Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Watermelon Cake: a Red Velvet Watermelon Shaped Cake

slice of watermelon cake, a watermelon-shaped cake
Watermelon at a cookout? How about a watermelon shaped cake?
I was invited to a birthday cookout and thought it might be more fun to bring a watermelon cake than a real watermelon. I had never heard of a watermelon shaped cake before, but ran gleefully to the kitchen armed with a 2 1/2 quart pyrex bowl as my "cake pan" and a recipe for red velvet cake, ready to take on the challenge.

It worked well despite a few mistakes: I didn't anticipate how much longer it would take to bake a cake in a pyrex bowl than in a regular cake pan (about twice as long). There were a few mishaps I had measuring the ingredients (oops . . . that extra butter was for the frosting, not the cake). 

A basic vanilla buttercream builds the white "rind," and green fondant forms the outer rind. It was delicious!
slice of watermelon cake, a watermelon shaped cake
Half slice of the watermelon birthday cake.
If you want to make your own watermelon cake, it's simple: Use a 2.5 quart pyrex bowl to hold the batter from a red velvet cake mix (check closely while baking...it will take longer than normal). Use a white frosting topped with a green frosting or green fondant to form the rind. If you don't care for red velvet cake, you can use a yellow or white cake and a little bit of red food dye. Voila! Watermelon cake.

I'd change a few things in a future iteration: I'd make the cake a deeper red or lighter pink, use a bowl with a more pronounced cake dome, and make a smoother fondant rind. It would help to marble the light green and dark green fondants prior to applying it to the cake, rather than layering them like I did.  These changes would yield a more polished watermelon shaped cake. Chocolate chip "seeds" might add a nice touch, too; I'm just not sure whether they would remain suspended in the watermelon cake batter or all sink to the bottom.

Let me know if you make a watermelon shaped cake! I'd love to hear about it!