How to Make a Chocolate Drip Cake

Learn to make a Chocolate Drip Cake with this easy method! All you need is chocolate ganache, a frosted cake and a few simple tools. You’ll be on your way to an impressive yet easily decorated cake in no time!

adding a chocolate drip with a squeeze bottle

How to Make a Chocolate Drip Cake

Chocolate drip cakes create such a fun and impressive look, it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular. With a little time and not too much effort, you can turn any cake into a statement piece. I’ve made quite a number of chocolate drip cakes including, but not limited to, my Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake, Red Wine Chocolate Cake, Nutella Chocolate Cake and my Best Chocolate Cake. All are some of my favorites.

Tools Needed to Decorate a Drip Cake

So to get started, you’ll need a few simple things.

Turntable
Squeeze bottle OR spoon
Frosted cake
Offset Spatula
Chocolate ganache

tools for decorating a chocolate drip cake

DRIP CAKE DECORATING METHODS

There are two methods you could use for making a chocolate drip cake. I prefer the look and ease of the squeeze bottle method, but if you don’t have one the spoon method will work as well.

No matter which method you use, you’ll need to start by making the chocolate ganache. Feel free to check out my blog post on how to make it and learn more about adjustments you can make. Once your ganache is made, let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool a bit.

SQUEEZE BOTTLE METHOD

To use the squeeze bottle method, add the chocolate ganache to your bottle. Place the tip of the bottle just a couple centimeters above the top edge of the cake and gently squeeze the bottle to release the ganache. Release the pressure on the bottle when you’ve added enough of a drip, leaving just a little pressure to fill in the gap as you move to the next drip, turning the turntable as you go. Keep in mind that the more chocolate you add, the longer the drip will be. Test out a drip or two to get a feel for the amount of chocolate to use per drip, if needed.

adding a chocolate drip with a squeeze bottle

After adding drips around the top edge of the cake, fill in the center. You want to work quickly so that the ganache doesn’t firm up too much. I usually just use my squeeze bottle, but you could also just pour the chocolate into the center of the cake. You can head it can up for 10-15 seconds before adding it, if needed. Use your offset spatula to spread the chocolate ganache evenly.

filling in the center of the cake with chocolate ganachespreading the chocolate ganache with an offset spatulafinished chocolate drip cake with squeeze bottle

THE SPOON METHOD

If you decide you’d rather not work with a squeeze bottle, you can use a spoon. Use your spoon to add the chocolate to the edges of the cake and gently push it over the edge so that it falls, creating a drip. Continue adding drips around the outer edge until you’ll gone all the way around.

adding chocolate ganache to drip cake with a spoon

To fill in the center, pour the remaining chocolate ganache onto the top of the cake and use your offset spatula to spread it evenly.

adding the chocolate ganache to the center of the cakefinished drip cake using a spoon

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT CHOCOLATE DRIP CAKE

As with anything, perfecting the chocolate drip look takes a little practice and few good tips. To make the perfect chocolate drip cake, there are a few things you want to keep in mind:

1. Chocolate temperature matters. The temperature of your chocolate ganache determines how thick or thin it is. After I make my chocolate ganache, I let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to thicken up just a bit before I use it for a drip cake. I don’t want the chocolate to drip too far down the sides of the cake, but I also don’t want it to sit in a blob at the top of the cake.

To test the temperature and thickness of my ganache, I often use a spoon to drip some down the side of a bowl to get an idea of just how quickly it drips. If it drips too quickly, I’ll let it sit a little longer. If it’s too slow, you could heat it back up. When it seems just about right, go for it.

testing chocolate ganache consistency on the side of a bowl

2. Cake temperature matters. When thinking about the temperature of your chocolate, you also want to keep in mind the temperature of your cake. I usually work with a room temperature cake, so testing the chocolate on the side of a room temperature bowl works. But if your cake has been in the fridge, the chocolate is going to start cooling even more quickly as soon as it touches the cold cake. In that case, you’ll want your chocolate a little warmer when you use it so that it will still drip nicely.

3. Amount of heavy cream. I tend to use a little less cream in my chocolate ganache. I prefer to work with it a little thicker, but you could add an extra tablespoon or two of cream if you wanted. With the thicker ganache, you have slightly thicker drips and with thinner ganache, they’ll naturally be thinner drips.

WHITE CHOCOLATE DRIP CAKE

You can also use white chocolate to make a drip cake, like on my Hot Chocolate Cake. The amount of heavy cream in your white chocolate ganache can be reduced significantly, since the white chocolate is naturally thinner when melted. Rather than half a cup of heavy whipping cream for 6 ounces of chocolate chips, you’ll use 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream for the same amount of white chocolate.


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Image of Chocolate Drip applied to Cake
Recipe

Chocolate Drip Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Learn to make a Chocolate Drip Cake with this easy method! All you need is chocolate ganache, a frosted cake and a few simple tools. You’ll be on your way to an impressive yet easily decorated cake in no time!


Scale

Ingredients

Semi-Sweet Chocolate

  • 6 oz (1 cup | 169g) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

White Chocolate

  • 6 oz (1 cup | 169g) white chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Instructions

1. Add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl and set aside.
2. Add the heavy whipping cream to a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup and heat for about 1 minute, keeping an eye on it. If it heats up too much, it’ll end up everywhere. Remove from the microwave just before it bubbles up.
3. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate chips and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. You can cover the bowl with some clear wrap to trap in the heat, if you like.
4. Gently stir the cream and chocolate together until they come together to a smooth consistency. Try not to whisk too vigorously, which can add air bubbles to the ganache.
5. If making white chocolate ganache and you have some lumps remaining, heat in 10 second increments, stirring between, until ganache is smooth.
6. Allow ganache to cool for about 10 minutes, give or take, prior to using.


Keywords: chocolate drip cake, cake decorating easy, cake decorating how to, cake decorating how to videos, how to decorate a cake, cake decorating classes

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Recipe rating

46 Comments
  1. Minerva

    This recipe is incredibly easy to make and so so good!!! I followed the directions exactly and the consistency of the ganache was perfect! The tip to drip some from the top of a bowl to check for thickness was really helpful! I decorated my cake with it and reheated the extra later for anyone that wanted some extra chocolate ganache on their cake. I think the most important thing to get right with this recipe is to not overheat the milk and not over whisk the chocolate/milk. I used a spoon and stirred it slowly until it was mixed well. Thank you for this great recipe!!!

  2. Najiya T.k

    Hi lindsay,
    I dripped my caramel sauce on my cake but after sometime I found that the dripped sauce has got faded. Iam so sad and I want to know the reason and make it more better next time… plz help me

    1. Lindsay

      What caramel sauce did you use? That can definitely happen with caramel sauce so it’ll depend a little bit on which you use. It’s a little bit different than chocolate ganache.

  3. Nia

    I will be making my first birthday cake for my daughters friend and your dripping tips will make this process a little easier thank you so much

  4. Kate

    Hello, I followed your ganache recipe to the T and it turned out perfectly! I especially liked your tip about allowing the heated heavy cream to sit in the bowl of chocolate chips for 3-5 minutes covered with plastic wrap before mixing. Unfortunately, that’s where my good luck ended. My daughter really wanted a chocolate drip ICE CREAM cake. Even an extremely well frozen ice cream cake couldn’t handle mildly warm ganache. It looked like a mess made for a Pinterest fail thread. Thankfully I bought a “test” ice cream cake before her actual birthday. Any ideas or suggestions on making drips for an ice cream cake or is that an impossible dream? Thanks! 

    1. Lindsay

      It’s definitely tricky with ice cream, since it melts. But I did use a chocolate drip successfully on this ice cream cake. I just did the drip on the sides though, I didn’t add the chocolate on top. Maybe try changing the cold setting on your freezer to get your cake extra cold first.

  5. Eileen

    oh my, I did not. lol definitely will next time. No wonder it was too thick. Thank you for replying. Very nice of you!

  6. Johnna

    My drip sauce turned out very well. I used it on a chocolate cake for my mom’s 70th birthday cake. I received many compliments. Recipe is definitely a keeper!

  7. Tiq

    Hi Lindsay..Is it possible to do the ganache w/out heavy whipping cream? i only got non dairy whipping cream, full cream milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk..Cam i just melt them with any of this and whats the measurement? or should i just melt with oil or butter? Thanks

  8. Lara Wassenberg

    Could I make the ganache in advance, put it in the fridge and use 2 days later? Would it work as well? Making it for my brothers 21st so want it to be perfect!

  9. Melanie

    I tried this today and it was a disaster. I used the exact quantities and directions and it was too thick to drip. Tried adding more cream until it would drip and then it ended up looking curled. I’ve no idea why it went so horribly wrong. 

    1. Lindsay

      It’s possible that there wasn’t enough cream, but if you following the ingredients listed, that shouldn’t have been it. More likely is that you let it cool a little too long so it had thickened up too much.

      1. Melanie

        Thanks Lindsay, but it wouldn’t drip even from the moment it was fully combined. I kept the squeeze bottle in a jug of hot water to try and loosen it. I just don’t know! Chocolate can be so temperamental! 

  10. Roselyn S, Pantua

    Thank you so much Lindsay for sharing ure knowledge I’m a new spiring baking lover I really love u recipes and videos 😘😘😘 God blessed

  11. Avery

    Hey Lindsay, i am hug fan of your blog and recipes, I don’t have a squeeze bottle, and am wondering if I could use a piping bag instead? Thanks Lindsay of ratios helpful tutorial!

  12. Ena

    Hello, I followed your recipe and tips for the squeeze bottle on my first drip cake and it’s LOVELY!
    Thank you. Wish I could send you a picture.

    1. Eileen Angelico

      Mine was terrible! I melted Chocolate chips and tried to Drip, but no way did it drip. Too thick. I’m so mad at myself! First time dripping. 

    1. Lindsay

      With a chocolate ganache drip, I do typically refrigerate the cake. I also prefer to serve cakes at room temperature, so you could let the cake sit out for a couple hours before serving.

  13. Elly

    Hi Lindsay,
    I’m just wondering if the type of frosting on the cake affects the chocolate drip? – Do you think it would be possible to do a white chocolate drip on a mascarpone frosted cake rather than buttercream?
    Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      The only thing I’ve ever been concerned about was using a whipped cream frosting with chocolate ganache, but even that never caused an issue. I can’t think of an instance where the type of frosting is going to be a problem. Certainly a mascarpone-based frosting should be fine.

  14. Hannah

    Have you ever done a drip cake with caramel or dulce de leche? I am making a browned butter cake later today and wanted to decorate with the drip effect but don’t want to use chocolate.

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t really done a caramel drip. I imagine that similar to the chocolate, it’s all about the right consistency.

    1. Lindsay

      It would probably be quite difficult to color the chocolate since it’s already brown. Are you planning on using white chocolate?

      1. Walden Sullivan

        No. I was planning on coloring this chocolate ganache to a red color for Halloween. 

  15. Jasmine

    Thank you for this very helpful tutorial! I’ve been baking for a while but I had never done a chocolate drip cake before because I was worried about it sliding straight off the cake. Your step-by-step tutorial was really helpful in making my mickey mouse cake a success.

  16. Erin

    Lindsay, thanks to this tutorial, the chocolate drip on my mom’s birthday cake turned out beautifully! I don’t have a squeeze bottle, but found the spoon method to be perfectly fine. Again, thanks so much for this oh-so-helpful tutorial!:D

  17. Hannah@butterloveandcowboys.com

    Thanks for the tutorial! We all know you make the prettiest cakes so it’s great to have an insight into one method of how to do it 🙂

  18. Erin

    Thank you SO much for posting this, Lindsay! Most helpful tutorial ever 🙂 I really want to perfect chocolate drips, and all these wonderful tips and tricks will help sooooo much! My mom’s birthday is this weekend and she wants a chocolate cake, so I have the perfect excuse to practice my chocolate drip!

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12