How to make filled cupcakes

Hello friends! Today we will talk about how to make filled cupcakes.

We will talk about everything, from how to get filling in the cupcakes, what tools to use, and also ideas of delicious fillings to put in the middle of cupcakes!

banana creme brulee cupcakes filled with custard.

How to make filled cupcakes

We start by baking our cupcakes. Once they are baked and beautiful, wait for them to cool down completely before filling them.

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There are a few ways you can go about putting filling inside the cupcake. First let’s see the different tools you can use to make the holes in the middle of the cupcakes in order to fill them.

pumpkin cupcakes with holes in the middle.

1. Using a spoon

You can use a spoon to remove the center of the cupcakes.

Simple and straight forward. Use a spoon to make a round hole in the center of the cupcake and remove the middle.

hand using a spoon to make a hole in the center of a chocolate cupcake.

2.Using a pairing knife

You can use a pairing knife to make a hole in the center of the cupcakes. Also a very valid, easy solution!

hand using a pairing knife to make a hole in the center of a chocolate cupcake.

3. Using an apple corer

The most fun option! Apple corers are great! Also, they make the perfect round hole in the cupcakes!

using an apple corer to remove the center of a cupcake.

This is the apple corer I use.

Now if you don’t want yet another kitchen gadget (even though I think apple corers are cool and super useful when I’m cutting apples for my son), here is another option that will also work.

4. Using a piping tip

You can also use a piping tip to remove the center of the cupcakes.

Simply insert the piping tip in the center of the cupcake, twist and pull it up.

two pictures showing how to remove the center of each cupcake using a piping tip.

It’s best to look for a large round piping tip to do this, unless you’d like for the hole in the center of the cupcake to be smaller.

I like the 1A Wilton Decorating Tip.

cupcakes filled with coconut and dulce de leche.

How to fill cupcakes

Once your cupcake has a place for you to place the filling inside, it’s time to fill it!

To put the filling the cupcakes, you can go about it a few different ways.

1- Piping bag

The first way how to make filled cupcakes is to use a piping bag to place the filling inside the cupcake.

Look for a round tip, 0.25″ to 0.5″ in diameter. Place the filling in a piping bag and then pipe it right in the center of the cupcakes.

This method is recommended for creamy and smooth fillings that won’t get stuck in the piping tip, such as frosting, caramel, dulce de leche, custard.

Using a piping bag to fill cupcakes is also a great option to avoid a mess, and to avoid the filling getting all over the top of the cupcakes.

two pictures showing how to feel cupcakes, the first is being filled with passionfruit curd, and the second with chocolate frosting.

2- Spoon

The next method is to simply use a spoon.

This method to fill cupcakes will work best if you have a thick filling such as a jam with pieces of fruit in it, or pieces of crumbled cookies or chocolate chips in the filling.

two pictures showing how to fill cupcakes using a spoon, on the first picture it was a nutella filling, and the second picture is an apple pie filling.

This method can be a bit more messy if your filling is thin such as a runny caramel. But you can definitely make it work with just a spoon, without having to use any piping bags.

3- Cream Puff Tips

These are some really cool piping tips to add to your collection. They are awesome for filling eclairs, cream puffs, donuts, and of course, cupcakes!

using a cream puff tip to insert filling in a cupcake.

When using the Cream Puff Tips, you don’t need to remove the center of the cupcakes before doing so.

These tips will work only with smooth fillings such as buttercream, custard, marshmallow, nothing chunky or too thick.

You can find these tips on Amazon.

Now that we’ve covered some of the basics on how to make filled cupcakes, I will give you some more tips and also some ideas on what to fill your cupcakes with.

pumpkin cupcakes filled with dulce de leche, and a piping bag with dulce de leche on the side.

Tips on how to make filled cupcakes

  • Don’t overfill the cupcakes. As a rule of thumb I like to add about 1 tbsp of filling per cupcake, depending on how sturdy the cupcake is, and depending on how thick the filling is.
  • Make sure the filling isn’t too thin and runny. Liquidy fillings will make the cupcake soggy.
  • You can save the middle of the cupcake once you remove it and then place on top of the filling before frosting the cupcake (see picture below). I don’t always do this, but if the filling is particularly thin, such as a caramel sauce, I usually do, so this way it won’t leak out once you pipe the frosting on top.
  • Make sure the cupcakes have cooled down all the way before putting the filling in, first because you shouldn’t remove the center of the cupcakes if they are still warm, since they are technically still cooking as they cool down. And second because that can make the filling melt, specially if it’s a butter or chocolate based filling.
two images showing filling chocolate cupcakes with dulce de leche using a piping bag in the first image and the second image is a hand placing the top of the cupcake back on.

What to fill cupcakes with?

Here are some ideas on what to fill cupcakes with:

Jam

Filling cupcakes with jam or compote is such a great idea! You can either make homemade jam, or use store-bought to save time and work!

Check out my Pomegranate Cupcakes filled with pomegranate jam, or my Grape Cupcakes filled with Grape Jam, there are also my Raspberry Almond Chocolate Cupcakes, and my White and Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes both filled with raspberry jam.

grape cupcakes filled with grape jam, sliced in half, topped with grapes and fig.

Caramel or Dulce de Leche

One of my favorite things to fill cupcakes with.

I use Dulce de Leche as a filling in the following cupcakes: Pumpkin Dulce de Leche, Alfajor Cupcakes, Dulce de Leche Cupcakes, Dulce de Leche Mocha Cupcakes.

And I use Caramel as a filling on this Vegan Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes. There’s also this amazing option of Caramel Cupcakes by Chelsweets.

Dulce de Leche Mocha Cupcakes sliced in half showing the filling which is dulce de leche

Custard

Custard is such an amazing option to fill cupcakes! Either you call it custard, or pastry cream, I am talking about the sweet cream made of milk, eggs, sugar, and flavoring!

I have a few options for you to try on my website (and several on my book Fantastic Filled Cupcakes!).

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, Caramel Cashew Cupcakes filled with cashew pastry cream, Cherry Cupcakes filled with cherry pastry cream, Macadamia Coconut Cupcakes filled with macadamia pastry cream.

Strawberry Cupcakes filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, sliced in half, topped with cream cheese frosting and strawberry jam.

Curd

Curd is a beautiful delicious idea to fill cupcakes! I currently don’t have any curd filled cupcakes here on my blog, but I have quite a few on my book Fantastic Filled Cupcakes!

Check out my book, or in the meantime, check out this amazing recipe of Lemon Curd Cupcakes by Nourish and Fete.

These are my Passionfruit Cupcakes that are on my book Fantastic Filled Cupcakes, that you should totally check out!

passionfruit cupcakes filled with passionfruit curd sliced in half.

Buttercream

Easy as can be! If you are making frosting to pipe on top of your cupcakes, might as well make that the filling as well right?!

And not only buttercream, but any frosting, if you are making a Mascarpone Frosting, a Cream Cheese Frosting, Meringue Frosting, and the list goes on.

Check out my delicious Chocolate Matcha Cupcakes filled with a delicious Matcha Buttercream.

hand holding a Chocolate Matcha Cupcakes with Matcha Cactus Macarons with matcha filling, sliced in half.

Ganache

Ganache is such a favorite of mine to fill cupcakes with! What I love doing is making ganache, filling the cupcakes with it, and then using the rest of the ganache to make a buttercream frosting for the top. The buttercream and the ganache will compliment each other so well!

That’s exactly what I do with my S’mores Cupcakes! Check it out below!

S'mores cupcakes topped with toasted marshmallow and filled with milk chocolate ganache

Fudge

Now that’s the good stuff! Filling cupcakes with fudge is what’s up!

Check out my Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes, filled with a delicious white fudge and strawberries, also my Hot Chocolate Cupcakes filled with a rich chocolate fudge.

hand holding a chocolate cupcake sliced in half with a white fudge filling, topped with chocolate frosting and a strawberry.

Fruit Filling

Here are some awesome ideas: on these Romeo and Juliet Cupcakes, I used guava paste to fill the cupcakes, they were absolutely scrumptious.

Or you can check out one of my most popular cupcake recipes from the blog, my Apple Crisp Cupcakes, filled with an apple pie filling.

You could use peach pie filling, cherry pie filling, or anything else you can imagine! It’s a stunningly delicious idea for cupcake fillings!

Apple Crisp Cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, filled with apple pie filling cut in half.

Spreads and Butter

This is another amazing idea for your filled cupcakes! Spreads like Nutella, Biscoff, or nut butters such as almond, peanut, or sunflower butter, are all delicious and easy ways to fill cupcakes!

I use Nutella to fill my Nutella Gingerbread Cupcakes.

On my book you will find a delicious Biscoff Cupcake recipe, and also an Almond Butter Granola Cupcake recipe as well, both filled with cookie butter, and almond butter respectively!

Or check out this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes by The Stay at Home Chef.

Nutella Gingerbread Cupcakes filled with nutella sliced in half, topped with a gingerbread swiss meringue buttercream.

And I am going to end this list on how to make filled cupcakes with one of my best filled cupcakes to date!

These Lindt Truffle Cupcakes, my pride and joy! They are filled with a Lindt truffle. Halfway through baking, open the oven door and quickly place a Lindt truffle in the center of the half-baked cupcakes.

Lindt Truffle Cupcakes showing the middle of the cupcakes, filled with a lindt truffle, also topped with a lindt truffle

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and all of my tips and tricks on how to make filled cupcakes! Leave a comment below with your questions, requests, suggestions! I love hearing from you! Thanks for the support and love always, and for visiting my blog!

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you! Great tips and recipes. I am going to fill my red velvet cupcakes right now using your suggestions.

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