Cakes are already delightful treats. But there’s something about infusing them with exquisite cake fillings that makes them all the more irresistibly indulgent and enjoyable!
However, if you’re tired of the same old fillings, you may be looking for some exciting new flavors to try.
Well, you're in luck! In this article, we’ll give you 31 scrumptious cake filling ideas — from fruit and tangy options to creamy and rich ones.
So let your creativity run wild in crafting the ultimate dessert table centerpiece with these lavish cake fillings!
Delectable Cake Filling Ideas: A Quick Look
|Cake Filling||Flavor Profile||Best For|
|Classic Buttercream||Rich, buttery, and mildly sweet||Any cake flavor|
|German Buttercream||Richer and creamier taste than classic buttercream||Light cake flavors|
|French Buttercream||Rich and creamy with a subtle egg flavor||Vanilla cake|
|Salted Caramel Buttercream||Sweet and salty||Chocolate cake|
|Vanilla Buttercream||Light and creamy with a hint of vanilla||Any cake flavor|
|Espresso Buttercream||Rich and creamy with a distinctive coffee flavor||Chocolate cake|
|Swiss Meringue Buttercream||Light and fluffy with a subtle sweetness||Angel food and sponge cake|
|Marshmallow Buttercream||Sweet and fluffy marshmallow flavor||Chocolate cake|
|Oreo Buttercream||Cookies and cream flavor||Chocolate cake and confetti cake|
|Chantilly Cream||Light, sweet flavor with subtle notes of vanilla||Vanilla cake and fruity cakes|
|Chocolate Mousse||Rich and chocolatey||Classic chocolate cake|
|Mango Mousse||Light tropical flavor||Vanilla cake and white cake|
|Coffee Pastry Cream||Rich and creamy with a hint of coffee||Chocolate fudge|
|Cream Cheese Frosting||Creamy and tangy||Red velvet and carrot cake|
|Namelaka||Intense chocolate flavor||Yellow cake and white cake|
|Frangipane||Creamy and nutty||Almond cake|
|Ermine Frosting||Light and creamy with a subtle vanilla flavor||Fruity cakes|
|Coconut Pastry Cream||Mildly sweet with notes of coconut||Tropical fruit cakes and carrot cake|
|Mocha Cream||Mildly sweet with a blend of coffee and chocolate||Chocolate cake and vanilla cake|
|Vanilla Custard||Rich and creamy with a hint of vanilla||Traditional chocolate cake|
|Mascarpone||Subtly sweet and tangy||Vanilla cake and lemon cake|
|Pudding||Mildly sweet with notes of the chosen flavor||Yellow cake|
|Bavarian Cream||Mildly sweet with vanilla notes||Vanilla cake and chocolate cake|
|Chocolate Ganache||Creamy and sweet||Light chocolate cake|
|Raspberry Ganache||Tart raspberry and sweet chocolate blend||Dark chocolate cake|
|Pistachio Ganache||Creamy and nutty||Vanilla cake|
|Banana Cream||Fresh banana combined with pudding||Yellow and white cakes|
|Mixed Berry Compote||Sweet and tart||Vanilla cake and white cake|
|Orange Curd||Bright, citrusy flavor||Sponge cake|
|Apple Filling||Deep and rich||Spice cakes|
|Lemon Curd||Tangy and sweet||Yellow and white cakes|
31 Cake Filling Recipes
If you're looking for some delicious cake filling ideas, you've come to the right place!
Here are 31 fantastic filling ideas for cakes that will make your cakes more delightful than ever.
Buttercream Cake Filling
Buttercream is made by mixing together butter and powdered sugar. It’s one of the most popular choices for cream cake fillings!
Sometimes people add other ingredients to give it extra flavor and ensure it has the right consistency for spreading or piping onto baked goods.
1. Classic Buttercream
Also known as American buttercream, this is a popular light-textured filling used for cupcakes and cakes that tastes mildly sweet.
Classic buttercream is often used in bakeries precisely because it's versatile enough to be added to any cake flavor, whether you want a simple vanilla cake or a fun rainbow cake!
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make classic buttercream:
2. German Buttercream
German buttercream is a richer and creamier alternative to American buttercream, with a smooth, velvety texture that’s perfect to use as both frosting and filling.
This cake filling has a slightly lighter taste than traditional buttercream, so it’s great for lighter cake flavors like yellow cake, vanilla cake, and chiffon chocolate cake.
To make German buttercream, you can follow this recipe:
3. French Buttercream
French buttercream has a rich, creamy, and custard-like taste that tends to be lighter than classic buttercream.
It pairs well with lighter cakes like vanilla or white cake and can even balance out richer ones like chocolate cake.
Watch the video below to see how to make French buttercream:
4. Salted Caramel Buttercream
Salted caramel buttercream has a unique sweet and salty flavor profile that pairs particularly well with chocolate cake, as it complements the chocolate’s deep flavors.
It also works nicely with lighter cakes like vanilla or yellow cake, allowing the rich caramel flavor to shine through.
See this video to learn how to make salted caramel buttercream:
5. Vanilla Buttercream
Another way to level up your classic buttercream is by simply adding a good-quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to your buttercream base.
The aromatic taste is versatile and works well with a variety of cake flavors, making it a staple for any baker.
Here’s YouTuber Sugar and Sparrow with a tutorial on how to make vanilla buttercream:
6. Espresso Buttercream
For coffee lovers, espresso buttercream is an excellent choice. It has a rich, creamy texture with a distinctive coffee flavor.
This is a fantastic option for pairing with chocolate cakes, as the two flavors complement each other perfectly.
Want to know how to make espresso buttercream? Follow the video tutorial below!
7. Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Meringue buttercream is a light and airy option that’s perfect for those who want a less dense and rich filling.
It's perfect for pairing with delicate cakes, such as angel food or sponge cakes.
In the video below, Preppy Kitchen will teach you how to make Swiss meringue buttercream easily:
8. Marshmallow Buttercream
If you're looking for a filling with a fun twist, try marshmallow buttercream. It has a sweet, fluffy, and marshmallow flavor profile.
Marshmallow buttercream is ideal for chocolate cake, as the sweet marshmallow flavor enhances the chocolate without overpowering it.
It’s also great for kids’ birthday cakes and for anyone who has a sweet tooth.
Below is a quick tutorial for marshmallow buttercream that’s made a little bit sweeter with condensed milk:
9. Oreo Buttercream
Oreo buttercream filling has a light, fluffy texture with a flavor profile that blends the creaminess of buttercream with chocolate sandwich cookies.
If you’re a cookies and cream fan, you’d love to use Oreo buttercream as a cake filling! This will add a fun twist to classic vanilla flavors, chocolate cake, and even funfetti cake.
How do you make Oreo buttercream cake filling? Follow the recipe below:
Whipped fillings are light, airy fillings that are made by whipping together ingredients to create a fluffy and creamy texture.
10. Chantilly Cream
Chantilly cream is a sweetened whipped cream that’s flavored with vanilla.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make chantilly cream:
11. Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate mousse filling has the decadent taste of chocolate, but it’s still light and airy due to being whipped. The chocolate flavor comes through, but it isn’t too heavy or sweet.
What’s more, this filling can be made vegan by using silken tofu instead of eggs!
Follow our vegan chocolate mousse recipe to create your own mousse!
12. Mango Mousse
For a taste of the tropics, you can fill your cake with mango mousse. It tastes sweet and creamy yet bright from the tangy mango flavor.
This fruity whipped cream is the perfect cake filling for vanilla or white cake flavors. The mild cake allows the vibrant mango taste to really stand out.
But if you’re a certified mango lover, why not go for a mango mousse cake?
Here’s a simple recipe from Yummy N Tasty:
A cream filling for cake is a creamy and often sweet mixture that can come in various flavors. It can also be easily customized to suit different cake recipes.
13. Coffee Pastry Cream
Coffee pastry cream is a delicious and velvety filling for your cakes that has a rich coffee flavor. It’s perfect for filling a classic chocolate cake.
Of course, to make a coffee pastry cream, you need to learn how to make a pastry cream first. Watch this video for an easy tutorial!
14. Cream Cheese Frosting
While commonly used as frosting, cream cheese frosting can also be a great cake filling! It tastes creamy yet mildly sour in a delicious way.
This cake filling pairs well with carrot cake, as the filling balances out the vegetable flavor of the moist cake. Red velvet cake is also a classic that benefits from the cream cheese frosting’s tangy taste.
To make cream cheese frosting, you can follow this recipe:
Namelaka is a luxurious and chocolatey Japanese-inspired cream filling that has a silky, melt-in-your-mouth texture similar to ganache.
You can use dark chocolate namelaka to enhance the flavor of chocolate cake or use it for filling yellow or white cakes.
Ready to give namelaka cake filling a try? This video from A Baking Journey will show you how.
A creamy and slightly sweet almond-flavored filling that adds an exquisite nutty flavor to your cakes.
It complements a wide range of cake flavors, from classic to fruit-based ones. So if you’re looking for the best raspberry cake filling, frangipane is the one to go for.
Here’s Youtuber Angela Palermo with her frangipane tutorial:
17. Ermine Frosting
Sometimes called cooked-flour frosting, ermine frosting is an old-fashioned frosting that’s light and fluffy with a subtle vanilla flavor.
This filling is fantastic for layering vanilla or white cakes or as a filling for cupcakes, and your guests will love its smoothness.
Fruit flavors like strawberry are a nice choice too, cutting through the frosting’s richness.
Discover the easy steps for making ermine frosting with this video from The Stay At Home Chef!
18. Coconut Pastry Cream
With a rich, creamy texture, coconut pastry cream tastes mildly sweet with notes of coconut.
Use it with tropical fruit cakes like pineapple, mango, and of course, coconut!
Other cake flavors that match well with coconut cream filling include carrot cake and classic chocolate cake.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make coconut pastry cream:
19. Mocha Cream
Mocha cream is a divine blend of chocolate and coffee flavors. It’s perfect for those who love the deep, intense taste of mocha.
This lush and flavorful cream filling pairs well with chocolate cake as the chocolate flavors of both the cake and filling complement each other.
It can also be used in vanilla cake to add a rich mocha flavor without an overwhelming taste.
In the video below, you’ll see how to make a mocha cream filling easily.
20. Vanilla Custard
A classic custard cake filling that never disappoints!
Vanilla custard has a rich, creamy, and smooth texture with a subtle vanilla flavor, giving it a versatile taste that goes well with most cakes.
Whether you want to use it for a fruity cake or a traditional chocolate cake filling, adding a layer of vanilla custard brings a touch of nostalgia and comfort to your dessert.
This video will give you a basic overview of how to make simple vanilla custard for your cakes!
Mascarpone has a light, creamy texture with a mildly tangy flavor.
When used as a cake filling, this cream cheese adds a luxurious and velvety quality to the dessert. Use it for vanilla cake, lemon cake, or chocolate cake!
It’s also pretty easy to make.
Watch this tutorial to learn how to make mascarpone cream cake filling:
Rich and creamy, pudding — whether chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, or banana — pairs well with yellow cake, as the lightly sweet flavors complement each other.
It also lends a lighter feel to chocolate cake.
For a classic pudding choice, why not try chocolate pudding? Follow our recipe for this delightful and comforting treat!
23. Bavarian Cream
Bavarian cream is a light, airy custard filling that’s often used in cakes and pastries. It tastes mildly sweet with vanilla notes.
This cream pairs particularly well with vanilla cake, as the vanilla flavors blend seamlessly together.
It can also work nicely with chocolate cake and fruit flavors like raspberry or lemon.
Follow this Bavarian cream filling recipe!
Ganache always makes it to the top of a baker’s list of favorite cake fillings.
You’d regularly see it in cake recipes with luscious filling, as it’s a versatile choice that works well in various flavor combinations.
25. Chocolate Ganache
For a classic and decadent cake filling, consider making a chocolate ganache. This filling has a rich, silky texture with an intensely chocolate flavor.
You can use dark, semi-sweet, milk, or even white chocolate!
Chocolate ganache pairs perfectly with a variety of cake flavors, and it particularly works nicely sandwiched between layers of vanilla cake.
Youtuber Wow Delicious shows how to make chocolate ganache in easy steps!
25. Raspberry Ganache
For a burst of fruity flavor and creamy texture to your homemade cake, you can’t go wrong with raspberry ganache.
It’s a great cake filling for a bittersweet dark chocolate cake!
To make a delicious raspberry ganache, you can start by watching this video tutorial:
26. Pistachio Ganache
Pistachio ganache offers a rich, creamy texture with a subtle nutty flavor from the pistachios blended with deeper chocolate notes.
This velvety, nutty filling makes an elegant addition to any cake, particularly those with almond or vanilla flavors.
Watch how to make pistachio ganache:
Fruit-based cake fillings are a burst of natural sweetness and vibrant flavors in your baked dessert.
Try these cake filling recipes using real fresh fruits!
27. Banana Filling
Banana cream cake filling typically tastes like fresh banana combined with a rich, creamy pudding-like texture.
This cream pairs especially well with a light, moist yellow or white cake. The banana filling provides moisture and flavor that complements the cake without being too heavy.
While the banana and cream combination already makes a delicious flavor, you can even upgrade this filling by adding mascarpone cheese.
Here’s a recipe for banana filling with mascarpone:
28. Mixed Berry Compote
Want a beautiful and colorful filling? Try a mixed berry compote, which combines strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries in a sweet sauce.
This fruity and tangy filling works well with white or lemon cake layers, and it's also great for other types of pastries, such as pie or fruit crisp recipes.
It’s usually cooked with sugar and a little lemon juice, but if you want a healthier option, why not make a no-sugar mixed berry compote?
Whip up your own compote by following the steps in the video below!
29. Orange Curd
If you're looking for a bright and citrusy filling, consider making an orange curd. It tastes similar to marmalade but has a creamier texture due to the addition of eggs and butter.
Orange curd pairs especially well with vanilla or white cake, as its bright citrus flavor complements the light cake without overwhelming it.
It can also work with other flavors like chocolate cake, vanilla, or white cake, allowing the orange flavor to stand out.
Here’s an easy recipe for orange curd:
30. Apple Filling
Apple filling for cakes has a fresh, fruity flavor from apples.
It tastes similar to unsweetened applesauce, but it usually has chunks of apple to give it some texture.
This filling pairs well with spice cakes, as the warm cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices blend beautifully and enhance with the apple taste.
Here’s a quick and easy way to make apple filling:
31. Lemon Curd
Lemon curd tastes similar to thick lemon pudding or preserves due to the eggs and butter that give it a creamy texture.
This sweet and tangy filling pairs with lemon cake, of course.
But it’s also perfect for yellow or white cake, as these cakes highlight the balance in the acidity and sweetness of this filling.
Want to make your own lemon curd? Try our easy recipe for it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Icing Be Used as Cake Filling?
Yes, icing can be used as a cake filling. It’s sweet and creamy, so it works well sandwiched between cake layers.
You can spread icing on the inside of one cake layer, then place another layer on top to make a yummy cake sandwich.
What Are the Most Popular Fillings for Birthday Cakes?
Birthday cakes can be customized with a variety of fillings to suit the celebrant's taste preferences.
Your cake filling also depends on the flavor of your birthday cake.
Some popular choices include chocolate ganache, fruit fillings, cream cheese, and classic buttercream.
Experiment With Different Cake Fillings!
There are so many delicious filling options to choose from when baking a cake. From buttercream frostings to puddings to fruits, you're sure to find something your whole family will love.
Experimenting with different flavors is fun and will help you discover new combinations. The best part is getting to enjoy all that yummy filling inside each sweet bite of cake!
Now you have lots of ideas to get creative in the kitchen and fill your cakes with flavors.