This Chocolate Ganache Cake is a beautiful, simple layer cake made from two lovely chocolate cakes filled with lightly sweetened whipped cream, and finished with a ganache topping. The ganache is just enough slightly drip over the edges, creating a really fun and satisfying but light dessert.
Chocolate layer cakes are what we dream of as kids and what we try to create, sometimes with limited success, as adults. Layer cakes have always been a bit of a nemesis for me with varying levels of success.
I have relatively good success when I am baking them at my own home, but when I have to take them to a party, something always seems to happen. It took me many years to finally figure out that rather than assemble them ahead of time, if at all possible, take the components with me and assemble them onsite. Please learn from my mistakes and make it a lot easier on yourself!
Today’s cake is absolutely lovely. I used my 8-inch cake pans and wound up with layers that baked up perfectly flat. What a treat! There was no need to even the tops. I think they would be even better when baked in smaller pans, thicker and moister. So, if you have 7-inch pans, you can try those too. Smaller cakes are so adorable!
The Artist doesn’t really care for sweet desserts, so he was thrilled when I told him the filling was a simple whipped cream. And when I told him that the cake was being covered with chocolate ganache, he smiled ear-to-ear.
And he was more than happy to pour the ganache for the photographs because that meant he could help clean up the leftovers (read lick the bowl)!
If you bake a lot, especially with gluten-free, I recommend you use a kitchen scale to weigh your dry ingredients, especially the flour(s). Using the metric system (grams and kilograms) is much more accurate than our American ounces and pounds. 1 ounce equals just over 28 grams … using grams automatically makes your measuring much more accurate.
Kitchen scales are quite reasonably priced and take all the guesswork out of measuring. and there are many online conversion sites that help you adjust any recipes you want. Now that I’ve converted, I can’t imagine not using a scale. I love that every single time I make a recipe it turns out exactly the way I expect it to! It is a miracle LOL.
The next time you are looking for an elegant, show stopping cake for a party or special occasion, look no further – this Chocolate Ganache Cake is the dessert for you, it’s a winner!!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache Cake:
- Self-rising flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, butter, sugar, eggs
- Milk, vanilla, dark chocolate, heavy cream, powdered sugar
How to Make Self-Rising Flour:
Self-rising flour is one of those ingredients that is found in southern kitchens, but most of the rest of us rarely keep it on hand. Whenever I have a recipe that calls for it, I just whip up this concoction. I make as much as the recipe calls for, or as close as I can get to it and add a little extra AP flour if needed. And because I bake gluten-free I use my GF blend in place of the AP flour. Here is the recipe…
Whisk together: 2 cups all-purpose flour (or GF flour blend), 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt
How to make Chocolate Ganache Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and butter two 8-inch round cake pans; mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl
- Cream the butter and sugar until lightened in color then add in the eggs, milk, and vanilla, beating until smooth; mix in the dry ingredients until creamy and smooth, scraping the bowl
- Divide batter between the two pans, spreading each into an even layer; bake 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it
- Let cakes cool in the pans 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire cooling rack and cool completely
- When cooled, make the ganache by melting butter and chocolate together over a steaming saucepan of water; stir until fully melted and smooth, then remove from the heat and cool slightly stirring occasionally
- Whip the cream with a whisk attachment until frothy then add the sugar, mix in and increase the speed, whipping the cream to stiff peaks
- Place a wire cooling rack on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place one of the layers on the rack, top-side down; pile the whipped cream in the center and ease it out toward the edges
- Place the second layer top-side down on cream and press gently to level the top layer and spreading the cream to the edges
- Pour the ganache in the center of the top of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it over the whole top; nudge the ganache over the edges slightly around the cake
- Transfer whole cake to refrigerator and let rest until chocolate has set; decorate the top if desired
- Use a serrated knife and a sawing motion to slowly cut each slice of the cake – wipe the knife after each cut to get clean edges; serve immediately
The volume of a cup of flour is remarkably variable when you consider all the different ways you can get the flour into the cup. Whether it has been whisked or lightened first. Whether it has been scooped directly into the cup using the cup itself or whether you used a spoon to fill the cup until mounded. Did you sift it first and then carefully pour it into the cup? Did you shake it to level the top or did you use a knife and scrape it across the top of the cup? You can see that no matter how careful we are, the results are bound to differ each time we measure flour with a cup. Thus, the value of weighing – plus once you get used to it, it is much faster and easier!
In addition to the variables in measuring, flour absorbs moisture from the air in our homes. It is heavier on wet or humid days and if you don’t weigh it, you will often have too much flour in your recipes on those damp days.
Recommended Tools for this Chocolate Ganache Cake (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Mini offset spatula
- Heatproof bowl
- Medium saucepan
- Parchment paper sheets
- Wire cooling rack
- Serrated knife
My standard gluten-free recipe worked really well when used it to make the self-rising flour blend. It takes just a minute to put the ingredients together. I did not have to make any other adjustments to the recipe. Make sure the chocolate you use is gluten-free as well as the baking powder.
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 175 grams (6 oz) self-rising flour, sifted (See Note on how to make self-rising flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 175 grams (6 oz; 1-1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 175 grams (6 oz) granulated sugar (slightly less than 1 cup)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp milk, plus more if needed
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 100 grams (3-1/2 oz) butter, cubed (I used 1 stick)
- 100 grams (3-1/2 oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 300 ml (1-1/4 cups) cold heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar, or to taste
- Chocolate Jimmies, chocolate curls, or other decorations, optional
- Bake the Cake: Set a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 180°C (350°F). Butter two 8-inch cake pans. You can line them with parchment if you want. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the self-rising flour, baking powder (yes you need it), and cocoa. Whisk together until blended.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Turn off the mixer and thoroughly scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until the batter is creamy and smooth. If needed, add a touch more milk to thin the batter slightly. Again, stop the mixer and scrape the bowl, being careful to make sure there are no unincorporated ingredients in the center bottom.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and use a small offset spatula to spread it out into an even layer. Place the can pans in the hot oven on the same rack. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, spinning them front to back halfway through baking, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Remove pans from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- Cake layers can be baked a day in advance. Cool thoroughly and wrap tightly in plastic; store in the refrigerator. Return to room temperature before assembling the cake.
Prepare Ganache: Place a heatproof bowl on top of a saucepan with about 2-inches of water in it. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and place the butter cubes and chopped chocolate in the bowl. Stir with a flexible spatula, mixing the butter and chocolate together until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat; leave the bowl on the pan, stirring occasionally, to cool slightly.
Make Filling: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cold cream with the sugar to stiff peaks. It needs to be quite stiff so the layers won’t slide around as much. Set aside.
Assemble Cake: Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper and set a cooling rack on the sheet. The rack will raise the cake, allowing excess ganache to drip down onto the parchment paper. Place one cooled cake layer, top-side-down on the rack. Pile the whipped cream into the center of the cake layer and smooth the top. Gently place the second cake layer, top-side-down on the whipped cream and press down slightly. This will spread the cream out to the edges and help make sure the top layer is level.
- Pour the ganache in the center of the top of the cake and nudge it, if needed, with an offset spatula toward the edges, allowing it to drizzle down over the sides. Make sure the entire top of the cake is covered with the ganache.
- Transfer the entire cake on the baking sheet to the refrigerator and let rest until chocolate is set. Carefully use two offset spatulas to transfer the cake to a cake plate or round platter if desired. Pile the chocolate jimmies or curls (if using) in the center of the top of the cake.
- Use a serrated knife to cut each slice, using a sawing motion and try to hold the top layer in place as you cut down. Use a cake or pie server to slip under the slice and very carefully transfer it to a plate.
- Store the cake, covered, in the refrigerator.
How to Make Self-Rising Flour: In a bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, 3 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk together. Measure 175 grams (6 oz) of this mixture for use in this recipe. If it is underweight, add enough regular GF all-purpose flour to make 175 grams (6 oz).
Recipe Source: The Heritage Cook
Adapted from a Why I Am Not Skinny recipe
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