How To Cut Up A Watermelon To Make A Stunning Cake

Fruit salad is about to become the main event at your next party. Social media has reimagined the dessert side dish into a glamorous layer cake. Although we'll never fully retire the classic bowl of cut-up melons and berries — or the handy pre-made grocery store version — we're eager to cut a slice of watermelon cake.

To make one of these stunning desserts at home, you'll first have to decide if you want multiple layers or a single tall round. If you're aiming for high drama, you'll want to purchase one large and one small seedless watermelon to carve into small, medium, and large layers. Seedless yellow watermelon, which is sweeter but harder to find, will also work here.


GO to my Profile + tap 🔗 + type "Watermelon Cake" into the search bar. I'm so excited to share this Watermelon Cake! And don't worry, my 2-year-old son and 92-year-old grandmother greatly enjoyed the extra watermelon. They both sat and snacked on it while watching me build this cake made entirely of fruit and topped with more fruit and fresh mint leaves. I secured the watermelon cake with long wooden skewers and attached the fruit with wooden toothpicks. We had a large family gathering with Roger's family that night and cutting it was as simple as slicing and serving. The toothpicks in the fruit can be removed when serving or left in the berries to be used/served as finger food. What's your favorite fruit will you add to your Watermelon Cake this summer?

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Next, cut off the outside of the fruit, setting aside the watermelon rinds to use later. Then, shape the melon into rounds using a knife or round metal ring molds. An overturned bowl can offer helpful guidance for those slicing by hand. Or, if it's easier, cut the melon into cubes for a square cake. Then, if applicable, stack the layers and hold them in place using wooden dowels, as you would with a wedding cake. Once that's finished, use toothpicks (or enlist responsible kids to use toothpicks) to attach berries to the outside for decoration. The completed dessert can sit in the fridge for a few hours until you're ready to serve, but will eventually get watery if made too far in advance.

Decorating and flavoring your watermelon cake

Dessert-makers can serve the viral watermelon cake unfrosted. If this is your preferred approach, try to decorate with fruits that deliver pops of color, like purple plums, blood oranges, and pink dragonfruit. You can cut the produce into thin slices or use a melon baller to vary the shapes. Finish with shavings of dark chocolate, edible flowers, or sprigs of basil to complete the look.

As a bonus, this cake is gluten-free and vegan, making it a celebratory side for many people with food sensitivities. After drying the surface as best you can, you can also apply coconut whipped cream (or the dairy version) to the exterior to mimic frosting and coat with toasted almonds. Alternatively, you can consider squeezing lime juice or adding a sprinkle of sugar or salt to enhance the melon's flavor sans milk.

Those hosting an adults-only barbecue may also want to try this technique with a boozy melon. Spike the watermelon with absinthe or soak the cut fruit in rum, tequila, or vodka to turn this dessert into a digestif. Or you can flip the script and turn the cake into an elegant appetizer. Social media users prefer to keep this one sweet, but you can take inspiration from a watermelon salad and attach cucumber and lime slices, as well as sprigs of mint. Finish with crumbles of feta, thinly sliced onion, and sea salt on top. Serve the sweet-savory "cake" with a vinaigrette on the side.

Turning other melons into creative cakes

Cantaloupe and honeydew melon are two great candidates for cake-ification. The difference between these fruits and watermelon, however, is you'll need to scoop out the middle to remove the seeds. We would argue this is actually a great thing — doing so allows more room for edible surprises.

You can fill the hollow center with small pieces of cut-up mango, papaya, pineapple, and other colorful fruit. These will spill out like a piñata cake when you slice a wedge of cantaloupe cake. Alternatively, cooks can load up the empty space with a stabilized whipped cream like Cool-Whip, as well as coconut flakes or tapioca pearls to evoke a tropical flavor.

For more drama, you can also experiment with making a Jell-O center. To do so, cooks will want to peel and shape the honeydew's sides and top, but leave the bottom intact to hold the gelatin in place while it sets (if the round starts to tip, cut a small piece from the bottom to give yourself a flat surface). Hollow out the center, then fill it with a fruit Jell-O of your choosing, as well as any sliced up fruit you'd like to enjoy. Allow it to firm up, then slice off the bottom to finish preparing the tier.