What to Put Between Cake Layers (6 Ideas)

Cakes are great on their own, especially when topped with frosting and decorations. But what about the inside of the cake? If you want to give your cake that added level of “oomph,” there’s no better way to do it than with layers. What should you put between cake layers, though?

There are many top-notch options for cake layers. If you want to go with something sweet, choose buttercream frosting. Less sweet frosting options include cream cheese and whipped cream frosting. You can also use pudding, ganache, and jams or jellies.

Hey, there! My name’s Michelle, and I am a baker that really enjoys baking (and eating) cake. I have made endless combinations of cakes and layers, from basic chocolate-on-chocolate wonders to more out-of-the-box and whimsical concoctions.

Don’t know what to put between your cake layers? Get some inspiration below!

Top 6 Cake Layer Ideas

Cakes designed with layers are next level. The flavor profile is more developed and delicious, and the cake takes on additional textures, ensuring an entrancing experience from start to finish. 

But what are the best layers for cakes?

While there is no “wrong” answer regarding what to put between cake layers, some ideas stand out from the crowd. 

Here are my top six recommendations for cake layering.

1. Buttercream Frosting

Perhaps the most popular and utterly scrumptious cake layer idea is buttercream.

Buttercream is impeccably sweet and indulgent with a smooth and succulent texture.

That said, it’s effortless to apply. It will glide on your cake like butter (pun intended).

Ultimately, your cake will get a hefty dose of sweetness with every bite. Try to find a buttercream flavor that pairs well with your cake. For instance, chocolate buttercream frosting can go with a basic white cake, adding some much-needed richness.

2. Cream Cheese Frosting

Some people cringe when they think of buttercream. After all, this type of frosting is known for being very sweet, almost to a fault.

If you don’t have a beaming sugar tooth but still want to add a layer to your cake, the next best option is cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting is not as intensely sweet as buttercream, making it the ideal choice for overly sweet cakes (we’re looking at you, confetti birthday cake!).

Some cakes actually pair better with cream cheese frosting than buttercream, too. For example, red velvet cake and carrot cake are two types of cakes that play best with cream cheese frosting.

3. Whipped Cream Frosting

My final recommendation in the realm of “frostings” is whipped cream frosting.

Like regular whipped cream, whipped cream frosting has an impeccably lightweight and airy texture. This is a must for cakes that may be overly rich and dense, where the fluffy layer of whipped cream will help to offset the intensity.

4. Pudding

Sure, the pudding may have been your favorite after-school snack as a kid. But did you know it can double as a top-notch layer for your next cake?

Using pudding rather than frosting comes with a few perks.

For one, pudding is very silky. It will glide on top of your cake effortlessly, ensuring you don’t disrupt your cake in the meantime. 

Secondly, pudding is moist. Adding it as a layer to your cake will instantly increase its moisture content, ensuring it isn’t dried out or sub-par.

Finally, pudding is delicious, easy to make, and there are tons of flavors to enjoy. Go for something simple, like vanilla or chocolate, or try new fun flavors like butterscotch or pistachio.

5. Ganache

Ganache is essentially a chocolate lover’s dream come true. It’s simply a mixture of chocolate and cream, so you know you’ll be biting into something truly delicious.

Aside from its mouthwatering flavor, another reason to consider ganache is its versatility. You can make it as thick or thin as you’d prefer, ensuring it’ll be a great addition to your yummy cake.

6. Jam/Jelly

Cakes can be overwhelming in the sweet and succulent department. (Let’s face it, we’ve all bit into a slice of cake that we just couldn’t finish!)

This isn’t appealing to everyone, especially if they want something bright and delicious on a summer evening.

Regardless of why you might want to lighten up your cake with refreshing flavors, the easiest way is with jam or jelly.

I like to mix fresh fruit with my jam and jelly layers. It adds another level of freshness and texture that everyone enjoys. Match the flavors (strawberry slices with strawberry jam) or mix them up (blueberries with raspberry jelly).


There you have it, cake bakers! My favorite six cake layer ideas. I’m sure you’ve found one that will work beautifully in your upcoming cake. If you want to learn more about cake layers, though, I have added a few frequently asked questions you might want to see.

How much frosting do you put in between layers?

Honestly, there is no right or wrong answer here. You can add as much frosting as you’d like. However, the “traditional” frosting between cake layers is about half an inch. This ensures that you don’t end up with a glob of frosting in your mouth when taking a bite, but there’s not so little that it goes unnoticed.

What is the layer between the cake called?

Layers between cakes aren’t commonly called “layers,” although they certainly can be. The more familiar name for layers between cakes is “filling.” So, if you’re looking for cake layering ideas, you can also search for cake-filling ideas.

Do you put cake boards between layers?

This refers to stacking cakes. You can read more about how to stack a cake here: How to Stack a Layer Cake (Steps and Tips for Success) and here: How to Stack a Two-Tier Cake in 5 Fool-Proof Steps.

So Many Great Cake Layer (Filling) Ideas!

Almost anything can work as a cake layer, but my favorites include buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting, whipped cream frosting, pudding, ganache, and jam/jelly mixed with or without fresh fruit.

What’s your favorite cake layer/filling? Let’s hear about them in the comments below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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