One of the great things about vanilla cakes and cupcakes is that they can be paired with a huge variety of fillings to change up the flavor and make them more interesting. You can have chocolate, fruit, cream, or any other filling your heart desires, and it will taste great with the neutral vanilla cake.

The beauty of a filling is that, not only does it ramp up a cupcake’s wow factor, it can also be as simple or as complicated as you desire. One of the best and easiest fillings I do regularly is jam. Yep, you just buy a jar of jam at the store and add it to your cake or cupcake some jam. Once you top it with frosting, you have a delicious dessert with a fruity surprise filling sure to please any sweet tooth. Another crazy easy option is marshmallow fluff. If you want to lighten up your vanilla cake a little but keep the flavor pretty similar, toss some marshmallow fluff in the center. You can also use syrups if you want a really runny filling, ice cream if you’re going to eat the dessert right away, pudding, peanut butter, or pretty much anything else you imagine.

Cakes are easy to fill because you just put the filling between the layers, but what’s the easiest way to make room for the filling in a cupcake? There’s nothing wrong with using a knife or spoon to cut out the center. These options are actually nice because you can make the hole as large or small as you want. But what really changed the game for me is a little, unassuming cupcake corer a friend gave me a few years ago

This little cupcake corer is just about the coolest thing in the world. You set it on top of a cupcake, push down, and a neat little chunk of cupcake pops out. It’s the coolest thing and makes cupcake filling sooooo much faster!

If you’re interested in making your own filling, here are some great options from around the web:

  1. Strawberry: http://www.food.com/recipe/strawberry-filling-10045
  2. Chocolate ganache: https://addapinch.com/ganache-recipe/
  3. Lemon curd: http://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/how-to-make-lemon-curd/
  4. Whipped cream: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sweetened-whipped-cream
  5. Cream cheese: http://yummiestfood.com/chocolate-layer-cake-with-cream-cheese-filling/

Are you a fan of filled cakes and cupcakes? What are your favorites?

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