Make your cake a celebration with champagne blackberry cake filling. This delicious cake filling recipe can be made with fresh or frozen blackberries and pairs beautifully with a variety of cake flavors.
Darlings, there’s something beautiful about a tasty cake filling. I mean, we all know that frosting and the cake recipe are essential. But a custom cake filling can take things over the top! This champagne blackberry cake filling does just that! It’s one of my go-to recipes for cake fillings, and always a hit. I’m thrilled to finally share this recipe with you!
Most of the time, when we make cakes, the easiest option is to use the frosting as the filling between the cake layers. For some cakes, like my red velvet cake from scratch, I always do this. But for other cake flavors, I like to change things up from time to time and add a different cake filling between each layer.
There are so many different options for cake fillings! Typical fillings include pastry creams (like the filling in the mudslide doughnuts), curds (like in my orange cake and lemon cake), or ganache. But sometimes, we want a cake filling that’s a little different – like this champagne blackberry cake filling!
Personally, I am a huge fan of fruit cake fillings. But using fresh fruit in a cake can present some challenges for cake bakers. Let me share a story from the Godfather’s and my engagement party…
We ordered a two-tier chocolate ganache covered cake from our favorite grocery store bakery. We requested one tier of the cake be vanilla cake with custard and fresh strawberry filling. The decorator used a generous layer of fresh strawberries without planning supports, and the cake literally slid apart before the party! Thankfully the bakery worked with us, but the lesson stuck with me. Be careful with fresh fruit fillings!
The other issue with using cut fresh fruit in a cake is that it begins to weep and turn pretty quickly. So a cake that would otherwise keep refrigerated for a few days looks sad in a day or two. So what’s a cake baker to do? Well, we adjust and make our own fruit cake fillings! A berry cake filling made with this recipe will hold up well in the refrigerator for a few days… as long as your cake remains moist, really.
This cake filling is very similar to making a quick jam. The primary difference between this blackberry cake filling and using blackberry jam is the amount of sugar. Less sugar means a better balance in flavor. With any cake, the key is to make sure all components are well balanced!
I also like how the cake filling recipe can be made with fresh or frozen fruit. And any variety of berry will work! I’ve made this with strawberries, blackberries, a frozen mixed berry blend, and blueberries. All delicious.
This recipe is great to make extra when berries are in season and freeze to use later. Because the sugar levels are low, I don’t can my fruit cake fillings because I’m not sure they’re safe at water bath canning temperatures. And since frozen fruit works well in the recipe without thawing, it’s easy to make more.
Some of you may not want to use champagne in the recipe, and that’s fine! You can completely omit it with no problem. When I do that, I add a tablespoon of lemon juice to provide a little acid to balance the sweet. The reality is, we are more likely to have a lemon around than an open bottle of champagne or prosecco.
I’m sharing the recipe with the champagne, though, because it’s what I mentioned using in my key lime cake video. And most of my requests for this recipe come from that post. If you don’t want to use a fruit filling for the key lime cake, the key lime curd is another favorite option.
So now we need to bake a cake. And you might be wondering what kind of cake flavors work best with a blackberry cake filling. The answer is… just about anything! Currently, my top two to pair with this are the lime cake and my moist vanilla cake recipe. But it would also be lovely on a chocolate cake with a rich ganache and topped with fresh berries. Get creative!
I hope you love this champagne blackberry cake filling recipe, darlings. Enjoy!
- 4 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1/3 cup champagne or prosecco
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- Place the blackberries and sugar in a skillet. Toss to coat. If using lemon juice and water instead of sparkling wine, add it here.
- Place the skillet over medium heat and cook until the berries begin to break down. Mash the fruit occasionally. After 5 minutes, add the sparkling wine, if using.
- In a small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Allow the fruit to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens slightly and the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Once the sugar has dissolved and the fruit is soft, stir in the cornstarch and water mixture. Bring the berries to a simmer and cook 1 minute.
- Remove the cake filling from the heat and transfer to a heatproof container. Allow to cool completely before using. Cake filling may be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface until ready to use.
- If you use frozen berries, there is no need to thaw, but your cooking time will be about 5-10 minutes longer as the berries thaw in the pan. To speed up the process, cover the skillet with a lid for about 5 minutes at the beginning of the cooking time.
- If you prefer a sweeter filling or your berries are particularly tart, taste the filling about halfway through the cooking time. Add additional sugar one teaspoon at a time if needed.
- You may omit the champagne or prosecco if you'd like. Substitute with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and up to 1/4 cup of water if needed to help the sugar dissolve.
- To speed up the cooling process, put the prepared blackberry cake filling into a casserole dish or other dish with a large surface area. The larger surface area will help the filling cool much faster than a jar or smaller mixing bowl.
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