How to Fill Cupcakes [2 easy methods!]


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Looking to add some extra flavor to your cupcakes? Learn how to fill cupcakes with anything from jam to frosting to up your cupcake game!

Cupcake filled with strawberry jam cut in half and set on a white plate.

I spend way too much time in my kitchen, so I’ve tried a lot of cooking and baking tips and tricks out over the years.

Some of them are great, like my buttermilk substitute or knowing how to soften brown sugar. Some of them aren’t as great and I never do them again.

I’ve filled a lot of cupcakes in my day, so I’ve tried out a lot of methods. And I can say that I’ve found my hands-down favorite method, so that’s what I’m sharing with you today.

Once you learn how to fill cupcakes, you’ll be unstoppable!

Baked cupcakes cooling on a wire rack.


Adding a filling to your cupcakes is definitely an extra step, but it can be one that’s really worth it!

Not only is it a fun surprise, it can add so much extra flavor to your cupcakes.

Imagine lemon cupcakes filled with a dollop of lemon curd. Vanilla cupcakes filled with raspberry jam. Peanut butter cupcakes filled with grape jelly.

You get the idea. 

I’ve spent a lot of time trying different methods for filling cupcakes and I’ve definitely landed on the best method.


I’m going to share two ways to fill cupcakes with you today. The first one – using an apple corer – is definitely the easiest way to do it.

But in case you don’t have an apple corer on hand, I’ll also teach you how to fill cupcakes using a paring knife.

Three images showing how to insert an apple corer into a cupcake to hollow out the cupcake.

Using an apple corer

This is far and away my favorite way to core cupcakes for filling. If you eat a lot of apples, you may already have an apple corer on hand! 

Grab your apple corer and gently push it into the center of the cupcake about halfway down into the cupcake. Make sure not to go all the way to the bottom of the cupcake.

Jam being piped into a hollowed-out cupcake.

Rotate the corer to cut a full circle and pull the corer out of the cupcake. Push the small cake round out of the corer. Repeat this for each cupcake.

Once all of the cupcakes have been hollowed, pipe or spoon in your favorite filling and top with your favorite frosting.

If you would like to add a bit of cupcake on top of the filling prior to frosting, use a small knife to cut the top from each of the cupcake centers; place on top of the filling before adding the frosting.

Cupcake that has been hollowed with an apple corer filled with strawberry jam.

Using a paring knife

This method is definitely more tedious, but still works fine if you don’t have an apple corer.

Insert a paring knife at a 45-degree angle just off-center of the top of the cupcake, inserting it about halfway down into the cupcake. Make sure not to go all the way to the bottom of the cupcake.

Three images showing how to remove the center of a cupcake with a paring knife.

Keeping the knife at an angle, cut a circle around the center of the cupcake. Lift out the cake cone that you have just cut. Repeat this for all of the cupcakes.

As with the other method, once all of the cupcakes have been hollowed, pipe in your favorite filling and top with your favorite frosting. 

Cupcake that has had the center hollowed out with a paring knife.


So what makes a great filling for cupcakes?

Cupcake that has been cored with a paring knife filled with strawberry jam.

Almost anything that isn’t too runny! Most fruit sauces are a bit on the runny side so I wouldn’t recommend using those, but here are some fillings I think work great:

No matter what cupcake recipe or filling you use, knowing how to fill cupcakes is a great way to impress your friends and family next time you bake!

Filled and frosted cupcake set on a countertop.

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