Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fresh, Raw Fruit "Cake"

A very good friend of mine was having a baby shower, but she doesn't eat sugar or sugar substitutes. I made a "cake" out of fresh fruit for her, and everyone loved it.

I found other examples before I started. There's a beautiful cake on the Kids With Food Allergies Facebook page and an adorable cake with a cantaloupe dinosaur on it at See My Footprints. I was also inspired by The Healthiest Cake Ever at The Daily Dish.

Cake is a sometimes food (with apologies to Cookie Monster). But for some people with dietary restrictions, cake is, sadly, a never food. This fresh fruit cake is a great celebratory treat for those who don't eat cake.

All of the cakes I looked at use watermelon for the cake base. Watermelon is the largest commonly available fruit in North America without an inedible core.

Cantaloupe is great for accents as it is relatively large. I picked purple grapes for the color contrast, and blackberries because they are so beautiful. In The Healthiest Cake Ever, they use bananas, and the white is a great contrast. I don't recommend bananas in most circumstances though, as they get brown and slimy very fast. I would only use bananas if I was serving at home and the bananas could be added just before serving.

My husband did the initial trimming for me. This is a very juicy, messy project, so you will want to use a cutting board that catches juice or line your counter with towels.

I cut the watermelon in half, and trimmed into a circle. I used my cake leveler to make the tops level.

I cut one layer into a smaller circle.

Then I stacked the layers, using toothpicks to secure them. I used lots and lots of toothpicks in the cake.

I used a $4 Walmart pizza pan as a platter. I trimmed the cantaloupe wedges and arranged them into a spiral, reserving one large wedge.

I also attached half grapes to the sides with toothpicks. You will want to use similarly sized grapes, and push in the toothpick before you attach the grape. I used the back of a small metal spoon to push in the toothpicks without poking my fingers.

This is when both of my kids had meltdowns, so I wiggled the melon under a large mixing bowl, and refrigerated it overnight. It turns out that I preferred the melons in a tighter spiral.

The next morning, I used the reserved cantaloupe to carve a rose. I've seen that in many crafts a rose is made with a spiral, so that's where I started.

I made a teacup shape, then cut spiral arcs on the larger surface. I then widened the arcs by cutting and removing wedges of melon along the initial cuts. It would be fine if you cut a continuous spiral instead of the shorter arcs. The wedges you remove are necessary though, as that's what defines the petals.

I decided that the grape halves looked too much like beetles, so I cut them into three petals. I attached the rose and blackberries, then scattered the rest of the blackberries over the cantaloupe wedges.

Here's beautiful Julie with her cake.

The guest of honor ate the cantaloupe rose. I ended up removing all of the toothpicks before cutting the cake.

I hope this inspires you to use locally available fruit to make your own fruit cake.


  1. Beautiful!!! Loved your step by step tutorial too. Great job!

  2. I'm thinking the hardest part for me might be the initial trimming. All that rhine cut off, without breaking the middle. Nicely done. It was a hit with myself and Asher. (We liked the cake you made for later, too.)

    1. Jim cut the ends off first, then cut down the sides. I ended up cutting it in half anyway, so no problem if it breaks.

  3. Love it! there's so many possibilities as you've shown especially with the rockmelon (cantaloupe) rose - to make a less 'kiddie' cake :)
    Great idea too with the step by step - something I always meant to do but only remembered at the end lol

    Great job :)

    Thanks for linking back, appreciate it :)