Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to up your cake game, chocolate drip cakes are always trendy and impressive. I love this surprisingly easy cake design because it makes it simple to customize for birthdays, special occasions, and any party theme! These drizzle cakes have a whimsical feel about them--in fact, at Amycakes Bakery we called this style of cake design our "Whimsy Cakes."
🧾 Three Simple Steps
Here's how to make a drip cake:
- Choose Your Buttercream Background Color
- Crumb-coat your cake (I recommend using the Cut and Stack Method), then flat-ice the cake in the color of your choice. Allow the flat-iced cake to set up in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the frosting is firm to the touch.
- Choose Your Drip/ Drizzle
- Chocolate Ganache Drip (made from semi-sweet chocolate--you can find all of these drip recipes at the bottom of this page)
- White Chocolate Ganache Drip
- Colored Drip (made from the white chocolate drip--add a few drops of gel food color at a time to get your desired shade).
- Caramel Drip (or another flavored drip)
- Drizzle Your Melted Ganache on Your Flat-Iced Cake
- I go into details below about how to make a drip effect on a cake, or watch my tutorial video.
- Add Edible Toppings and/ or Cake Toppers to Match Any Occasion or Theme.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make the Perfect Drip Effect
Use a high-quality squeeze bottle to drizzle your melted drip down the sides of your cake. Adjust your pressure with each drizzle so that the drips are of various lengths. We want the drips to look natural instead of too uniform in length--that's what provides the cakes with their "whimsy" feel.
If you'd like the top of the cake to be covered in the same drip, squeeze a little over top of the cake and use an offset spatula to carefully spread the ganache together. Make sure your ganache is warm enough so that it melts together easily, although any imperfections can be covered with cake toppings.
Alternatively, if you'd only like the drizzle to be on the sides of the cake, add a top border of buttercream to hide the drip seam.
🍭 Whimsy Drip Cake Toppings
The best thing about drip cakes is you can keep them incredibly simple (stop with just the drizzle and a few sprigs of greenery and you are done!), or you can doll them up to create a show-stopping centerpiece. Here are some examples of how you can get creative:
- Chocolate Bark (just melt chocolate and spread onto a tray. Top with a drizzle or sprinkles, if desired, and refrigerate or freeze until firm.)
- Cake Truffles (check out my step-by-step-guide to cake truffles recipe)
- Lollipops, large metallic Gumballs, or other Candy
- Other Edible Toppings like Candy, Macarons, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Glitter Cardstock Cake Banners (you can find cake banners on amazon, or make your own with a Cricut).
- Greenery or Fresh Flowers
🎂 Design Ideas and Inspiration
By using creative cake toppers and decorations, you can make a beautiful and impressive presentation out of ANY theme. The possibilities are endless! Keep scrolling to see examples "whimsy cakes" we made at Amycakes Bakery in various styles and themes.
Made with semi-sweet chocolate, the classic chocolate drizzle is simple, elegant, and delicious.
Made with a combination of white chocolate chips and bright white candy melts, white chocolate drip cakes can make a beautiful and classy presentation for showers, weddings, and birthdays.
With a rustic and delicious caramel drip, your guests will assume your cake tastes even better than it looks (and if you're using one of my extra-moist bakery cake recipes, it surely will!)
Birthday Drip Cakes
Whether you're planning a kids' party or a classy adult event, these birthday cakes will suit any theme.
You can make drips and drizzles in every color--even rainbow! Add your favorite gel food color (a few drops at a time) to your white chocolate drip recipe to get your desired shade.
Themed Drip Cakes
From holidays to themed parties, simply match your colors and cake toppers to the theme. This creates a fun and impressive cake design with no need for piping or cake decorating experience.
Tiered Wedding Drip Cakes
Drip wedding cakes are fun, unique, and mouthwatering.
⭐ Five Tips to Avoid Drip Cake Disasters
- Don't Overstack Your Cake--the cake toppings may be heavy, and your cake is delicate. Use dowel rods cut down to the height of your cake to support heavy cake toppers if needed.
- Drizzle on Top of a Cold Cake--when your cake is cold and the buttercream is firm, your drizzle and buttercream will look crisper.
- Make sure the cake is dry without condensation before drizzling. If your cake has any condensation after being in the fridge, blot it with a paper towel until dry. This will allow the drip to flow evenly down the sides of the cake. Wrapping your cake box or keeping it in an airtight container should help prevent condensation from the fridge.
- Let the completed cake set up in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours so that the frosting and drizzle is firm and stable. Then allow the cake to come back to room temperature before serving, as most cakes are best at room temperature (avoid warm temperatures).
- Make sure your squeeze bottle lid is secure. I have gone through so many squeeze bottles where the lids have popped off under pressure, damaging cakes and making a huge mess. Since finding these squeeze bottles I haven't had any trouble, though you will need a funnel to get your drip inside them).
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Chocolate Drip is typically a simple chocolate ganache, which is a combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and heavy cream. It is melted into a thin drizzling consistency that can easily glide down the sides of your cake.
A white chocolate drip is made with white chocolate chips or candy melts and can be dyed in various colors with gel food coloring. You can also make flavored drizzles to match your cake flavor, like caramel, peanut butter, butterscotch.
In most fridges, you can store your finished fully-iced cake unwrapped in your fridge until you are ready to bring it out so it can get back to room temperature. The buttercream will seal in the cake to prevent it from drying out.
Some refrigerators can cause condensation on the cake. To prevent this I recommend storing the drip cake in an airtight container. I also recommend storing "naked" cakes (where the cake is not fully covered in buttercream) in an airtight container.
The easiest solution is to use a tall cake box that is the same width as your cake board so the cake will not slide around within the box. Once the cake is fully iced, drizzled, and decorated, place the cake in the tall cake box and then wrap the cake box in plastic wrap.
You could also reuse any plain cardboard box around your house, and then wrap plastic wrap around the cake and the box. The box allows us to wrap the cake in airtight plastic wrap without our wrap touching and ruining our beautiful drizzle on the cake.
You can make your drip cake in stages as described within How to Bake and Layer Cakes Like a Pro), freezing the baked cake up to 2 weeks before decorating. A completed chocolate drip cake will last in the fridge for at least 2 days.
You can freeze the completed cake in a box that has been wrapped in plastic wrap (as described in the FAQ question above). I like to stick a few paper towels in my cake box before wrapping the cake, which helps prevent condensation as the cake thaws.Allow the cake to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
Yes, you can use all candy melts in place of the chocolate chips. It will be a slightly thicker consistency--if you prefer a thinner drizzle, just add more heavy cream as needed. I include chocolate chips in my recipes because I like the flavor better.
Leftover drip can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks, or frozen even longer.
As you can see, I'm a little obsessed with this style of cake! I'd love to see your creations--please share them with me on social media (@amycakesbakes). Or comment below if you have any questions! 🙂
Thanks for Reading. ❤️
Drip Recipes for Chocolate Drip Cakes
Chocolate Drip Ingredients
- 172 grams (½ cup) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I use Nestle)
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
White Drip Ingredients
- 42 grams (¼ cup) White Chocolate Chips
- 42 grams (¼ cup) “Bright White” or “Super White” Candy Melts (or substitute with more white chocolate chips or regular white candy melts—it just will be more ivory in color)
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
Caramel Drip Ingredients
- 116 grams (⅔ cup) Caramel Bits (I use Kraft brand)
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream
Drip Cake Topping Ideas
- prepared cake truffles ()
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Chocolate Bark or candy
- Cake Toppers or banners to match the theme
Make You Drip in the flavor of your choice.
- Choose your drip flavor and combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Caramel and Chocolate Drip can be heated at full power, but always heat white chocolate drip at 50% power.
- Heat in the microwave at 20 to 30-second increments, stirring for at least 30 seconds to one minute after each heat. Switch to a whisk once the chips/bits are mostly melted. Lots of whisking will help the dip melt faster and prevent overcooking.
- Drizzle the melted ganache or caramel drip down the sides of your cake (make sure the cake's frosting is set up and cold to the touch) using a squeeze bottle as shown in my video tutorial. Store any leftover drip in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and reheat in the microwave to use again as a drizzle.