You can thank artist Johanna Riley for coming up with this oh-so-clever summer dessert. As an impressive bonus, her watermelon-based “cake” doesn’t need baking. Go for the full-glam look – as she illustrates it here —for birthdays, the 4th of July, Bastille Day, or National Watermelon Day on August 3 (in the U.S.). Or opt to ignore or tone down the toppings while still serving up a tasty red, white, and blue visual delight on a hot, humid night.
1 red watermelon
Stiffly whipped cream made with sugar and vanilla extract to taste (or use watermelon juice in place of the vanilla)
1-2 cups blueberries
Optional toppings (as shown in Johanna Riley’s illustration):
1 slice kiwi
1 sliced, fanned strawberry
1 slice cantaloupe cut to look like a star with a small star-shaped cookie/canapé cutter and placed atop on a wooded skewer
1 slice dragon fruit cut to look like a star with a small star-shaped cookie/canapé cutter and placed atop on a wooden skewer
Other fruit and decoration combinations
Cut the watermelon into unequal thirds, with the center piece being the largest; the center piece will serve as the “cake.” (Tip: It’s better to err on the side of making the center piece too tall, as you can always cut off some of the watermelon to shorten the cake’s height.) Cut the peel off the center piece of watermelon, making sure no green or white remains from the rind. Pat the piece of watermelon dry all over with a paper towel and put it on the plate you’ll serve it on.
Using a spatula, add the whipped cream to the top of the watermelon in swirls, as if you’re frosting a cake.
Gently sprinkle the blueberries on top of the whipped cream, adding as many or as few as you wish.
Optional: Add the fruit skewers, sparklers, and any other decorations you wish. Light the sparklers just before serving.