Colored drips to a cake is the perfect way to take your cake decorating skills to the next level! It’s such a elegant, yet playful cake design. If you’ve never made a drip cake before, fear not! I’m going to share everything you need to know to make a colorful drip cake, and more.
The Secret To My Colorful Drip Recipe: 2 Ingredients
Just because colorful drip cakes are beautiful, doesn’t mean they need to be complicated. We’ll start by discussing the most basic part of a colorful drip, the ingredients it’s made with! The beauty of my recipe is that it’s made with only two ingredients.
All you is a cup of white chocolate chips, and some heavy cream. You simply heat up the cream, and pour in the white chocolate chips. Let them melt, give them a quick stir, and you have silky smooth ganache.
The ratio of white chocolate to heavy cream is super important in this recipe. By using so much white chocolate, the mixture will thicken as it cools. This allows you to create those beautiful, perfect drips! Since this recipe uses white chocolate and cream, it is technically a white chocolate ganache.
How To Color White Chocolate Ganache
This white chocolate ganache base can be colored any shade, using food coloring. A lot of people worry that adding food coloring will cause the ganache to seize up.
While adding food coloring would cause melted white chocolate to seize (and create the chunkiest mess!!), it won’t cause this white chocolate ganache to seize. Why, you ask?? It all comes down to the heavy cream that is incorporated into the mixture.
Heavy cream does have a ton of fat in it, but it also has water in it! By melting the chocolate into the heavy cream, you prevent any seizing from the moisture in the food coloring. The cream will keep the mixture nice and smooth, even with the addition of food coloring.
If you want your colorful drips to be a super vibrant color, I highly recommend using gel food coloring. A small amount of liquid food coloring can work too, but you won’t be able to get as strong of a color. You also can throw off the consistency of the mixture if you add too much liquid food coloring.
Gel food coloring is incredibly concentrated, so it allows you to use less. A tiny drop will create beautiful, bright colors like the ones in my Peeps cake below! It also is thicker, and will not change the consistency of the white chocolate ganache. My favorite brand of gel food coloring is Americolor, but any brand will work.
How To Make The Perfect Colored Drip Cake
Drip cakes don’t have to be scary, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you get that perfect drip look! The most common issues people run into when making drip cakes include:
- Runaway drips – drips that run all the way down the cake and right off the cake board
- Watery, thin drips, that looks more like colorful streaks than drips
- Ganache that seems to melt the buttercream
- Short, stubby drips that resemble candle wax
Most of these problems are caused my adding the ganache to a cake when it isn’t right temperature. You can also have issues if the cake hasn’t been properly chilled. If you follow my tips below, I promise you can avoid all of these issues!!
Step #1 : Chill Your Cake
My first tip is to make sure your cake is properly chilled. Once frosted, you should allow it sit it your fridge for at least 20 minutes, or in your freezer for 10 minutes. This makes sure the frosting is cold and firm to the touch.
Chilling the cake helps the buttercream keep it’s shape, and stand up to the slightly warmed ganache. It will also help slow down the speed at which the drips run down the cake, which will help them from running all the way down the cake.
Step #2 : Temperature Of Your Ganache
The second tip is to make sure your ganache is the right temperature!! It should be just slightly warmer than room temperature. When I say that, I mean it should be barely warm to the touch.
If your ganache is too warm, it will be thinner than you want, and will run straight down the cake and pool at the bottom of your cake board. On the other hand, if it’s not warm enough, you will end up with short, stubby little drips. Neither of these will create those beautiful, long drips.
The best way to ensure your ganache is the right temperature is do a test drip. THIS IS SUCH A CRUCIAL STEP!!! Make one drip on the side of your cake, and let it flow. Allow it to slowly run down the side of the cake for a couple minutes.
If it’s the length and look you’re after, then go ahead and add drips to the rest of the cake. If not, adjust as needed. Either pop the ganache into the fridge for a couple minutes to allow it to cool off a bit more, or pop the bottle (or bowl) in the microwave and heat for 5-10 seconds.
Then test out one more drip, just to be safe! While these extra steps may lengthen the process, it’s worth it to make sure your drips are perfect.
When you spend hours making a cake from scratch, it’s worth taking the extra 10 minutes to ensure your ganache drips will turn out beautifully 🙂
If you’re more of a visual learner, here is a video tutorial showing exactly how I add drips to my cakes.
Techniques For Adding Drips To The Cake
There are two ways to easily add colored drips to a cake. One way is to use plastic bottles. I prefer this method, since it makes the process so much easier. The ganache is contained in your hand, and can also easily be heated or chilled.
If you don’t have any plastic bottles on hand, you can also use a spoon or an offset spatula to carefully push the ganache over the edge of your cakes, creating each drip. I used this method to make the pink drips on my circus animal cake.
Whenever I use a spoon, I feel like I’m going to dribble ganache all over my counter, or on the cake where I don’t want it. I actually prefer the way drips look when they’re added to a cake using the spoon method, but I rarely do it because it’s harder to film!
- This drip recipe can be used on any type of buttercream cake, as long as it’s chilled
- I don’t recommend adding a colored drip to a fondant cake – it can do weird things to the fondant, and create a goopy mess
- For the white chocolate, I love using the whole foods mini white chocolate chips, because they melt so easily!
- You can also use normal white chocolate chips, white chocolate wafers, or even a chopped up white chocolate bar!
- The ratio of heavy cream is different if you white candy melts, and they cannot be swapped for the white chocolate in this recipe! They are not interchangeable
- Be sure you use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream! You need the high fat content to create the right consistency in this recipe. Milk cannot be used in place of the cream.
If you try my colorful drip recipe, please tag me @chelsweets, and use the hashtag #chelsweets, so I can see your beautiful creations!!
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (77 grams)
- 1 cup white chocolate chips (175 grams)
- gel food coloring (optional)
- Heat heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds, until it's just beginning to bubble. Gently pour white chocolate chips into the heavy cream, making sure they are fully covered with cream. Allow mixture to sit for 1 minute.
- Stir slowly until the cream and white chocolate are combined. Some bits of chocolate may not be fully melted yet. Heat the mixture again for 20 seconds, and stir. Repeat as necessary until all the chocolate bits are fully melted and incorporated.
- Add in gel food coloring, if desired. Allow to cool until desired viscosity is reached (barely warm to the touch).
- If it seems too thin or thick, you can add a touch more chocolate chips or heavy cream! The type of cream and white chocolate that you use can affect the consistency, so feel free to adjust as needed.
if you can’t find heavy cream at your grocery store, heavy whipping cream will work too!
Extra ganache can covered with plastic wrap, or kept in an airtight container for up to a month in the fridge!
Yield12 cake slices
Amount Per Serving Calories 109 Total Fat 7g Saturated Fat 4g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 10mg Sodium 19mg Carbohydrates 12g Fiber 0g Sugar 12g Protein 1g