Cupcakes are super trendy right now and one of the fastest ways to take them from blah to fabulous is to fill them with a surprise inside! It’s not a ton of extra work and the payoff is pretty substantial. I’m going to show you a couple of different ways to fill up a cupcake and give you some ideas on easy flavor combinations everyone will love.
The first thing you’ll need is a cupcake. For the photos shown in this post I decided to go with Lemon-Blueberry so I used this white cake recipe, substituting lemon extract for the almond. Here’s some other options:
Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes
Next comes the Filling:
One of my favorite ready-made fillings for cakes and cupcakes is this Simply Fruit spread by Smucker’s (and no, this isn’t an advertisement- I really do use this!) You can find it near the other jams and jellies and it has big chunks of real fruit and tends to be less sugary than a normal jam. If you do use a jam or jelly (which works great) and want to cut the sweetness a bit, try adding a little fresh lemon juice.
Other great fillings include lemon curd, the chocolate mousse from this post, ganache, and this white vanilla frosting.
How To Fill:
Often when I serve filled cupcakes people ask if I baked the filling inside. In some cases that works, but generally you fill them after baking. One way to do it is with a paring knife. Just cut out a little cone shaped piece and set it aside. Fill the hole with your chosen filling and then pop the top on when you’re finished.
That method is a bit time consuming so I prefer to use a piping bag. I have a Wilton #230 tip that’s specifically made for filling pastries and things and it works beautifully. But if you don’t have this tip, you can use another wide-holed tip.
If you’re using a piping bag you’ll want to make sure your filling doesn’t have chunks in it that will get stuck. My blueberry filling for example was too chunky so I ran it through the food processor with a little lemon juice so it was nice and smooth.
Then you just pop the tip into your cupcake and press down so it’s near the bottom of the cupcake (but not so much that you hit the counter!) Then as you give the bag a squeeze, pull up at the same time. You can actually feel it filling up and it happens really fast. It doesn’t take long to fill a large quantity of cupcakes this way.
When you’re done you’ll be left with little holes at the top, but that’s fine because you’re going to frost them anyway so no one will ever see! If your filling is popping out like mine is, just scrape it off with a knife so it’s flush with the cupcake top.
Top it off:
Next you’ll want to top the cupcake. We love this vanilla frosting, and this chocolate one. There’s also Swiss Meringue Buttercream with does great with all kinds of flavor add-ins. And Ganache makes an amazing and decadent topper (like in these amazing cupcakes).
In most cases I think it’s fun to garnish your cupcake with a hint of the flavor inside, or the flavor combo all together. In my case, I popped a little blueberry on top and colored my lemon frosting a pale yellow (I used this frosting with lemon extract- one of my most favorite combos)
Adorable, right? (The tip to get those nice swirly tops is the Wilton 2D)
And then when you get to the inside- surprise!
One of my other favorite combinations is chocolate cupcakes with raspberry filling. Then either chocolate frosting, or Swiss Buttercream mixed with Raspberry puree. Garnished with fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings they’re simply to die for! The combinations are endless though, so get creative and turn your simple little cuppy cakes into show stoppers!
Also- can we dress up a chocolate cake mix the same way you do with this white cake mix?
I love your website! I’d love to try the chocolate cupcakes with raspberry filling. Do you have a recipe that you like for chocolate cupcakes? Or for the Swiss Buttercream mixed with Raspberry puree that you mentioned?
Such an awesome idea! I did chocolate cupcakes with raspberry in the middle and white chocolate shavings on top….. to die for!
I made these last night for my husband to take to work, they turned out great! The cupcakes are so moist. I had to make lemon buttercream because I made them the night before but I want to try them with your frosting very soon. The blueberry filling really helped to break up the sweetness of the buttercream so they were still very delicious. Thank you for the great recipes and tips!
it worked i did it with cupcakes thanks for the tip
I decided to try a new cupcake recipe this week, and I stumbled upon these. I made them and they were a SUCCESS! They were amazing and quite a hit with all my friends. The cupcakes couldn’t have turned out more perfect! Your directions were easy to follow and the recipe was simple enough for me to understand. Thank you so much for sharing!
I have to tell you,I am so impressed by you girls,I just love all your tutorials,and how you break everything down into simple terms! I would never attempt things like marshmallows before,as most recipes instill fear and insecurity if you haven’t been baking since you were born! Your humor and “regular” person directions are so motivating,and inspirational,I am just so happy to have found you wonderful ladies-thank you
I LOVE your cupcake frosting and filling ideas. I can’t wait to try them tomorrow. Thank you 🙂
How far in advance can you fill the cupcakes without making them mushy inside? I have a party Sat. am and it’s Thurs evening. I’d like to fill them tonight but am afraid I will be doing it too early.
I personally think that’s a little early to make cupcakes period. If you can do them the day before, that’s best! To answer your question though, the filling will be fine 1-2 days ahead of time.
Made Seahawks color cupcakes with your white cake recipe and filled them with blueberry jam. And I used your amazing frosting recipe too. I just can't get over how good these cupcakes were.
I didn't have the piping tip though… so I had to make due with a smaller tip. Won't make that mistake twice. 🙂 Piping tip is on my list of things to get next time I'm at Michaels. Thanks again for another fabulous recipe!
This was the inspiration for our "spooky" cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes, filled with vanilla instant pudding. We colored the vanilla pudding with red food coloring…and voila! Bloody cupcakes. The 5-year-olds LOVED it and it only took about 7 minutes to do everything (I didn't even frost the tops, we just stuck a store-bought skeleton toothpick-head on the top where the pudding showed just a tad). True mom-style. Thank you for the idea!
these look amazing. Im definitely saving this recipe. love the flavor combination!
I made these today for a family picnic. They turned out wonderful. Thanks for another winning recipe.
They look delicious and adorable!
I love this method!! The cupcakes look to die for good!!;)
Super cool! I'm excited to try this method of filling cupcakes. I have this PB & J muffin recipe w/ the jam in the middle and it always leaks out during the cooking process. I'm going to try and fill it after it has baked now! Thanks!
For Easter Dinner I made Devils Food Cake cupcakes and filled them with Semi-Homemade Peanut-butter Frosting.
1 can vanilla frosting
3/4 16oz jar creamy jiffy PB
1 can Cream cheese frosting
(blend up until fluffy)
(tastes like the inside of a reeces PB cup)
Top them with an upside PB cup…
I can't wait to try the lemon blueberry combo!
Oh yum, those look really good! And I love the lemon/blueberry combo! 🙂
Positively scary! Just as I was coming home today I was thinking; "How exactly DO you proceed when filling cupcakes?" now I can do it too 😀 oh, and I have baked beans in the oven at this very moment 😀
Love it!! Another way I've done filled cupcakes is by using an apple corer. Just push it down in the center of the cupcake, pull out the middle and fill!
Oh my gosh! Thanks for this little tutorial. I need to go get me one of those tips! Thanks for sharing!
Those look so cute and summery!
Love this idea! Now I just need an excuse to bake cupcakes. 🙂
I often feel cupcakes with frosting, but had never thought to try a fruit filling. A wonderful idea that I will surely try! Thanks!
i try to fill cupcakes, but dosn't work. The cream simply don't go inside like in your cupcakes. 🙁