You only need 3 simple ingredients to make this sweet and slightly tart strawberry filling for cake! This strawberry filling is perfect for filling cupcakes, layer cakes and even just eating with a spoon.
If you're looking for the perfect cake filling this summer, it is gonna be this strawberry sauce! Made with just a few simple ingredients, you'll need just a bit of time over the stove to make this berry sweet cake filling!
I love using this strawberry cake filling in strawberry filled cupcakes or as a vanilla cake with strawberry filling, lemon cake, or chocolate cake with strawberry filling. This is a homemade strawberry filling that is very similar to preserves or strawberry jam, but without the hassle of having to sterilise a whole bunch of jars.
While I say this is a fresh strawberry filling for cake, you could also use it spooned over pie, ice cream or let's be honest, just eat it with a spoon.
Why you'll love this recipe!
- Simple Ingredients: you just need strawberries, sugar and a lemon for this.
- Sweet Strawberry Flavor: I recommend making this strawberry cake filling when it's strawberry season, that way you'll get extra juicy strawberries!
- Make Ahead: you can make this a week in advance, just keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
- Fresh Strawberries: I haven't tested this recipe with frozen strawberries or freeze dried strawberries. You'll want to hull the strawberries and dice them.
- Lemon: you're going to use the lemon for both lemon zest and lemon juice!
- Sugar: just adding a bit of sugar for sweetness. Depending on the strawberries you're using, you may need to add a bit more sugar if your strawberries are a bit tart.
Substitutions and Variations
- If you're looking for a smoother strawberry cake filling, make sure you really dice up your strawberries well before adding to the saucepan! Conversely, if you want a filling with more strawberries pieces you can leave them in bigger chunks!
Step by Step Process
Step 1: Place the diced strawberries, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. If it starts to bubble too much then lower the heat.
Step 2: Simmer the strawberry mixture for 25-30 minutes. The strawberries will break down, giving you a thick strawberry sauce. You'll know it's ready when you dip the back of a spoon into the sauce and use your finger to run a line across the back of the spoon. If the line stays visible and sauce doesn't drip down immediately, then it is ready! Take off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in a large jar or airtight container and place in the fridge.
I recommend making this delicious strawberry filling at least a day in advance, that way it can really thicken up in the fridge! Use it as a cake filling, as seen below, or to fill cupcakes!
Expert Tips & Tricks
- Tart Filling: If you prefer your strawberry filling to be a bit more tart, you can add just 3 tablespoons of sugar instead of 4.
- Thinner Sauce: Cook it for slightly less time if you want the strawberry sauce to be thinner and more syrupy, use it to top vanilla ice cream, waffles, pie or cheesecake.
- Keep Stirring: Make sure you are constantly stirring over the heat, you don't want it to burn. You may need to lower the heat on the stove so it doesn't boil.
- Filling a Cake: If you're using this as a cake filling, pipe a ring of frosting around the outer edge of the cake before adding the strawberry filling. This will help the strawberry filling not bleed or leak out the sides! I also do a very thin layer of frosting on the cake before adding the ring of frosting, this helps the strawberry filling not bleed into the cake layer below.
- Smooth Filling: To have a smoother filling, and one that cooks faster, make sure you dice up the strawberries into small pieces.
- Let cool: Let it cool in the fridge overnight to make sure it really thickens up before using as a filling.
Yes, if your cake has a fruit filling I recommend storing it in the fridge!
I recommend doing a thin layer of frosting on your cake, as well as piping a ring around the outer edges, before adding your strawberry filling. This will create a barrier so your cake doesn't get soggy and the filling doesn't leak out.
This recipe makes 1-1.5 cups of filling, this is enough filling to fill a 2 layer 8-inch cake or fill 24 cupcakes.
I've used it in my vanilla cake with strawberry filling and chocolate cake with strawberry filling as a simple cake filling. You could also core cupcakes and fill them with this, or you could stir the strawberry jam with cream cheese frosting or vanilla buttercream to create a strawberry flavor!
Place the cooled strawberry filling a large jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Try these strawberry-related next!
Strawberry Filling for Cake
- 1 medium saucepan
- 2 cups strawberries diced
- 4 tablespoons white sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- In a medium saucepan, combine the diced strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Heat over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.2 cups strawberries, 4 tablespoons white sugar, 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice, zest of 1 lemon
- Simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. You may need to lower the heat to low heat if it is bubbling too much.
- You'll know the strawberry sauce is ready when you can coat the back of a spoon with the sauce and run a line through it with your fingers.
- Take the pan off the heat and let cool completely. Store in a large mason jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.