Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Watermelon Cake - First Attempt

White Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Oh boy!  This is a Test Kitchen Doozy!

As carefully as this cake was planned, nothing is a sure thing until it's baked, stacked, and frosted.  Let me walk us through from the beginning...

I love the visual that watermelon provides - I'm not a big fan of the fruit because of the texture, but I love the flavor.  Certainly a cake that mimics the look of a watermelon has been done.  Pinterest is filled with many takes on this idea; mine own idea is similar but has the look of a simple, traditional cake.

Baking the 'watermelon rind' was a cinch - go with a wonderful green.  I tinting 1 cup of batter using Wilton's Leaf Green coloring gel. The original idea was to have a dark green layer of cake approximately 1" tall, then a layer of light green buttercream followed by a 1/2" white layer of cake.  It was my hope this ombré effect would mimic the rind. 

I trimmed away a 1/2" layer of chocolate - seeds don't congregate like that, do they?
I wanted to have two layers of dark pink mirroring the fruit.  The color seems to be good, but the seeds were an epic fail.  Typically, I dust chocolate chips in flour before adding them to a brownie or cake mix.  Since I was using the mini-chips, I thought I could skip this step.  Nope.  Nearly all of them sank.  This was not the result I was looking for.

Overzealous filling of the pans resulted in both centers sinking...no help for this but a trim.

When it came to stacking, it was easy to start with the green.  But I forgot to leave out white buttercream for the layer between the white and dark pink layers.  I had to pull from the already tinted, pink - but I'd only separated enough for one layer and now it was necessary to make it work for two.  Wah.  #cakewhining

At the end of the day, the proportions are off.  The Wilton gels worked wonderfully, but the layer heights were just out of whack.  The flavors were spot on - the White Cake is almond-flavored, it has a deep luscious flavor with outstanding texture (this is a classic wedding cake and bakes up white).

The chip/seeds look good at this point, but when sliced - this wasn't visible.

Score marks every 1" helped keep the spiraling lines from going too wonky.
I really love the exterior cake design - I've used this pattern before with chocolate and vanilla.  The dark and light green stripes were inspired by the look of a watermelon.  I like simple.  I also need to remember to not rush while I'm working; that's a tendency of mine.

On a scale of 1 to 10 ... I'd give this cake maybe a 6.5.  The flavor is good and components of the look are nice, but it just didn't come together.  And maybe it's just too small - I baked with 6" rounds, maybe 8" would be better.  What I do know is this... I want to try this one again.  Maybe I'll get invited to a summer picnic.

I'm grateful for my people.  Our oldest daughter, Marie, told me I'm my harshest critic.  She might be right.  For sure I know I'm crazy about my life partner.


  1. I think you are being too hard on yourself too...it looks wonderful! I love the colors.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your kind support.