How to make a watermelon cake - recipe included!

Remember this adorable watermelon cake that was featured last week for Ava’s birthday party? Well, as it turns out, a good watermelon cake recipe is hard to come by! Quite a few people have emailed me about it, so I asked Ava’s mom, Shannon, where she got the recipe. She said she didn’t find it online – instead, it was from a 2009 issue of Sandra Lee Semi Homemade magazine that she had kept tucked away all this time. No wonder the recipe is rare!

The good news is, for such a pretty cake, it’s also very easy to make. Here’s the details. : )

Watermelon Cake Recipe

2 (18.25 oz.) boxes of white cake mix
1/2 tsp red food coloring, divided
1 (5 oz.) package of dried currants (you could use raisins, Craisins, or chocolate chips instead)
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 (16 oz.) containers of fluffy white frosting
Green food coloring


Preheat oven to 350. Spray four 9″ round cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Line with parchment paper, then spray again.

In separate bowls, prepare each cake mix according to package directions. Stir 1/4 tsp red food coloring into one bowl of cake batter. Leave the other bowl of batter white. Pour the pink batter evenly into 2 prepared baking pans. Pour the white batter into the remaining 2 pans.

In a small bowl, combine currants and flour. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the currants over the pink batter.

Bake the cakes for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool (in pans) for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Place half of one container of frosting in a small bowl. Stir in 1/4 tsp red food coloring.

Gradually tint one full container of frosting with green food coloring. Stir to achieve a pale green color.

Gradually add enough green food coloring to the third container of frosting to achieve a dark green color.

To assemble the cake, spread half of the white frosting onto 1 white cake layer.  Top with a pink cake layer. Spread pink frosting over the top, then add the remaining pink cake layer. Spread the top pink layer with the remaining white frosting. Top with remaining white cake.

Spoon the pale green frosting and dark green frosting into 2 separate pastry bags fitted with leaf tips. Starting at the center of the cake, pipe pale green frosting across the top and down the side, stopping at the bottom edge of cake. Continue piping lines, 1 inch apart, all around the cake. Repeat the process with the dark green frosting, piping in between each pale green line.

To finish your cake with a stem, you can roll brown fondant into a stem shape (as shown in the cake pictured here), or you could use a real vegetable stem (Sandra Lee Semi Homemade used a spaghetti squash stem).

P.S. I’m thinking this would also make a really cute pumpkin cake for Halloween with just a few color changes! If you try it, report back with pictures! : )


Chickabug watermelon theme party paper goods & printables

Shop for personalized Watermelon Party paper goods and printables here.
Or, check out more Watermelon Party ideas on Pinterest or here on my blog!