I needed to make a watermelon CAKE. The idea has been on my bucket list for a long time, and when a lot of my fans on YouTube started asking for it, the decision was made! It is actually relatively easy on the ‘novelty cake’ scale of difficulty. I made a pink velevet cake with matching pink Italian Meringue Buttercream. Chocolate chips made the perfect seeds! And I painted my white fondant to get the rind and skin to look just right. And who doesn’t like watermelon? Don’t tell me - I don’t want to know them.
Watermelon has got to be one of the most refreshing fruits on earth. There is nothing like it on a hot day, and when you cut into a watermelon that is just right, you have to stop yourself from eating the whole thing. And it's even harder to have just one slice, when that slice is CAKE! Why stop yourself? Go for it!
Let's Make A Watermelon Cake!
We're going to make the meat of the ‘watermelon’ by stacking 3 round cakes one on top of the other, and topping it off with one bowl cake. Unlike, traditional red velvet batter, my Pink Velvet does not contain cocoa because the cocoa powder will overpower the pink food colouring. So let’s get started!
How To Make Pink Velvet Cake with Chocolate Chips
Before you get baking, gather up all your ingredients and tools. I organized all of them in a Parsel collection for you right HERE!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
3 x 9” Round Pans
1 x Stainless Bowl 9” in diameter
Electric Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 Tablespoons Wilton Rose Icing Colour
1 teaspoon of Wilton Red No Taste Icing Colour
6 cups flour
1 Tablespoon salt
3 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (divided)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of your 3 x round cake pans and your stainless steel bowl with parchment.
Cake Tip ** To line a bowl with parchment paper, cut a circle of parchment paper the same diameter as your bowl – so in this case 9” – then fold this circle in half, then a quarter, then an 1/8. Then unfold it, and cut a slit about ¾ of the way towards the center point (not straight across!), down each fold line. This way when you lay the parchment in the bowl, the slits will prevent the parchment from crumpling and bunching!
Place butter, oil, sugar and vanilla in bowl of an electric mixer and beat using your paddle attachment at medium speed until well-blended. About 5 minutes. Meanwhile sift and whisk flour, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
Beat in your 6 eggs two at a time. With mixer on low, add your Wilton Rose Pink Icing food coloring.
Add flour mixture to your mixer in 4 parts, alternating with your buttermilk in 3 parts. Always start with dry ingredients first! Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
I poured in half the batter, sprinkled in the chocolate chips, and then topped with batter. Pour your batter into each of your 3 x round pans and stainless steel bowl using these proportions:
3 1/2 lbs of batter in the stainless steel bowl
1 1/2 lbs of batter into each round cake pan
And divide your chocolate chips as listed below:
1/2 cup in the stainless steel bowl
1/4 cup into each round cake pan
Your chocolate chips will sink to the bottom while baking, and that’s ok, don’t sweat it!
Place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 40 minutes for the 3 x round pans, and roughly 1 hour and 30 mins for the bowl. Let cool in pans completely before removing your cakes.
Making Your Watermelon Cake Come To Life!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
1 Recipe of my Italian Meringue Buttercream - find my recipe here
Wilton Red Red Icing Colour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4lbs White Fondant
Wilton Moss Green Icing Colour
Wilton Kelly Green Icing Colour
Wilton Buttercup Yellow Icing Colour
Wilton Ivory Icing Colour
Clear food grade alcohol (like vodka or rum) or lemon extract
Paint brushes with round tips
Pointed sculpting tool
And of course, a REAL watermelon as a model! But make sure you find one that shows up on time. My model – Walter Melon – was a little tardy and had quite the attitude. I will not be using him again.
Dying Your Buttercream Watermelon Pink
Start by dividing your completed Italian Meringue Buttercream into two bowls. Put one of these bowls aside for later, and keep one in front of you. It’s time to colour this half!
Colour about a half a cup of your buttercream with Wilton Red Red Icing Colour until it is a lovely, true bright red. Then slowly add this to your remaining white buttercream little by little. Try to have your leveled cake layers beside you to help with the process – you want to try and match the pinks as much as possible! If you find the end result of your buttercream is still too bright pink and doesn’t quite match your cake, add a TOUCH more Wilton Red Red to your buttercream.
Cake Tip ** Using food colouring is not an exact science (I wish!). The more you work with it you will find that different brands saturate in different ways. Also, colour affects different mediums in different ways. Even if you add the exact same food colouring to cake batter, fondant, buttercream, royal icing, modeling chocolate, etc. you will find that the colours do not match. This is because all of those mediums have a different base colour, so therefore they don’t turn out the same result. Be patient, and take your time. Learning the colour wheel helps too. Sometimes, you may want to dull a colour down a bit, and adding in the opposite colour on the colour wheel can do this! You must learn to trust yourself and experiment. It is a BIG part of cake decorating.
Filling and Stacking You Cakes
Time to layer. Starting with your first round cake, spread a healthy amount of your lovely pink buttercream on the top, then sprinkle ¼ cup of chocolate chips on top of that. My model Walter Melon is seedless, but this watermelon cake is not. It’s organic in fact ;)
Then repeat this with your other 2 round cakes. Finish off by topping your 3 filled round cakes with your bowl cake – voila!
The next step is to carefully carve away just the outer cake crust of your stacked cakes, keeping the dome shape intact. Take your time!
It’s time to pull out that half recipe of Italian Meringue Buttercream you set aside – use it to crumb coat and ice your cake as smoothly as possible. Don’t forget to chill your cake after the crumb coat and between each icing!
The White Fondant Rind!
To create that crisp white rind you discover when you cut open a watermelon, I rolled out about 4lbs of Satin Ice White Fondant until it was appx. 1/8” thick, and covered my cake with it. Because this cake has no edges it is fairly easy to cover. Trim away the excess at the bottom, make sure the fondant is nice and smooth, and get ready to PAINT!
Painting Your Watermelon Skin
My model Walter Melon came in VERY handy for this part. The great thing about having a watermelon as your model is that you get to eat it afterward! Please don’t tell Walter what my plans for him are…It would be awkward.
To create my ‘base colour’ I mixed my Wilton Moss Green, Wilton Kelly Green, Wilton Buttercup Yellow and just a touch of my Wilton Red Red, and diluted using a bit of clear alcohol.
First, using a round tip paint brush, I painted a base coat onto my cake, to match the underlying green colour of my watermelon. Then I deepened my colour accordingly by adding a bit more Wilton Moss Green to my mixture, and painted little random dots all over the cake to create a speckled pattern. The next stage was adding the darker stripe-like patterns of a watermelon and softening the lines with my brush. And finally I used a drier brush to smudge and soften those stripes a little further, before going back to add even more random dots all over the cake until it looks complete!
Cake Tip **I painted my watermelon cake in stages, letting it rest for about half an hour in between. Painting fondant can be tricky because the sugars are dissolving. If you brush too much in one area, it will begin to remove the colour. So take your time. Rest in between, and keep playing with the colour until you feel it matches your model. You can even test your paint on a spare piece of white fondant to see how it will turn out – I highly recommend this!
My final touch was adding that little nub…for lack of a better word…that is on the bottom of any watermelon where they have cut the stem. This isn’t totally necessary, but I found it to be a cool little detail that took my cake to the next level! Check out my video tutorial for how I did this!
Time To Eat A Slice (Don’t tell Walter)
Let your cake completely dry before cutting. I was really excited to cut into this cake and I LOVE how the white fondant looks like rind and the chocolate chips look so much like seeds!!! Mission accomplished. Oh Walter - everybody’s crazy bout’ a sharp dressed man! Er, melon.