Chocolate Cake with Easy Ganache

Chocolate Cake with Easy Ganache

August 4, 2020 | by Shannon | Jump to Recipe

Sometimes, you just need chocolate.

(Or is it just me??!)

(I’m pretty sure it’s not just me.…)

Chocolate is Universal

There’s something about chocolate that we can all relate to.  Its indescribable ability to lift a mood, make an evening special, signify a celebration…chocolate is amazing.  Just ask Audrey Hepburn.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy chocolate is chocolate cake.  With chocolate ganache.

And I developed this recipe for Chocolate Cake and Easy Ganache to be a treat that can be whipped up in basically no time, and definitely with minimal effort.

The Easiest Chocolate Cake

The texture of this cake is so moist and light, you could definitely make this an incredibly quick and easy dessert by only making the cake.  It’s got stand-alone deliciousness, and there are many days where the chocolate craving hits me, and I’ll just quickly make this cake, no ganache.  This cake can be made and baked in 40 minutes or less. 

So. Easy.

But if you have the patience to let my fool-proof chocolate ganache set in the refrigerator for an hour, then you’ll have the ultimate chocolate decadence!!

Fool-Proof Ganache

I don’t know about you, but sometimes making ganache can be really hit or miss for me: it either works beautifully and comes together, or it just doesn’t

With my Easy Ganache recipe, there are no variables.  This ganache will work every time.  And best of all, it’s so so easy, you make it in the microwave.

No crazy pans, no dishes (besides a spoon and a microwave-safe bowl), no worrying if the ganache will set thick enough.  And this recipe makes a lot, so you’ll have plenty of ganache to frost this cake with.

Just follow my instructions below, and after one hour in the refrigerator, you’ll have chocolate ganache at the perfect consistency for frosting this cake.

Classic Simplicity

The look of this cake is so classic and simple with the ganache, it’s perfect for entertaining.  It’ll make your guests think you spent all day in the kitchen making dessert, when in reality, this cake is easier than making cookies.

Next time the chocolate craving hits, or next time you want to impress guests, make my Chocolate Cake with Easy Ganache.  You won’t be disappointed!

My Favorite Frosting Tool

Offset spatulas are literally lifesavers! I love using mine whenever spreading cake batter, or frosting cakes and cookies. If you don't have one, click to view or purchase my favorite offset spatula! [aff. link]

My favorite tool for frosting cakes with ganache, or any frosting, is this humble offset spatula [aff. link].  My favorite offset spatula comes in a set of three, so you get a small, medium, and large spatula for next to nothing.  In addition to frosting cakes or cookies, offset spatulas are perfect for spreading condiments on sandwiches, or evenly spreading a thick batter into a baking dish.  Here is my favorite offset spatula on Amazon [aff. link].  I’m telling you, you’ll be amazed at how often you use these!

Chocolate Cake with Easy Ganache

This chocolate cake proves that homemade dessert really can be quick and easy. Frost this cake with my fool-proof chocolate ganache for complete decadence!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Refrigerate (for the ganache)1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Servings: 8
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Ingredients

For the dry ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cup cocoa powder

For the wet ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 oz baking chocolate, (use whatever chocolate you prefer or have on hand; I have made this cake with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate)
  • ½ cup oil
  • cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup almond milk, or milk of choice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For the ganache:

  • 1 ⅓ cups heavy cream, cold
  • 12 oz baking chocolate, roughly chopped to about 1 inch pieces (again, use whatever baking chocolate you prefer; I actually really like making ganache with milk chocolate these days)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Make the cake

  • In a small saucepan, add the butter, oil, and chocolate. Turn the heat to medium, and stir until the chocolate and butter both melt, and you have one smooth mixture.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat, and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely incorporated.
  • Let the mixture cool for a few minutes while you prepare the dry ingredients.

Combine the dry ingredients

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Over a medium-sized bowl, sift the dry ingredients through a sieve, so the dry ingredients land in the medium-sized bowl.
  • (You can skip this sifting step if you like, but sifting will ensure that you don’t get any white lumps of baking powder, baking soda, or flour in the finished cake, so I highly recommend doing it!)
  • Add the wet ingredients
  • Now add the sugar/chocolate mixture, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined and smooth, taking care not to over-mix!

Bake the cakes

  • Divide the batter evenly between two greased 8x8 inch cake pans. Lightly tap the pans on the countertop so any air bubbles are brought to the top of each cake and escape before baking.
  • Bake the cakes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, and the top of the each cake bounces back when lightly pressed.
  • Let the cakes cool for at least a half hour, then carefully run a knife around the edge of each pan so you can easily remove each cake from its pan. This will be pretty easy, and the cakes will almost just slide out.
  • If you plan to frost the cakes in ganache, let the cakes cool for at least an hour after baking. (See my tips for frosting in the notes below.)

Serve and enjoy!

  • Serve this cake frosted in ganache, with the ganache on the side, or enjoy the cake alone.

Make the ganache

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds. Take the chocolate out of the microwave, and stir a few times. The chocolate will still be difficult to stir.
  • Now microwave the chocolate for another 30 seconds. Take the bowl out of the microwave, and stir again. This time, you should be able to stir the soft chocolate pieces into an almost completely smooth liquid with very little effort. It will take about 3 minutes. There should only be a few lumps, if any. If the chocolate is still too solid to get to this point, microwave it for another 15 seconds.

Add the heavy cream, olive oil, and vanilla

  • Once the chocolate is almost completely smooth, add the heavy cream, followed by the olive oil and vanilla extract. Stir a few times (just a few! The mixture will quickly get hard because of the cold cream!) to slightly incorporate the cream, then microwave the mixture for 30 seconds.
  • Take out of the microwave, and stir until the cream, olive oil, and vanilla have completely incorporated into the chocolate, and you have a smooth, thick sauce. If you have just a few remaining lumps of chocolate, simply microwave the mixture for another 15 seconds.

Refrigerate the ganache

  • Refrigerate the ganache for 1 hour. Now it’s thick and ready to ice the cake with! (See note about refrigerating the ganache for longer in the notes below.)

Notes

If you leave the ganache in the fridge for longer than an hour and it gets too thick to frost with, just microwave the ganache for 10-15 seconds and stir. It will soften it enough to frost the cake with.
Tips for frosting:
Level each cake before frosting by slightly trimming down the rounded top of each cake.
Use an offset spatula to frost each cake. It will make frosting so easy, you won’t believe it!
I put a layer of ganache between the two cakes, then stack them on top of each other.
Once the cakes are stacked, I prefer to do two layers of ganache when I frost the outside of the cakes. The first layer, or “crumb coat,” will be imperfect and that’s okay. The second layer of ganache will cover any imperfections from the first layer.
I also refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes after doing the first layer/crumb coat. That way the first layer of ganache has time to set before the second layer goes on.

I’m Shannon, thanks for visiting!  When I’m not on an adventure with my little girl, I’m developing plant-based recipes or watching a Classic Film!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jeff the Chef

    It’s definitely not just you! Your cake looks delicious! And your photos of it are, as always, so clean and beautiful.

    1. Shannon

      Awwww thanks Jeff! What a compliment, you seriously just made my day! Thank you so so much!

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