Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache Filling, y’all. Rich and wonderful. And Whipped Ganache is just one of the cake fillings in my cake fillings post if you need some more ideas. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure page.

Chocolate Cake

How This Cake Happened

I have never wanted to be The Cake Lady. Wait. I take that back. I used to want to be The Cake Lady until I made a couple of wedding cakes and realized that it turns me into a snarling, cursing mess for the duration of the project. But, when friend Thomas calls and asks for a cake or other dessert, I have learned to say Yes. Because sometimes my creations end up on a buffet along with braised nutria. Sometimes I get to make a cake for a dude named Webby. And this time, rather than writing Happy Birthday insert-name-here, Thomas wanted me to write the Birthday Girl’s employee number. (The other folks at work wanted it to say, “Have a Good One, Slave Driver,” but Thomas voted them down because he’s the dude with the cake connection).

Anyway, I got to thinking that it would be the kind of cake that the folks who worked at Skynet would make. You know, before the Rise of the Machines. They’d nudge each other and say, “Hey, let’s make a birthday cake for our Robot Floor Sweeper. We dreamed that thing up four years ago next Tuesday. We can have the bakery write a message like a dot matrix printer, and we’ll all eat cake and sing Happy Birthday to RuFuS. (Because that’s what they’d call it. Obviously).”  So, maybe they didn’t realize that old RuFuS would Harbor Resentment on account of he didn’t have a mouth or stomach and couldn’t eat the cake. All he could do was envy the humans their whipped ganache and then sweep up the crumbs. And before you know it, you’ve got a HAL malfunction—Open the pod bay doors, HAL. I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that—that snowballs into machines inserting cyborgs into rebel barracks. And it all started with a cake. I hope you’re happy, Thomas.2001: A Space Odyssey Dave. (Please click through for attribution to slagheap).

But, if you are Dead Set on making a cake decorated with M&Ms and you are determined enough to pick out only the orange, blue and brown ones, and you also decide that upside-down mini chocolate chips make a reasonable facsimile of a dot matrix printer readout, by all means, go for it. I won’t stop you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Don’t blame me when your whole house automation system locks you out in the yard and starts your sprinkler system. And then laughs at you. Because this is how it starts. Again, you’ve been warned.

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In all seriousness, whipped ganache is a frosting and filling you want to have in your arsenal. It’s not hard to make, but it can be a little bit fussy. Read on for the Rules!
side of chocolate cake showing candies placed in the whipped ganache filling and frosting
Pipe whipped ganache into the space between the cake layers and around the bottom as glue for your candy decorations.

Baking and Decorating Tips for This Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache Filling

  1. I made the layers in 9″x2″ cake pans using RLB’s formula for Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake in The Cake Bible (p 54 in my edition). Yes, I boiled the water and “steeped” the cocoa powder in it, cooling it to room temperature before mixing the batter. Rose suggests (and I used) The Two-Stage Method of mixing. The cake bakes up richly chocolatey, buttery and moist. You will dig it for sure.
  2. Whip the ganache BY HAND. It is too easy to over-whip ganache using a stand mixer or even a hand mixer, and over-whipped ganache equals grainy ganache.
  3. It’s almost impossible to get the filling to “stick out” enough all the way around to attach the M&Ms (or whatever else you want to attach). Just fill in with a piping bag. Ditto around the base.
  4. Try to line up all your candy so that you can slice cleanly between them without smooshing your cake.
  5. I highly recommend learning to pipe. If you don’t know how and think it will be easier to spell stuff with mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, Pez or licorice whips, you’re wrong. Learn to pipe; you’ll save yourself a ton of time.
  6. If your name is Sarah Connor (or Dave, for that matter), change it. Now.

How to Whip Ganache

I want to reiterate this: whip ganache by hand. If you use your mixer, especially on high speed, it is too easy to over-whip it and have it turn out grainy.
  1. Make ganache by heating cream to a high simmer (bubbling all around the edges and steaming but not at an actual boil).
  2. Pour hot cream over finely chopped chocolate and let sit for a minute or two so the chocolate melts.
  3. Whisk slowly to emulsify your ganache into a smooth, shiny, thich, gorgeous liquid.
  4. Chill until completely cold.
  5. Whip by hand (with a whisk) until lightened in color and at about medium peaks. Do not over-whip.
Always whip ganache by hand to keep it smooth. Over-whipping leads to grainy ganache. Click to Tweet
chocolate cake

Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting

Jennifer Field
One of the best chocolate cakes out there. Make it using the Two-Stage Method for melting tenderness. For a bit more structure, use The Creaming Method.
5 from 1 vote
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 452 kcal


For the Cake

  • 2.25 oz Dutch process cocoa powder (the best you can find. I used Pernigotti)
  • 8.25 oz boiling water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 8.25 oz sifted cake flour
  • 10.5 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz 2 sticks unsalted butter, very soft but not greasy

For the Whipped Ganache

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped (by weight)
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Cake

  • I made the layers in 9″x2″ cake pans using RLB’s formula for Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake in The Cake Bible (p 54 in my edition). 
  • Yes, I boiled the water and “steeped” the cocoa powder in it, cooling it to room temperature before mixing the batter. 
  • Once the batter is mixed. Bake in 9″ pans at 350F for about 25 min.

For the Frosting

  • Heat cream and salt to a high simmer then remove from heat.
  • Pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for a minute or two to melt the chocolate.
  • Whisk slowly to emulsify until you have a dark and shiny ganache. Slowly whisk in the vanilla.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, and chill until cold and then whip by hand. I know, but it doesn’t take too long, and this stuff will break if you whisk even 1 second too long. If you look at mine, you can see that I almost crossed the line, and I knew what to expect. So, do yourself a favor and whip by hand. 
  • Once it is thick and holds its shape, stop whisking, or you’ll have grainy ganache. This amount of ganache was enough to generously fill and frost just the top of my cake. 

Did You Make Any Changes?


Serving: 1/16Calories: 452kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 6gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 234mgFiber: 3gSugar: 20g
Keyword chocolate cake, chocolate ganache
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!
chocolate cake decorated with candy around the edges and text written in mini M&Ms. Text reads Happy Birthday 1500275
Keep your whipped ganache smooth by whisking it only until it reaches medium peaks. Over-whipping leads to grainy ganache.

More Cake and Frosting Recipes for You to Try

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  1. I’m going over all the chocolate cakes on PCO and just dying here. This is another divine recipe. I’m bookmarking this. You had me at whipped ganache frosting. How did I miss this post? Nevermind, here I am and will do this soon. Thanks for the recipe, JF!

  2. I stopped making cakes (mostly) because of how crabby it made me:-) Love that you picked out only the blue, orange, and brown m&m’s to use…this cake is fabulous looking!!!

  3. It was okay until she started to speak in microtransmissions. You know, “How did it go?” “Beep.” It looked prteey cool and smelled delightful.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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