If you enjoy baking, this DIY strawberry cake filling recipe is a must-have. It’s simple to whip up, requiring only 15 minutes in most cases.
It uses real strawberries to produce a bright, sweet, fresh flavor. It’s perfect for cakes, cupcakes, and more. You can even eat it by itself straight from the pan if you want!
It’s a great way to use excess strawberries in the summer. And it’ll save you from having to take a trip to the baking aisle.
Now, let’s dive in and learn how to make strawberry cake filling.
Strawberry Cake Filling
Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to bake from scratch. But it’s ideal for everything to be 100% homemade. That includes cake fillings.
A tender, homemade cake with store-bought filling in the middle just isn’t the same.
Thankfully, this quick and easy recipe is here to save the day. Because it uses frozen strawberries, you can make it any time of the year.
This recipe is one of the easiest to follow. You only need four ingredients. They are:
- Water. Plain old tap water will work just fine. You need about a cup to mix with the cornstarch.
- Cornstarch. Add cornstarch to the water to make a slurry. Use a whisk to combine the mixture.
- Frozen strawberries. Be sure the strawberries are thawed and diced into equally-sized pieces. This helps them cook more evenly. You can also use fresh strawberries. If you do, cut the amount of cornstarch you use in half.
- White sugar. Sugar helps sweeten the recipe, which is otherwise slightly tart. You can use brown sugar if you don’t have white on hand.
That’s it! That’s all this recipe requires. However, you can add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for a brighter, fruitier flavor.
How to Make Strawberry Cake Filling
Making strawberry cake filling couldn’t be simpler. Here are the steps:
1. Make a slurry. Combine the water and cornstarch in a (still cool) saucepan. Whisk briskly to create the slurry.
2. Add the fruit and sugar. Next, stir in the strawberries and sugar. Be sure everything is well combined.
3. Cook. Set the heat to medium and cook the mixture for about 10 minutes or until it thickens.
4. Cool. Finally, remove the cooked filling from the stove eye and let it cool. Don’t use it until it has completely cooled. I recommend making it a day ahead of time.
5. Use it. Once it’s cool, use the filling however you like. For examples of different ways to incorporate it into your recipes, see the “ways to use” section below.
Tips for the Best Strawberry Filling
Let’s check out a few final tips for making the best strawberry cake filling.
- Make the slurry first. Some people think they can add cornstarch directly to the strawberries. Don’t do that. Make it first, then add the strawberries and sugar.
- Add more water or cornstarch as needed. Water will help thin the mixture and cornstarch will thicken it. Add more of whichever ingredient you need if your filling is too thick or thin. Add in small increments to avoid over-correcting.
- Perfect the taste before adding the slurry. Give the strawberries and sugar a taste test before adding the thickening agent. Be sure everything tastes how you want it to taste first. Then you can worry about thickening the mixture.
- Stir it frequently. While the strawberries are cooking, stir them regularly. If you don’t, there’s a strong chance you’ll burn them.
- Don’t overcook. Keep the heat at medium or slightly lower. Do not go above medium heat. If you do, you’ll scorch the strawberries. Also, don’t cook the filling too long. Once it thickens, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a glass container to cool.
- Fine-grain sugar is best. It cooks more quickly and will help prevent burning. Also, white sugar is better than brown sugar. Both will provide a similar flavor. But unfortunately, brown sugar will cause discoloration in the filling.
- Puree the filling if you like. Some people prefer a super-smooth filling instead of one with chunks of strawberries. If that sounds like you, puree the mixture once it’s cooled.
- Experiment with additives. I already mentioned adding a dash of lemon juice for extra flavor. You can also add vanilla extract or another flavor you enjoy.
- Warm the filling if needed. After the filling has been refrigerated, it can get a little too thick. Pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to help thin it out again.
Ways to Use This Strawberry Filling
It goes without saying that you can use strawberry cake filling in a cake. But you can also use it as a pie filling!
Strawberry pie filling makes a great topping for pancakes, biscuits, bagels, and waffles. It even tastes good on toast! It’s like a sweeter version of strawberry jelly.
Add it to your morning bowl of oatmeal or your parfaits. It’s an excellent addition to a variety of different desserts, too. Here are a few of the other desserts you can use it in:
- Puff pastry-based desserts
- Pound cakes
- And more!
You can even spoon it over your favorite cheesecake for extra fruity oomph. It tastes great on top of ice cream, gelato, or yogurt, too.
How to Store
Making this filling ahead of time is encouraged. The filling needs to cool down completely before you use it. So making it a day before you need it is a good idea.
Of course, that means you need to know how to store it properly. Fortunately, it’s not difficult. Simply transfer it to an air-tight (preferably glass) container. Then, refrigerate it.
It can last up to 2 days in a non-glass container and up to 5 in glass. Freezing the filling isn’t an option because of the cornstarch.
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