of the chocolate and won’t seize like it would if it were just plain melted chocolate when you add the food color gels. I always use Americolor for coloring white chocolate ganache, which are water-based gels, and it works just fine!

  20. Thank you so much for this post! My first attempt at a white chocolate drip turned out exactly the way you described. I’m going to make your recipe today!

  21. Emilia

    Hello, this cake looks amazing, where I can buy this mix of funfetti which you used at the bottom of the cake?


  22. hello, i just loved your explanation on this, i just want to be sure if it will work just as well over cream cheesse buttercream or if i should use a plain buttercream over the first to “receive” de ganache? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Nelia! This recipe will totally work over cream cheese buttercream. Just be sure to follow the steps above as you would with a vanilla buttercream and you’ll be good to go.

    • Hi Stacy, the white chocolate drip has a little bit of shine to it, but it’s mostly like it is in the picture: more opaque.

  23. martha thompson

    Whitney, Thanks so much for this recipe! I look forward to using it on my buttercream cakes. It sure seems to be all the rage. My question for you is my 12 year old granddaughter wants a light turquoise drip on her favorite birthday cake recipe. I tried so hard to talk her into a buttercream icing with drip and sprinkles but her heart is set on her favorite (Southern Living ) cake and icing recipe. It is made with real whipping cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar and grandulated sugar and 10 Hersey’s chocolate candy bars chopped fine and folded in. Because of the whipped cream it has to be kept frigerated and then I sit out for about 15 minutes before serving. Do you think if I follow your instructions exactly that I could drip a cake that has chilled icing with the above ingredients or too risky?

    • Hi Martha! You can totally use this drip cake tutorial with a whipped cream frosting. As long as the frosting is nice and chilled you’ll be good to go!

  24. Jessica

    I’m trying to make white chocolate covered Oreos and am wondering if you think your ganache recipe will give me the liquidy consistency I need to dip the cookies and then solidify enough that I can stack a few cookies and not have them look sloppy. Thoughts?

    • Hi Jessica! For white chocolate covered Oreos I would just dip them in melted white chocolate. That way, the chocolate will dry firm on the Oreo instead of semi-soft (like ganache will). The melted white chocolate will be liquid enough for dipping.


  25. Hi Whitney
    Thank you for this foolproof method. I haven’t had great success with ganache in the past and definitely not with the white variety lol but this turned out beautifully!

    • That’s so wonderful to hear, Rania!! I’m so glad this recipe and method works for you. Thanks for letting me know!

  26. how long does it take for the ganache to set before I can add decorations on top of it? I plan on adding some gumpaste flowers on top…and the last time I tried to add decorations the ganache was still soft… does it ever dry completely or is it always soft? also do I have to refrigerate or can it sit at room temp?

    Thanks

    • Hi, Melinda! I recommend placing the cake in the refrigerator after dripping the cake with ganache for about ten minutes. After that it should be firm enough to add your gumpaste flowers. It’s always a little bit soft, but not so soft that it will make your decorations slide or keep dripping.

  27. Hi. I used this recipe last night and it ended horribly! I made the ganache and it was all fine and then I left it, like in the recipe to come to room temp and it was just a ball of elastic. I then heated it in the microwave to loosen and nothing. I had managed to do the drip around the cake but when trying to cover the top it was too hot so melted to buttercream but then if I left it the ganache was too hard to spread! I ended up using my fingers to try and push it around the edges of the cake. Not my finest hour!!

    • Oh no, Rachel! Was it a long time between dripping the sides of the cake and trying to fill in the top? I’m having a hard time understanding why the drips ended up ok but the top didn’t.. It sounds like next time, maybe add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream to your 1 cup of white chocolate chips (so, more liquid). In my environment, 1/3 cup of cream to 1 cup of white chocolate works well for me, but it’s not always the case for everyone.

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  29. Hi! Can I put this on the cake if I’m not serving it for 24 hours?

    • Hi MarLyn! You certainly can! I usually drip the cake the night before and keep it in the refrigerator until about an hour before serving.

      Best,
      Whitney

  30. I’m planning on making a naked cake and using light pink drip on the bottom cake and light blue drip on the top cake for my daughters gender reveal party in a couple weeks , my question is will it be ok for the cake to be out in upper 80 degree weather? We are having it outside .

    • Hi Shellie! That sounds like an awesome gender reveal cake! I’m sure the cake will be fine at that temperature for an hour or so. I would keep the cake in the fridge until about an hour before serving/presenting it just to make sure the buttercream doesn’t start to melt.

    • Hi Claire! It takes 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the temp of your kitchen) before the ganache is room temp and ready to drip. A few ways to check if it’s ready to drip: 1) the bottom of the bowl the ganache is in won’t be warmer than your hand, 2) when you dip a spoon in it, it doesn’t run off the spoon for longer than a few seconds, and 3) do a test drip on a cold buttercream cake to see how far the drip travels. If it quickly reaches the bottom of the cake it’s too warm, if it doesn’t travel far enough it’s too set and will need to be warmed up a little more.

  31. Omg. How did you get that pink buttercream colour? Which colours did you use to get that????? Gorgeous

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