Cupcakes, with their delicious topping of frosting are tasty, but when you add a filling, you take your treats a step further. Cupcake fillings run the gamut, from fruit to cream to odds and ends in your kitchen. Choose a filling that complements the flavor of cake and the frosting you’re using. Once you get used to making standard combinations, almost any dessert can be transformed into a cupcake.
Go With Fruit
Fruit fills a cupcake and helps balance flavors. Add fresh fruit fillings after the cupcakes have baked and cooled to keep the fruit from becoming soggy. Try a lemon curd, with its zesty, silky texture in a vanilla cupcake. Apricot or strawberry jam work well in yellow cupcakes, while raspberry jam can complement a chocolate cupcake. Fold fresh fruit into buttercream or whipped cream, then pipe it into the center of a cupcake for an airy, fruity filling.
Try Something Creamy
Creamy fillings, like Bavarian cream, whipped cream and cream cheese, keep the inside of your cupcakes moist and add a second layer of flavor. Try a chocolate or vanilla Bavarian cream in a yellow cupcake. Or whip up some strawberry-flavored whipped cream and add it to the center of a chocolate cupcake. Cream cheese is a classic filling for apple, pumpkin and carrot cupcakes, especially if it has been whipped up with some powdered sugar and piped into the center. No matter what type of cream filling you choose, add it after your cupcakes have been baked and cooled.
If you’re short on time, take the buttercream or frosting you’re topping your cupcakes with and fill the cupcakes with it. You can add extras to the buttercream to make it different than the frosting on top, such as folding chopped pecans into a cinnamon buttercream or adding a little lemon zest to a vanilla buttercream. Buttercream fillings are added after your cupcakes have been baked and cooled.
Have More Cake
You can bake cake inside of cake for a surprise filling. Pick two cake flavors that work well with one another, such as chocolate and vanilla. Prepare one type of cake first, using a traditional cake pan. Let the cake cool then crumble it apart. Pick up the cake pieces and roll them into balls -- enough to fill the number of cupcakes you’ll be making. Freeze the cake balls until hardened then add them to a pre-lined cupcake pan -- make sure your cake balls are not wider or taller than the cupcake liner. Prepare your second batter and fill the rest of the cupcake liner, covering the frozen cake balls in each one. Bake and add an additional two to five minutes to your time because of the frozen cake balls. Let the cupcakes cool and you will have a cake inside of a cake.
Try Cookie Dough
Cookie dough frosting has that nostalgic taste that everyone can enjoy. To make it safe to eat at room temperature, prepare an eggless cookie dough using butter, flour, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, chocolate chips and a little bit of milk for moisture. Fill your baked and cooled cupcakes with your cookie dough filling and top them off with frosting.
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