Colorful drips are such a simple and gorgeous way to decorate a cake. It’s one of my favorite decorating techniques, and that’s why I’m sharing this tutorial on how to make a blue drip cake!
As an added bonus, drip cakes are super versatile! This blue drip can be made in any shade, different lengths and thicknesses, and added either fully around a cake or to just a small portion of a cake as an accent. The sky’s the limit!!
With that in mind, there are a few things that are super helpful to know when making a blue drip cake. I share everything you need to know below, and walk you through each step of the process.
How Do I Make Blue Drips for a Cake?
My blue drip recipe is made with white chocolate ganache, and is primarily made with heavy cream, white chocolate and blue gel food coloring.
To make these blue ganache drips, all you have to do heat your heavy cream until it’s steaming, then pour it over the white chocolate.
After letting it sit for a couple minutes, the white chocolate softens. Then you just add in a squirt of blue gel food coloring and give it a good stir until it’s smooth.
I used a sky blue gel food coloring, but any shade of blue gel food coloring will work great. You can use liquid food coloring if it’s all you have, but the color won’t be as vibrant.
Overall it’s a pretty straightforward and quick process! The somewhat challenging part of making a blue drip cake is actually adding the drips to the cake.
How Do I Add Blue Drips to this Cake?
There are two common ways to add drips to cake. Most people use either a spoon or a plastic squirt bottle.
Some people prefer one method over the other, and I recommend using whatever method you feel most comfortable with.
Adding Drips Using a Spoon
One way you can add blue drips to cake is with a spoon. The best thing about this method is that you don’t need any special tools. I think everyone has a spoon in their kitchen!!
You simply take 1-2 teaspoons of ganache in your spoon and carefully pour it over the edge of a chilled buttercream cake.
I recommend scraping the bottom of your spoon against the bowl each time you scoop up a bit ganache.
This will prevent rouge bits of ganache from dripping off the bottom of your spoon all over your counter and your cake.
Adding Blue Drips Using a Squirt Bottle
The second way you can add drips to a cake is with a plastic bottle. Once the ganache is made, carefully pour it into a plastic squirt bottle.
Not everyone has these on hand, but they’re pretty cheap to buy! You can find them at Target, Walmart, or on Amazon (that’s where I get mine).
I like using a squirt bottle because it helps you add drips to a cake a lot faster than a spoon. In my opinion, it also is a lot easier and cleaner! If you have leftover ganache, you can simply pop the cap on your bottle and throw it in the fridge.
Leftover ganache can last in the fridge for up to a month. I have a little shelf in my fridge door dedicated to bottles of leftover ganache!
To reuse leftover ganache, pop the bottle into the microwave and reheat in 10 second intervals until it’s fluid again and looks like it’s the right consistency.
What Should My Drips Look Like?
There’s a spectrum of ganache drips, and I always say no two drip cakes are alike. They’re all unique and beautiful in their own way.
There is no right or wrong here, just drips of all shapes and sizes! Different types of drips can help you achieve different looks for your cakes.
Sometimes I want a chunkier drip, that’s super defined. It makes cakes feel almost cartoonish to me, and I think they’re fun. Other times I want thin little drips, that look just like tiny raindrops coming from the sky.
That’s not me being whimsical, I really did make an April showers drip cake with thin blue drips to emulate raindrops
And then there’s drip length. Do you want your drips run all the way to the cake board? Should they vary in length, or have a uniform look? You tell me!!
I’ve done them all. I generally like drips that vary in length a bit, but there’s nothing with drips that are all the same length.
Shorter drips can be great if you’re planning to add decoration around the base of the cake. Longer drips can be fun if you’re going for an over the top or dramatic look.
Tips for Adding Drips to a Cake
Whatever look you chose fo your drip cake, I have two very important tips to ensure you get the look you’re after.
Tip #1: Chill Your Cake
My first tip is to only add drips to a chilled cake! I mean THOROUGHLY chilled. Your second coat of buttercream should be firm to the touch.
This can take up to 30 minutes in the fridge, or about 10 minutes in the freezer.
Chilling your cake will help your drips stay in place once they’re added and help prevent them from running down too far.
Tip #2: Make A Test Drip
My second tip is to make a test drip. Take your ganache and make a single drip on your cake. Let if flow and sit for a couple minutes. See what it looks like and how far it runs down the side of the cake.
Are you happy with how it looks? This is your time to make changes to get it just right. Is it too thin? Did the drip run too far down the cake? Maybe you need to let your ganache cool more, or melt in a bit more chocolate.
Is your drip too thick or short? You might need to pop it in the microwave for a couple seconds (seriously, don’t heat it for more than 5 seconds). Or maybe you want to add in a tiny bit more heavy cream.
This is the point in the process where my eagerness can get the best of me. I think I’ve made the necessary adjustments and dive right into adding all my drips.
But for all you know, you may have overcorrected! You may have actually heated or cooled your ganache too much.
After each adjustment to your ganache, you need to do another test drip. It’s worth taking the extra few minutes to make sure your ganache is the perfect temperature.
My Tips for Making the Best Blue Drip Cake
- Use this drip recipe on any type of buttercream cake as long as it’s chilled.
- Don’t use this blue drip recipe on fondant – 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 regular white chocolate chips, chocolate wafers, or even a chopped up white chocolate bar for the chocolate this recipe calls for.
- The ratio of heavy cream is different if you white candy melts. Candy melts cannot be swapped for the white chocolate in this recipe! They are not interchangeable.
- Be sure to 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.
Making This Blue Drip Cake in Advance & Storage Tips
- Make this ganache drip recipe ahead of time or save leftovers! Once it’s made, wrap the bowl with plastic wrap or cover the top of the plastic bottle and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
- To use chilled ganache, heat the bottle or bowl in to the microwave for 10 second intervals until it reaches the right consistency
- Use leftover ganache to top cupcakes, cookies, or even ice cream!
Share Your Creations With Me!
If you try this blue drip cake recipe, please tag me @chelsweets and use #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations!
Other Recipes You Might Like:
Vanilla Cake Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour (260g)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6g)
- 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (150g) - 1 and 1/3 sticks
- 2/3 cup egg whites or about 5 egg whites, room temperature (155g)
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (228g)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (14g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)
- blue gel food coloring (if desired)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (339g)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (8g)
- 1/4 tsp fine salt (2g)
- 5 cups powdered sugar (625g)
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream or whipping cream (15g)
Blue Drip Recipe
Additional Decorations – Optional
- Fun sprinkle blend
Vanilla Cake Layers:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three, 6-inch pans or two, 8-inch cake pans with baking spray and parchment rounds or homemade cake release.
- Mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer to mix on a low speed until combined.
- Mix 2/3 cup of unsalted butter into the dry ingredients on a medium-low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Pour 2/3 cup of egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated and the batter looks wet.
- Mix in 1 cup buttermilk, 1 Tbsp oil, and 1 tsp vanilla on a low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
- If desired, add in blue gel food coloring and stir by hand with a rubber spatula until the batter is evenly colored.
- Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees the layers will bake to be the same height.
- Bake for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Let the pans cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
- Flip the cake layers onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers once they’ve cooled completely. If you want to make your cake layers in ahead of time, level them then wrap and freeze them.
- If you make these cake layers in advance and freeze them, let them thaw for about 20 minutes before making your cake. The cake layers should still be slightly cold to the touch, which will make it easier to assemble your cake.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
- Beat 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment until smooth.
- Mix in 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt on a low speed.
- Slowly mix in 5 cups of powdered sugar on a low speed. Add 2 Tbsp of heavy cream halfway through to make the frosting easier to mix.
- Continue to mix on low speed for a few minutes, until the desired consistency is reached.
- If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tbsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
- If you make this buttercream in advance, cover the bowl with plastic wrap to prevent crusting. American buttercream can sit out at room temperature for up to 24 hours or lasts up to a month in the fridge. Just be sure to give the frosting a good stir with a rubber spatula once it thaws to push out any air bubbles and get the consistency smooth again.
Assembling the Cake:
- Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board or flat plate.
- Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer with a large offset spatula.
- Add a thin coat of frosting around the cake, fully cover the cake layers.
- Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (5 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
- Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Place the cake in the fridge (30 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is totally chilled.
White Chocolate Ganache Drips:
- While the cake chills, make the white chocolate ganache drip.
- Heat 3 Tbsp heavy cream in a heat proof bowl in the microwave in 15 second intervals, until it's steaming and just beginning to bubble.
- Gently pour the heavy cream over 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips, making sure they are fully covered with cream. Let mixture sit for 1 minute.
- Stir slowly until the cream and white chocolate are combined. Some bits of chocolate may not be fully melted yet. If you notice this in your mixture, heat the mixture again for 15 seconds and stir. Repeat as necessary until all the chocolate bits are fully melted and incorporated.
- Once the ganache is smooth, mix in the blue gel food coloring until the ganache is evenly colored. If you plan to use a plastic bottle to add your drips, pour the mixture into a plastic bottle.
- Let the mixture cool until the desired viscosity is reached and it's 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.
- Make a test drip with your ganache to see if it's the right consistency, then adjust as needed (i.e. if the ganache is too thin let it cool more or add more white chocolate, or if it’s too thick pop it in the microwave for 5 seconds or add a tiny bit more heavy cream).
- Once it's the right consistency, add the drips to the chilled cake using a plastic squirt bottle or spoon. After covering the sides of the cake with drips, chill the cake in the freezer for 5 minutes to help the drips set.
- Add some of the remaining ganache on top of the cake and carefully spread it over the top of the chilled cake.
- Then decorate as desired! I like to add a fun sprinkle blend around the base of the cake and use the leftover buttercream to pipe dollops on top of the cake using an Ateco 869 frosting tip.
Dairy free alternative: coconut cream (canned) can be used in place of the heavy cream in this recipe to make it dairy free.
Make this ganache drip recipe ahead of time or save leftovers! Once it's made, wrap the bowl with plastic wrap or cover the top of the plastic bottle and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
To use chilled ganache, heat the bottle or bowl in to the microwave for 10 second intervals until it reaches the right consistency.
Use leftover ganache to top cupcakes, cookies, or even ice cream!
Amount Per Serving Calories 742Total Fat 40gSaturated Fat 24gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 91mgSodium 263mgCarbohydrates 96gFiber 0gSugar 94gProtein 3g