Who wants to turn on an oven when it’s a bajillion degrees out? Not me!
I love this no-bake watermelon cake. It will really razzle dazzle your friends if you bring it to a party or potluck. It’s refreshing, satisfying, and sweet, not to mention visually stunning, making it the perfect dessert for a summer soiree or BBQ. Or, maybe just for breakfast…
You can see from the photos, I’ve already made it a few times, with different toppings.
From the outside, it looks like a regular ol’ cake. Creamy white coconut frosting and oodles of berries and almonds hide the fresh jewel red watermelon interior.
In a testament to mind over matter, when you bite into a slice of this cake, which is essentially just fruit and coconut milk, you really feel like you’re eating a decadent dessert! It makes a fun summer activity for kids, and a sneaky way to get any picky, fruit-averse eaters to gobble it up.
It only requires a few ingredients and is simple to put together, you just need to plan in advance as it does require some refrigeration time.
When choosing a canned coconut milk for the frosting, it is important you choose a brand with a low level of guar gum, or otherwise you’ll end up with coconut soup. Guar gum keeps the cream and milk combined, and for this recipe, you want them to separate. I have found Thai Kitchen’s organic (not regular) coconut milk tends to separate well.
Oh, and in fun news, hopefully you’ll be seeing prettier pictures around here… I took my first photography class last night, and have upgraded from my iPhone to a real camera! You see, this cake is actually stunning in real life, but I realized I had a lot of trouble photographing it…How do I put the props? How to make it look all blurry and whimsical looking in the background? How do I make it look so mouthwatering you want to eat the screen? Well, I officially started to learn, and it’s fascinating…So, these should be the last of my iPhone pictures…stay tuned for even more beautiful food photos!
- 1 can full fat coconut milk* (chilled in refrigerator at least overnight)
- 1 tbs coconut nectar (or maple syrup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 whole watermelon (about 5-7 pounds)
- appx. 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
- sliced strawberries (optional)
- blueberries (optional)
- melon balls (optional)
- When you refrigerate the coconut milk, it will separate into cream on the top of the can and water on the bottom. So, immediately after pulling out of the fridge, open, spoon cream into a bowl, and carefully pour liquid into a separate bowl, to be used for something else. Do not combine the two, or get any liquid in your cream, as you'll end up with thin and runny icing (as evidenced in the second set of photos, with the strawberries on top..compare that to the thick cream in the other photos).
- Add the coconut nectar and vanilla to the cream bowl, and whisk all ingredients together with a fork until well combined. You could also use a bullet blender. Place back in the refrigerator while you prepare the watermelon.
- Cut the end off one side of the watermelon, to give it a flat top. Then, cut the watermelon in half, or, about 4 inches down from the flat top. Next, carefully remove the green and white rind using a knife. Slice the watermelon mound into a cylinder shape. This will be the base of your cake. It doesn't have to be perfect as the icing will hide any flaws. Reserve the other half of the melon for another use. You can use the cut away pieces to make melon balls.
- Pat the watermelon cake dry with paper towels. This is a crucial step, as otherwise, your icing will slide right off. Keep patting until your paper towels have very little water on them. Put in the refrigerator wrapped in fresh paper towels for at least an hour to chill. This also helps your icing stick better.
- Remove from the fridge, pat dry one more time, and then begin icing the cake. Your icing should be thick.** Press slivered almonds into the sides of the cake, and add melon balls, sliced strawberries, blueberries, or any fruit you desire to the top.
- Serve and enjoy!
- *You must use a canned coconut milk with low guar gum. I have found the Organic Thai Kitchen coconut milk to be the best for refrigerating and separating the cream. If you open the can and the liquid and cream are not completely separated, the icing won't come out correctly.
- **If the icing is runny, that likely means the liquid part wasn't adequately strained. You can salvage the cake by putting one layer of icing on, refrigerating for an hour, and then adding a second layer. The toppings will cover it.
vegan watermelon cake; raw watermelon cake
Maria Marlowe is a holistic nutrition and wellness coach who uses real food to help her clients improve their health, weight, and skin. She offers a healthy eating meal plan that teaches you how to batch cook, as well as one to clear up acne. She has ongoing group workshops both in NYC and online, and writes healthy and delicious plant-based recipes for her popular blog. She is also the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon, The Real Food Grocery Guide, the most practical guide to selecting the healthiest foods, without going broke, which has been praised by Dr. Oz and InStyle magazines. You can find her on instagram @mariamarlowe.