Water Ganache Recipe

How to make water ganache using water instead of cream. Easy to do and tastes great! Can be used for making drip cakes or let it cool to peanut butter consistency and ice your cakes. 
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Print Recipe
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 7 oz
how to pour white chocolate ganache drip onto a cake

Water ganache is just water and melted chocolate and makes the best drips!

Water ganache is ganache made with water instead of cream. The taste is still just as good but with no added dairy. You might make water ganache for a few reasons. Maybe you ran out of cream, maybe you have cottage laws in your area that prevent you from using fresh dairy. Maybe you’re looking to make a vegan version of ganache. Whatever your reasons are, water ganache acts just the same as regular white chocolate ganache and is great for making those pretty drip cakes.

 

water ganache recipe

 

A long time ago, back when I was still Artisan Cake Company, I blogged about a very straight-forward recipe called water ganache for my heart of gold drip cake. I mostly made it just to show that ganache can be made with any type of liquid, not just water.

Even though people saw with their own eyes that you can make ganache with water, I would still get that question, “doesn’t water seize the chocolate?”

So I decided to make a video demonstrating how cream actually acts very much like water in that it is mostly water with a very small amount of fat. If you were to add a little bit of cream to some melted chocolate it would seize up just as if you added a little water to the melted chocolate. The way you make it into “ganache” is by adding more water so that the liquid to chocolate ratio is correct.

How to make your drip cake gold

You can paint over ganache with metallic luster dust mixed with everclear or lemon extract or you can color your ganache with candy coloring made especially for adding color to chocolate. I like to add some yellow, orange and a touch of black to my chocolate to make a dirty brown color that resembles the tones of gold so if I miss a spot while painting, you can’t really tell. Make sure you let your drip set in the fridge until firm before painting.

I like to use everclear because it is a high proof alcohol and evaporates very quickly, leaving behind a very high shine. Make sure when you are combining your alcohol with the metallic dust, you only add enough liquid to make a thick, paint-like consistency. If you add too much liquid you will not get good coverage. Also make sure the type of dust you are using is a high-shine. I like the super gold from truly mad plastics which is non-toxi and has the best shine in my opinion.

If you are looking for fully edible metallics check out the gold from rainbow dust metallics or edible artist decorative paints metallics.

gold drip cake tutorial

Pink strawberry drip cake

I recently experimented with making strawberry buttercream using dehydrated strawberries for flavoring and really like the finish it gave my strawberry cake. I thought what better way to finish this off than with a pretty pink drip. I hardly ever color anything with just one color. To get this nice natural strawberry pink, I used pink chameleon colors from artisan accents with a touch of yellow. Doesn’t it remind you of melting strawberry ice cream? Yum!

 

pink white chocolate ganache drip

How to make a white chocolate ganache drip

The traditional way of making a ganache is to heat the cream until it is about to boil and then pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The cream softens the chocolate which you can then whisk and combine together to make ganache. This works really well with milk or dark chocolate but not as well with white chocolate ganache. The reason is that white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate. It’s just cream, sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla and in some cases other ingredients that act as stabilizers.

So if you where to use the same ratio of cream/white chocolate then your ganache would never set and would be very soupy. Some people say that a 4:1 ratio (four times as much white chocolate as cream) works but I prefer even less liquid for a drip.

  • To make your white chocolate ganache all you have to do is measure out 6 oz of white chocolate (I prefer Guittard white chocolate wafers but wilton candy melts will also work great. Just avoid using white chocolate chips because they do not melt very well) and 1.5 oz of heavy whipping cream.
  • Melt your white chocolate in a glass bowl either over a double boiler or in a microwave until softened. For me it was about a minute.
  • Add in your heavy cream (room temp or warmed slightly in the microwave) and stir to combine and all chocolate is melted
  • At this point you can color your ganache
  • Wait until your ganache has cooled to about 95 degrees before you try to pipe it over your chilled cake or the drips might run too far down your cake.

 

how to pour white chocolate ganache drip onto a cake

How do you do a white chocolate ganache drip on a cake?

Some people like to use a spoon to put the ganache onto the cake but I find that I have more control if I use a piping bag or a bottle. You could even use a plastic bag with the tip cut off if you really had to. The key to making the ganache drip look really good to alternate big drips with little drips. This makes a really pretty pattern and looks very natural.

Once you get drips all the way around the cake, you can fill in the center with more ganache and then smooth it out with a spatula, completing that seamless drip look.

Easy drip cake ganache recipe using water

The process for making ganache with water instead of cream is basically the same. The only difference is you want to use slightly less water than cream. For my recipe, I use 6oz of Guittard white chocolate wafers and 1 oz of warm water and then stir until combined. I still let it cool to 90 degrees before piping. This is technically a 6:1 ratio so when it sets, it is very firm.

You could also use this ratio to make a white chocolate ganache for the outside of the cake.

You can color your water ganache the same way we colored the ganache made with cream. Store ganache in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to a year. Cakes that have ganache on them do not need to be refrigerated.

How to make a dairy-free water ganache

White chocolate (even melties) contain dairy. If you want your ganache to be 100% dairy-free then you would need to use dairy-free white chocolate

You can watch this video tutorial on how to make the different types of ganache for drip cakes including how to paint the drip gold.

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how to pour white chocolate ganache drip onto a cake

Water Ganache Recipe

How to make water ganache using water instead of cream. Easy to do and tastes great! Can be used for making drip cakes or let it cool to peanut butter consistency and ice your cakes. 
4.96 from 44 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
cooling time: 15 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 7 oz
Calories: 130kcal

Ingredients

White Chocolate Water Ganache

  • 6 oz (170 g) white chocolate I prefer guittard white chocolate wafers
  • 1 oz (28 g) warm water

Dark Chocolate Water Ganache

  • 6 oz (170 g) chocolate I use guittard semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1.5 oz (43 g) warm water

Instructions

Instructions

  • Melt your white chocolate in a glass bowl over a double boiler or in the microwave. Do not over-heat
  • Stir in your water until combined and smooth. Add in colorings as desired. 
  • Let cool to 90 degrees before piping onto the cake or if using to frost your cake, let thicken to peanut butter consistency before using. 

Nutrition

Calories: 130kcal (7%) | Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 7g (11%) | Saturated Fat: 4g (20%) | Cholesterol: 5mg (2%) | Sodium: 21mg (1%) | Potassium: 69mg (2%) | Sugar: 14g (16%) | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 48mg (5%) | Iron: 0.1mg (1%)

You can paint over ganache with metallic luster dust mixed with everclear or lemon extract or you can color your ganache with candy coloring made especially for adding color to chocolate.

141 comments on “Water Ganache Recipe

  1. 5 stars
    I love all the information and tips! I aspire…

  2. 5 stars
    The white chocolate ganache water and cream recipe is the absolute best.
    Earlier today I was working with white chocolate and trying to color it yellow but it gave me a hard time. I couldn’t wrap my head around it then I came online and saw your channel and I decided to watch. It was really interesting and simple so I gave it a try.

    It came out perfectly. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  3. Love this! Is it the same ratio if I were to use milk or dark chocolate?

  4. Thank you for sharing – I look forward to trying it! I’ve always been a little afraid of white chocolate ganache because I have been trying to make it like you would dark chocolate ganache. Thank you for the tip!
    So I have a question, if you can add water to chocolate without it seizing, why can’t you colour it with regular gel colours?

    1. This would be the same reason she gave in the blog. When you add small amounts of liquid, to pure chocolate will seize. So if you are just coloring straight chocolate and you add a few drops of gel color, the amount of liquid is so small it will seize. If you are making ganache, just add the gel to your cream or water and add all at once. If you are coloring straight chocolate (not ganache) you would use an oil based color.

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, this is some kind of magic! We are always taught not to let water touch our chocolate or it will seize, but heating the water seems to be the trick! Thank goodness, because I had no cream, thanks Lizzo!

  6. Thanks for the video and info on being able to use water. My question though is, did you use the water version or the cream version to do the drips on the cake in the video. When you were mixing the gold with the silver, you got to the point where it was the perfect consistency, but as you said that you moved the bowl out of the screen view. What would you compare the consistency to?

    1. The ganache drip is made with the water which is the whole point of the video 🙂 The consistency to paint on the ganache is just like a paint, if it’s too thin it wont paint without streaks

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Liz! I’m Kelly from Kelly Kaxe! (Cake Wars Winner) We met at soflo!!! I think this is the best and most informative tutorial I have EVER watched! Though simple, it was very educational! You didn’t leave a single thing unanswered!!! Simply awesome! Thank you!!!!???

  8. Knowledge is key…you rock! The video was both informational and instructional in its creativity. I enjoyed learning both techniques and can not wait to try them. Thanks for the product suggestions, you have gained a new pupil…!!

  9. 5 stars
    Perfect consistency every time! Thanks, Liz!

  10. Hi! I use the white chocolate & water drop ALL THE TIME and I LOVE IT! Quick question. I watched your tutorial several times to see if you mentioned anything about the ratio of dark chocolate to water( i only have dark chocolate candy melts on hand and I’m all out of heavy cream).Would you happen to have that mentioned anywhere else?

      1. 5 stars
        Could you please tell me the ratio of normal dark chocolate please? I would like to do it for someone who is lactose intolerant. Thanks a lot in advance!! 🙂

  11. For the first time today my ganache drip dried with ripples…lots of ripples….I’ve never had that happen before and I have no idea what caused it….my ganache usually dries to a beautiful smooth surface….what did I do…????

  12. Now I understand my problems…I have been using white chocolate chips you find at the grocery and then wondering why it never set. Is this really my problem this WHOLE TIME? OMG!

  13. 5 stars
    Hello! Thank you for this. I’m going to try your white chocolate water ganache for a naked drip cake later this week, using candy melts. However, I’d like to make the ganache today and refrigerate. What is the best method for rewarming it to just the right consistency for applying the drip? Thank you! 🙂

  14. 5 stars
    Hey have you ever used water ganache on the entire cake and then put fondant over it? I am wondering how it sets. Have a cake this week and wondering if it will work.

  15. 5 stars
    What and where can you buy the liquid coloring for the ganache

  16. I love what I see and am going to practice it soon

  17. Do you have a recommendation regarding a vegan white chocolate to start with?

  18. 5 stars
    I must admit, I didn’t expect this to work, lol. It worked beautifully! Just keep stirring and it will come together. I added my water a little at a time. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Hello, I tried the white chocolate water ganache, but once it cooled it didnt actually set hard at room temperature or in the fridge. Is this part of the recipe? Or should it be setting hard?Thank you !

  20. Hello I was wondering if the water ganache sets hard ?

  21. 5 stars
    Love love this recipe! Works very well. One slight problem thou, my drips where awesome but on top of the cake, as the ganache hardened it had wrinkles everywhere. Just wondering what has caused this.

      1. This happened to me too. The top wasn’t smooth. First time I’ve tried this – will have to practice more.

      2. Hi,
        Awesome page!
        Few questions:
        This water based recipe, will I be able to drip it on the side of my cold cake?
        Also, do I have to refrigerate or leave out at room temperature if I want to paint the drip gold?
        Could I paint the drip in gold right away?

      3. Yes you can drip it on a cold cake, that is preferred. You have to wait until the chocolate hardens before you can paint it. You can refrigerate or leave at room temperature.

  22. 5 stars
    Love love this recipe! Works awesome and the drips look amazing. Just had one problem thou. The white ganache on top of cake, as it hardened turned all wrinkly. Just wondering why this had happened. I piped the ganache on with a piping bag.

  23. 5 stars
    Made the white chocolate ganache with water. Added colour – americolor electric pink. Colour looked awesome but when I applied the ‘drips’ you could see heaps of tiny air bubbles in the ganache. Would love to know how to prevent this. Cheers.

    1. Can liqua-gel food coloring be used? (Americolor or chefmaster)

  24. 5 stars
    Can you use ghirardelli White chocolate wafers or does it have to be Guittard wafers?

  25. 5 stars
    Hi Liz, I can watch your videos all day, So Much Knowledge, Your Fondant recipe is the only recipe i use, Thank you for sharing, I have so merckens white chocolate melts can i use these, and i do have ameri color gels, but they are not oil base can i use them to color chocolate

  26. 5 stars
    You Are Truly A Blessing A To People Like Me That Are Not Professional Bakers But Have A Passion For Baking And Do This As A Side-Line Hobby, I Just Finish Making The Ganache With The Water. I Order The Merckens In A 3-LB Bag, I Had Been Having Trouble Using Wilton and Had A Hard Time Finding The Colors Needed When Customers Wanted A Certain Color And Would Really Get Frustrated. I Did Find The Brand You Suggested, But The Shipping Was Really Too Much. I Did Use My Ameri Gel Food Coloring That Was Not Oil Based, Because It Was What I had. I Followed You Instructions And It Did Seize Up And I Added More Warm Water A Little At A Time And I Have The Prettiest Green Ganache For A Branch & Poppy Birthday Cake. Since I Made It Water Will It Have To Be Refrigerated Or Can I Leave It Out On The Counter And How Long Do I Chill The Cake In The Fridge? Forgive Me If This Is Too Long. Thank You Again!!!!!

  27. 5 stars
    You Are Truly A Blessing A To People Like Me That Are Not Professional Bakers But Have A Passion For Baking And Do This As A Side-Line Hobby, I Just Finish Making The Ganache With The Water. I Order The Merckens In A 3-LB Bag, I Had Been Having Trouble Using Wilton and Had A Hard Time Finding The Colors Needed When Customers Wanted A Certain Color And Would Really Get Frustrated. I Did Find The Brand You Suggested, But The Shipping Was Really Too Much. I Did Use My Ameri Gel Food Coloring That Was Not Oil Based, Because It Was What I had. I Followed You Instructions And It Did Seize Up And I Added More Warm Water A Little At A Time And I Have The Prettiest Green Ganache For A Branch & Poppy Birthday Cake. Since I Made It Water Will It Have To Be Refrigerated Or Can I Leave It Out On The Counter And How Long Do I Chill The Cake In The Fridge? Forgive Me If This Is Too Long. Thank You Again!!!!!

  28. 5 stars
    Hi! Thank you for this! I really needed a non-dairy ganache recipe! Is it also possible to use chocolate bars?

  29. Hi Lizzo

    I recently made a drip cake and was pressed for time. I put it in the freezer to set up before painting the gold on. Needless to say it didn’t paint on very well. The gold separated and was thin even though I made it really thick and then eventually the ganache softened so that while painting the gold got mixed in with the paint??‍♀️. What did I do wrong?

    1. Your gold was probably the problem, not all gold dusts are created equal. Not sure what you mean about the gold getting mixed in with the paint

  30. Hello Liz, I have to do a white chocolate drip on a cake and tint it pink could I use Americolor gel for this or do I have to purchase colouring for chocolate?

    Thanks

    1. Hi bonnie, yes as I stated in the post, you can add colorings to the water ganache and it does not require special coloring

  31. Am I able to use a water ganache drip on a fondant covered cake. If so, What would be the best way to do this?

  32. Thank you for this! Love your tutorials. I’m looking for a vegan icing (ugh) that will harden enough to work under fondant and hold some weight/structure, etc. Have you tried whipping the water ganache once it’s cooled and thickened into a spreadable consistency? Or do you have any other suggestions for a vegan frosting that won’t stay soft to touch even when cooled?

    1. Sorry I don’t have any vegan chocolate suggestions for you, I’m not familiar with vegan recipes but I am sure there are probably some online out there.

  33. 5 stars
    Tried this last night after discovering I had no cream and can’t believe it worked, di d nd seize – unbelievable
    Thanks was a lifesaver

  34. I want to make my daughter a graduation cake with the gold dripping. If I have a graduation cake topper, would you recommend putting it in the cake before putting the chocolate ganache or after?

  35. If I needed to make several colors of ganache, could I color a small of amount of prepared ganache (before it cools) with gel colors? I need a rainbow of colors but don’t need full batches of each color.

  36. Hi what would the measurement be in grams for the white chocolate water ganache recipe. As when I convert it online, all websites give a different conversion.

  37. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to try the water ganache!! I went to the store and left without buying heavy cream (cause I forgot! Had a list, too smh) and instead of running back in I thought, “I’m gonna try Sugar Geek’s water ganache! I don’t need heavy cream!”

    1. 5 stars
      Made the white chocolate water ganache and it was just perfect!!! Thank you!!!! (I wish I could post a pic cause I love it so much!!)

  38. Can my icing on the cake be wedding icing (Crisco instead of butter) before applying the ganache? And I have read the iced cake needs to be really cold before applying the ganache?

  39. 5 stars
    I made the white chocolate water ganache this evening for my first drip cake. I loved it. And my drip turned out great.

  40. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this! I just tried the water method using coloured Winton Candy Melts and it worked amazingly! I did curse you for a moment as (while I was whisking the water in) it appeared that it was going to seize but it came good after a few seconds. I am so proud of my first ever drip cake in Gryffindor colours for my son’s 11th birthday.

    Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial – I’ll definitely use it again 🙂

  41. Hi Lizz! Is it the same ratio of water to chocolate to make regular ganache for covering a cake (not for a drip)?

    1. I don’t love how it turns out to cover a cake, kind of grainy? If you can, try the white chocolate ganache recipe <3 But otherwise, yes I use the same ratios

  42. This was very helpful as I am making a 18th birthday cake for my granddaughter and will use this drip method.

  43. 5 stars
    I was surprised at first I’d this would work or not…… but it absolutely does ?, now my go to drip recipie. Only thing to bear in mind is for me the colour goes a darker than expected( this may be because I dye the chocolate before I add the water?)
    As for people asking on how it sets. It sets as soft hard

    And would milk/plain chocolate be the same ratio as the dark?

  44. Tried the white chocolate water Ganache… Something really new to me and it worked perfectly… Thanks so much for such detail tutorial

  45. Doesn’t white chocolate contain dairy? How is this dairy-free? Curious though, to try with water as, like others, always thought it would seize….

  46. Hi! I tried white chocolate ganache drip – I’m in europe ans often find food is so different that I get different results. I used a good Swiss white chocolate and 35% heavy whipping cream. It was a hot day so the chocolate melted very quickly!

    It was so thick it was like treacle, I added a bit more cream but was scared I’d make it too runny.

    Even with a bit more cream it was still way too thick ( lovely and shiny) and then didn’t really drip and did more like loops.

    Any advice for next time?!

      1. Sorry I posted here vs the cream recipe, but I watched the tutorial for both and decided to try cream first!

  47. Can I paint the white ganache with Rainbow Dust edible gold paint, also would a 2 tier cake need support and a board between them.

    1. Yes, every tier always needs to be supported or the upper tier will crush the lower tier.
      Yes you can paint the ganache with edible gold paint

  48. Thanks for sharing, I’ll try the two recipes. You actually gave me the solution to what I was looking for.

  49. What kind of icing did you use on your pretty pink cake? How long do you chill the cake for before doing the drip? Also, how long do you heat the water for when mixing it with the chocolate?
    Thanks a million. I love your video. So glad I came across it.

  50. Hi there. I see a lot of people asking about using vegan chocolate (not surprisingly, as using water offers a dairy free vegan alternative to usual ganache!). Just thought I’d mention that I have done the white chocolate water ganache using vegan white chocolate under fondant, and it was super stable, no difference to its non-vegan alternative. I’m in Australia and we have a chocolate brand here called Sweet William. They make dairy/gluten/nut free milk and white chocolate in blocks and buttons. I’ve used both kinds for water ganache without a problem. I used the 6 parts chocolate to 1 part water. It firmed up pretty quickly, so much so that I had to intermittently microwave it to soften it while constructing the cake (could have possibly used more water in it but I didn’t want to risk making it too soft). It was almost 30C here also, so that’s saying something in the heat! Hope that helps.

  51. Does the ever clear or the lemon extract leave a taste on the ganache?

  52. Hi,

    I am trying to find a way to create a vegan white chocolate genache. could you please let me know,if I use vegan white chocolate,should I make it to the same ratios as outlined above?

    I am looking to do this on Thursday so any help would be great.

    Thanks

  53. Hi
    I needed to make a rose gold colored drip, do you recommend using the white candy melts? Or should I use another color of melts for the water ganache. I can’t use alcohol, so I was going to use edible arts rose gold paint. Thanks so much!

  54. Hi love your tutorials. I live in Brampton, Ontario; Canada. Can I use candy melts? Also how do I make and use chocolate ganache to cover a cake? How do I become an elite member and is there a cost?

  55. Hey Ms. Liz.

    I had a problem with the ganache drips actually sliding down the cake after I had finished and it had set. I kept the cake in the fridge because I had to transport it later. Is it because it was chilled after I put the drip on and the condensation made it slide? The drip was on top of your ermine butter cream. ❤️

  56. Hi Liz,

    Can I make a milk chocolate drip with the same concept? I have milk compound chocolate and was thinking if the ratio used for dark chocolate can be used here as well?

  57. Would you use the same ratio of h20 to chocolate for a dairy free ganache for filling french macarons? I want it to be soft at room temp

    1. Im not sure if the ratios would end up exactly the same, I would do a small test first to see if its the consistency you want.

  58. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness. It couldn’t be easier. Works PERFECT! I used cheap melting chocolate (since I’m still practicing) and it still worked and taste great. I used my own measurements but stuck to the 6:1 ratio. Thank you Liz!

  59. Don’t have much experience with ganache, but does adding water to the melted chocolate not cause the chocolate to seize up? Thanks in advance.

  60. 3 stars
    It works great and tastes amazing… But.. Mine got really thick really fast and its no longer useable as a drip. How can I fix that? I tried giving it heat again but it didn’t work…

  61. Hi Liz, I would like to use the water ganache as a decoration for a cake, but I was wondering if i was going to make an 8 inch cake with 3 layers would I have to double the recipe? I was also wondering how you can prevent your ganache drips from rippling, is there a specific temperature the cake has to be or an amount of time the cake has to be chilled please give your tips. My last question is for the water ganache we can use any type of gel food coloring right?

    1. You don’t need to double the recipe, make sure you cake is very cold and your water ganache is about 90ºF before dripping. You can use any kind of food coloring.

  62. Can I half the recipe and use ? 3:1 Chocolate:water ? Like 85g:14g ? I am using compound white chocolate. Hoping to get a quick reply. Thanks in advance 😊

    1. You still need to use 6:1 for compound chocolate. To half the recipe you would cut all the ingredients in half, not change the ratio. So it would be 3 ounces of chocolate and .5 ounces of water.

  63. For a dark chocolate water ganache can I use chocolate chips (dark)? Thanks

  64. Do you color the water prior to mixing with chocolate or can you color with the gel colours after you make the ganache?

  65. Can I use cocoa flavored candy melts with the same ratio ? Thanks

  66. I made this with dark chocolate chips using the measurement given for a dark chocolate ganache and following the directions for the white chocolate ganache given in this recipe. I melted the chocolate and added warm water. When I used it (probably about an hour later) it was so thick so I tried heating it up, it never reached the right consistency, and it melted the frosting on my cake a bit. What did I do wrong?

  67. 5 stars
    Can I reheat leftover water ganache for later use

  68. 5 stars
    Hey, just wanted clarification. I don’t have access to chocolate food coloring in a short period of time. So colored candy melts will work for a drip? Like if I follow or water or cream ratio? Thanks in advance!

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