Watermelon Cake

I’ve seen a lot of interesting and fun cakes in my time. For our birthdays when we were young all five siblings and I would have themed birthdays. Each year a cake would be produced that embellished that theme. One year I had a Circus theme and so the cake was a Carousel, another year the Dutch oven heavenly brownies were made for a Western party. I even had a cake shaped like a Crayon for my color themed party. These cakes were made with the great love of a mother. She would make our birthdays so special and memorable. Cakes have a way of bringing joy to a party. Indeed Julia Child once said, “A Party without a Cake is just a meeting.”

There are many types of cakes; ice-cream, buttermilk, homemade, out of a box, chocolatey, fruity….they really are endless. On Pinterest there is a cake that has many intrigued. It is the Watermelon Cake. Have you ever thought of using watermelon in a cake? Not me. I’ve used it in smoothies or fruit salads, but never a cake. The great mother behind this cake shared a sweet interaction with her daughter,

“My oldest daughter gave me the inspiration for this cake. This girl seriously loves watermelon! When I told her that I was decorating a cake to look like a watermelon, she excitedly asked, "Will it taste like watermelon too?” Umm...could I make a cake that tastes like watermelon? After some brainstorming and research, the answer is “Yes!" Watermelon puree and Jell-O give this cake it's flavor, and it is fantastic! And the frosting is SO good...I just want to eat it with a spoon!”

Now, when you hear a beginning story like that does it not leave you intrigued to taste more? I think it shows the great love a mother has for her children's dreams to come true. The desire they have to make catching the moon possible. As I prepare to have my second child any day now I understand that feeling ever so more clearly. When you’re child asks for a watermelon cake that tastes like a watermelon, you are going to find a way to make it happen. That is one of the beautiful things about cooking to, you can really be creative and clever in the things you produce. Have you tried adding an ingredient to a dish you normally wouldn’t? Have you had to improvise with those few ingredients you didn’t have in the pantry? You are a creator in your kitchen and you really have the ability to make delicious beautiful dreams out of the dishes you cook.

When I think back on the ingenuity and skill it took for my mom to create 6 special themed cakes a year I realize she was a kitchen fairy. She mastered the art of pixie dust in the kitchen. Just as my mom would make a dream come true, this amazing “Watermelon Cake Mom” nailed it for her daughters love of watermelon. This fun recipe looks so delicious for a summer picnic or party! And from the ingredients it sounds quite refreshing.

Watermelon Cake


• 1 box white cake mix

• 1 (3 oz.) box of watermelon Jell-O powder (reserve 2 teaspoons for frosting)

• 1/2 cup watermelon puree

• 1/2 cup water

• 1/2 cup oil

• 4 eggs

• 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

• red food coloring

Watermelon Cream Cheese Frosting

• 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)

• 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)

• 5 cups confectioners' sugar

• 2 teaspoons watermelon puree

• 2 teaspoons watermelon Jell-O powder

• red and green food coloring


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of 2 eight inch round pans with wax paper, and spray the sides with cooking oil.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and Jell-O. Add water and oil; mix on medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add watermelon puree and beat until blended. Add red food coloring a little at a time, until you reach desired color. Place chocolate chips and a teaspoon of flour in a ziploc bag; shake to coat. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Pour into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together. Beat in watermelon puree. Gradually add sugar and Jell-O, beating until smooth. Color 1/3 of the frosting green, color the remaining 2/3 the same color as the cake.

This sweet mama adds some little tips to make sure your watermelon cake turns out picture perfect to. So don’t miss out on those little seeds of knowledge below.

Things to Note:

• To make puree: Cut chunks from the center of a watermelon and remove any seeds. Put them in a blender and hit the puree button!

• The chocolate chips in my batter sunk to the bottom while baking, and didn't quite achieve the "seeds" look I was going for. After I posted this recipe, several astute readers gave me the solution to that problem: Coating the chocolate chips with a small amount of flour keeps them from sinking! But I think I will leave out the chocolate chips in the future.

• Trim the brown edges off the cake before frosting.

• Use pink frosting between the layers and on the top of the cake. Spread green frosting on the sides and outer edge of the top. Press mini chocolate chips on top for seeds.

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    Carolyn Spencer
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2015
    Email the author! carolyn@dvo.com

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