You are going to love this Chocolate Ganache Cake! Sometimes you just need a simple chocolate cake, and this one certainly fits the bill! Though simple, this cake is so delicious and decadent that anyone who tastes it will swear it took hours, and will be coming back for seconds!
This Chocolate Ganache Cake is tender dark chocolate cake drenched in dark chocolate ganache! The cake mixes up easily (no mixer required!), and the ganache takes about five minutes. So easy and delicious!
This recipe has a fairly long list of ingredients for such a simple cake, but I added each for a reason! Read on below for the why each ingredient is included. Measurements for each ingredient are listed in the recipe card, below.
Dark Chocolate Cake Ingredients
- Dark Chocolate - For flavor and richness. You can use another kind of chocolate if you prefer, but dark chocolate is rich and decadent without being overly sweet. I used 60% cacao. Using quality chocolate is important for this recipe!
- Dark (Dutch Process) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - For deep chocolate flavor! *Not* the same as natural cocoa powder, dark (or dutch process) powder is darker and smoother.
- Freshly Brewed Coffee - To enhance the flavor of the chocolate. The cake won't taste like coffee, I swear! If you would prefer not to use coffee, you can use hot water instead.
- Flour - Provides structure and moisture for the cake. I used all-purpose flour.
- Sugar - For sweetness and keeping the cake soft and moist.
- Baking Soda - Provides leavening for the cake.
- Salt - Helps to balance and enhance the flavor of the cake.
- Vegetable Oil - Provides even more moisture to the cake than butter would, and easier to incorporate in the batter!
- Eggs - To provide structure, additional leavening, and a little richness. I used large eggs.
- White Vinegar - For leavening. You won't taste the vinegar! It reacts with the baking soda (think second grade volcano science project), which gives your cake a lighter, fluffier texture. If you don't have white vinegar, consider taste in what you substitute. Apple cider vinegar would be a good fit, but your aged balsamic would lend a strange flavor.
- Vanilla Extract - For flavor.
- Chocolate Extract - For flavor. It lends an amazing depth of flavor to chocolate baked goods. You can even make yourself some Homemade Chocolate Extract for next time! If you prefer to leave it out, you can just use an equal measure of vanilla extract in its place.
Dark Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
- Dark Chocolate - For (amazing) flavor. You can choose whatever kind of chocolate you like, but dark chocolate is decadent without making the cake too sweet. I used 60% cacao. I suggest using a chopped chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips, as chocolate chips have stabilizers and your ganache might not turn out as smooth/pourable. Again, using high quality chocolate is important here!
- Heavy (Whipping) Cream - For richness, creaminess, and a pourable consistency.
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Here I'll show you how to make this beautiful cake, step by step! More detailed instructions are included in the recipe card, below.
How to Make Easy Chocolate Cake
Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour hot coffee over top and whisk until smooth. Chill 10 minutes.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
After chilling, add oil, eggs, vinegar, and extracts to the chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth.
Pour chocolate mixture into flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake.
Cool cake 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack.
How to Make the Ganache
Combine chocolate and cream in a medium heatproof bowl.
Microwave on 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until ganache is smooth.
Hint: If you prefer not to use the microwave, you can also heat the cream in a small saucepan on the stove until just before it boils (when bubbles form around the edge of the pan), then pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let set five minutes, then stir until smooth.
Here are a few handy substitutions:
- Instead of Coffee - If you prefer not to use coffee, or just don't have any on-hand, you can use hot water instead.
- Instead of Chocolate Extract - I highly recommend this (often overlooked) extract! That said, you can substitute it with an equal measure of vanilla extract if you prefer.
It's so easy to make flavor variations of this cake by adding flavor to the ganache!
- Mocha Ganache Cake - Add ½ teaspoon of espresso powder to the ganache for a mocha flavor! It would be beautiful with some chocolate-covered espresso beans on top!
- Bailey's or Kahlua Ganache Cake- Add one tablespoon of Bailey's Irish Cream or Kahlua to your ganache for a boozy treat! You'll want to make sure that the alcohol is at room temperature (not cold) so it doesn't make your ganache harden/seize up!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Cake - Add one tablespoon of peanut butter to the ganache for a chocolate + peanut butter lover's dream! You could garnish with peanut butter cups for extra decadence!
This recipe is super easy, and doesn't require any special equipment--not even a mixer! You will need an 8" cake pan to bake the cake, and an offset spatula is helpful in spreading the ganache on top of the cake.
You can store your completed Chocolate Ganache Cake covered on your counter for up to two days, or covered in your refrigerator for up to five days.
You can also make the cake in advance and, wrapped well, it can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Just thaw, then add the ganache.
You can use another kind of chocolate if you prefer, but dark chocolate is rich and decadent without being overly sweet. I highly suggest using dark (60%+ cacao) chocolate, but using quality chocolate is the most important part!
Other Recipes You May Like
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Chocolate Ganache Cake
Dark Chocolate Cake
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used 60% cacao)
- ⅓ cup dark (dutch process) unsweetened cocoa powder (see note)
- ¾ cups freshly brewed coffee, hot (see note)
- ¾ cups flour (I used all-purpose flour)
- ¾ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 eggs (I used large eggs)
- 2 teaspoon white vinegar (see note)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon chocolate extract (see note)
Dark Chocolate Ganache
- 5 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used 60% cacao)
- ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8" cake pan and set aside.
- In a medium heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour hot coffee (see note) over the top and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate chocolate mixture for 10 minutes (so the mixture doesn't cook your eggs).
- While the chocolate mixture is chilling, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
- After chilling (mixture will still be warm, but not hot), remove chocolate mixture from the refrigerator. Add oil, eggs, vinegar (see note), vanilla extract, and chocolate extract (see note), whisking until smooth.
- Pour chocolate mixture into flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake 34-36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached. I turn the pan around in the oven halfway through baking to help ensure an even bake.
- Cool cake 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Combine chocolate and cream in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave on 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until ganache is smooth. Let cool slightly to let the ganache thicken a bit.
- While still warm and pourable, pour over the top of the cake, spreading the ganache with an offset spatula and allowing the ganache to drip down the sides, if desired.
- After ganache has set, top with garnishes (berries, chocolate candies, mint, etc.), if desired.Enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate.