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Easy Vanilla Cake Filling

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This vanilla cake filling is the easiest and fastest cake filling you will ever make. It tastes like a cross between vanilla mousse cake filling and a cheesecake filling.

vanilla mousse filling on a whisk
Ready for the cake

The creamy filling is very similar in flavor to the filling in the middle of Costo cakes. You know that creamy vanilla mousse texture that everyone scoops out of the center of the cake before they even eat the cake?

Similar to Costco cake filling:

That Costco cake filling is addictive and everyone that has ever had a Costco cake wants to know how they make the filling. This recipe is going to satisfy your cravings and you’re going to be amazed at how easy it is to make.

two layers of cake with filling in the center
So good!

Not entirely from scratch:

I almost thought about apologizing for this recipe. This vanilla cake filling is so far from my typical style of cooking that I won’t be surprised if I get a few snarky emails about how far I have fallen from the ‘from-scratch’ bandwagon.

It has happened in the past when we have used store-bought cookies for things like this Mocha chocolate icebox cake and this Girl Scout Samoas Chocolate Lasagna.

Then there is this meatloaf recipe that calls for a package of onion soup mix. We get emails from readers that get pretty upset when we use pre-packaged store-bought ingredients in our recipes.

But I just can not apologize for this recipe. It tastes great and holds up very well on a long, hot summer day.

If you can’t stand the idea of using a package of instant pudding in your cake filling then we have plenty of cakes with creamy, dreamy, luscious, fillings that are made entirely from scratch.

This coconut cake roll has a creamy filling with coconut essence. Then there is this lemon meringue cake that is filled with luscious lemon curd. So good! Or this Chocolate Guinness cake that I filled and frosted with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting.

You won’t be disappointed with our from-scratch recipes but this recipe serves some useful purposes.

a bowl of cake filling with cake layers in the background
Creamy and smooth!

A great filling for cake carving:

It is great for layering in a cake that you plan to carve. Normally if you are going to carve a cake, a thick, stiff buttercream is the best thing to put between the layers. But I like putting yummy, creamy, luscious fillings between my cake layers.

The problem with putting creamy fillings between the layers of a cake you plan to carve is that it creates ‘slippage’. When you start carving a cake, the layers have a tendency to slide if the filling is smooth and creamy.

This filling will hold the layers together as you carve the cake (as long as you don’t slather it on super thick).

I recently made a Barbie Cake where the cake was the gown for a Barbie doll. There were 8 layers of cake filled with this vanilla cake filling. The filling did not slip and slide when I used a serrated knife to shape the cake layers to form the gown.

This filling holds cake layers together very well, so carve away. 

a bowl of cake filling with a cake in the background
Tastes like cheesecake mousse filling!

A great cake filling for hot weather.

This cake filling will hold up in long, hot, humid weather. That isn’t always a problem where I live in the Pacific Northwest. But we do have a few days of pretty intense heat in our summer months.

Nothing will destroy a cake more surreptitiously than a hot, humid day. One moment the cake looks perfect, then an hour later, you’re thinking “is that cake leaning?” And an hour after that, the cake is almost on the ground.

But not with this filling. This vanilla cake filling will keep your cake layers intact on those hot days.

double layer cake with vanilla mousse cake filling
Ready to frost!


Try this all-butter yellow cake with this vanilla cake filling. It goes well with the chocolate frosting or with this fluffy vanilla buttercream.

Vanilla and chocolate go together perfectly. Fill this gluten-free chocolate cake with this vanilla mousse cake filling. 

Squirt some vanilla cake filling into the center of red velvet cupcakes before you add the frosting. It will be a delightful surprise. 

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double layer cake with vanilla cake filling

Easy Vanilla Cake Filling

Yield: 3-1/4 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This vanilla cake filling tastes like the vanilla mousse that is inside a Costco cake. It is creamy, smooth, and rich. It a sturdy filling that will not deflate as some mousse fillings can. You can even use this in a cake that you want to carve.


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding (dry powder)


  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated then turn the speed up and beat until smooth. 
  2. Slowly add the cream and whip on slow until it is well incorporated and smooth.
  3. Slowly pour in the powdered instant pudding mix. Increase the speed and whip for 2 to 3 minutes until it is thick.


Makes 3-1/4 cups of filling.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 52 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 44Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Gina Barry

Friday 9th of April 2021

Sorry if this question has already been answered, but what is pudding mix? Im from the Uk and I dont think we have it? what is the brand? is there a substitute i can use?? thank you x

Gina Barry

Thursday 15th of April 2021

@Dahn Boquist, Thank you so much, seems an odd combo to add to the cream cheese, but im gonna try it, thank you!! x

Dahn Boquist

Friday 9th of April 2021

Instant pudding mix comes in a small box with flavored powder, sugar, and cornstarch. All you have to do is add milk and whisk until it thickens up into a pudding consistency. It is definitely an American product and I am not sure the UK makes anything similar. There is an American grocery site in the UK called American Fizz that might carry it. The brand that is the most common here is the Jell-o brand. I did a quick search and saw that London has a store called American Food Store that carries the instant pudding (click for the link).


Wednesday 24th of March 2021

This was absolute PERFECTION!!!!!

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Morgan Brockelbank

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Can this be made and refrigerated the night before filling a cake ?

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Yes, it will get thicker in the fridge but it will still be spreadable. If you want to make it a bit easier to spread then let it sit at room temp for an hour before you fill the cake.

Arlene S

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Can I use instant sugar free pudding?

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

I haven't tried it with the sugar-free package but it should work. I expect the texture and volume will be different, especially if you are not adding any additional sugar.

Sandra Marsh

Thursday 26th of November 2020

is this recipe sufficient for a 3 layer cake or should I double it. BTW it sounds wonderful !!

Dahn Boquist

Thursday 26th of November 2020

It makes a nice amount of filling for an 8-inch three-layer cake. It makes a little over 3 cups of filling. I generally put between 1 to 2 cups of filling between the layers. Of course, it all depends on how thick you like the filling. For context, the photo above that is showing the filling between two layers is how thick it will be if you use 1-3/4 cups spread out over an 8-inch cake.

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