A simple recipe for raspberry cake filling. Today’s recipe is easy and can be made on the stovetop with fresh or frozen raspberries.
A quick and easy recipe to start off the week.
I wasn’t originally going to make a standalone post for raspberry cake filling, I actually developed it as part of Thursday’s recipe. But enough people have asked me for cake fillings that I thought it might make the most sense to give this recipe its own post, and here we are.
Sweet, tart, and simple, you can prepare your own filling in 15 minutes (just keep in mind you’ll need about an hour to let it cool completely). This recipe is great for filling a standard 2-layer cake or 12 of your favorite cupcakes.
What You Need
- Raspberries. Fresh or frozen will work. I generally tend to prefer frozen when making raspberry cake filling because they’re never out of season and they’re often less expensive.
- Sugar. Necessary to properly thicken the filling and to keep it from being too tart. Regular granulated or caster sugar will work.
- Corn Starch. Also key for a filling that’s not too runny.
- Water. Just a splash helps everything to combine nicely and keeps the berries from burning on the bottom of your pan before they have a chance to release their juices.
- Lemon juice. Optional, but I like it for the best flavor. Fresh is great, but bottled will work just fine.
- Whisk together your sugar and cornstarch first, before adding any other ingredients. Whisk well. This will prevent any cornstarch clumps in your raspberry cake filling.
- Keep stovetop heat on medium. If you start out with heat that’s too high, the berries will burn and you’ll have a thick paste OR the sugar won’t melt properly and your filling won’t achieve the proper consistency.
- Why no vanilla? I don’t like to add vanilla extract to my filling because I find it takes away from the tart, fresh taste of the raspberries and gives the whole thing a sort of… candied? flavor. If you’re desperate to add vanilla, a small splash (¼ teaspoon) after cooking the mixture would be my most generous recommendation.
How to Store
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If the filling is too firm to easily spread when you go to use it, you can briefly (5 seconds at a time) stir it until the consistency is spreadable. Don’t heat it so much that it’s runny!
How to Use For Filling a Cake
This recipe will fill a standard 2 layer 8″ or 9″ round cake. It can be doubled or even tripled for larger cakes or cakes with more layers, though sometimes I find I need to add a bit more water when cooking more berries.
Always allow your cake and your filling to cool completely before assembling. I strongly recommend using a sturdy frosting dam around the border of your first layer of cake (Swiss meringue buttercream, buttercream frosting, and my cream cheese frosting are all great sturdy decorating options). This will keep your cake from sliding and will keep the filling from oozing out the sides.
The photo below is actually a photo from my strawberry cake but the same exact technique applies and I thought the visual might be helpful.
I’ll be using today’s recipe to make petit fours for Thursday’s post, so if you want to whip up a batch today you can store it in the refrigerator until then! Hint: you’ll also need a batch of my lemon curd!
How to Use For Cupcakes:
My preferred method for filling cupcakes with raspberry cake filling is to carve a 1″ wide, 1″ deep hole into the surface of a completely cooled cupcake. Remove the core you just carved, slice off the bottom saving a ¼″ thick surface. Fill your cupcakes and then replace the reserved surface before piping.
I use this technique in my pinata cupcakes and gender reveal cupcakes (and you can watch me carve the gender reveal cupcakes in the video in the recipe card, it starts around 6:26). The filling I use there is different but the same concept for carving applies.
How Many Cupcakes will this fill?
You can fill 12 cupcakes with this recipe.
What If I Don’t Like Seeds?
Good news for you! You can eliminate some or all of the seeds from your raspberry cake filling. To do so, immediately after cooking the filling on the saucepan, press all of the filling (or only part of the filling, if you don’t mind some seeds) through a fine mesh strainer.
Use a spatula and you will want to repeatedly press, stir, and press again to squeeze as much of that precious juice through the strainer as possible. Keep in mind that if you strain out the seeds you will have much less filling than the recipe indicates, so if you intend to do this I recommend doubling the recipe.
Use in Any Of These Recipes:
- White Cake
- Dark Chocolate Cupcakes (I’d go with a different frosting other than the peanut butter that’s listed, maybe chocolate cream cheese frosting instead!)
- Chocolate Cake
- Vanilla Cake
- Coconut Cake
Be sure to watch the video in the recipe card before beginning, and please leave me a comment if you try the recipe!
Raspberry Cake Filling
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (65g)
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries 8oz (226g)
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice optional, but recommended for best flavor
- Combine sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan and whisk until combined.
- Add raspberries, water, and lemon juice and stir together until all ingredients are combined.
- Turn stovetop heat to medium (Important! don’t increase the heat above this, you want everything to heat slowly so the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens properly) and cook, stirring almost constantly, until berries release their juices and mixture begins to bubble (it usually takes about 7 minutes for my mixture to begin to bubble).
- Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thickened (this usually takes me about 2 minutes). Remember that the filling will continue to thicken as it cools, you don’t want it to become pasty in the saucepan or it will be too thick after cooling
- Transfer to a heatproof container and allow to cool to room temperature before spreading over cake. If not using immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If mixture is too thick to spread over cake after refrigerating, briefly heat it in the microwave for several seconds until it is a spreadable consistency.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Would this work with cherries?
That should be fine! Enjoy 🙂
Would this work with strawberries?
Hi Kindra! I haven’t tried it but I think it could work. 🙂
Can I freeze this??
Hi Nikki! That should work just fine. 🙂
Is this thick enough to use for a multi tiered cake?
Hi Danielle! I haven’t ever made a multi-tiered cake with this but as long as you are using a dam you should be fine. 🙂
Absolutely delicious! Doubled this recipe with no problems. Perfectly tart and bright. I’ll be using this later this week for a Devil’s Food Cake although I could picture this filling on top of a warm biscuit, fresh pancakes, English muffin…
I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much, Mel! 🙂
Lisa in Austin
Perfect recipe! Not too sweet, not too tart, so easy.
Doubled the recipe, used frozen raspberries. Strained out the seeds. This made such a delicius and easy filling for a 3 layered cake with lots leftover. I learned that next time I need to let simmer longer as it was a little on the runny side (no fault of the recipe)- I also think I may strain out seeds when still runny, then return the smooth mixture to the pan and simmer until closer to desired consistency. Should make it easier to strain as well. Thank you!!
Sugar Spun Run
Thank you so much, Lisa! I am glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Great recipe! Were you cooking on gas or electric? I made mine using a small All-Clad Sauce pan on a gas stove on a smidge lower than medium. It only took about 4 minutes to start to bubble so I only cooked it a minute or so more. Was afraid it would turn too pasty! Think I cooked it enough? Consistency is great as it cools and tastes yummy….
Hi Jenny! I have an induction stove top so it is electric. Without being there it’s really hard to tell if it was cooked enough, but if the consistency is good in the end you must have done it right. 🙂
I want to use this on a dark chocolate cake I actually only make on cake as it’s very dense. I cut it in two and this filling would go in the middle. Then I cover the cake with a dark chocolate glaze. Will this stay in the middle or should I try to thicken it more
Hi David! It may work. It is pretty thick, but it’s best if you are able to put a dam around it. 🙂
I’ll try it and I’ll let you know. Thanks!!
Hi! This looks delicious. My mom’s birthday is this week, and I want to make her a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate ganache. I have a couple of questions — it’ll be my first time making a layer cake, and just the thought of it is stressing me out, LOL. I’m more of a cupcake baker and a layer cake eater, if you know what I mean. 🙂 Would the ganache work as a dam for the raspberry filling, or do I need something with a more stable consistency? If I can’t use ganache, I was thinking of using whipped cream. Does that work better? I would probably need it anyway to crumb coat the cake; I want to cover it with more ganache. Please let me know what you think!
Hi Karen! I’m not so sure the ganache would work here because you really want something to keep the jam layer from squeezing out all over the place. I don’t think you would be able to layer the ganache thick enough to do that. I actually just made a lemon cake with a whipped cream type frosting and I filled that with lemon curd. You could check out that cake to see if that may be something that would work for you. Good luck and let me know how it goes! 🙂
So good! Definitely make again!
I am so glad you enjoyed it, Pam! 🙂
Sounds delicious! I was wondering if another fruit could be substituted in place of the raspberries, such a strawberries?
Hi Debbie! It should work, there are some fruits that are a little less juicy so you may need more water. 🙂
I was a cake decorator in stores. Another way to fill cupcakes is to use a large decorator’s tip on a bag and just squeeze the filling into the cupcakes with the tip.
It was delish.
I am so glad you enjoyed it, Sapphire! 🙂
How can I possibly take anyone seriously who recommends AGAINST using vanilla — in ANYTHING?!
Haha I know I know!! You’re just going to have to trust me on this one, leaving out vanilla extract is never something I take lightly!
Nice Job but could you use arrow root in place of Cornstarch?
Hi Connie! That should work just fine. 🙂
Gonna make this with your dark chocolate cupcakes! 😋
OOO that sounds excellent! 🙂