One of the hardest parts of eating free of grains, dairy and sugars has been making special occasions feel special. I used to have ambitions of owning my own bakery. I loved making special cakes for the boys birthday parties. Last year (shortly after discovering all of our allergies) I tried making a Gluten Free cake and it turned out horrible! We tried our best to not mourn the loss of one of our favorite traditions as we went through the the rest of the family birthdays. Then inspiration struck thanks to Pinterest! One of my friends pinned a watermelon "cake" You can see it here: http://seemyfootprints.blogspot.com/2010/02/1st-birthday-quinns-all-fruit-cake.html I couldn't wait for our summer birthdays to begin so I could try my hand at this idea.
Now you try it!
Supplies you will need:
A really big watermelon that is not too crooked
2 pints of strawberries (So you can choose only the prettiest ones. We made strawberry lemonade with the leftovers)
Plastic lollypop sticks
Large cutting board
Plate or tray to display it on
(Here is the part where I wish I would have taken pictures along the way - lesson learned for next time around)
(Make sure all of your fruit is clean and dry before you start.)
Start by trimming the rind off of the watermelon. Be sure to cut all the way into the red but don't trim off more than necessary. Then shape it into a cylinder. I started by flattening the top and bottom and then used a small round cake pan as a guide for making it round. I also found it helpful to flip the cake over a few times to make sure I was getting the sides straight. Then stand your melon cylinder in the center of your dish or tray.
Fill the dish with grapes. This helped secure the cake. It tends to slip around a lot and we wanted to take it to the park.
Time to decorate! First I tried to put the grapes on a toothpick and then poke it into the watermelon but I just ended up with a skewered grape and a sore finger. So I decided it is better to put the toothpick in the watermelon and then stick the grape on after. Continue poking toothpicks into the watermelon then adding a grape until you go all the way around.
Now strawberries. I love the pretty greens on top so I just sliced them in half. Then use the same method to apply them as with the grapes. I overlapped them a bit which kinda reminded me of the shell design I used to make with frosting.
The stars and flowers are made with a cookie cutter. The only tricky part about this step is cutting the honeydew and cantaloup in a way that gives you a big enough slab to cut out the big stars. I made the first cut a little off center, trying to avoid the seeds in the middle. And then cut again to make the melon slab about 1 inch in thickness. Now time to use that cookie cutter. Just press it down until it slices all the way through then skewer the stars with the popsicle sticks and arrange on top of the cake. The little flowers are made the same way but they are between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch thick. Use toothpicks to attach to the sides of the cake.
Finishing touches. Skewer 3 strawberries for the top arrangement and poke them in at varying heights. I also used the little flower cutter to "stamp" the sides of the watermelon - like wallpaper.
Now time to sing Happy Birthday!
Make sure you remove all of the toothpicks before serving your cake to small party goers.
(Boyo #2 is so happy about his "cake" and Boyo #4 is having a hard time waiting to eat it.)