41 Creative Cake Filling Ideas to Upgrade Your Baking Game

Need a filling for your strawberry cake layers? How about a sweet cream for your chocolate cake? We've got all the cake filling ideas for every sponge.

Published July 28, 2023
cake with filling

Layers of moist cake and a fluffy frosting are delicious, but if you want to elevate your next dessert, try a delicious cake filling to pull them all together. From simple and sweet to daring and decadent, a fun filling upgrades your typical cake into a dessert masterpiece.

We've found the best cake filling recipes and combinations to make your next baking experience as sweet as possible.

Fruity Cake Fillings for Bright & Bold Desserts

raspberry cake filling

Strawberry cake fillings are just the tip of the fruity cake iceberg. There's a long list of fruit-based fillings you can use to brighten up your favorite cake recipe. Curds, jams, preserves, and fresh fruit give any cake the perfect balance of tart and sweetness. We love these sweet ideas:

  • Lemon Curd: Tangy and sweet, perfect for leveling up a lemon cake, adding variety to strawberry cake layers, or making a vanilla cake more refreshing. We found the easiest lemon curd recipe from Dorothy on Crazy for Crust.
  • Lemon Mousse: Smooth and decadently fluffy. Lemon mousse brings a creamier lemon filling to your favorite cakes.
  • Raspberry Jam: Your favorite jar of raspberry jam offers a fruity tang and pairs well with many different cake flavors.
  • Strawberry Compote: Sweet and fruity, this cake filling works with vanilla or chocolate cakes. This three ingredient strawberry compote from Marcellina in Cucina is easier than you might expect.
  • Mango Mousse: Mango mousse may be unexpected, but the tropical vibes it gives your simple vanilla cake will have you using it time and time again. It's so good, we included it in our ultimate mousse recipe roundup.
  • Black Cherry Jam: A few scoops of your go-to black cherry jam makes a traditional chocolate cake feel even more elegant.
  • Passion Fruit Curd: Tart and tropical, a passion fruit curd is a fun addition to a vanilla or coconut cake. The Little Epicurean has dreamed up this versatile recipe to fill your next cake.
  • Blueberry Compote: A sweet and slightly tart filling, especially good with lemon cake. Simple Veganista makes this 3-ingredient blueberry compote quick and easy.
  • Key Lime Curd: Forget key lime pie. Key lime cake is the best way to enjoy this tart and sweet dessert choice. We love this tangy key lime curd from Mira at Cooking LSL.
  • Peach Preserves: Sweet and slightly tart, pairs well with a vanilla or almond cake.
  • Apple Pie Filling: Cinnamon-spiced apples make a delicious filling for a spice cake or vanilla cake. Your favorite can of apple pie filling will do the trick, or you can try one of our tested apple pie recipes to find your perfect filling.

Cream Cake Fillings for Smooth & Fluffy Decadence

creamy cake filling

Whenever you think a cake is missing something, it's probably a fluffy and sweet cream filling that balances the texture of the sponge and complements the sweetness of your frosting. From light and fluffy to rich and smooth, these cream fillings will give your next cake that something special you've been craving.

  • Cream Cheese Filling: This one is a staple for red velvet cake, but it works well in other rich cake recipes as well. Our cream cheese frosting recipes are perfect for all your cake flavors.
  • Vanilla Pastry Cream: It's the classic Boston cream pie filling, but it's also delicious between fluffy cake layers. Partylicious has a step-by-step recipe to help you master this French filling.
  • Mocha Cream: A combination of coffee and chocolate flavors, mocha cream complements your rich chocolate or coffee cake layers and even works well with vanilla. This whipped mocha cream from Cooking With Carlee is fluffy but rich.
  • Coconut Cream: Perfect between the layers of a coconut or pineapple cake, coconut cream is the tropical cake filling you need in your life. The Conscious Plant Kitchen has dreamy 3-ingredient coconut cream frosting to use between your tropical cake layers.
  • Marshmallow Fluff: This is one of the easiest - and yummiest - cake fillings. Reach for a jar of marshmallow fluff to fill chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and peanut butter cakes.
  • Matcha Cream: A unique, earthy flavor that pairs well with a vanilla, strawberry, or almond cake. We love this recipe from Lepetitpam.
  • Stabilized Whipped Cream: The perfect addition to a rich or super sweet cake, whipped cream is light and fluffy. You can use our whipped cream recipes as the base for any flavor you like.
  • Almond Cream (Frangipane): Almond cream complements everything from simple vanilla to complex matcha. We love this easy frangipane from A Baking Journey.

Related: 13 Out-of-the-Box Cake Mix Recipes to Sweeten Your Life

Decadent Buttercream & Ganache Cake Fillings

chocolate filled cake

Buttercream is a traditional cake element often used between layers and atop various cakes. Ganache, a whipped chocolate filling with cream, is also a popular choice for cake layers.

But, if you can't decide between a standard buttercream and a flavorful buttercream or ganache that elevates your cake, you can have both. Use these creative buttercreams and ganaches to fill your cake while sticking to more traditional flavors for your crumb coats and decorative elements.

  • Peanut Butter Buttercream: The Happier Homemaker has a simple and oh-so-sweet peanut butter buttercream recipe to make any peanut butter lover's day.
  • Peanut Butter Ganache: It's sweet and slightly salty and we've got the perfect peant butter ganache for filling your chocolate cakes.
  • Salted Caramel Buttercream: Just think about it: a decadent espresso chocolate cake with a traditional chocolate frosting, packed with generous layers of salted caramel buttercream. Now that you're sold on the idea, try this salted caramel buttercream recipe from Sugar and Sparrow.
  • White Chocolate Ganache: A stable white chocolate ganache is the trick to making it work for filling cakes. Sugar Geek Recipes has mastered the art of tricky white chocolate ganache.
  • Espresso Buttercream: Now here's a buttercream to perfectly complement the salted caramel version we've already convinced you about. The Littlest Crumb has an easy recipe for espresso buttercream using only four ingredients.
  • Lavender Buttercream: Floral and sweet, lavender buttercream is elegant alongside vanilla or lemon cake. We love this authentic recipe from Two Cups Flour.
  • Chai Spice Buttercream: A warm, spicy filling that would pair well with a vanilla or spice cake. Sally's Baking Addiction has this popular recipe for warm chai spice buttercream atop chai latte cupcakes.
Helpful Hack

Buttercreams and ganaches are versatile. Once you master the basic recipes, you can create endless flavor combinations.

Single Ingredient Cake Fillings to Quickly Stack Layers

simple cake

Need to get that cake stacked, but you still want it to feel like a special treat? These single-ingredient fillings are easy to find and even easier to layer with your cake.

  • Caramel Sauce: Adds a sweet and slightly salty flavor, pairs well with chocolate or vanilla cakes.
  • Peanut Butter: Creamy or crunchy, this one is a must for chocolate cake layers.
  • Nutella: A little nutty and a lot chocolatey, Nutella is delicious in countless cakes.
  • Banana Slices: Here's an easy addition to your chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, and banana cake layers. Banana slices are sweet, soft, and add a hint of texture.
  • Chocolate Fudge: Head over to the ice cream aisle and grab a jar of this decadent filling. Skip heating your hot fudge and spread it lightly over your cake layers instead.
  • Fresh Berries: Slice them, layer them, and give your plain cake a tart and sweet surprise.
  • Cookie Dough: Did you know you can find edible cookie dough in the grocery store? Add a layer to your next chocolate cake.
  • Instant Pudding: Okay, you'll technically need some milk for this one. But once you've made your instant pudding -- in any flavor you like -- you'll have a creamy sweet filling for your cake.
  • Cherry Pie Filling: Reach for your favorite brand of this classic pie filling and use it in your almond or chocolate cake.
Quick Tip

Any canned pie filling is just as delicious between layers of your favorite cake.

Easy Combo Cake Fillings

strawberry cream cake

If you're looking for a cake filling that's as easy as it is delicious, these combos are the hidden treasure of your next baking experiment. These are made of simple ingredients you probably have on hand and make filling your cake an effortless and quick process.

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly: Swirl these classics together for a nostalgic filling in your peanut butter or vanilla cakes.
  • Nutella and Strawberries: This is the easiest way to bring depth and brightness to your chocolate cake recipe.
  • Berries and Cream: Use any berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries) with any cream (whipped, pastry, or buttercream) for a sweet and tart filling that's also elegant between delicate cake layers.
  • Cookies & Cream: Crush Oreo cookies into vanilla pastry cream or whipped cream for a fun and crunchy cake filling.
  • Chocolate Chips & Raspberries: These two come together for a rich combo of decadent chocolate and tart raspberries.
  • Coconut & Cream: Shredded coconut for texture and flavor pairs perfectly with a fluffy whipped cream.

Never Make a Boring Cake Again

These fillings are so yummy they might even convince people who don't love cake to give it another try. Grab your favorite cake recipe and start getting creative with your pairings to bring new flavor profiles to your next birthday celebration or holiday.

Trending on LoveToKnow
41 Creative Cake Filling Ideas to Upgrade Your Baking Game