Watermelon Cake: Refreshing, Stunning and Top 9-Free

We all love cake, but as hot weather extends well into autumn now, you may not feel much like turning on the oven. My solution: a beautifully decorated watermelon cake. 

The watermelon cake is a refreshing dessert for any occasion. It is simple to make, a healthy alternative to sugary desserts. Plus, your guests will surely be impressed by the watermelon cake’s beautiful presentation. We think it’s the perfect introduction for my new Kitchen Craft series for Allergic Living.

The recipe that follows is made entirely of fresh organic fruits, from the pink-hued watermelon to the berries and other fruits that enhance it. Best of all – it is free of the Top 9 allergens.

The watermelon cake is easily customized. The fruits I’ve used to decorate can be varied to suit special dietary needs and taste preferences. Also, while I’ve provided the amounts of fruits that I used, this is quite flexible.

While baking can be quite precise, the watermelon cake gives you scope to experiment with flavors and textures. I like to use a fruit shape cutter and melon baller for eye-catching presentation with bigger fruit. But if you’re rushed, that’s entirely optional – you can just cut the fruit.  

Stay tuned for more of my Kitchen Craft series, designed to help inspire Allergic Living followers with allergy-friendly baking. We may have to manage food allergies, but with a pinch of patience, a cup of creativity and a liter of love, we’ll create beautifully crafted desserts that everyone can enjoy. Inclusion never tasted so sweet. Photos: Ashley Smith

Makes: 1 cake
Free of: all top allergens and gluten

Ingredients

  • 1 large seedless watermelon, washed and dried
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, washed and dried
  • 1 cup blackberries, washed and dried
  • 1 cup raspberries, washed and dried
  • 2 cups strawberries, washed and dried
  • 1 cup seedless yellow watermelon, washed and dried, then cut into shapes
  • 1 cup grapes, washed and dried 

Tools 

  • Chef’s knife
  • Serving dish
  • Dinner spoon or teaspoon
  • Paper towel 
  • Optional: fruit shape cutters, melon baller

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly wash the outer surface of the watermelon. This will prevent any exterior surface dirt or bacteria from being transferred into the inside of the watermelon when you cut into it. 
  2. Using a sharp chef’s knife, carefully cut off the top stem portion and bottom portion of the watermelon. Set aside for later use or discard. Place the remaining center portion of the watermelon upright, so it stands flat on your cutting surface. The watermelon cake shown was approximately 7 inches tall when standing upright. But your watermelon may be shorter or taller, depending on the size of your party. Level out any uneven areas, until you are left with a flat base and top.  
  3. It’s time to remove the rind. With the watermelon still standing upright on your cutting board, begin cutting the outer rind from top to bottom. Follow the natural shape of the watermelon, until all the rind has been removed. Note: You may have to flip the watermelon upside down to trim any visible rind off the bottom section.
  4. Trimming: With its signature pinkish/reddish hue now showing, carefully trim any uneven areas of the outer surface. You’re looking to have a smooth, round and cake-shaped watermelon.
  5. Next, cut a circular well into the top of the watermelon by cutting 1 inch from the edge, and approximately 1-2 inches deep. Use a teaspoon or dinner spoon to scoop out the watermelon, absorbing the excess juice with paper towel. This round opening is where your decorative fruit will go. 
  6. Place the watermelon on the center of your serving platter or dish. Choose a sturdy dish, since a full-size watermelon cake is going to be heavy.
  7. Decorate the cake with clean fresh fruits (or your own favorite choices). Place a variety of fruits around the base of the cake and inside the top circle. Use contrasting fruit colors to enhance visual appeal. For a more creative flair, use a melon baller or fruit shape cutters. 
  8. Refrigerate until chilled or serve immediately. Enjoy! 

5 Tips to Picking a Sweet Watermelon

  1. Choose the heaviest melon for its size.
  2. Round watermelons tend to be sweeter.
  3. A creamy yellow field spot means the watermelon ripened longer in the field. 
  4. Look for a dull and dark green color. Shiny watermelons are typically not ripe. 
  5. Knock on it – to see if it has a deep, hollow sound.

is the support group leader of NNMG Food Allergic Families of Los Angeles (https://nonutsmomsgroup.weebly.com/) and a member of FAACT's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Board.