Thursday, August 30, 2012

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Easy Recipe: Decorated Dairy-Free Watermelon Cake and Fruit Shapes Platter

School may be back in session, but there is still plenty of warm weather left in many parts of the country.  I wanted to share this all-fruit dessert my husband and I made for Father's Day dinner earlier this summer.  We wanted to bring a dairy-free dessert to dinner because our brother-in-law is allergic to dairy.  I saw this all-fruit cake by See My Footprints . . . on Pinterest and was inspired to make the one below.

Although this is a super-easy recipe, it is a slightly labor-intensive one.  There is a lot of repetitive cutting, but the end result is worth it.

Recipe:  All-Fruit Decorated Watermelon Cake

whole seedless watermelon
whole strawberries
honeydew melon

NOTE:  For this recipe, you will need small cookie cutters that are approximately 1-1/2" in size.  I used the Mini Geometric Crinkle Cookie Cutters made by Wilton.  You will also need toothpicks.

Step 1.  Cut watermelon into a cylindrical or an octagonal shape by cutting off the top and the bottom and then cutting away the sides.  It will take some time to achieve the desired shape.  (Remember you can always cut away more, but you cannot add pieces back on.)

(Click any photo to enlarge)

Step 2.  Cut cantaloupe and honeydew melons into slices no thicker than the thickness of your cookie cutters.

Step 3.  Wash and dry strawberries.

Step 4.  With your cookie cutters, cut out as many shapes as you can from your cantaloupe and honeydew slices.

Step 5.  Place your block of watermelon on a platter or a large plate.  Then place strawberries all around the base of the watermelon to create an attractive trim.

Step 6.  Using toothpicks start decorating the tops and sides of your cake.  You can layer the shapes to make your design more 3-dimensional.  (I chose to create a simple pattern around the sides and the top circumference, but then stacked the fruit shapes and strawberries on the top center.)

What to do with your leftover fruit?

You will have lots of fruit leftover and you will likely not want to waste it, so you can create an attractive fruit platter.  Simply cube the watermelon that was cut away to make your cake core.  Then lay it out in rows along with any remaining strawberries, cantaloupe shapes, and honeydew melon shapes.

Our 8 year old son actually does not care for watermelon, so he appreciated having the fruit platter.  After dinner, we cut this all-fruit cake and ate it with forks just like any other cake.  The toothpicks did their job and kept all the garnish in place.  This cake was delicious, sweet, and refreshing, plus you can eat a huge piece or have seconds without feeling guilty.  You must remember to remind the guests to remove the toothpicks before eating their cake.

You can also skip the cake and just make the fruit shapes platter.  It really is a nice presentation, but the cake is fun for special occasions.