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White Drip Cake

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 white drip cake!

I love drip cakes because you can customize them in so many different ways.

image of a white drip cake made with white chocolate ganache drips

This white drip can be made with drips of different lengths, thicknesses, and added either fully around a cake or to just a small portion as an accent.

With that in mind, there are a few things that are super helpful to know when making a drip cake.

I share everything you need to know below and walk you through each step of the process.

How Do I Make White Drips for a Cake?

My white drip recipe is made with white chocolate ganache, and is primarily made with heavy cream, white chocolate and white gel food coloring.

To make these white ganache drips, all you have to do is 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 white gel food coloring and give it a good stir until it’s smooth.

image of white chocolate ganache that's been brightened with white gel food coloring

It’s a pretty straightforward and quick process!

The somewhat challenging part of making a drip cake is actually adding the drips to the cake.

How to Brighten This White Chocolate Ganache Drip

This drip cake recipe is made with white chocolate, which naturally has a yellowish hue from the cocoa butter in the white chocolate.

Unfortunately, this means that if you just mix together white chocolate and heavy cream, you’ll end up with drips that are light yellow.

This is why it’s super important that you mix in some white gel food coloring!

It really brightens up the ganache and gives it a much whiter look.

image of a white drip cake made with white chocolate ganache drips

How Do I Add Drips to a 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. I recommend using whatever method you feel most comfortable with.

Adding Drips Using a Spoon

One way you can add 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 of ganache.

This will prevent rouge bits of ganache from dripping off the bottom of your spoon all over your counter and your cake.

Adding 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!

image of white chocolate ganache drips being added to a 6-inch cake with a plastic squirt bottle

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.

I went for shorter, thicker drips on this cake so that I could easily add sprinkles around the base of this cake.

image of sprinkles being added to a white drip cake

Tips for Adding White Drips to a Cake

Whatever look you chose for your white 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.

image of a 6-inch layer cake that's being frosted smoothly with vanilla buttercream frosting

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 it 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 so that it thickens a bit or you can melt in a bit more chocolate.

Is your drip too thick or short? You might need to thin it out by popping 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.

After I think I’ve made the necessary adjustments I dive right into adding all my drips.

But for all I know, I may have overcorrected! I may have actually heated or cooled my 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.

image of white drips being added around a vanilla cake

Substitutions and Swaps – Vanilla Cake Layers

This vanilla drip cake recipe uses quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have all of them on hand. Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this cake recipe.

  • All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a gluten free flour blend or cake flour if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar, as it will change the texture of the cake layers.
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand, you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this cake recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place (and also omit the salt)!
  • Egg whites – I use egg whites out of a carton to avoid wasting any yolks! You can also use 5 egg whites or 3 whole eggs if needed. Or if you have an egg allergy you can use flaxseed eggs or an egg replacer.
  • Buttermilk – You can also use full fat yogurt, sour cream, whole milk, or an alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
  • Vegetable Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe. Canola or even sunflower oil would work great!
  • Vanilla Extract – Other extracts can also be used in place of the vanilla extract. Feel free to use almond, lemon, or even coconut extract.
image of vanilla cake batter that's been poured into 6-inch cake pans and is ready to be baked

Substitutions and Swaps – Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. Just be sure to omit the salt that this frosting recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place (and omit the salt)!
  • Heavy Cream – Whole milk or alternative milk (soy, almond, oat) will work fine in this frosting recipe if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Vanilla Extract – Other extracts can also be used in place of the vanilla extract. Feel free to use coconut extracthazelnut extract, or even pistachio extract.
  • Gel food coloring – If you want to color this frosting, I recommend using gel food coloring! It creates vibrant colors without throwing off the consistency of the buttercream.
image of vanilla buttercream frosting in a large bowl

Substitutions and Swaps – White Chocolate Ganache

  • Heavy Cream – You can use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream to make the ganache drip. I don’t recommend using regular milk though, it doesn’t have a high enough fat percentage to make a thick ganache.
  • 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, white chocolate wafers, or even a chopped up white chocolate bar.
  • White Gel Food ColoringWhite gel food coloring is an absolute must! Otherwise your drip will have a yellowish hue from the cocoa butter found in white chocolate. You can also use 1 tsp of titanium dioxide powder if you can’t find white gel food coloring.

My Tips for Making the Best White Drip Cake

  • Use this drip recipe on any type of buttercream cake that’s been thoroughly chilled.
  • Don’t use this white drip recipe on fondant. It can do weird things to the fondant and create a goopy mess.
  • The ratio of heavy cream is different if you use white candy melts. Candy melts cannot be swapped 1:1 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.
image of a slice of white drip cake that's being cut out to show it's pretty layers

Making a White Drip Cake in Advance & Storage Tips

  • Make your cake layers in advance and freeze themIt breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
  • 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 the microwave for 10 second intervals until it reaches the right consistency. Use leftover ganache to top cupcakes, cookies, or even ice cream!
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.
image of a slice of vanilla cake that's decorated with white drips

Share Your Creations with Me!

If you try this white drip cake recipe, please let me know what you think!

Tag me @chelsweets and #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 16

White Drip Cake

image of a white drip cake made with white chocolate ganache drips

Want to learn how to make a white drip cake? This recipe and tutorial walk you through everything you need to know about drip cakes!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla Cake Recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3g)
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (150g) - 1 and 1/3 sticks
  • 2/3 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton or about 5 egg whites, room temperature (155g)
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature (240g)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil (30g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4g)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (339g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (10g)
  • 1/4 tsp fine table salt (2g)
  • 5 cups powdered sugar (625g)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream or whipping cream (30g)

White Drip Recipe

Additional Decorations – Optional

  • Fun sprinkle blend

Equipment Needed

Instructions

Vanilla Cake Layers:

  1. 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.
  2. Mix the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer to mix on a low speed until combined.
  3. Mix the 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.
  4. Pour in the egg whites and mix on low until just incorporated and the batter looks wet.
  5. Mix in the sour cream, oil and vanilla on a low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  6. If desired, add in gel food coloring at this stage and stir by hand with a rubber spatula until the batter is evenly colored.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  9. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around the perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  10. Flip the cake layers onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  11. Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers once they’ve cooled completely. If you want to make your cake layers ahead of time, level them then wrap and freeze them.
  12. 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:

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
  2. Beat the unsalted butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. 
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt on a low speed.
  4. 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.
  5. Continue to mix on low speed for a few minutes, until the desired consistency is reached. 
  6. 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).
  7. 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 This White Drip Cake:

  1. Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board or flat plate.
  2. Add an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer with a large offset spatula.
  3. Add a thin coat of frosting around the cake, fully cover the cake layers. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. While the cake chills, make the white chocolate ganache drip.
  2. Heat the heavy cream in a heat proof bowl in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until it's steaming and just beginning to bubble. 
  3. Gently pour the heavy cream over the white chocolate chips, making sure they are fully covered with cream. Allow the mixture to sit for 1 minute.
  4. 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.
  5. Once the ganache is smooth, mix in the white 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.
  6. Let the mixture cool until the desired viscosity is reached and it's barely warm to the touch.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. Add some of the remaining ganache on top of the cake and carefully spread it over the top of the chilled cake. 
  11. 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 your favorite frosting tip (I used a Wilton 1M).

Notes

Dairy free alternative: Full-fat coconut cream (canned) can be used in place of the heavy cream in this recipe to make it dairy free.

Tips for Making the Best White Drip Cake

  • Properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure, then level) or use a kitchen scale.
  • Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature to help them mix together better.
  • Don't level your cake layers until they are completely cooled.
  • Make sure your buttercream is the right consistency. This will help give your cake proper structure and make it easier to decorate.
  • If your cake layers turn out less than perfect, read my cake troubleshooting guide to see where things might've gone awry.
  • Use this drip recipe on any type of buttercream cake that's been thoroughly chilled.
  • Don't use this white 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, white 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 use white candy melts. Candy melts cannot be swapped 1:1 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 White Dripping Cake in Advance and Storage Tips

  • Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.
  • 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 the microwave for 10 second intervals until it reaches the right consistency. Use leftover ganache to top cupcakes, cookies, or even ice cream!
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!
  • If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 652Total Fat 37gSaturated Fat 21gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 86mgSodium 259mgCarbohydrates 80gFiber 0gSugar 77gProtein 4g

Leticia Kenoyer

Friday 31st of December 2021

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