How to Fill Cupcakes?

One thing that instantly takes your cupcakes up a notch is filling them. Filling your cupcakes gives them an element of surprise and complexity which makes them perfect for gender reveal parties and other surprise parties. 

I should tell you now though, it’s a rabbit hole. Once you fill your first cupcake, it’s hard to get used to your mundane unfilled cupcakes again – at least that’s what many of my clients said to me when I started selling my cupcakes filled and crusted.  

Don’t worry, it’s not actually as hard as it sounds. All you’ll need is your filling, a piping bag, and a tool to help you core your cupcake. There are many tools you can use to help you through the process. No matter which way you choose, you’re still going to get a great result!

I’m Angie, I started baking when I was a teenager and I’ve since started a small cupcake business as a side hustle. In this article, I’m going to share with you everything I know about filling cupcakes. 

Now let’s get filling!   

Tool #1: Apple Corer

I want to start off by sharing with you the best, most useful cupcake coring tool ever invented – the apple corer. Clearly, this is a personal favorite. It gets the job done to perfection every single time leaving behind nearly no mess at all. 

As the name suggests, the apple corer is created to quickly and easily core apples. To do so, the apple corer must be made of sturdy material with a serrated side that can cut through the apple. 

Coring a cupcake is no different, if anything, it’s easier! With your corer pointed to the center of your cupcake, dig it into the center using a turning motion. You can do this gently, after all, it’s just a cupcake. 

The best part about using an apple corer for this is that you can core a few cupcakes at once without having to remove the content each time. They will also just fall out on their own without you having to dig into it with a toothpick or a finger. Definitely helps to keep everything clean!

Tool #2: Piping Tip

Before I purchased my first apple corer, I was using piping tips religiously to core my cupcakes. I swore by it, that is until I found my true love – the apple corer. 

With a large piping tip, push the larger/back end into the center of your cupcake, turning it as you pull your piping tip back up. The core of your cupcake should get stuck in your piping tip if not fall out of it as you remove it from your cupcake.

It doesn’t matter which piping tip you use exactly because you’re only going to be cutting with the bigger round end. However, removing the core will be the easiest if you are using a round nozzle. 

Tool #3: Knife

If you’re new to filling cupcakes, you may not have an apple corer or a piping tip lying around your kitchen. But what you will have for sure, is a knife

Using your knife, preferably a small one with a sharp edge, make an incision at a 45-degree angle and rotate the cupcake. You’ll end up with a circle in the middle of the cupcake that will hold the filling. 

Tool #4: Fill Before Baking

Another really cool way to fill your cupcakes is to do so before the cake is baked. This option works best with a filling that isn’t temperature sensitive, such as pudding, ganache, or jam. 

Prepare your cupcake batter as usual. Fill your cupcake tins to ½ full and add a teaspoonful of your filling, and cover it with more cupcake batter. Your cakes should be filled ¾ of the way. 

Once your cake is baked, you should have a cupcake with a hidden surprise in the center.  

Tool #5: Piping Nozzle

When we opt for coring our cupcakes, you know what we will end up with – a bunch of little cupcake cores. It is always such an awkward amount that you’ll feel guilty tossing it out but it’s not enough to make even three cake pops with. 

If you’re like me and are surrounded by people who will quickly devour them as soon as I pop one out, you’re cool. But if that isn’t the case, I suggest you look into getting a piping nozzle.

Yes, there are piping nozzles with a. sharp tip made specifically for piping filling into baked goods. You can save time removing each core and instead simply stab your cupcake in the middle and release the filling into it. 

This is perfect if you don’t like getting your hands dirty at all and if you’re filling an airy, not-so-dense cake with air pockets that can hold your filling. 

Tool #6: Syringe

I totally did this one Halloween. I inserted little syringes into my cupcakes with red strawberry jam filling in them. 

Similar to the piping nozzle, this is a pretty hassle-free way to get your filling in your cupcakes. For one, you won’t need to touch or core anything. Second, you don’t even have to be the one to do the filling. 

This works best if you are using a liquid filling. You can simply pull your liquid filling into the syringe, poke a hole in your cupcake and release it into it. 

You also have the option of not releasing it and using it as part of the decoration, so that whoever eats it can take part in this interactive process. 


The following are some commonly asked questions regarding filling cupcakes. I’ve answered them for you below. 

What filling can you put in cupcakes?

You can put anything you want in a cupcake really. My favorites are chocolate ganache, jam or compote, pudding, candy, frosting, caramel, and dulce de leche. 

How do you fill a cupcake without a piping bag?

You can always use a Ziploc bag instead! If you don’t have that either, you can fill your cupcakes with a small teaspoon. 

Can I fill cupcakes the night before?

In most cases, you can fill your cupcakes the night before. The flavors will combine with the cupcake and make it more moist and decadent. However, if your cupcake has a very liquidy consistency, it might all get absorbed by the cupcake leaving a moist sponge with a hole in the center. 

Final Thoughts

Filling cupcakes is a fun and easy way to jazz up your baking. It gives you so much room to experiment and play with and the result is almost always interesting. 

Now that you’ve finished reading this article, I hope the idea of filling your cupcakes no longer intimidates you. I can’t wait to see all the cupcakes you guys come up with. Is there another way you fill your cupcakes? Let me know in the comments!

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

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