I see recipes for mug cakes everywhere. Those are great for when you want just one serving and don’t have much time, but they’re certainly not impressive and can only feed one. This chocolate cake is still very easy, but it’s absolutely delicious, very impressive, and feeds 12.

Ganache is such a fancy word that many people automatically assume it must be fancy, and difficult to make. Believe me, it’s neither of those things. Well, it is a little fancy, but it’s very easy. This ganache only requires a microwave, that’s how easy it is. On top of that, it includes two simple ingredients that I bet you can find in your dining hall.

If you’d like, you can also top this cake with some of your favorite toppings. I sprinkled the top with mini M&M’s because they were just too cute and it added a nice splash of color. Other suggestions are Reese’s pieces, sprinkles, chocolate chips, Oreo crumbs, or anything else you might like.

Easy Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:25 minutes
  • Total Time:1 hour 30 minutes (includes cooling)
  • Servings:12 generous servings
  • Medium


  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (greek yogurt may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee (warm or room temperature, not hot)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • toppings of your choice, optional
Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×9-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil; set aside.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 2

    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, sour cream, vegetable oil, and vanilla.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 3

    Add the coffee and cocoa powder and whisk until no lumps remain.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 4

    Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and whisk until just combined.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 5

    Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before topping with ganache (you can use the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process).

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 6

    Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and microwave on high power for 1 minute to soften chocolate; they should not completely melt. Set aside briefly.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 7

    In a separate heatproof bowl, heat up the half-and-half in the microwave just until it begins to bubble or show signs of boiling, about 60 to 75 seconds.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 8

    Pour hot half-and-half over chocolate chips and let sit for about a minute, then whisk vigorously until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley
  • Step 9

    Let ganache sit for about 10 minutes to thicken, then quickly whisk before pouring over the top of the cooled cake. Spread to the sides of the cake using a spatula. Let cool in the fridge or freezer until chilled (note that the ganache will never truly harden, but it will thicken). If desired, sprinkle with toppings, then slice into pieces and serve.

    Photo by Katherine O'Malley