Want an impressive looking cake that’s not only healthy but also requires zero baking? These fresh fruit “cakes” are just the thing — perfect for summer birthdays and outdoor cookouts!
Watermelon and Mango with blueberries and strawberries. The strawberries on the top are held in place with toothpicks.
The first question I ask my children as their birthdays approach is not, what do you want for your birthday? But, rather, what do you want to EAT for your birthday. It is one of the rare times where I take in all of their feedback and create a meal that suits their tastes. Usually pizza, macaroni and cheese and cake are involved which none of us mind one bit. So then you can imagine my surprise when my birthday boy requested watermelon and peaches for his birthday dessert.
Oddly enough my initial reaction wasn’t pride that my soon-to-be 6 year old was making such a healthy choice, instead I was a bit sad that I wouldn’t be making a towering cake.
So with his desire for fruit and my desire to make a show-stopping cake, our fresh fruit cakes were invented. I got the towering cake I so wanted and he got a stunning multi-tiered array of fresh fruit. To my surprise everyone at the party was thrilled. They ate with their hands and ripped into that cake with the same enthusiasm you would expect from a sugar-filled cake.
There is not really a recipe for these cakes, in fact your only limit is your imagination. You can make them in all sorts of sizes depending on the fruit you choose.
The cantaloupe will have a hollow center. Here I filled with with a few strawberries and capped it with blueberries. It makes for a fun surprise when you cut into it.
The “cake” layers should be made from a fruit that is sturdy, round, and can be cut all the way through. Watermelon is a great choice as is creates a large and substantial looking cake. Oranges and grapefruits make sweet little individual cakes.
For the “frosting” layers chose a fruit that can be cut into thin strips or pieces; peaches, strawberries, mango, kiwi, nectarine, apples (add a squeeze of lemon to keep them from browning), pineapple, etc.
Finally, to top it all off I like to finish the cakes with a bit more fruit that act like sprinkles. Pomegranate seeds, blueberries, raspberries, currants, etc.
Be sure to have plenty of toothpicks and/or bamboo skewers on hand. This is what keeps the layers together and keeps the slippery fruit in place.
Watermelon and peach fresh fruit cake
- 1 small watermelon (for a 6 to 8-inch cake)
- 2-3 peaches, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
Note: The size of your cake depends on the size of your watermelon.
Cut four 3/4 to 1-inch layers and ran a knife just on the inside of the rind. Stack the layers on top of each other and trim up the edges to make sure they are the same size.
In between the layers are thinly sliced peaches.
Put four toothpicks into the peaches and watermelon layer the top with another watermelon. That layer should stick to the toothpicks. Continue in this way until all the layers have been used.
Plunge a skewer through it all so the layers hold together and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.
I wouldn’t be opposed to vanilla ice cream or some sort of sorbet served alongside the slices but really the kids didn’t need it.