Toppings and Fillings


Imagine a cream cake without the cream filling or a danish without the custard and you get some idea of the very special role that toppings and fillings play in the baking industry.



With a little help from supplier partners and a dash of imagination, bakers can transform the mundane into an irresistible array of tempting choices. The use of different finishes not only opens the appeal to diverse age groups but can double the perceived value and add substantially to your bakery’s bottom line.

Without a shadow of a doubt, toppings and fillings are the most colourful and delicious way to add interest, flavour and mouth feel to your baked goods, enhancing value to your customers

Almost any baked product can be filled or topped to significantly extend product ranges. Fortunately ingredient suppliers have made available a vast array of solutions to ensure that bakers can top and fill to their hearts content. These options are so extensive that you could try something new every day of the year and still not run out of ideas.

For a moment let us look at toppings for pies and tarts as these inevitably receive a topping of some sort even if this is a standard top crust, a lattice top or a crumb topping. Other choices include whipped cream or glazes. You may opt to decorate the pie with cut outs made from scraps of dough. While adding eye appeal, they also give the product a nice homely look.

Another common pie filling is meringue which is piped onto the pie in a decorative pattern or simply molded and peaked; think lemon meringue pie. Meringues are quickly browned in a very hot oven. Fresh fruit tarts are generally brushed with a glaze, such as apricot to enhance their appearance and extend their shelf life.

Without a doubt, one of the most important considerations is of course is the filling. Once again, The baker is spoiled for choice. The use of fresh fruit, with exception of apple could be slightly problematic but with an extensive range of fruit fillings and toppings from the likes of Blendtonels Frui Zest, Starcape, Euroberry and Vivit the bakers problems are easily solved.


Most fruit fillings and some custard fillings for pies are added to the pie crust before baking. Some special tarts (a jam filled Linzer tart for instance) are also filled before baking. Cream fillings such as pastry cream are of course added to prebaked crusts.

Most sponge products, particularly cup cakes can be transformed with a cap of icing and a single cherry or use a simple butter cream glaze, sprinkled with chocolate dragees.

Belgian Butter icing combines icing sugar, butter, sour cream and milk, dark or white chocolate, white ganache is a decadent mixture of chocolate and cream.


Icings are quick and convenient to make and requires little more than good mixing. Created simply with icing sugar, also known as powered or confectioner’s sugar, the secret to sumptuous icing is to use the best ingredients.

The specialty white sugars from Huletts include icing sugar, a milled refines sugar containing an anti-caking agent. It is quick dissolving and whips easily while increasing the volume of foaming mixtures and creams.

Illovo’s range of specialty sugars include brown and white sugar and caramel and treacle sugar. Illovo also offers an extensive technical support service to ensure that their customers’ unique quality and technical specifications are consistently achieved.

Glaze icings create magnificently smooth marble like icing coverings for sponge, sandwich and other cakes. Speed is of the essence here, since the glaze icing sets very quickly and will crack if disturbed. This application is better left to the experts.

Cakes can be spruced up with an endless variation of whipped and spreadable toppings.


A cake topped with a whipped topping and fruit will certainly be more appealing than a plain cake and can fetch a significantly higher price.

It should be mentioned that it is not only cakes and cupcakes that are dressed up with decadent toppings .

Breads and bread rolls are topped with cheese, herbs, spices, cold meat and even interesting combinations such as spinach and feta. Doughnuts are drizzled with chocolate, caramel and icing and other combinations such as sprinkles and vermicelli.

These are just some topping ideas. On the fillings side, the options are just as wide from doughnuts and swiss rolls filled with humble jam, to eclaires filled with custard or cream and pies and pastries filled with fruit surprises, the opportunities for exploring different options are unbounded.

There are some issues that bakers should keep in mind when selecting their favourite toppings and fillings.

These must be formulated to withstand the rigors of the baking environment. Your preferred ingredient supplier should be able to advise you regarding issues such as heat stability, absorption into or leakage from the baked goods, as well as performance during storage and packaging.

Syrups –

For an all-time favourite, try the range of delicious syrups from Illovo Sugar (South Africa) Limited. Illovo provides a wide variety of value-added syrups and technical support to assist customers with their specific manufacturing requirements.

Illovo’s four syrups that are ideal for use as spreads, in baking applications and as toppings include Golden syrup, Traditional syrup, Maple syrup and Caramel syrup. These syrups are available in plastic squeeze bottles and are perfect for adding that final topping or finishing touch to a tasty treat.

Illovo’s delicious range of toppings includes chocolate sauce, chocolate mint sauce, cappuccino sauce, and toffee sauce. These toppings are perfect drizzled over deserts or as an ingredient for baking applications.

A great selection of Toppings and Fillings are available in South Africa from Famasons, Relianz Foods, South Bakels, Bakesure, Chipkins Puratos, Starcape, Euroberry, Rich’s and Vivit Foods to name but a few.



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