The BEST Fillings for Chocolate Cake!

When it comes to a sweet treat that’s perfect for sharing with friends over a cup of coffee, you really can’t beat an indulgent chocolate cake! 

But what exactly sets a good cake apart from a phenomenal one? 

The filling! 

Whether you’re seeking a rich, gooey centre or a lighter, fruity contrast to the dense chocolate flavour, there’s a filling option for every baker’s preferences and skill levels.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best fillings for chocolate cake… 

(If you’re a keen baker, you might also like to check out sponge cake fillings, and red velvet cake fillings for more inspiration!) 

Understanding Chocolate Cake

In this section, you’ll learn about the types of chocolate cakes and the best fillings to complement their deliciousness.

When it comes to chocolate cake, there’s a wide variety to choose from, each with its distinct flavour and texture.

Some popular types include classic chocolate sponge, decadent flourless, and light and airy mousse cakes.

Understanding the nature of the different chocolate cakes can help you select the perfect filling to complement their unique characteristics.

Finding the right filling for your chocolate cake can take the experience to a whole new level. There are several options to choose from based on your personal preferences, the occasion, and the type of cake.

Here are some classic and delicious fillings that are sure to delight:

  • Ganache: A rich and indulgent combination of chocolate and cream, ganache is a classic filling that complements the depth of flavour in chocolate cakes.
  • Buttercream: Made from butter, icing sugar, and typically a splash of milk, buttercream adds a light and fluffy contrast to the rich, dense texture of the cake.
  • Fruit preserves: If you fancy a touch of fruity tang, consider adding a layer of high-quality fruit preserves. Raspberry, strawberry, and cherry are popular choices that pair well with the chocolate flavour.

In addition to these classic fillings, you may also want to experiment with more adventurous options.

Some delicious ideas include salted caramel, chocolate mousse, or even a luscious layer of whipped cream and fresh berries.

The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine.

Remember, the best fillings for a chocolate cake should complement, not overpower, the taste and texture of the cake itself.

By considering individual preferences and the type of chocolate cake you’re working with, you’re well on your way to creating a truly unforgettable treat that will leave a lasting impression on any occasion.

Let’s dive further into these ideas… 

Classic Fillings

Buttercream Filling

Buttercream is a popular and versatile filling for chocolate cakes.

It comes in various flavours, such as vanilla buttercream and chocolate buttercream.

To make a simple buttercream, you’ll need butter, icing sugar, and a bit of milk or cream.

Then, just beat the ingredients together until smooth and fluffy. This creamy, sweet filling complements the rich taste of chocolate cake beautifully.

chocolate cake buttercream filling

Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache is a luscious and indulgent filling, made by combining heated cream and chocolate.

The mixture is stirred until smooth and shiny, then allowed to cool before use.

You can adjust the thickness by altering the ratio of chocolate and cream.

A classic chocolate ganache creates a gorgeous, velvety texture that goes exceptionally well with chocolate cake.

chocolate cake with ganache

Whipped Cream

A light and airy option, whipped cream adds a lovely contrast to the dense, rich chocolate cake.

To make whipped cream, simply whisk heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together until it reaches soft peaks.

As an alternative, you could also use a whipped cream stabiliser for a longer-lasting hold.

Whipped cream is great on its own, or you can mix in fruit to add a burst of freshness.

Lemon Curd

For a zingy and tangy twist, lemon curd is a delightful filling choice.

The citrus flavour cuts through the richness of the chocolate cake, giving it a bright and refreshing contrast.

Lemon curd can be homemade or store-bought, and it pairs exceptionally well with a layer of whipped cream. This combination adds a lighter, contrasting element to your chocolate cake.

chocolate cake with lemon curd


A fruity jam filling adds a delightful burst of flavour to your chocolate cake.

Raspberry jam and strawberry jam are common choices, as their slight tartness balances well with the sweetness of the cake.

When using jam as a filling, it’s a good idea to layer it with another classic filling like buttercream or whipped cream.

This helps to create a more harmonious flavour profile and a lovely moist texture.

chocolate cake with jam filling

Unusual Fillings for Chocolate Cake

Cream Cheese Filling

A delightful twist to your chocolate cake is incorporating a cream cheese filling.

This creamy and tangy mixture adds a contrast in flavour and taste.

To make your own, combine softened cream cheese with sugar, vanilla extract and a touch of lemon zest.

Adding a bit of whipped cream can lighten the texture, creating a more delicate filling.

Mousse Filling

Enhance your chocolate cake experience with a luscious mousse filling.

Chocolate mousse is a popular option, but don’t shy away from experimenting with fruit-flavoured mousses like raspberry or strawberry.

Simply, fold whipped cream into a flavoured mixture to create a soft, airy texture.

Your guests will appreciate the combination of rich cake and a fluffy mousse.

Peanut Butter Filling

An all-time favourite, peanut butter filling takes your chocolate cake to another level.

It adds a salty-sweet dynamic to the cake, creating a harmonious balance.

To make a peanut butter filling, mix together peanut butter, icing sugar, and softened butter, then fold in whipped cream for added smoothness.

Pair it with a chocolate ganache to provide a delightful contrast.

White Chocolate Filling

For a touch of elegance, opt for a white chocolate filling.

This creamy, luxurious addition elevates the chocolate cake, making it a perfect choice for special occasions.

Melt white chocolate and combine it with whipped cream to create a silky filling.

To add depth of flavour, consider infusing it with a hint of cinnamon or even a splash of liqueur.

chocolate cake with white chocolate filling

Mascarpone Cream Filling

If you’re looking for a sophisticated taste, try incorporating a mascarpone cream filling.

This filling has a velvety texture and a mild, tangy taste that balances beautifully against chocolate.

To create your own, mix together mascarpone cheese, icing sugar, and a dash of vanilla extract.

You can even fold in crushed Oreo cookies for a bit of a crunch – think of it as a more refined Oreo cheesecake filling! 

Tricks for Best Results

When deciding on the perfect filling for your chocolate cake, there are a few tricks to ensure the best possible outcome.

By taking the time to consider aspects such as balance, texture, and richness, your cake will be a hit with everyone who tries it.

Firstly, it’s essential to balance the flavours in your filling.

Pair richer chocolate cakes with a lighter texture filling like mousses or whipped creams.

This juxtaposition allows the filling to complement the cake rather than overpowering it.

On the other hand, if you’re preparing a lighter chocolate cake, opt for a denser, richer filling to create a satisfying contrast.

Texture plays a significant role in the overall appeal of a chocolate cake.

Refrigerating your filling before adding it to the cake can improve the consistency and make it easier to work with.

In particular, chilling fillings that are creamy and rich can assist in holding the cake together and preventing it from becoming a messy, slippery disaster.

Considering colour may not seem obvious, but your cake’s visual presentation contributes to the overall appeal.

Experiment with subtle variations in hues between the cake and the filling.

For instance, pairing a dark chocolate cake with a lighter caramel or peanut butter filling creates a lovely contrast that catches the eye.

The element of richness in a chocolate cake should not be overlooked.

To prevent overwhelming the taste buds, keep the filling rich but not excessively sweet.

A good tip to create a lighter texture is folding whipped cream through your filling.

For instance, combining dark chocolate ganache with whipped cream will create a sumptuous yet airy mouse-like consistency.

When applying your filling, it’s good practice to give your cake a crumb coat before adding the final layer of icing.

This thin coating of frosting seals in any loose crumbs, ensuring a clean, professional finish when you apply the final layer.

By following these tricks and tailoring your chocolate cake filling to suit your preferences, you can create culinary masterpieces that are as enjoyable to look at as they are to eat.

Enjoy experimenting with these techniques to find the perfect match for your chocolate cake creation.

Low Calorie and Low Fat Alternatives

Finding delicious alternatives for your chocolate cake filling that are low in calories and fat can be simple and enjoyable.

You will be surprised by how easy it is to create mouth-watering fillings without compromising taste or your waistline.

Firstly, consider using Greek yoghurt as a base for your filling.

It’s high in protein, low in fat, and offers a creamy texture that pairs well with chocolate cake.

You can add a touch of sweetness by mixing in some honey or agave syrup.

To enhance the flavour, try adding a few drops of vanilla extract or mixing in unsweetened cocoa powder.

Another excellent option is whipped cottage cheese.

This often-overlooked dairy product is low in calories and fat but can provide a delightful, fluffy texture similar to whipped cream.

To prepare it, simply blend low-fat cottage cheese with a touch of powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract.

You could also add a small amount of melted dark chocolate for a richer flavour.

If you’re looking for a fruit-based filling, pureed fruits such as berries, bananas, or mangoes can add natural sweetness and nutritional benefits.

To prepare, blend the fruit of your choice and use it as a spread between cake layers. Alternatively, you may mix pureed fruit with Greek yoghurt or whipped cottage cheese for an even creamier result.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of nut and seed butter fillings.

While these can have a higher fat content, they are often rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats.

For a low-calorie and low-fat option, try using powdered peanut butter, which offers a similar taste with significantly less fat.

Pairing Your Chocolate Cake

When it comes to enhancing the flavour of your chocolate cake, selecting the right filling can make all the difference. This is where you can get creative and let your palate guide you towards the ideal pairing.

A popular choice is to go for a tart filling, which adds a contrasting tangy flavour to the rich chocolate.

A citrusy filling, like lemon or orange curd, can create a lovely balance with the sweetness of the chocolate. Plus, the acidity of the citrus cuts through the richness, leaving your taste buds feeling refreshed.

Raspberries are another fantastic pairing with chocolate cake.

Their natural tanginess and vibrant colour make them not only a delicious but also a visually appealing filling.

You could opt for a raspberry jam or even a raspberry mousse, depending on your preference. Over time, you may develop specific favourites.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations to find the right balance.

Here are a few versatile and delectable suggestions for pairing chocolate cake with different fillings:

  • Tart: lemon curd, lime curd, orange curd
  • Tangy: cream cheese frosting, sour cream ganache
  • Citrusy: lemon zest-infused buttercream, orange zest-infused buttercream
  • Raspberries: raspberry jam, raspberry mousse

Final Thoughts

In your journey to create the ultimate chocolate cake, you’ve explored a variety of delicious and easy-to-make fillings.

Catering to the creative and popular choices, there’s truly something to satisfy each chocolate lover.

Some classic and well-loved options include silky chocolate ganache, peanut butter, and luscious raspberry jam, each offering a mouth-watering contrast to the cake’s deep cocoa flavour.

For a more innovative approach, why not try a zesty orange marmalade or a refreshing mint cream?

Remember, the best filling for your chocolate cake is one that complements your personal taste and fits the occasion.

Feel free to experiment with different combinations, but always keep it authentic and true to your preferences.

By doing so, you’ll surely delight all the chocolate lovers around you.

Happy baking!