Hands Down The Best Cake-Filling You’ll Ever Eat

I have amnesia.

I have where-did-I-find-this-most-amazing-recipe amnesia.

For that I am truly sorry, because whoever created this deserves a stinkin’ cake-filling medal.

Ain’t even kidding!

Have you ever read a recipe and were all: Oh, man – I gotta try that. Soon.

So you grab whatever scrap of paper is closest and scribble down the recipe, swearing you’ll get to the store, grab the necessary ingredients, and make that bad boy tomorrow?

Yeah. Me too. Twinsies!

Except it took FOREVER before I found the scribbled recipe again and then actually made it.

Look at this lovely bowl full of fluffy cake-filling nirvana:

Hands Down The Best Cake-Filling You'll Ever Eat

We’ll just cut the chit-chat and get right to it, shall we?



1 large box vanilla instant pudding mix.

1 1/2 – 2 cups Cool Whip or heavy cream


* Mix pudding mix as directed, except use only half the milk called for (1 1/2 cups).

* Place in fridge for about 5 minutes to set.

* Fold in Cool Whip or whipped heavy cream (I used 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip)

* Makes enough to fill and top a two-layer cake.

As soon as I made the filling and knew it was gold, my brain immediately started to play around with it for modifications:

* Cut up fruit and add to filling.

* Add mini chocolate chips.

* Flavors, so many flavors of pudding available to try!

* One flavor filling to fill the cake – another to top the cake.

* Use on cupcakes!

* Pancake, waffles and French Toast filling!

* Make and hide in the back of your fridge – for your spoon only!

Hands Down The Best Cake-Filling You'll Ever Eat


Here’s how thangs went down:

* Years ago, I found a filling that spoke to me on paper, but I never got around to making it. I copied it and tucked it away, until now.

* I had a new cake recipe that I wanted to try.

* I thought I’d try the filling too.

* Turned out the filling was so good that I didn’t frost the cake, I simply used the filling to fill and top the cake.

* We almost fainted from the sheer joy and deliciousness.

Full Disclosure: We didn’t come near to fainting, but if I could have, I would have.

* After I filled and topped the cake, we licked the container clean that held the filling.

Like kids. I had it on my fingers and face and shirt.

I ain’t ashamed.

* We ate a piece of cake each and fell in love. With the cake-filling. Cause we’re already in love with each other.

Just thought I should clarify.

But, totally feed this to someone whose affection you seek.

It should do the job.

People. Try this filling. DO IT!

I soooo want to link where I found this bit of cake-filling nirvana, but I don’t know to whom the credit belongs.


If y’all will excuse me, I need to go make filling.

No cake.

Just filling.

Cake Filling Heaven


Tired of searching for a popular OMT! recipe?

Rest yer weary fingers.

Except to click on the image.

You still have enough strength for that.




Please Share on Your Favorite Social Media! ~ OMT thanks you! ~


  1. Michele (Finch Rest) says:

    Oh what a fun post – I am sooooooooooooooo going to make this, how can I not, right????

    Thanks for the inspiration! Bet it’d be good with cinnamon and nutmeg for a bit of fall flavor.

  2. This sounds like I would eat it right from the bowl! Did you refrigerate the cake? If there were leftovers.

  3. Cami Ricks says:

    It may have come from a recipe that I found and use all the time except, you add sliced strawberries, and use it as a filling for cinnamon/sugar and buttered baked tortillas. You just roll the filling up in them. I found them kind of messy for my kids to eat, due to the yummyness squishing out both ends, so I cut the tortillas into strips with my pizza cutter. I then, fry them in a thin layer of oil, in the frying pan until just starting to turn golden. I have a gallon zip lock bag with cinnamon and sugar ready. I just put them in the bag after I let some of the oil drip off, and shake. I then place them in a bowl and have my yummy strawberry cream dip ready and we can eat them like they are chips and dip. Sooooo good!!☺ Great for Get-togethers too!

    • CAMI!!! I die! That sounds soooo good!!!

    • CLAIRE WOOD says:

      I first encountered it when the Jello Pistachio pudding first hit the market. There was a dessert called Watergate cake which was all the rage and would make an appearance at nearly every pot luck or party for well over 2 years.

      I have used the formula in many variations; my favorites are vanilla and chocolate though. This makes a wonderful frosting for coconut cake!

      • Watergate cake! lol! I can hardly convince myself to make a buttercream filling since I’ve made this one. Soooo good!

        • Andrea Cox says:

          I first found this recipe in a Jello Pudding recipe book, maybe 40 years ago. Can make it low calorie using sugar free pudding mix. Pudding mix whipped with 2 cops heavy cream makes a delious, super easy mousse.

      • Kathy Boynton says:

        You took the words right out of my mouth Clarie Wood. I’ve made this combo years ago with the Watergate cake also. It’s good no matter what combination you use it. I’ve also made the instant pudding mixed with the whole box of Dream Whip. I’m not even sure they make that anymore. It was just like instant pudding the way you would make it but it tasted like an imitation cool whip/whipped cream. I never tasted it by itself only mixed with the pudding mix. Thanks for the memories. I haven’t thought about this is a long time. I’m going to have to whip up a batch for old time sakes LOL.

  4. Patti Menow says:

    I have been making a coolwhip icing that came from the coolwhip container many years ago. The only difference is the recipe adds 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar tot he pudding mix and uses 1 cup of milk and the whole cool whip container. The chocolate pudding icing is amazing. My family likes it on chocolate cake. I agree it is amazing.

  5. Will the cake have to be refrigerated? Because of the milk/whipped topping that’s in this filling?

  6. I used this filling last night for a cake for hubby’s birthday. I just got a phone call from my 5 year old daughter to ask if she could lick some of the cream (cake filling) in the bowl in the fridge … ” it’s sooo yummy”.

  7. Sounds wonderful as a cake filling! Will have to try. I have previously made a very simple slice. Beat together a packet of vanilla pudding mix with a carton of thickened cream and put it between two layers of Lattice biscuits in a slice tin to set! Divine!! Lattice biscuits in Australia are a flaky pastry cookie with a sweet glaze on the top. Yum!

  8. If anyone has ever made dirt, you use vanilla pudding n cool whip for that recipe. You don’t half the pudding though. To make you crush Oreos. The crushed Oreos resemble dirt. You put a layer of the pudding/cool whip mixture, then a layer of the crushed Oreos. They repeat the layers again ending w the crushed cookies. Yumminess!!! You can place in 13×9 cake pan n decorate w gummy worms coming out for kids, or for a bridal shower, place in a new pretty decorative planter (you can line with plastic first if u want) then place artificial flowers in the top. It will look like a plant. Everyone will b surprised when u then grab a new spade, I guess you call it, tool u use to dig out the dirt to plant a flower. You actually use the spade as a serving spoon. Very cute. Then the bride gets to keep the planter n spade to either use again for dirt or as a real planter. Very cute n very yummy. Oh and I’ve seen it used for Halloween w cookies made to look like gravestones. I also made in 13×9 for my sister baby shower. She was expecting a boy. I placed a boy doll sitting in the dirt n placed matchbox size cars around… bulldozer etc. very cute. Have fun w it! : )

  9. I agree with you that this is excellent AND it also makes a VERY good fruit salad base. Just make it the way you suggested and throw in what ever canned (drained) fruit and/or fresh fruit and adjust amounts for the amount of fruit you’re using. I make this as a treat at holidays 🙂

  10. Irene Kuhr says:

    I use this filling to fill my mini Cream Puffs. Yum!!

  11. I have always made this as a fruit dip. But I add 1-2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate, an 8 oz. block of cream cheese and a 7 oz tub of of marshmallow. The cream cheese and marshmallow make it a sturdy filling.

  12. Is this filling sturdy enough to hold the layers in a 3-4 layer cake?

  13. I use half the cream and add vanilla ice cream. Whip the ice cream till s mouth, add whipping cream and pudding. Chill until ready to serve.

  14. Can I use this filling for cakes covered with fondant? And will it hold when I stack cakes? It sounds delicious and I’m eager to try it.

    • I’ve never tried that, Marcha. This filling is light and fluffy, so it might be a problem with a heavier fondant. I say try it experimentally and see, then let us know.

  15. LInda Shirley says:

    This is the filling in a simple dessert I have been making for over 40 years. Did not invent. Chocollate Éclair. Some call it “icebox”. Layer graham crackers, filling, g crackers again and filling and crackers. Let set up in fridge and top with a chocolate ganache. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours. I use it for fillings for other things.

    If you need a very last minute simple cake frosting that I thought of in a pinch, use cool whip, amount needed to cover cake, and add DRY pudding mix (any flavor) gradually until it thickens and stabilizes. Makes a nice trim for pudding pies also. Have also used this as a fruit dip (lemon pudding).

  16. Is this solid at room temperature?

    • When the chilled pudding mix is mixed with Cool Whip it’s chilled because I’ve taken both from fridge. Once the cake is filled and topped, you can either serve immediately – or – I put, covered, in fridge until about 30-minutes prior to serving. Hope this helps.

  17. Kraft “what’s cooking” uses it as their filling for mini shaft shells topped with berries and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Making it for Mother’s Day tea party this week. But love the idea for cake filler.

  18. Kathy W says:

    This sounds so delicious! Gonna try it as soon as I can. I already make something like this, but I make it with Dream Whip. The recipe is on most Dream Whip packages. It is heavenly! So trying this will be a real treat as well! And a whole lot easier to make.

  19. I am making champagne cupcakes with champagne frosting for my friends 50th Birthday this weekend so this will be a perfect addition to mix my champagne soaked strawberries into and fill each cupcake. I will let you know how it turns out. Honestly, not a champagne fan but bought the best so I hear and can not wait for them to be awesome! Thank you for sharing!!

  20. Wow, this sounds amazing and I must try! When you use heavy whipping cream, do you whip it then put it in with the pudding mix? I can’t wait to make this!

  21. Lizzy Smith says:

    I use this filling with lemon pudding for one of the trifle layers along with berries and it’s one of our family’s favorite desserts. Now I’ll have to try the filling the other ways mentioned. Yum!

  22. I have made this 2x now. The first time was for a bridal shower and it went so well that I was asked to do another one for the Elks lodge! Yummmmm!!!

  23. Katherine says:

    A good icing or fruit dip is 1 large jar of marshmallow crime, 1 block or small tub of cream cheese, 1 tub of whip cream, mix all together and ice or dip. Can add a little jam for color and flavor. Or grated pecans.

  24. You had me running to grab my old recipe book to look up the very similar recipe I copied from magazine ads that appeared in the early 1980s (I think! It was quite a while ago). It was either sponsored by Cool Whip or Jello and called Smooth ‘n Creamy Frosting.
    1 pkg (4 serving size) instant pudding, any flavour
    1/4 cup confectioners sugar
    1 cup cold milk
    1 8 oz container Cool Whip
    Combine pudding mix, sugar & milk in small bowl. Beat on low speed about 1 minute. Fold in Cool Whip and spread on cake immediately. Refrigerate.

  25. Would this work to fill clothespin cookies or is it to “soft”?

  26. Layne Madsen says:

    This is basically the recipe I use for a multitude of spring/summer desserts! With so many different flavors of puddings you are only limited by your imagination! Our “go to” favorites are fruit salad usually made with vanilla pudding & a mixed berry trifle made with cut up pound cake and cheesecake flavored pudding. These are so delicious that I rarely, if ever, have any leftovers…no matter how much I make! People just keep eating until it’s all gone, LOL! I’m going to have to give it a try as a simple frosting/filling for cake. It would be a nice, light, change from heavier frosting for the warm weather! Thanks for the idea!

  27. Carol Ann Brubaker says:

    I have made this filling and frosting for over 50 yrs. I made mine with chocolate pudding and at the time Lucky Whip. On a chocolate cake it was luscious.

  28. How long will it last in the refrigerator? I know, I know not long once I taste it, but let’s say I have made this cream mixture on Thursday & I have a party to go to on Sunday, will it be ok in the refrigerator until Sunday? & Thank You for the great memory, my grandma use to make this when I WAS young. I can almost smell it right now (the vanilla version).

  29. I add a teaspoon of almond extract and use this as fruit dip and as a filling for cream puffs!

  30. OMT … OMG, here in south Florida it’s almost 10 PM, but after reading your cake filling recipe and all the enthusiastic added comments, I think I’m going to have to drive to the nearest grocery store and buy the ingredients to make it A.S.A.P.! Sounds yum-o! And I love your high humor quotient which shines through in all your remarks and responses. Sincere thanks for sharing.

    • Sandi – I saw this late last night and laughed. Did you GO?! Listen, if you did, I know you are probably experiencing a cake-filling hangover this morning!

      • Oh, how I yearned to go out in the rain at 10PM to buy the ingredients, but finally decided to wait until mid-morning instead, and now must wait until 4th of July to make it and then share with relatives on the holiday. If I make it any sooner, for certain I’ll eat the full bowl and then have nothing to frost cupcakes with later in the afternoon! Now after typing that sentence, mayhaps I’ll go ahead, make it, eat it, and then make another batch next Wednesday morning for the holiday. Yep, that’s a dandy plan. LOL

  31. We used to use this as “frosting” on top of a jello poke cake (lemon cake with green jello was always my favorite). The only difference is that she was making it pre-Cool Whip, so it was done with Dream Whip and ice cold milk. We never adapted it to use Cool Whip! Brilliant! This would also be good as filling for cream puffs or Boston cream pie

  32. I, too, have had this recipe for years. I tweaked it and made it into a fruit salad. I mix the pudding mix with buttermilk. Then I drain well canned peaches, pineapple tidbits, Mandarin oranges, and any other fruits you may lkke, slice some strawberries, a banana and mix it all together. The buttermilk gives it a bit of a shame Really good!

  33. This filling is great with drained fruit cocktail & mandran oranges. Angel Food cake torn apart in pieces.Mix with filling with fruit & put into mold pan. Then chill in fridge,till set. Iceing with vanilla filling on top of cake. Yummy! Anna

  34. Karen McDonald says:

    I do a lot of cakes and will this hold up under fondant or buttercream?

  35. This is very similar to how I make my banana cream pie. Bake your pie crust. I use instant banana cream pudding. Mix pudding mix and milk, then blend in cool whip. Layer sliced bananas on bottom of crust, then layer of pudding mix, sliced bananas, then another layer of pudding mix. Top with cool whip. Refrigerate. Delicious!

    • Oh, momma! Sounds delish!

    • I do this all the time but buy either the premade cookie crust or graham cracker crust. I put the mixed concoction in the pie shell after slicing bananas in it, then put a layer of just cool whip, then put toasted coconut on top of that. Ooh la la. So good. Also make a chocolate pie same way, but put chocolate nonperils on top of the cool whip. Delicious. I also make fake Devonshire cream for scones using the French vanilla pudding and cool whip. So so good.

  36. I’m in Australia and would love to know what you mean when you say vanilla pudding mix

    • Maria – I mean the mixes you can buy in the baking aisle in the grocery store. Some are instant mixes (meaning you add milk, stir and PUDDING!) and some you cook. They usually are in smaller boxes with a pick of pudding on the outside.

    • Blancmange is pudding. Cornstarch thickend mix of milk, sugar. a bit of butter and vanilla flavoring. The most popular packaged instant mixes are made by the Jello brand people. They come in a variety of flavors.

  37. Lostnstich says:

    I’ve made this many times. It’s the best. Like Banana cake? Cut your layers in half as for a torte and whip this up with instant banana cream pudding for a really good moist cake. Even better on day two…if it lasts that long!

  38. I found that recipe over 25 years ago on the lid of the cool whip container. It is really really good!

  39. This is a similar twist of the pastry filling I use for my grandma’s cream puffs!
    FYI, sugar-free pudding works well too!

  40. I think I would eat this right out of the bowl! It looks amazing.

  41. this looks so easy and sounds so good! Pinned! I would be honored if you would share this at our What’s for Dinner party! lazygastronome.com/whats-for-dinner-sunday-link-up-165/

  42. My recipe calls for well drained crushed pineapple too… So good…

  43. What’s the equivalent of pudding mix in the UK? I’d love to try this.

  44. The biggest drawback I see is having to refrigerate the cake. I don’t like cold cake.

  45. Debbie Uemura says:

    This “filling” has been used for more than 70 years. It’s used when making chocolate eclair. Layer of graham crackers covered by this filling, another layer of graham crackers on top, followed with a chocolate ganache. There is no present day chefs or tv chefs that could ever claim this filling as their recipe. That belongs to someone’s great-grandmother somewhere whose family graciously shared it thank heavens.

  46. This looks amaaaazing! I want to bake now!
    Found you on Sew it Cook it Craft it .
    Please visit!
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  47. This is seriously the only filling/frosting I use when I bake cakes. A friend turned me on to it years ago and I haven’t used traditional frosting since. Store bought frosting is way too sweet. And yes, play with it! I’ve used pistachio pudding, chocolate pudding, mixed in Skor candy, Reese’s pieces, bananas, all kinds of stuff 😋😋😋😋

  48. Hi. I am from South Africa this sounds delicious and I would love to make it. How big is a big box of instant pudding (in grams)? Is cool whip an artificial cream? Then I can try to find such ingredients here. Thank you 🙂

  49. Jeanine Simien says:

    I’ve been doing something similar to this for over 20yrs and yes it’s amazing! Everyone always raves about the filing and I just always chuckle to myself that it’s just pudding. 😊

  50. I have something close to this filling recipe. I ask you try adding sour cream to your pudding and cool whip. ALSO add a package of the no bake cheesecake mix and a small can of condensed milk. Mercy! Talk about wonderful!!! I use this recipe for banana pudding. Carol – KY

  51. I have been making this for years as a fruit dip and use a shot of kahlua for flavour. So delicious!

  52. How much whipping cream do u use in this recipe?

  53. My Mom made this filling when I was growing up. ( I’m now 64). I think it originated on a Dream Whip Box.

  54. Too bad it has almost no real food value. Easy, quick, too tasty and not so healthy.

  55. This is the same topping I have used for my strawberry soda pop cake for the last 40 years. Never occurred to me to use it as a filling for cakes. It is so tasty.

  56. This is a YUMMY filling…. This is how I make my Oreo ice box cakes but only cream cheese is in my Oreo cake but all in all this filling is ROLLIN….. GOOD POST!!!! Didn’t consider a cake filling use…. Thanks for the ideas 😉

  57. I make my own pudding will that work to ?

  58. This recipe has been in my family about 80 years. I got it from my mother-in-law who got it from her mother-in-law. It is wonderfully delicious.

  59. Diane Tompkins says:

    I have tried to sign up for your recipes and when I try it says something happened and I can’t. Please sign me up.

  60. So use half of 1 1/2 milk.Half would 3/4cup?

  61. This is how I make my banana pudding. I previously asked how much milk.But I remember that’s how I make my banana pudding.

  62. Brenda Moldthan says:

    I’ m on a low carb diet and to satisfy my sweet tooth, I have been making this recipe with the sugar free instant puddings and the heavy cream. It’s so yummy and I’m not cheating on my diet!

  63. Sheri Tull says:

    I add crushed pineapples. Top it over my easy pineapple cake. So moist and yummy. Yellow cake mix, large crushed pineapple, 4 eggs, 1 cup oil. Stir and bake 30 minutes at 350.

    • I love all the variations – thanks for sharing yours, Sheri!

    • CLAIRE WOOD says:

      When I make coconut cake, I drain a small can of crushed pineapple and mix that with some of the filling/frosting along with about a cup of shredded coconut. Sometimes I put chopped pecans in there too. This goes between the layers, nice and thick. Then I frost the cake with the rest of the sinful creamy stuff and put more shredded coconut on top and sides of the cake.

      ( I also use this method for coconut cake when I use Ermine Frosting)

  64. It comes from Chocolate Eclair recipe. Never thought about putting it on cake and for filling

  65. I had a recipe that was similar to this that used coffee and chocolate with whipped cream that was so good. But I will say my favorite is to do banana pudding for this and use it for an ice cream cake with ice cream sandwiches.

  66. In the 90’s My friend and I always made trifles with this filling. 😏

  67. I have been using this as an easy cream filling for cream puffs, napoleons, eclairs, Boston Cream pie. Sometimes I add 1 softened block of cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar to it and make a pie. Found her recipe 14 yrs ago in Country Cooking mag. I use the 11/2cups heavy cream whipped. Everybody at church looks forward to cream puffs.

    • ~mouth-watering comment~ YUM!

      • Robert Sigler says:

        I found where I got recipe from: Taste of Home magazine. But I actually first tried a most delicious 3 layer chocolate torte in same section
        I really recommend trying this. And I use the icing recipe for other things, even as a cannoli filling
        Bavarian Torte
        1 1/2 package (18 1/4 oz) Devils food cake mix without pudding
        1 package 8 oz. Philly cream cheese
        2/3 cup packed brown sugar or 1/3 + 1/3 white and brown
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        1/8 tsp salt
        2 1/2 cups whipping cream whipped

        Bake cake according to directions. Cool on wire racks.
        In mixing bowl beat cream cheese, salt, sugar until fluffy
        Whip cream and fold into mixture.
        Split each cake in half. Put icing in between layers and then cover whole
        cake in rest of icing

  68. I haven’t made this yet but I will! I think it would be good put into individual tart cups/those little Graham cracker crusts and topped with fresh fruit. Kids want them right now lol.

  69. It’s tough to believe some of the titles on the Pinterest posts, best ever blah, blah, blah BUT you guys aren’t kidding when you say this is GOLD! It absolutely it the best ever and I’m glad I happened upon your post! I’m just sad I didn’t know about this before and that I didn’t buy more cool whip 🤪

  70. If you want a great chocolate filling, which can be eaten as a mousse also, try this:
    Beat 1 small box chocolate pudding with 2 c. HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM. Chill. Beat again 1 minute to fluffy. Serve it as a mousse or use as a cake filling, cupcake frosting,…

  71. I learned about something like this by accident when I was a chef! I was out of milk and needed pie filling so I mixed chocolate instant pudding mix with heavy cream. whisked slowly til the powder dissolved and then whipped til fluffy, makes awesome cream filling even more fluffy and a solid no-ooze cream pie. Again, possibilities are endless! vanilla pudding for eclairs/ eclair cake, bake two whole puff pastry sheets till golden split in half, layer filling between, and pour melted chocolate over the top. chill til service and slice gently with a sharp serrated knife.

  72. This has been part of my family’s favorite dessert for Thanksgiving…used in an apple pie. Bake crust and cool. Layer this most delicious pudding in the bottom of the pie. Add canned pie apples on top of the cream. Top the pie with whipped cream and lightly dust with cinnamon. I could so go for some right now!

  73. Debbie cassidy says:

    Back in the 80,s we did this as pie filling lemon, chocolate, coconut, butterscotch, banana in a chocolate cookie crust was awesome, any crust, any flavor pudding we used half the cool whip to cover top of pie instead of meringue, we toasted the coconut to garnish the top,I thing we even did a pineapple too . Endless possibilities.

  74. Natasha Young says:

    Is this filling stable? Will it withstand the weight of a three layer cake? Is it stable enough for cupcakes that have to sit out for a while?

    • To be honest, I haven’t had the filling last long, EVER’ONE EAT!, so I have no idea.

      I’ve only done a two-layer.

      If you do a three-layer and it holds, come back and fill (snort) us in!

  75. Wow, so many interesting comments. I am going to try to copy this. For health reasons I can not eat sugar or artificial sugar, but maybe I could make a very thick pudding and mix with some whip cream. Crossing fingers. Sounds very good.

  76. What I have done with this is put the pudding, cool whip and a 8 oz can of crushed pineapple in a stand mixer and whip it until the pudding is blended in well and it makes a great filling and frosting. I do a yellow cake and layer mandarin orange slices over the top of the batter and bake then use this frosting. My son’s requested birthday cake every year!

  77. I love this filling! I make a pineapple cake and top it with the pudding filling.

  78. This is the exact filling I use in a Boston cream cake, always a hit!


  1. […] few years back, I found a scribbled recipe for cake-filling. No surprise there, as I lurv cake and everything that fills […]

  2. […] look for just the right filling for a cake or your cream puffs? Well here is Hands Down the Best Cake-Filling You’ll Ever Eat (and it’s really easy to make) thanks to Oh Mrs. […]

  3. […] I’m a sucker for a great hack – especially – if it involves CAKE! […]

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