How To Make A Drip Cake

We love the look of a drip cake! Those cascading drips of ganache take a cake from ordinary to festive. Pastry chef Michele Sweeney of Epicurean Delights shows you how to create your own marvelous 4-layer drip cake. Learn the techniques and wow your friends and family on St. Patrick’s Day with this delightful chocolate mint flavored version.


This recipe is for a Chocolate Peppermint Drip Cake, but feel free to choose a different flavor. Make a Chocolate Strawberry Drip Cake by swapping out the Peppermint Bakery Emulsion with Strawberry Bakery Emulsion and use pink gel instead of green. Another fun option is to use Banana Bakery Emulsion and yellow gel coloring for a Chocolate Banana Drip Cake.


Here is an Overview of the Project:

Make Cake Layers

Begin by making the four cake layers (chocolate, dark green-colored peppermint, light green-colored peppermint, and vanilla bean). Once the cakes have cooled, trim tops and edges.

Make Chocolate Ganache

To make the chocolate ganache layer, simply combine heavy whipping cream (40% milk fat cream) to melted dark cocoa coating compound in a 1:1 ratio.

Make Buttercream Frosting

Whip up a batch of your favorite buttercream frosting and divide between two bowls. Flavor one bowl with vanilla extract. Flavor the remaining frosting with Peppermint Bakery Emulsion and tint with green gel food coloring to desired tone (note: the color will deepen slightly over time).

Assemble and Frost Cake

Place the chocolate layer on a cake stand and spread on a generous amount of the chocolate ganache. Next, add the dark green cake layer and top with the green peppermint buttercream; reserve about 1 cup for later use. Add the light green cake layer and spread on a layer of vanilla buttercream. Add the vanilla bean cake layer and spread on a layer of vanilla buttercream. Add a crumb coat of frosting to the entire exterior of the cake and refrigerate until chilled. Remove from refrigerator and do a final smooth coat. Place remaining vanilla buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a 1M tip and set aside.

Paint on Green Buttercream

Using a large paint brush, apply reserved green peppermint frosting in broad, thick strokes at varying intervals around the cake to add texture and visual interest.

Decorate with Sprinkles

Elevate cake slightly from cake stand to create some space (Michele uses a 6-inch round cake pan). Scoop some sprinkles into the palm of your hand and apply liberally to the lower portion of the cake. (Tip: With your other hand, hold a container under the cake to catch the excess sprinkles.) Refrigerate cake for at least 30 minutes.

Make Chocolate Shards for Garnish

Melt about 1 1/2 cups of dark cocoa compound and spread out on a piece of acetate or silicone mat to a thin layer. Once the compound has hardened, break into small shards.

Make the Water Ganache

Melt 6 oz. white chocolate compound and whisk in 1 oz. warm water. Color with green gel food coloring to desired shade. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag. If bag feels hot, cool for a few minutes. Ganache should not be too hot when applied to cake.

Apply Water Ganache Drips

Start by piping a small amount of the water ganache onto the inside edge of the cake to test how quickly it will run down the side. If you like the look, continue at the same pace around the entire cake. Once the drips are finished, lightly fill the center with the ganache. Allow ganache to set-up completely.

Pipe Border and Apply Garnishes

Once the ganache is set, pipe a decorative border around the edge of the cake. To finish, add a few sprinkles to the top of the cake and decorate with chocolate shards.

Click here to view the full recipe for our Chocolate Peppermint Drip Cake.


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