At this time last year, I was being transferred from the delivery ward to the maternity ward at SÖS. That’s right; Oliver (aka Baby Marzipan) has just turned 1. I could cry. Oh, wait. I already have! 😛 We’re celebrating the big baby milestone in Australia… in 36°C heat (thank you, Adelaide)! And there couldn’t be a more appropriate and refreshing centrepiece than a cake made entirely from the fruit of the season.
I had intended my next ultra-belated blog post to be about an event in snowy Sweden, or perhaps our more recent trip to wintry Connecticut. Truth be told, there are several posts I have drafted that are awaiting publication. However this one was pushed to the front of the queue for what I assume are obvious reasons. So summer + Australia + baby milestone celebrations + current news + fruit it is.
To the cake. Firstly, the concept is not original. Actually, I first saw a watermelon cake pin several years ago on Pinterest (this one from Instructables, I believe), but I was keen to avoid lashings of sweetened whipped cream and the ice-cream suggested for serving, partly because my kids enjoy fruit just as it is, and partly because I just want to keep it simple. Not having to deal with melting ingredients in sweltering Adelaide heat is one less #momlife issue to deal with during a 1st birthday party.
The watermelon cake is one of those novel ideas that, since I first saw it, I’ve thought might be fun to try out/customise at some point. And when we came across a perfectly sized organic baby watermelon at The Marketshed on Holland on the weekend, I knew the time was nigh. Add to this the roaring success that was Oliver’s first taste of dragon fruit at About Life in Crows Nest (on another recent Aussie adventure), and a fruit cake – or rather, a cake made entirely of fruit! – seemed to cater perfectly not only to the current climatic conditions, but also to Oliver’s tastes.
Hopefully this highly customisable take on cake will cater to your tastes too!
Much love to all of you from sunny Australia to wherever you happen to be!
❤ Marisa xx
WATERMELON CELEBRATION CAKE
One watermelon of size of choice
(ours was around 3 kg)
Fruit and berries of choice
1 kiwi fruit, sliced thinly
1/2 a pink grapefruit, sliced thinly
1/4 dragon fruit
A piece of rock melon
A few strawberries
A few raspberries
A few blueberries
A couple of mint sprigs)
Lime wedges or passionfruit pulp for serving
- With a large, sharp knife, cut the both ends off of the watermelon.
The size and shape of the watermelon will determine how much you have to remove in order to eventually end up with a cake-shaped cylinder, but we had to remove around 4 cm from each side.
- Stand the watermelon upright, using one of the flattened ends as a base.
- Use a bowl or cake tin of a suitable size as a guide. Place it on top of the watermelon and, using a small sharp knife, draw a line just inside the circumference of the rind. This will help you determine how much to cut away and still maintain an even shape.
- Using a larger sharp knife, cut the rind away in increments, tuning the watermelon, cutting some more rind away and continuing around the whole circumference until the rind is removed and you are left with a cake-shaped watermelon cylinder.
- Move the watermelon cake to a cake stand/plate.
- Decorate your watermelon cake as you please, simply piling berries on top for an easy option, or slicing some fruit and arranging something a little more elaborate (as pictured below).
- Using cookie cutters to create some shapes (à la Taline Gabriel of Hippie Lane fame) creates a pretty alternative to the plastic/fondant/chocolate /candy decor that customarily adorns children’s celebration cakes. To make them stand in the cake, I used skewers and tooth picks; easy to remove before serving slices to little guests and easy to cover if desired by strategic threading of blueberries.
- To serve, simply slice the watermelon cake as you would any other cake, pop it on a plate and enjoy!