Nothing tastes better than a homemade strawberry cake filling! It’s the best way to add that delicious classic strawberry flavour to any of your cakes and bakes.
This filling uses fresh or frozen strawberries to make a sweet compote filling with pieces of real strawberry!
It’s an easy recipe with only 4 ingredients. The filling is thick and sets like a dream, perfect to stay between your cake layers.
Take your cakes to the next level with this fresh strawberry filling, bursting with flavour!
✏️ Recipe creation
I’ve always wanted to know how to make a strawberry cake filling and it’s actually surprisingly simple and practically foolproof!
I love a good cake, and if you ask me, a homemade filling only makes it better - whether it's frosting or something punchy and fresh like a berry sauce.
I love using it in this strawberry vanilla cake!
It’s also a great recipe for using up leftover strawberries during strawberry season (especially if you’ve just been out picking!).
Use your easy strawberry filling for everything from a cake or cupcake filling, cookie filling (like macarons) or even spreading onto your toast like jam preserves.
This cake filling recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- Strawberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- White sugar (caster or granulated)
- Cornstarch (called cornflour in the UK)
- Lemons juice (optional)
See the recipe card for quantities.
I like using fresh strawberries in this recipe. However, you can use frozen strawberries, and let them thaw before use.
Alternatively, heat your strawberries in the saucepan until they’re thawed and then add your other ingredients.
You can use either fresh or bottled lemon juice to add a hint of tanginess to your strawberry sauce. It helps it taste fresher too!
You can use either caster or granulated white sugar for this recipe.
- Using ripe strawberries will give your compote the best flavour!
- Using cornstarch helps to thicken your sauce. This is the fine white powder, also called cornstarch in the UK and other places. Don’t use the yellow grainy stuff. It’s easy to get confused!
I use the following equipment for this recipe:
- Medium saucepan
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Weighing scales
- Measuring spoons
- Storage jars (or heatproof bowl)
To juice a fresh lemon, cut it in half and use a citrus squeezer or juicer. You can instead use a fork to press into the juicy fruit part and twist the fork while you squeeze the lemon half. Do this over a strainer to catch seeds.
If you’re storing your strawberry sauce, you can use sterilised jars or pots.
If you’re planning to use your filling in a dessert soon, you can pour your cooked sauce into a heatproof bowl instead.
Cool briefly at room temperature before covering the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerating your sauce until fully cool and ready for use.
I use 8oz storage jars for storing my cake filling. This is the typical size for a jam jar you’d find in the store. However, you can use any size mason jar or other storage jar.
If you don’t have a masher, you can instead use a blender to make a strawberry puree. Do this before you start the recipe.
- I like using digital scales for weighing my ingredients as it's easy and accurate. I quite like KitchenAid or Salter scales.
- For your chunky strawberry filling to keep longer, you should sterilise your jars before use. See FAQs below for help!
- I like to use a silicone spatula so it doesn’t scratch the bottom of your saucepan when you’re stirring.
Steps 1 - 2: Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat on medium, stirring and allowing to simmer for 5-10mins until the sugar has melted and the mixture is glossy.
Step 3: For smaller chunks, mash your strawberry mixture.
Step 4: Pour your cooked sauce into a container to cool before use.
🎥 Recipe video
Check out the short recipe video below for how to make homemade strawberry cake filling!
Your homemade strawberry cake filling should last for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
💭 Top tips
- You’ll know your cake filling is cooked when it thickens up and coats a layer on the back of your spoon/spatula. It should also turn shiny and glossy.
- If you want a super smooth cake filling, you can puree your strawberries before you start and then sieve your cooked compote mixture before pouring it into your jars. This will remove any chunks of fruit.
Your homemade strawberry cake filling should last for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
To sterilise jars, you can wash them with hot soapy water then place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 275F / 140C / 120C (fan) / Gas 1 for 10-15mins until dry.
Note that most lids have rubber seals, so remove these before you heat them. If they’re built in, you can’t heat the lids along with the jars.
Alternatively, you can boil jars and lids in hot water in a large saucepan on the hob for 2-3mins.
Allow your jars to cool before use.
The best way to juice a lemon is to first cut it in half, through the middle rather than end to end. Press your lemon half into a citrus squeezer or juicer to release the juice.
You can instead use a fork to press into the juicy fruit part and twist the fork while you squeeze the lemon half. Do this over a strainer to catch any pips / seeds.
For a medium sized cake (e.g. 8-inch), place one cake layer upside-down on a plate and pour roughly ½ jar of strawberry sauce on top, smoothing out evenly to roughly an inch inside the edges. You can use a knife or offset spatula for this.
Place your second cake layer on top (right way up) and decorate as desired.
If you will be decorating your cake in frosting too, you should first pipe a circle of frosting around the top edge of your first cake layer. Do this before you add the filling in the middle. This stops your sauce from getting squeezed out as you frost the rest of your cake.
Yes, this is a gluten-free strawberry cake filling recipe.
Yes, this is a vegan strawberry cake filling recipe (dairy-free and vegetarian).
If you’ve got any specific questions on making your homemade strawberry cake filling, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
Alternatively, you can get in touch via my Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest – I’d love to hear from you!
🍓 Suggested uses
You can use your own homemade strawberry sauce to make your favorite desserts into strawberry dreams!
Strawberry cake filling
This thick strawberry sauce makes the best cake filling. Use it between yellow vanilla (like in this strawberry vanilla cake recipe) or strawberry cake layers for the ultimate strawberry goodness.
You can also use this strawberry filling for cake to level up a white cakes or box mix cakes.
I personally love using this strawberry filling for chocolate cake or funfetti cake.
I’ve always loved a Victoria sponge cake, and one of my favourite ways to turn the cake into a show-stopping birthday cake version is by using a homemade strawberry filling.
This recipe makes roughly 1 standard sized jar of strawberry preserves. This is enough to fill a standard 3-layer cake. For example, you can fill and decorate a 3-layer 8-inch celebration cake.
You can also decorate your strawberry cake with more of this strawberry coulis on top of the cake. Add sliced strawberries to decorate too!
You can also fill cupcakes with this strawberry sauce. Cut a small hole in the top of your cupcake, roughly ½ the cupcake’s depth, and remove the piece of cake.
Add 1 teaspoon of filling before either putting the cake piece back in or topping straight with your frosting of choice.
I love filling funfetti cupcakes with this strawberry sauce, or adding it into these tasty raspberry cupcakes.
Strawberry cake pops
How about making strawberry cake pops? Swap out the frosting for this strawberry sauce in this easy cake pop recipe.
Add 1 tablespoon at a time to your crumbled cake until it comes together to form a soft dough. Follow the rest of the recipe as normal.
Strawberry pie filling
Not just for cakes, this sauce works great as a strawberry pie filling. It’s so fruity and fresh – the perfect summer pie or tart.
You can add an extra ½ tablespoon of cornflour to the mixture to have your filling set thicker like preserves rather than a sauce.
You can also use the sauce to flavor to frosting. Add the sauce 1 tablespoon at a time to a basic American buttercream until you get the right flavour and thick consistency for a strawberry jam buttercream.
If you want to make your frosting smooth, sieve the strawberry syrup to remove the bits before using it. You’ll only need a few tablespoons of the liquid!
You can even use this method to make a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream.
You can use your strawberry sauce to glaze things like fresh fruit, tarts and muffins. It’s especially great to glaze sliced strawberries to use in decorating your strawberry cake.
Use it warm or microwave 1 tablespoon of sauce for 10secs before glazing your treats.
If you want a strong lemon flavor for a lemon-strawberry cake filling, you can add another 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Reduce the water in the recipe by 1 tablespoon too.
You can also swap the lemon juice for lime juice in the recipe for a different delicious flavour.
I love the chunks of real strawberry in this sauce. However, for a smooth strawberry cake filling, puree your strawberries in a blender or food processor before you start.
You should also sieve your cooked mixture before pouring it into your jars for a lump-free filling.
🧁 Other goodies
Looking for some other goodies to make?
If you’re a berry dessert lover then you’ll love these raspberry dessert bars, raspberry vanilla cupcakes and raspberry white chocolate cake.
Looking for some tasty cakes to fill with your strawberry sauce? Check out this green tea white chocolate cake and turn it into a strawberry matcha cake!
Or you can switch the lemon curd for strawberry filling in this lemon cake! Lemon and strawberry are a match made in heaven.
For some other tasty sauces and fillings, take a look at my best ever lemon curd and passionfruit curd recipe ideas. Or why not try my favourite lemon white chocolate ganache.
Swap the strawberry jam in this classic Victoria sponge cake to take this cake to the next level – perfect for birthdays and other celebrations like an afternoon tea party.
Looking forward to some new recipes? Check out my Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages for a few sneak peeks and some sweet inspiration!
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Strawberry Cake Filling
Rate this recipe here:
- 250 g (9 oz) strawberries fresh or thawed frozen, stalks removed and chopped
- 50 g (¼ cups) white sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch called cornflour in the UK
- 50 ml (3 ½ tablespoon) water
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice optional
- Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat on medium, allow to simmer for 5-10mins until the sugar has melted and the mixture is glossy.
- For smaller chunks, mash your strawberry mixture and pour it into a container to cool before use.
- This recipe makes roughly 12oz / 340g of sauce.
- This recipe makes enough filling for a 3-layer 8-inch cake.
- You can stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time to your cooled strawberry mixture if it’s too thick.
- The cornstarch used in this recipe is a fine white flour, not a yellow grainy flour. This is called cornflour in the UK and other places.
- Store your strawberry cake filling in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.
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