Drip cake with honeycomb on stand

How to make a drip cake

Follow our step-by-step guide and learn how to make a drip cake with silky smooth ganache. Get top tips and insider techniques from our baking experts.

Follow our simple step-by-step method and find the answers to your most common drip cake questions, with tips from our baking experts. Try our favourite techniques for getting the picture-perfect cake every time.

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Get some inspiration for even more sweet showstoppers from our drip cake recipe collection. Find a flavour everyone will love, from a slice of our retro banana & custard drip cake to our easy caramel cake.

How to make a drip cake

Step 1: Crumb coat your sponges

Cake on stand being iced

When your cakes are assembled, use a palette knife or dough scraper to cover the entire cake with a thin layer of the icing, filling any gaps between sponges, but don’t worry about completely covering the sponges at this stage. This is called a crumb coat and ensures that your final layer is crumb-free. Make space in your fridge and chill the cake for 30 mins to firm up the icing.

Step 2: Ice your sponges

Cake on stand with buttercream

Once the icing is chilled, use the remaining icing to completely cover the cake. This is easiest if you pile the icing on top of the cake, then use a palette knife to ease it over the edge and down the sides. You can make it as smooth or as rough as you like. Chill your cake so that your ganache will set almost immediately as you ice.

Step 3: Make the drizzle

Chocolate ganache in bowl

Making a ganache will ensure your final drips have an eye-catching shine to them. Also, ganache will not set hard like chocolate, so there’s less chance of it cracking if you’re transporting your cake. Put your chocolate in a bowl and heat the cream in a small pan until just steaming. Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave to melt for 5-10 mins. Stir to make a glossy ganache, then set aside to firm up a little – you want the ganache to be pourable but not too runny, to make drizzly droplets down the side of the cake. Leave your ganache to cool for around 30 minutes, although it’s better for the ganache to be slightly thinner than too thick.

Try our classic chocolate ganache recipe, which you can make in just ten minutes with a handful of ingredients.

Step 4: Cover the edges and fill in the gaps

Ganache being put on cake

If you’re using a spoon

When the ganache is the correct consistency, remove the cake from the fridge and spoon the ganache over the top edge of the cake, encouraging it to drizzle down the side with your spoon – start at the back of the cake to get the hang of it. Fill in the middle of the top of the cake with chocolate, too.

If you’re using a piping bag

Chocolate ganache icing being piped onto cake

Check out our review of the best piping bags, tried and tested by our cookery team. Want to make your own at home? Watch our video and learn how to make a piping bag. Gently squeeze the ganache onto the very edges of the cake and, as you do this, nudge it gently over the sides.

Fill in the gaps

Icing a chocolate cake

After working your way around the cake, fill in the centre and smooth out to the edges with a palette knife.

Step 5: Decorate your cake


Use your favourite sweets, homemade treats and edible flowers to top your cake creation. Try topping your sponge with shards of our easy chocolate bark, or crunchy pieces of our chocolate honeycomb. Make a batch of colourful meringue kisses with eye-catching stripes or use your favourite fresh fruit, like our chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Enjoyed this guide? Get more info on essential baking techniques…

Baking terms: Explained
23 essential pieces of baking equipment
The best stand mixers for baking lovers
Free-from baking: How to do it
Our ultimate baking collection

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