Watermelon Fruit Basket Cake

Everyone will want a serving of this fruit salad: It's sitting in a bowl of cake! To make the faux watermelon, we dyed cake batter pinkish[ red and added chocolate chips to look like seeds. We baked it in a bowl to get the right shape, then we painted the icing with green and yellow food coloring to look like the rind.]

Total Time:
3 hr 10 min
Prep:
1 hr
Inactive:
40 min
Cook:
1 hr 30 min

Yield:
12 to 14 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 16 -to-18-ounce boxes white cake mix (plus required ingredients)
  • Red, yellow and green food coloring
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 16 -ounce tubs vanilla frosting
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh fruit, for topping
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Coat a 4-quart ovenproof bowl with cooking spray. Prepare the cake mixes as directed; fold in 2 teaspoons red food coloring and the chocolate chips.

  • Transfer the batter to the prepared bowl; bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

  • Put the cake flat-side down on a small cardboard circle. Trim 2 opposite sides with a serrated knife to make an oval shape.

  • Cover the sides of the cake with a thick layer of frosting; cover the top with a thin layer (this will be the bottom of the cake). Reserve about 1/2 cup frosting for the inside of the cake. Freeze until the frosting is firm, at least 20 minutes.

  • Gently pat the sides of the cake with a smooth paper towel to even out any bumps in the frosting.

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon yellow food coloring with a drop of green food coloring and a splash of lemon juice in a small bowl. Paint the yellow-green food coloring all over the side of the cake with a pastry brush.

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon green food coloring with a splash of lemon juice in another bowl. Paint green stripes on the cake, then blend the edges of the stripes with the tip of the pastry brush.

  • Put another small cardboard circle on the cake and flip it over. Carve out the center of the cake, about 1 inch deep, leaving a 1-inch border. Cover the center with frosting, leaving the border unfrosted. Freeze the cake 20 minutes.

  • Use a paring knife to make zigzag cuts around the rim of the cake. Mound the fruit in the center, covering the frosting completely.

  • Photograph by Levi Brown


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