Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

 

First, I would like to send a heartfelt “thank you” for all the positive vibes everyone has been sending Asia’s way.  The Mr. and I really appreciate it.

As an update. . . Asia’s surgery went off without a hitch and her recovery has been lighting fast. As a matter of fact, she was back to her Spunky Monkey self within a matter of days.  It never ceases to amaze me at how quickly she is able to bounce back after these operations.

The Mr. and I  also met with her oncologist and came to the conclusion that it is best to pursue chemotherapy since, after 4 surgeries, it is clear that surgery is only a temporary Band-Aid and the cancer will likely continue to invade her little body.  I’m pretty anxious about the chemotherapy because, other than the repeated reoccurrence of those dreaded lumps, you would never know that this Spunky Monkey was sick.  Our biggest fears are that the chemotherapy will make her feel terrible and negatively impact her quality of life.  Does anyone have any experience with chemotherapy and kitties?

 

Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

 

I also wanted to let you know that, on top of Asia’s medical challenges, my step father was in a serious cycling accident and has been in the trauma center.  This combined with Asia’s medical needs has limited the amount of time that I currently have available to devote to this site.   I hope to eventually get back onto a regular schedule;  however, over the next few months you may be seeing me a little less than usual.

 

Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

Sliced Watermelon

Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

 

Before life’s challenges decided to pay an unexpected visit,  I whipped up this watermelon inspired cake for a fantastic seaside cookout the Mr. and I attended.

I decided I would make a statuesque six layer cake to take to the cookout and two mini three layer cakes given I wouldn’t be taking photos of the inside of the six layer cake prior to the cookout and I wanted to show you how adorable the layers looked.

To dress this cake for the cookout, I tinted each of the layers with colors resembling that of a watermelon.  For the pink layer, I used mini chocolate chips to represent the seeds.  Unfortunately I didn’t have watermelon extract handy, and my local grocery store doesn’t seem to stock it, so I used a lemon extract to give the frosting a nice fruity flavor.   I have since discovered a watermelon extract online HERE in case you would like to deliver the full watermelon effect with this cake (recommended).

 

Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

 

While this cake was “oh-so-cute” and perfect for a breezy summer cookout, transporting this hefty beauty 14 miles from it’s birthplace was a white knuckle experience, one of which gave me a new found respect for those that regularly transport wedding cakes.  Every bump and turn during our journey seemed to nudge the cake all the closer to the edge of the cake stand and I found myself preparing for that final bump that would send this masterpiece plummeting to it’s cake grave.

Fortunately the cake never met this fate as the Mr. slowly inched the car closer to our destination,  carefully maneuvering potholes, bumps, and other obstacles.

In an attempt to keep the white hairs at bay (I developed a few during this experience), I think next time I will place a dollop of icing, or something even stickier, on the underside of the cardboard round to minimize the slipping and sliding brought on by each and every bump.

Here’s to sweet summer days, getting tasty delights safely to their summer soirees, and this watermelon cake.

XOXO-

Lynn

Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

  • Difficulty: moderate
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INGREDIENTS:

For the Cake:  

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour* + extra for prepping cake pans
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips for the pink layer (I used 1/4 cup for every 3 cups of batter.  You can adjust depending on the size of cake pan you use)
  • Food Coloring (I used the following Wilton Gel Dyes:  Pink & Golden Yellow (for the top layer) & Leaf Green (for the bottom layer).  I did not use food coloring for the center layer.  

Note:  For my 9 inch 6 layer cake, I made three total batches, one for each color.  For my two 5 inch 3 layer cakes, I made 2 batches and had some extra batter leftover for additional layers.

For the Fruit Flavored Buttercream Frosting:

  • 5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks)
  • 2 teaspoons fruit flavored extract (e.g. watermelon, lemon)
  • Heavy whipping cream (optional for thinning, if needed.  I did not need it for the batches I made)

Note:  For my 9 inch 6 layer cake, I made 2 batches of frosting:  1.)   to frost between the layers and crumb coat the cake and 2.) to petal frost the cake.  For my two 5 inch 3 layer cakes, I made 1 batch of frosting.

 

DIRECTIONS:

For the Cake:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
  • Remove the butter from the refrigerator so it has time to come to room temperature.
  • Butter and flour 9 inch round cake pans (2 per batch).  I also like to put a buttered and floured parchment paper round on the bottom of the pan as extra anti-stick insurance.
  • Beat the butter, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl until they are light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add the flour and milk to the butter mixture in increments, alternating between the two.  Start and end with the flour.
  • Mix in the vanilla.
  • Combine the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl.  It will fizz, crackle and pop.  Enjoy the show.  Once it stops, add it to the batter and mix for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Slowly add the food coloring until you achieve the desired color.
  • For the pink top layers, fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pans on a wire rack.
  • Frost as desired.  I used the petal/scallop frosting technique.  Simple place dollops of frosting in a straight line.  Press a spoon on offset spatula in the center of the dollops and drag out to create little tails.  Place a new dollop on the end of these tails and repeat.

In the event you are not familiar with the Petal/Scallop frosting technique, you can see a tutorial HERE or Molly Yeh’s Demo on Food and Wine HERE.

*If you don’t have cake flour you can make your own.  For every 2 cups needed,  combine 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup of cornstarch.  If you would like more detailed instructions, click HERE

For the Fruit Flavored ButterCream Frosting:

  • At least an hour before you plan to frost the cake, remove the butter from the refrigerator. You want the butter to be at room temperature when you start whipping it into buttercream.
  • Measure your powder sugar and then aerate it by passing it through a fine mesh sieve.
  • In a big bowl, whip the butter using an electric mixer. Do this until the butter is light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar into the whipped butter and continue to whip until the frosting is light and airy.
  • Beat in the fruit flavored extract.
  • If your frosting is thicker than you would like, you can add in whipping cream (one tablespoon at a time) until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Frost away.

Cake was adapted from Made From Scratch.

19 thoughts on “Watermelon Inspired Layer Cake

  • July 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm
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    I’m so sorry to hear about all of the medical issues you’ve been surrounded by lately. My thoughts are with you and your family!

    Reply
    • July 19, 2015 at 7:47 am
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      Thank you Thao. While things have not been ideal. . .they always could be worse and our family is managing through each and every one of life’s roadblocks.

      I’m glad you liked the cake. I couldn’t wait to cut into it to see how the layers ultimately came together.

      Reply
  • July 16, 2015 at 1:50 pm
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    Oh no! I am so so sorry about your kitty’s condition and your step father’s trauma! May God give you and your whole family peace right now, and great job hanging in there, friend! Also, you did a great job with this cake….it looks like it belongs in a baby shower party <33333

    Reply
    • July 19, 2015 at 7:50 am
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      Thank you Ellie. I appreciate your kind words. Kitty will be starting her chemotherapy an my step father will hopefully be released from the hospital later this week (with lots of physical therapy on the road ahead).

      I’m glad you liked the cake. You’re right. . .it would also be lovely for a baby shower.

      Reply
  • July 17, 2015 at 6:18 pm
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    Sending good thoughts to Asia and your step-father for a speedy recovery!

    Separately, this cake is gorgeous! It belongs on the cover of a magazine!

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  • July 19, 2015 at 7:50 am
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    Thank you Kathleen. It seems we need all the good thoughts we can conjure up these days. Blushing from your comment about the cake belonging on a magazine. 🙂

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  • July 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm
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    I am glad that Asia’s surgery recovery is going well! And hopefully, if you guys have to go through chemotherapy, that that goes well too. So sorry about your step-father! Sending you good wishes and a speedy recovery!

    This cake is beautiful. Like, it’s actually stunning. The composition, lighting, everything!

    Reply
    • August 4, 2015 at 7:38 pm
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      I appreciate all your kind words Karishma. I was actually a bit frustrated with how these photos came out so it makes me feel good hearing that you liked them.

      Reply
  • July 27, 2015 at 1:26 am
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    Lynn, this cake is absolutely beautiful! I love that there are little dots for the seeds of the watermelon in the pink layer. This is so creative, and I am sure this was a hit at the cook-out. I also have a lot of stress when transporting cakes, and usually smear a lot of icing between the bottom layer of the cake and the cake board to decrease slippage during the transportation. I also use a cake board slightly larger (usu 1 inch in diameter wider) than my cake so the board acts as a buffer if it hits the side of the cake caddy.

    I hope Asia recovers and pushes through the chemotherapy well, and that your step father also recovers well! It’s hard when multiple life things happen all at once, and I think a slight break from blogging is totally in order. I hope your loved ones (and kitten!) feel better soon, and that everything goes well!

    Reply
    • August 4, 2015 at 8:04 pm
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      Thanks Sarah. I’m glad you liked the cake. It was definitely a big hit at the cook out. So much so that I felt kind of bad because other attendees brought desserts but everyone was so fixated on this cake that they barely noticed the other desserts. Anyhow, thanks for the tip. I definitely will need to try that next time I attempt to transport a cake.

      We haven’t started the chemotherapy yet as the hubby has a business trip to China and we thought it best to have both of us here (at least for her first treatment). My step father is on the mend (he’s home now). . .but has a long road to recovery. . .filled with physical therapy. Anyhow, I appreciate your kind words.

      Reply
  • July 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm
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    Oh Lynn, I’m so sorry to hear about Asia and your step father. I’m sending my very best thoughts and hoping they both recover well.
    This cake is beyond stunning! I love all the different layers! They’re simply perfect.

    Reply
    • August 4, 2015 at 7:41 pm
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      Awe thank you Kelly. You are the sweetest. My step father is now out of the trauma center and at home working on his long road to recovery. We are fortunate that things did not turn out worse. Someone was definitely looking down on him that day.

      Reply
  • July 29, 2015 at 4:41 pm
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    First of all – prayers, hugs, good vibrations and lots of love your way during these difficult times! I hope Asia and your step father get better soon!!! Now I feel terrible, because I have been MIA since my move from FL to NC and didn’t send these warm wishes sooner! Hope you forgive me, girlfriend!!
    Anyways, this layered Watermelon cake is tres chic!!! Love it all! The colors, the decoration, the flavors, the beautiful layers – SO yum!!!!! And mad kudos for transporting this! That’s one heck of a fete!!! I’m definately going to be making this… and rapidly devouring it, I am sure!! ♡ Cheers, pretty lady!

    Reply
  • August 3, 2015 at 1:45 pm
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    Lynn, I am so sorry for all that you are going through. My heart goes out for little Asia. Hope she recovers well. My love and wishes are with your step father too. Hope he has recovered well. It is so hard to see the ones we love in pain.
    I am so sorry for not visiting your space much earlier, missed it, my fault. Love you dear.
    I love this cake, I’ve been staring and thinking of this cake for soooo long. I pinned it and plan on making this too. Hope you are great and hugs.
    xx

    Reply
  • September 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm
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    Sorry to hear about your troubles. I hope everyone recovers – my heart goes out to you. The cake looks so pretty, and I adore that cake stand. I have been looking everywhere in the UK for something similar with zero success.

    Reply
    • September 7, 2015 at 6:14 pm
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      Thanks Lucy. Unfortunately I found two new lumps on my kitty. It’s just been 2 months since her last surgery (her fur hasn’t even grown back from the previous surgery).

      I’m glad you like the cake. I bought the cake stand at Pottery Barn. They ship internationally if you are interested (I’ve had things shipped from the UK with no trouble. . .so assuming things shipping the other direction would be equally as easy).

      Reply

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