filling for strawberry shortcake

filling for strawberry shortcake

filling for strawberry shortcake

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filling for stawbey shortcake

How to use Soft Fillings in Cakes and Cupcakes

  • Whenever you use a soft consistency of filling in your cakes, whether whipped cream, lemon curd, or this whipped strawberry cream cheese filling, it’s a good idea to pipe a dam of frosting about ½ to ¼ inch from the edge of the cake layers.
  • This dam of frosting (in our case, it’s usually a medium consistency buttercream but ganache works too) ensures that the filling stays in place and doesn’t ooze out of the sides.
  • There’s just nothing more frustrating than assembling your cake layers only to have the filling slide out, and cause bulging or worse!
  •  When using fillings in cupcakes, I simply load it into a piping bag with the tip snipped away (or a medium sized round tip 12 works too), push it right into the top of the unfrosted cupcake about halfway down, and squeeze for about 2-3 seconds worth of filling.
  • Do a practice run on a plate so that you have an idea of how much filling you will be adding! You can see an example of this at around the 3:30 mark of our Hi-Hat Cupcake Video!


filling for strawberry shortcake
filling for strawberry shortcake

How To Make Strawberry Shortcake in Advance

We recommend baking shortcake just before you serve it, but if you need to work ahead of time, try this.

  • Make the biscuits up to a day ahead. Cool, then store in an airtight container. Reheat the biscuits in the microwave, one at a time, for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Wash and cut the strawberries up to a day ahead; refrigerate. About 20 minutes before serving, add the sugar and macerate the strawberries.
  • You can make the whipped cream up to an hour ahead of time. Refrigerate it in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Fresh Strawberries – While I’m using fresh strawberries in the season, I have also used frozen ones too.
  • Sweetened or unsweetened frozen strawberries – And if you do use frozen strawberries, make sure to check if they are sweetened or unsweetened. Since some frozen brands have sugar added as a preservative. You can still use them, and yet reduce the sugar as appropriate for the recipe.
  • Cornstarch – I think this is by far the most commonly used and preferred ingredient. And yet, if you cannot use cornstarch – try arrowroot powder or potato starch. I have used both on two different occasions – and they are almost the same.
    They both make a thicker consistency of the filling and work pretty much the same. So, I would say use a tad less. And yet, since I used both only once so far, I’d say instead of adding all the slurry at once, save a little until the end and see if you need it.
  • Sugar – I prefer to use a fine grain sugar for this so I don’t overcook the strawberries to a pulp.
  • Lemon Juice – Really brings out the flavor so much more.

Strawberry Cake Filling

  • Wash, clean, and hull strawberries. Chop them into equal size pieces
    Pro tip – hull simply means to remove the stalk and core (core is the white stalk below the green leaves because it stays hard)
  • Place strawberries in a saucepan with half the water, sugar,  lemon juice, and salt.
  • Place it on medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved shaking the pan to cook evenly.
    Pro tip – the sugar will melt and the mixture will look very runny. But it will be ok as it cooks.
  • Continue to cook a minute more, then, use a vegetable or potato masher and mash the fruit.
    Pro tip – mashing the fruit is optional but it will create a softer smoother textured filling
  • Add cornstarch to the remaining water and stir well. Add it to the strawberries
    Pro tip – cornstarch tends to settle down so make sure to stir before you add it to anything
  • Continue to cook on medium – the mixture will thicken and looks glossy. The color will change from an opaque light red to a translucent deep red color.
    Pro tip – it is important that the cornstarch comes to a boil only then will it go from opaque to a transparent glossy sheen. This means the cornstarch is cooked.
  • When glossy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula it’s ready.
  • Optional – At this point, you can strain the filling by pouring it thru a sieve. I like to leave it fruity and chunky just as I have here.
    Pro tip – straining will remove all the fruit fiber and give a smoother filling consistency which may be ideal for some desserts
  • Remove from heat – Pour into a mason jar. Let cool completely.

stawbey shotcake cupcakes

Homemade Strawberry Whipped Cream

Between the cupcakes, the filling, and the whipped cream, you’ll find the whipped cream to be the easiest. It’s similar to our regular whipped cream, but you will fold in some flavor. Whip heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla together then fold in some of the homemade strawberry filling. I always love the pretty chunks of strawberry hiding in the light pink whipped cream.

Pile the strawberry whipped cream on top with a spoon or slather a big scoop of it around with a knife. For a finishing touch, add a couple strawberry slices. You could even make these for 4th of July and top with a few blueberries, too.

Recipe overview

The full instructions are below, but here is snapshot of what makes up this recipe:

  • Vanilla cupcakes: These are moist and flavorful cupcakes with a tight crumb. These cupcakes are slightly dense, which allows them to stand up to the juicy strawberry filling and topping. They are flavored with vanilla and a touch of almond extract.
  • Strawberry filling & topping: The juicy and sweet fresh strawberry topping and filling is made with finely diced fresh strawberries mixed with strawberry jam. The jam adds extra sweetness, a deeper strawberry flavor, and a gorgeous glossiness.
  • Whipped cream frosting: One of the best frostings ever. Velvety smooth whipped cream flavored with vanilla and thickened with cream cheese. A beautiful and delicious frosting that is pipeable and will hold its shape.


For the strawberry ice-cream icing

  • 175g/6oz lightly salted butter, softened
  • 350g/12oz icing sugar
  • 100g/3½oz strawberry ice cream, melted

For the cake

  • 12 round vanilla sandwich biscuits
  • 12 small–medium strawberries, tops sliced off
  • 110g/4oz clotted cream
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 110g/4oz self-raising flour, sifted
  • 10g freeze-dried strawberries, to decorate


  1. To make the icing, whisk the butter with an electric hand whisk until pale and creamy. Sift in the icing sugar. Stir with a spoon to roughly combine and then beat with the electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the ice cream and whisk until just combined.

  2. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Whisk the chilled icing until fluffy then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½in star nozzle and put it back in the fridge while you get on with the baking.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and line a 12-hole large muffin tray with some cupcake cases of your choice. Add a biscuit to the base of each case, then top that with a whole strawberry, pointy bit facing up.

  4. To make the cake batter, add the clotted cream and sugar to a mixing bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add the vanilla bean paste and flour and mix until you have a smooth batter.

  5. Divide the mixture between the 12 cases, making sure that each strawberry is completely covered. Tap the tray on the work surface to level off the batter and bake for 15 minutes, until they are fluffy and golden.

  6. Take out of the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

  7. Pipe the icing onto the tops of the shortcake cupcakes and then sprinkle with the freeze-dried strawberries.

filling for strawberry shortcake
filling for strawberry shortcake


  • Fresh Strawberries: Dice these up small because they have to fit inside the cupcake!
  • Strawberry Jam: You mix this with the strawberries and it creates the perfect filling!

Make Ahead

The unfrosted cupcakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. The white buttercream frosting can be refrigerated in an airtight plastic container for up to 2 days. Return to room temperature before using.

ceam cheese filling fo stawbey shortcake


For the shortcakes:

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp sugar or maple syrup*
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg

For the filling:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries washed, hulled, and sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 400, and set out the cream cheese to soften.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the cream and egg. Pour cream mixture into flour mixture; stir to combine.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and place, touching, on a baking stone or buttered cookie sheet. Use your fingers or a spoon to gently round and flatten each piece of dough.
  5. Bake until golden and fluffy, about 12-15 minutes. Don’t open the oven until at least 10 minutes have passed!
  6. While the shortcakes bake, pour the 2/3 cup cream into a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Add cream cheese and sugar; beat until smooth.
  7. To serve, let the shortcakes cool slightly, then split open and pile with strawberries and cream. Top with the other shortcake half. Drizzle with milk, if desired.

Recipe Notes

*To substitute the sugar for maple syrup, reduce cream by 1 Tbsp and add 3 Tbsp maple syrup to the egg and cream mixture. Reduce baking temperature to 375.

filling for strawberry shortcake
filling for strawberry shortcake
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