7 Creative Ways to Fill Cupcakes (Without Buying a Tool) - Baking Kneads, LLC (2022)

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Let’s face it, there is always a way to make your cupcakes better. One easy way to take those cupcakes from good to absolutely fantastic is to fill them with delicious fillings. How, exactly, do you do that?

There are actually a number of ways you can fill cupcakes which means that no matter what your skill level, no matter what tools you have, you will be able to fill cupcakes easily! Time to get excited.

Fillings for Cupcakes

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Before you start stuffing your cupcakes with just any old ingredients, you should think about what type of fillings you can use. The first thing to consider when choosing a cupcake filling is the taste.

You want the filling of your cupcake to match the flavor of your cake and the flavor of your frosting. So sorry mint jelly, you are not a good filling for carrot cupcakes.

You can fill those carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting though! Flavor profile is super important so be sure the extra flavor you are adding when you fill your cupcakes is in line with the whole dessert.

The consistency of your filling is also something to consider. You do not want to fill your cupcakes with something that is very runny and liquid as this can cause a number of issues. The cupcake may absorb the liquid filling, leaving a hole in the center where the filling use to be.

The liquid filling could go through the cupcake paper, tearing it and making a mess. Or, speaking of mess, you could bite into your cupcake and have filling pour out- not good! So skip very soft fillings that will just cause problems.

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You also do not want your filling to be too hard. Cupcakes are light and fluffy and the filling should match. It would not be good to bite into a cupcake and hit a hard center. That would not be a welcomed surprise!

A soft filling that can hold its shape is what you want toaim for. Here are a few you may want to consider:

  • Jelly and Jam
  • Curds
  • Ganache
  • Buttercream
  • Chopped Fruit
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Brownies
  • Pudding
  • Cookie Dough
  • Marshmallow
  • Caramel
  • Nut Butters

Of course, you may have other cupcake filling ideas in mindbut everything on this list is tried and true!

Now that you have thought about what kind of filling isbest, time to take a look at how to fill those cupcakes!

Remove the Middle

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The first step in filling a cupcake is to make a place forthe filling to go. Now, you can go about this in a few ways.

  1. Using a small round cookie cutter (about ¾”), press the cutter into the center of the cupcake and gently twist as you pull the cutter out. The center cake will lift up with the cutter, leaving a nice hole in your cupcake for you to fill.
  2. Use a large pastry tip as a cutter. Use the bottom of the pastry tip (not the pointy end) and press it into the cupcake center, removing the middle cake.
  3. Use your finger to poke a hole in the center of the cupcake, pressing the center cake down and creating a hole for your filling (be sure your hands are clean or wear gloves!).
  4. Use a small paring knife to cut a hole in the center of your cupcake, removing the middle cake so your filling has lots of space.
  5. An apple corer is the perfect size to take out the center of your cupcakes and is fairly inexpensive. Press the apple corer into the center of the cupcake and then twist it upward, removing the middle cake.
  6. Skip it, don’t make a hole and just use your pastry bag to inject the filling (more details on this later in the article!).

When you make a hole in your cupcake for the filling, try toleave a little cake at the bottom rather than removing the center cake all theway down to the paper. Having a solid cake base at the bottom will help yourcupcake hold its shape and also give the filling something to rest on.

Gauge the size of the hole by considering how much filling you would like in your cupcake and also the type of filing you are using. If you have a softer, runnier filling like a lemon curd or raspberry jam, a little bit will go a long way- you don’t want half the cupcake to be jam!

When using a more firm filling, such as cookie dough, you can make the hole a little bigger and use a bit more filling.

Keep in mind that you are making a cupcake and still want the cake to be the number one component in the dessert- don’t remove so much cake that it no longer qualifies as a cupcake!

Keep the Cake

When you remove cake from the center of the cupcake in order to make a hole for your filling, don’t discard the cake! You can use the cake later on to “seal” the filling in the cupcake (which will be covered later in this article!) or you can eat the cake centers.

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This is the perfect way to test the cupcakes and make sure they are delicious- cake center samples!

For more ways to use your cake centers, see my suggestions on Creative Uses For Your Cake Trimmings.

Fill the Cupcakes

Now that your cupcakes are prepped and you have chosen your filling, time to get into the details on how to actually fill the cupcake. No problem!

1 – Pastry Bag

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One of the most common ways to fill a cupcake is to put the filling inside a pastry bag, cut off the tip and then dispense the filling into each individual cupcake. This method works very well especially for fillings that are easy to pipe.

Curds, jellies, soft ganache, nut butters and frostings all are perfect for this pastry bag method. Filling cupcakes with a pastry bag is also very fast and efficient, making it the first choice of many pastry chefs.

If you opted to keep the center of your cupcake intact, a pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip will definitely help you get the filling into your cupcake. Have the pastry bag filled and ready then stab the tip deep into the cupcake.

Squeeze the filling in until it starts bursting up through the top. Remove the pastry tip and continue with the next cupcake.

2 – Ice Cream Scoop

Use a small ice cream scoop to get an even amount of filling into each cupcake. This method will ensure that all of your cupcakes have exactly the same amount of filling.

It is also a methodical and clean way to fill cupcakes as you scoop the filling right into the hole in the center again and again- easy and precise!

Using an ice cream scoop to fill cupcakes will also work for any type of filling you are using from a loose jam to a firm cookie dough. A number 100, mini ice cream scoop is the perfect size to use when filling a regular sized cupcake.

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3 – Simple Spoon

While using a spoon to scoop your filling into the cupcakesisn’t as precise as using a measured ice cream scoop, it still works well. Graba regular, old soup spoon and shovel your filling into the cupcakes! It willget the job done for sure!

4 – Teaspoon or Tablespoon

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A teaspoon or tablespoon is a great way to fill cupcakes as the deep spoon will hold the filling well as you transport it from the bowl to the inside of the cupcake.

As you guessed, this method is also quite accurate as you can ensure each cupcake has exactly the amount of filling you’d like. Another plus is that anyone who makes homemade cupcakes has a teaspoon or tablespoon measurer on hand!

5 – Use Your Hands

If you are using a more firm filling like cookie dough, brownies or chopped fresh fruit, you can simply use your hands to put the filling in the cupcakes.

Why make things more complicated than they need to be?! Your hands are the perfect tool, after all.

6 – Pitchers and Measuring Cups

When using softer fillings like jam, curd or a meltedganache, put the filling into a pitcher or measuring cup and then pour it intoyour cupcakes. The pointed spout of the pitcher will help guide your fillingright into the center of your cupcake.

7 – Fill the Cupcakes Before Baking

Rather than filling your cupcakes after they bake, put the filling in the cupcake before it goes into the oven. Place a little jam in the center of the cupcake batter, sprinkle some chocolate chips in the middle of the cupcake batter or scoop a little nut butter into the batter.

When the cupcakes bake, they will solidify around the filling making a perfect, filled cupcake! Sounds pretty easy, right?

Finish the Cupcakes

Once your cupcakes are filled, you can place the cakecenters you saved back in the center of the cake, sealing the filling inside sothat it is completely surrounded by cake. Ice the cupcakes as desired thenserve!

You do not need to place the center cake back on the cupcake if you don’t want to. When you put frosting on top of the cupcake, you will enclose the filling anyway!

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Just be sure to add enough frosting to the top of the cupcake to seal the filling in and hide it well- the filing will be a nice surprise when someone takes a bite!

You may want to consider adding a garnish to your cupcakes that mirrors the filling. For example, if you used raspberry jam, put a dollop of jam on top of the cupcake frosting.

If your cupcake is filled with chocolate ganache, add a few chocolate sprinkles to the cupcake. Lemon curd inside your cupcakes? Use a candied lemon zest as a garnish.

A topping that reflects the filling is a nice way to tie the whole cupcake together, showcasing all the flavors for everyone to see.

You are likely ready to start filling some cupcakes and, bynow, you know exactly what you are doing. Time to fill those cupcakes like apro! Happy baking!

7 Creative Ways to Fill Cupcakes (Without Buying a Tool) - Baking Kneads, LLC (5)

Sarah B.

Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.

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FAQs

How do you fill cupcakes without a corer? ›

You can use a piping bag or a spoon to fill the center of your cupcake with. You can also fill the cupcakes without coring them. Just plunge the piping bag filled with your filling into the cupcake and fill. Similar to how you might fill a cream puffcream puff.

How do you fill mini cupcakes? ›

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a bismarck tip (tip #230) with cupcake filling. *A bismarck tip is a specially designed tip for filling pastries. Poke the bismarck tip into the top of each mini cupcake and squeeze to fill. The mini cupcake will begin to expand, and you will know it has been filled.

How do you fill the gaps in a pull apart cupcake cake? ›

To keep the cupcakes stationary, place a dollop of frosting on the bottom of each cupcake. You may need to use an offset spatula for the corners and the edges. There are several ways to do fill the gap. Some people place small cookies–like vanilla wafers or sandwich cookies–in the gap.

What do you put on empty cupcake spots? ›

If you've used all your batter but still have empty cups remaining in the tin, fill each empty cup with a few tablespoons of water. This will promote even baking, and can help keep the tin from warping as the muffins bake.

What are the possible fillings of cakes? ›

5 Types Of Fillings In Baking
  • Frosting. The most common type of filling is frosting. ...
  • Custard. Some cakes use custard for its filling. ...
  • Whipped Cream. Whipped cream is also quite common to find as cake's filling. ...
  • Buttercream. As an alternative to whipped cream, people often use buttercream filling. ...
  • Ganache.

What can you put inside cupcakes before baking? ›

You can fill your cupcakes with just about anything, from custard to jam to buttercream frosting. If you are using frosting, you can pipe it into the hole with a piping bag. If you are using a more fluid filling, such as custard or jam, or you can push it into the hole with a small teaspoon. Decorate the cupcake.

What are the paper things you put cupcakes in? ›

Cupcake pan liners. Baking cups. Muffin papers. Whatever words you use for those paper liners that go into a muffin or cupcake pan, I'm sure you've heard of them.

What can I use if I don't have a piping bag or tip? ›

If you want to make a recipe requiring simple piping—but you don't own a pastry bag and tips, a zipper-lock bag can be fashioned into a substitute.

Can you use a Ziploc bag as a piping bag? ›

The answer is YES! You need a gallon-size Ziploc bag, duct tape and scissors. Simply fold the lower/bottom corner of the bag up to the opposite corner of the top of the bag and secure the line with duct tape. Once you've done this step, you can fill the bag with frosting.

How full should cupcakes be filled? ›

Fill your cupcake cases 2/3 full – around 3 tablespoons – or one decent ice scream scoop. Avoid filling your cupcake cases with too much batter as they will not bake properly and might overflow when they rise.

How do you fill a cake with filling? ›

Filling a Cake: Adding filling between layers holds the layers together, giving your cake flavor as well as height. Using a decorating bag filled with icing and fitted with tip 12, pipe a line of icing just inside the outer edge of the layer. This will create a dam that will prevent the filling from seeping out.

Do you let cupcakes cool before filling? ›

Allow to Cool Completely

Decorating cupcakes before they are completely cool is, well, a recipe for disaster. The frosting will melt. Whenever I need a batch of cupcakes to cool down on the fly, I let them cool for 10 minutes inside the cupcake pan.

Do cupcakes with filling need to be refrigerated? ›

In most cases, cupcakes don't require storing them in the fridge. However, if yours are frosted or filled, and either contains eggs, dairy, or custard, refrigeration is in order.

Can you put frosting in the middle of a cupcake? ›

Cool completely. Insert Easy Frost tip into center of each cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of frosting to create a frosting-filled center.

Can frosting hacks? ›

Empty the canned frosting into a large mixing bowl. Whip the frosting using an electric mixer (either hand mixer or stand mixer) for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy and doubled in size. It's ready! Decorate twice as many cupcakes, cakes, and cookies with ease thanks to this canned frosting hack.

What does Rice do under cupcakes? ›

Next time you bake cupcakes or muffins, simply sprinkle rice in the bottom of the pan, then place the cupcake liner on top and fill with batter. Instead of the grease collecting at the bottom of your baked good, the rice will absorb the excess moisture without burning.

What are the things that go around cupcakes? ›

Cupcake wrappers are decorative wrappers that are NOT used in the oven. Instead, you place them around a ready-baked cupcake or around your foil liners or cupcake liners. They provide decorative embellishments, and they're usually made from high-quality materials.

What are the 6 types of filling use in cakes? ›

  • Buttercream Fillings: Buttercream is probably the easiest filling to use. ...
  • Whipped Fillings: ...
  • Puddings, Pastry Cream & Custard Fillings: ...
  • Ganache Fillings: ...
  • Fruit Fillings: ...
  • Curd Fillings: ...
  • Mousse Fillings: ...
  • Nut fillings:
28 Oct 2021

What is the most important ingredient in cupcakes? ›

Flour is perhaps the most important ingredient in a cake mix, as it creates the basic structure of the entire cake. A major component of flour is gluten, which is a protein that provides a way for the cake to bind to itself. The gluten creates a web that traps and seals air bubbles into the cake mix.

What's the most important ingredient in a cupcake? ›

Flour. There are no more Essential Ingredients for baking than Flour. Without it - and the gluten it creates - your baked goods won't get the right structure: it is the ingredient that binds everything together. To start baking, simply use All-Purpose Flour.

Do you spray the paper for cupcakes? ›

Grease your wrappers

Giving the wrappers a quick spritz of nonstick cooking spray before filling them works very well to prevent cakes from sticking — even if you're making a delicate recipe or trying to unwrap the cupcakes when they're still warm.

Is there edible cupcake paper? ›

We provide edible cupcake liners that can be placed right on your cupcake so that you can design it with ease. Once you wrap the cupcake with the liner, you can use edible pens and paints to decorate it. You may even print out the design with edible inks from your Epson printer.

How long should cupcakes cool before frosting? ›

Cool cupcakes completely before covering to keep the tops from becoming sticky, about 30 minutes.

Should icing be cold when piping? ›

No, you don't need to chill frosting before piping. Room temperature is acceptable. However, don't try to frost on warm cupcakes.

How do you make mini piping? ›

To make mini-piping, cut 1 and 1/2 inch strips of fabric on the true bias (45 degrees). Knit fabric should be cut on the cross-grain - no need to cut on the bias. Strips may be seamed together to make additional yardage. Lay the mini-piping cord down the middle of the strip.

How do you fill cupcakes without a tip? ›

You can use a piping bag or a spoon to fill the center of your cupcake with. You can also fill the cupcakes without coring them. Just plunge the piping bag filled with your filling into the cupcake and fill. Similar to how you might fill a cream puffcream puff.

How do you put filling in a cupcake? ›

One of the most common ways to fill a cupcake is to put the filling inside a pastry bag, cut off the tip and then dispense the filling into each individual cupcake. This method works very well especially for fillings that are easy to pipe.

How full should you fill muffin cups with batter before baking? ›

Cupcake liners should never be completely filled to the top. If you fill them to the top, then the cupcake itself is going to overflow and cause a mess. We recommend filling our baking cups 2/3 full to allow room for your cupcakes to rise.

How far in advance can you fill cupcakes? ›

Cupcakes -- frosted or filled -- can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days. You'll need to store them in the refrigerator if they've been frosted or filled with dairy-based items, such as custard, whipped cream or buttercream.

What is the filling in a Hostess cupcake made of? ›

Moist, luscious chocolate cupcakes, filled with a fluffy marshmallow cream frosting, topped with chocolate ganache and garnished with the nostalgic finishing touch: white curly-cued icing. What is this? Bottom line, even if you were never a Hostess cupcake fan, you owe it to yourself to make some crazy-good cupcakes.

What is the best topping for a cupcake? ›

Here is my top-five list of cupcake toppings you can use to add a sweet finish to your cupcakes.
  1. Marshmallows.
  2. Powdered Sugar Design. ...
  3. Honey and Sprinkles. ...
  4. Melted Jelly or Jam. ...
  5. Melted Peanut Butter and Nutella. ...

Do you spray the pan before putting cupcake liners in? ›

Giving the wrappers a quick spritz of nonstick cooking spray before filling them works very well to prevent cakes from sticking — even if you're making a delicate recipe or trying to unwrap the cupcakes when they're still warm.

How much batter should you put in each cupcake? ›

Fill your cupcake cases 2/3 full – around 3 tablespoons – or one decent ice scream scoop. Avoid filling your cupcake cases with too much batter as they will not bake properly and might overflow when they rise.

Should you use 2 cupcake liners? ›

If you're determined to use papers, try doubling them; with two layers, the one on the outside helps keep things bright. Though it also won't "stick" to the cupcake very well; Hobson's choice.

What is the secret to fluffy cupcakes? ›

"Baking fluffy, moist cupcakes is all about creating air bubbles in your batter that expand in the oven," she says. "If you overmix your batter, you collapse those bubbles and end up with a brick-like cake." Always mix on a low speed to avoid this, stopping just as all ingredients blend.

Is it better to frost cupcakes the night before or the day of? ›

Cupcakes are at their best within 48 hours of baking them. For best results, frost your cupcakes within 2 days of baking.

Can I bake 24 cupcakes at once? ›

If you don't have an ice cream scoop yet, use the 3 tablespoons of batter as a guideline for filling each cupcake liner. Another great tool, a 24 cup Muffin and Cupcake Baking Pan which will allow you to cook all your cupcakes in one batch in a single pan.

What shelf should you bake cupcakes on? ›

When you're ready to bake, set cupcake pans on the center of a rack set in the very middle of your oven. This will ensure good airflow and help even out heat distribution, preventing overcooking on any one side of the cupcake.

Can you make cupcakes the night before an event? ›

Don't frost or decorate the cupcakes with dairy products if stored at room temperature – you'll have to do this on the day of the event. You can store cupcakes in the fridge, with frosting and all, for up to seven days in advance. Simply place them in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out.

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