Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting Recipe

chocolate cake with ganache icing and sea salt
Lauren Weisenthal

This is a decadent chocolate cake, reminiscent of Devil's Food in flavor and moisture. The whipped chocolate ganache frosting is every chocolate fiend's dream, but take care to watch it carefully: if you beat it too far, it will become chunky rather than smooth and light.

Note: I strongly recommend using a scale for all pastry projects. Serious Eats' recommended kitchen scale is the Oxo Good Grips Scale with Pull Out Display.

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Recipe Details

Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting Recipe

Active 60 mins
Total 5 hrs
Serves 10 to 12 servings


For the Cake:

  • 17.4 ounces granulated sugar

  • 12 ounces butter, softened

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 7.5 ounces whole milk

  • 3.5 ounces water

  • 2.5 ounces cocoa

  • 12 ounces cake flour, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Whipped Ganache:

  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

  • 1 quart heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Optional: sea salt for sprinkling on top


  1. For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). If using cake pans, smear a small amount of butter in the bottom of each and line the bottoms with circles of parchment. If baking on a single jelly roll pan, smear an X of butter across the center and line the bottom with parchment. Set pan(s) aside.

  2. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Add boiling water to cocoa and mix, set aside to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on high speed for 6-8 minutes, until very light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and the beater, and beat on high speed to ensure mixture is fully mixed. Stop mixer, add cocoa water and half the milk, plus half the dry ingredients. Mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down the mixer, then add the rest of the milk and dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly on low speed, scraping down one more time. Finish mixing with a big rubber spatula by hand, taking care not to over mix. If using cake pans, divide the batter evenly into three, if using the jelly roll pan, pour batter out and smooth evenly over the sheet.

  3. Bake layers on middle rack of oven for 10 minutes, then carefully turn them and allow them to bake for an additional 10, or until the surface springs back a bit to the touch and cake pulls away from the sides. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in pan(s) for 10 minutes. Invert cakes and pull off parchment, allow them to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

  4. For the Whipped Ganache: Chop chocolate very finely and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer. Bring cream and salt to a boil. Pour cream over chocolate and allow it to sit for one minute, then whisk until completely smooth (if you have a hand blender, this makes the process go faster). Chill ganache uncovered in fridge for two hours, stirring every twenty minutes. Once ganache feels cold but is still liquid, remove it from fridge and attach the bowl to the mixer. Whip using the whisk attachment, slowly at first, gradually increasing speed to high. You will notice mixture will thicken after about a minute, watch it closely. It will begin to hold soft peaks. Watch for it to get just slightly firmer, and don’t allow it to go any further. Ice cake with whipped ganache immediately after making, as it will begin to seize up if left to sit. Refrigerate cake until you are ready to serve, up to one day, allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving if desired.

Special equipment

Stand mixer, three 8-inch cake pans or 1 jelly roll pan, parchment paper

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1061 Calories
71g Fat
106g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 1061
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 71g 91%
Saturated Fat 44g 219%
Cholesterol 199mg 66%
Sodium 695mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 106g 39%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 75g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 111mg 9%
Iron 6mg 35%
Potassium 362mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)