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 Never Miss A Cake
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.

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

Select an option below to calculate how much batter or frosting you need. Adjust the servings slider on the recipe card to change the amounts the recipe makes.

Choose a pan type

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Cupcake Tin Size

Choose number of pans

Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
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. 
4.95 from 76 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
cooling time: 15 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 7 oz
Calories: 130kcal


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



  • 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. 


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%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

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.

146 comments on “Water Ganache Recipe

  1. 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!

  2. 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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.


  8. 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!

  9. 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?

  10. 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. ❤️

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

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

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

  21. 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?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating