Okay, first off I want to apologise it has been such a long time since I posted a guide to creating the perfect cake, but I am so excited to share this ultimate guide to drip cakes with you.
If you have had a quick look around my blog you will have noticed that I love a drip cake.
What is a Drip Cake?
A drip cake is normally a three or four layer cake that is decorated in buttercream and has a chocolate ganache drip running down the sides.
This is one of my absolute favourite ways to decorate a cake nd to be honest now, I think cakes look a bit naked without a drip.
Drip Cakes don’t need to be any particular size but I like to make them taller. For most of my drip cake. I have used three cakes like in my Chocolate Drip Cake and occasionally more like with my Rainbow Drip Cake.
I wouldn’t use less than three cakes otherwise your drip will be running own and off your cake or they will be super short.
Three cakes, of course, does give you a taller cake, but means that you can have different lengths of drip.
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Where do I start?
Okay, so first off you need to have stacked your cakes. All the information you need to do that will be contained in the recipe method. I don’t tend to level my cakes, when they come out of the oven I leave them in their tins for up to 20 minutes and then put them on a wire baking rack upside down. That way if they do have a dome they it will flatten by itself.
Stacking and Buttercream
When I am making a drip cake I always use a cake drum because I find it easier to get smooth sides compared with using a plate. I put a little of my buttercream in the centre of the board and put my first cake on top. This helps secure it to the board. I then put the board onto a turntable. A turntable makes it so much easier and smoother to get the perfect drip and also to ice your cake.
I them pipe the buttercream onto the top of the cake and then smooth with an angled palette knife. Don’t worry if it splodges out the sides. Repeat until all your cakes are stacked.
Now with your cake smoother go around the sides of the cake and smooth in any of the buttercream that splodged out the sides earlier. Don’t worry if you can still see the cake this is just your crumb coat.
If there are any gaps in between the layers of the cake pipe buttercream into these and then smooth again. Once there are no gaps pop the cake into the fridge until the buttercream is set. It will be hard to touch.
I normally wouldn’t recommend putting a cake into the fridge as it tends to dry it out but putting it in the fridge until the crumb coat has set shouldn’t make too much difference to the final outcome of the cake.
Once the crumb coat has set pipe all of your buttercream onto the top of the cake. This doesn’t need to be neat. Now using your angled palette knife smooth the buttercream out. This will of course splodge out onto the sides. Once the top of your cake is smooth spread the buttercream around the side of your cake. Using your cake smoother go around the sides of the cake and smooth the buttercream.
With a clean palette knife smooth the buttercream on the sides of the cake onto the top.
Now you have the perfect base for your chocolate drip.
How to Drip?
To make a milk or dark chocolate drip is slightly different to making a white chocolate drip. For a milk or dark chocolate drip add your chocolate to a heatproof bowl and add in your double cream. For this you need to use equal amounts of double cream and chocolate. Melt, the chocolate and cream mixture in the microwave on 20-second burst until the chocolate has completely melted, stirring in-between.
To make a white chocolate drip you need slightly less double cream. I work to a ratio of 3:1 so 150g of white chocolate to 50g of double cream. Again, add both to a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave on 20-second bursts until completely melted.
Pop the chocolate either into a piping bag or a squeeze bottle. If you are using a piping bag you want to snip the top of the bag off. Now hold the piping bag or squeeze bottle on the top edge of your cake and squeeze gently. The longer you hold the bag/bottle in one place the longer the drip will be. Then move around the top of the cake slowly and gently to drip down the side.
With any leftover chocolate I pipe this onto the top of the cake and smooth using my angled palette knife.
Coloured Drip Cakes
To make a coloured drip all you need to do is make a white chocolate ganache and then add a little food colouring. I would recommend using a gel based food colouring like Pro Gel. Always double check that your food colouring doesn’t contain any water or this will make your chocolate seize.
Gold Drip Cakes
I don’t have any gold drip cakes on my blog but you make them in the exact same way as above. Just make a white chocolate ganache and add it to the cake. Pop the cake into the fridge until the drip has set.
If you are using lustre dust you want to put some of it into a bowl and add a small amount of vodka to create a paint and then paint it onto the drip. Don’t worry the vodka will evaporate as the paint dries.
Storage and Transportation
I would recommend storing cakes in an airtight container. I normally use these cake boxes because I don’t have a cake tin tall enough for most of my cakes. Normally, a cake will last 3-4 days after it has been cut. The cake will last slightly longer if you don’t cut into it.
To transport a cake I would put the cake in the cake box above. You need the cake box to be exactly the same size as your cake drum so that the cake won’t move about.
I would recommend using a cake drum for these cakes as opposed to a cake board. Cake boards are super flimsy and won’t hold the weight of a cake. Cake drums are a lot thicker and can easily hold the weight of the cake.
Always carry the cake from the bottom of the box and if you are travelling in a car always put it on the floor. This way if you have to brake hard while driving the cake won’t come flying off the seat or the passengers knee.
My drip didn’t look right on the corners of my cake.
This could be because you didn’t smooth the edges of your cake. Once the sides of your cake are smooth using a clean and dry palette knife smooth the buttercream around the top edge of your cake into the top of the cake.
My ganache was too runny.
It could be because you are using the wrong type of the cream. You must use a double cream or the fattiest cream you can get. If it is still to runny pop the ganache into the fridge for 30 minutes until it thickens up.
My drip didn’t drip.
This could be because your ganache was too thick. Add a little more cream and mix again until it is all incorporated and your ganache should become runnier.
Can I freeze my cakes?
The simple answer to this is of course you can. You can freeze cakes as individual layers before you have done any decoration. Just ensure they are all individually wraped with two layers of plastic wrap.
Remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw before decorating.
You can also freeze completely finished cakes. After you have finished decorating your cake, leave your buttercream to set before wrapping the entire cake in two layers of plastic wrap.
The night before you need the cake remove it from the freezer and pop it into the fridge to start thawing (keeping it in its plastic wrap). The morning the cake is needed move it from the fridge to the counter and remove the plastic wrap until it is completely defrosted.
The Ultimate Chocolate Drip Cake
For the Cake
- 425 g Light Brown Sugar
- 425 g Unsalted Butter or Stork
- 425 g Self-Raising Flour
- 8 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 75 g Cocoa Powder
For the Buttercream
- 1 kg Icing Sugar
- 500 g Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 50 g Cocoa Powder
- 100 ml Evaporated Milk
For the Decoration
- 150 g Dark Chocolate
- 100 ml Double Cream
- Chocolate for Decoration. I used Ferraro Rochers.
To Make The Cake
- Preheat the oven to 170C (150C Fan). Line three 8 ”cake tins with greaseproof paper and leave to one side.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add in the flour, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder and cocoa powder. Whisk until all combined.
- Pour the mixture into the individual cake tins and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. You will know they are ready when they are springy to touch.
- I leave them to cool in the cake tin for 15-20 minutes and then remove and put them on a wire rack to cool fully.
To Make The Buttercream
- Once your cakes have cooled make the chocolate buttercream.
- In a bowl mix together the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and cocoa powderuntil combined. The mixture will be quite thick
- Add the evaporated milk 10ml at a time mixing in between until yourbuttercream has reached the desired consistency. You might not need all theevaporated milk so don’t worry if you don’t use it all
- Put your buttercream into a piping bag with a large round nozzle and leave to one side.
- Place your first cake on your serving plate and pipe the buttercream on top. Smooth using a spatula, don’t worry is any of the buttercream splodges out the side. Repeat until your cake is stacked.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the top of the cake, again don’t worry if it goes over the edges.
- Using your cake smoother smooth around the sides of the cake. Don’t worry if you can see the cake through the buttercream, this is just the crumb coat. We will cover the cake soon.
- If there are any gaps, pipe buttercream into the gaps and then smooth again using your cake smoother.
- Once there are no gaps in your cake pop it into the fridge until the buttercream has hardened.
- Once the buttercream has hardened, pipe the remaining buttercream aroundthe sides of the cake
- Using your smoother, smooth around the sides, if there are any gaps fill these with the buttercream and continue to smooth around the sides until the cake is smooth. You will most likely take some of the buttercream off the cake if you do pop this back into your bowl and we will use this for the swirls on top of the cake.
- Using a spatula smooth any buttercream into the top of the cake so you have nice sharp edges.
- Put the chocolate and cream into a heatproof bowl and put it into the microwave on 20-second bursts until the chocolate has completely melted. Stirring in between each burst in the microwave.
- Put the chocolate mixture into a piping bag and snip off the end of the piping bag.
- Using your chocolate ganache go around the edge of the cake and encourage it to drip. I do this by holding the piping bag or squeeze bottle ever so slightly away from the cake. If you have any leftover ganache pour it onto the top of the cake and smooth.
- Pop the cake into the fridge for half an hour to allow the ganache to set. If you don’t your buttercream will just slide off.
- Put your leftover buttercream into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the top of the cake.
- Decorate with your chocolate decorations.
If you do have any questions about this Drip Cake Guide or any other recipes on my blog you can contact me either by sending me a DM on social media or an email. You can find all my details on the right-hand side of this page.