Friday, August 24, 2018

How to Make a Layered Watermelon Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

This is the best seasonal dessert with summer fruit - and it's gluten free, vegan and paleo
Have you ever needed to have a dessert for your gluten free, grain free, dairy free, processed food free friend or vegan family member and had NO IDEA what to make? 

Or maybe you're the one with dietary restrictions and you are tired of not having dessert. 

Whether you or a friend is a vegan, paleo, or gluten free, you can still make a fun "cake" that everyone will enjoy. 

It has the added perk of being no-bake, which means no heating up your home during the summer!

It's just as pretty as a normal cake made with flour but with better-for-you ingredients. A watermelon cake truly without guilt!

This delightful gluten free dessert really takes advantage of the bounty of fresh fruit you can get during the summer.

The star of this show stopping dessert is watermelon, of course. The toppings let you get creative with blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.

The coconut frosting is sweet, creamy and to die for.

Seriously, everyone will love this fresh watermelon cake dessert recipe!

The red, white and blue colors make it perfect for patriotic holidays like the Fourth of July, Veterans Day or Memorial Day. It's sure to be a hit at any BBQ or potluck you bring it to this summer.

How to Make a Fresh Watermelon Cake


  • 1 medium-large seedless watermelon
  • 2 cans Trader Joe's coconut cream*
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar** (if paleo, use 1/4 cup raw honey instead!)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries**
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries**
  • 1/4 cup fresh blackberries**
  • 1 large fresh strawberry**
*Trader Joe's is the only brand of coconut cream I have found that is thick and creamy throughout the whole can. Others have a cream layer on top but are still watery underneath. No Trader Joe's? Instead, you can get 4 cans of full fat coconut milk and refrigerate it for 6 hours to encourage the cream to rise to the top. Then, scoop the fatty part out and use that in place of the coconut cream

**Creative Green Living recommends purchasing these ingredients as organic where available to avoid GMOs, pervasive pesticides and/or questionable farming practices.


How to Make a Watermelon Cake STEP 1: Shape the Watermelon Cake

Cut one end off of the watermelon.
how to carve a watermelon cake from a fresh melon

Turn the watermelon so it is standing on the flat end and use a chef's knife to cut away the rind.
how to carve a watermelon into a cake

Look at the profile of the watermelon. Most watermelons will be narrow on bottom and on top. Cut off the sloped bottom and top so you are left with a middle piece, about 4 inches in height.
Watermelon cake recipe - how to carve a watermelon into a cake

Use your knife to shape the remaining watermelon into a round shape.
how to make a fresh watermelon cake with coconut frosting

Finally, cut the round watermelon "cake" in half, creating 2 stackable rounds. Wrap each round in paper towels to absorb surface moisture and set aside until frosting is ready.
how to make a gluten free watermelon cake

How to Make a Watermelon Cake STEP 2: Make the Coconut Cream Frosting

To a large mixing bowl, add 2 cans of coconut cream, 1/4 tsp almond extract and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Add 1 cup powdered sugar (or 1/4 cup honey if making the paleo version) and mix on high for 1 minute. Once mixing is complete, put frosting in fridge for 1-2 hours to firm up.
how to make vegan coconut cream frosting for a fresh watermelon cake

How to Make a Watermelon Cake STEP 3: Assemble the Watermelon Cake

To assemble the cake, place one piece of watermelon on a cake stand. Top with approximately 1/2 cup of frosting, spreading to the edges. One at at time, place blueberries in the frosting, close together, to cover the frosting layer. Top with another 1/2 cup frosting and spread smooth.

how to turn a watermelon into a cake

Place the next watermelon layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
coconut cream frosting on a watermelon cake

Garnish with berries. For best results maintaining the layer structure once sliced, allow to sit at in the fridge for 1-2 hours to allow the frosting to set.
I love this recipe for a no bake watermelon friut cake. It's the perfect healthy dessert for anyone that loves fresh fruit but not traditional cake. It's gluten free, vegan and paleo.

I love this recipe for a no bake watermelon friut cake. It's the perfect healthy dessert for anyone that loves fresh fruit but not traditional cake. It's gluten free, vegan and paleo.


If you liked my recipe, please give me a social media shoutout by pinning, tweeting or facebooking about it!

I love this recipe for a no bake watermelon friut cake. It's the perfect healthy dessert for anyone that loves fresh fruit but not traditional cake. It's gluten free, vegan and paleo.

Carissa Bonham

About the Author:

Carissa Bonham is a lifelong crafter and mom of two creative boys. The owner and lead writer at Creative Green Living, she won the Craftys Award for the "Best Craft Blogger" category in 2016 and the ShiftCon award for "Best DIY Blogger" in 2018.

Her goal is to empower families to make easy projects and healthier choices that are beautiful and delicious! She is also the author of the hardcover cookbook, Beautiful Smoothie Bowls (Skyhorse, 2017) and Proven Techniques for Keeping Healthy Chickens (Skyhorse, 2018). 

Her projects have been featured in magazines like Kids Crafts 1-2-3, Capper's Farmer and Urban Farm Magazine. Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living Tribe.
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  1. I finally got around to reading this post after seeing both of your Instagram posts about it. It looks delicious! I pinned it and will definitely be trying it later this summer. Maybe for the 4th of July!

  2. My coconut milk didnt thicken up... it didnt become frosting

    1. I'm sorry to hear the coconut didn't thicken up. Do you know if you used cream or milk? And what the brand was? If a specific brand isn't working, I'd love to add a warning to avoid them to the post.

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

    2. Yes, I used Trader Joe's light blue can of coconut cream. I used powdered sugar, vanilla, almond flavoring, everything per the recipe. It never firmed up, kept a liquid form.

    3. Someone else below just shared that same experience. I am wondering if the way TJ’s makes their coconut cream has changed and that caused the problem? I’m planning to head there today to pick up some coconut cream and remake the recipe so I can figure out the problem. I definitely want people to be successful making this!

  3. Would it be okay to make this like the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator for about 24 hours? Or do I need to serve it the day I make it?

  4. I used the Trader Joes Coconut Cream and it was really watery. It did not thicken up at all....

    1. Oh no! I'm sorry you didn't get good results from it. I wrote this recipe 3 years ago so I am wondering if how they make their coconut cream has changed. I really want to look more into this, though, and can pick up some of their coconut cream to test at home and see if it works.

      Can you confirm you used the kind with the blue label and which sweetener you used for the frosting?


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