Chefs Corner: Watermelon Surprise

Summer is here and I want to share this amazing dessert that will leave everyone surprised from the presentation to the very first bite. Watermelon cake is fun, gluten free and easy to make. My kids have a blast making this all year round, especially since it requires minimal cooking and just a few ingredients, including a juicy seedless watermelon. Try this at home for any event or just because you have to try it.

Happy Summer!

Watermelon Cake


2 cups vanilla yogurt
8 ounces whipped cream or coconut whipped cream
Sliced almonds (optional)
Shredded coconut (optional)
1 large round watermelon
Kiwi (optional)
Fresh mint for decoration (optional)

Toasted almonds or coconut (optional):

1. Place a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat and allow the pan to get hot.

2. Add the sliced almonds or shredded coconut and toss in the pan until toasted and light brown. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Whipped cream (or coconut whipped cream):

Whip vanilla yogurt and whipped cream together until the cream is fluffy. Place the bowl of whipped cream in the fridge until ready to use.
To assemble:

1. Slice the top and bottom off the watermelon and remove the rind from the middle section. You should be left with a cake-shaped piece of watermelon. Cut the watermelon “cake” into the desired number of wedges/slices. I recommend 6-8 slices, depending on the size of the watermelon.

Note: You can leave the watermelon intact if you plan on traveling with it or do not want to cut it. Slicing ahead of time just makes it much easier to dip the edges into the whipped cream and then into anything else you want to adhere to the whipped cream, such as the toasted almonds or coconut.

2. Pat the outside of the watermelon dry with paper towels. This is important because it helps the whipped cream adhere better.

3. Dip the outside edge of each slice into the whipped cream and then into the toasted almonds or coconut, and reassemble the wedges into the cake shape on a serving platter. Top with more whipped cream and your favorite fresh fruit (pictured are blackberries, strawberries, kiwi and a sprig of mint). Serve or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Lucia Schnitzer and her husband, Ken, own Pomelo (a full-service restaurant), Luci’s at The Orchard and Splurge (a candy and ice cream shop), all at The Orchard PHX, 7100 N 12th Street, Phoenix. They also own Luci’s Healthy Marketplace, 1590 E Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, which they opened in 2009 in Lucia’s honor after her successful battle with breast cancer.

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