watermelon ice cream cake

by Amy on 3 August 2012

you know what i find irresistible? food that looks like something different than what it really is. it all started when i made these hot dog sugar cookies, + ever since then, when i see cupcakes that look like hamburgers, or macarons that look like piggies, i swoon with happiness. so, when Stephanie asked if i’d participate in her Foodie Fake-Out party, where we all post a recipe that looks/seems like something different than what it really is, i couldn’t wait to join!

summertime screams watermelon to me, so i decided to make something watermelon-themed. after looking through tons of inspiration pictures, i opted for a watermelon ice cream cake, which uses 3 different types of ice cream/sorbet + chocolate chips, arranged to look like watermelon. (side note: if you grew up with Friendly’s restaurants, like i did, it’s reminiscent of the wattamelon roll!)

i absolutely love the way this turned out, both appearance + flavor-wise (although how could you not love the flavor with all that ice cream!), but i have to be honest – it ain’t the easiest thing to make. it took some time, between shaping the layers + the re-freezing time, + a bit of creative/artistic energy. since most recipes i post are simple + easy, i have to tell y’all that this is a bit different than usual! i will say, i think the time + effort was definitely worth the end result – what do you think? =)

while I don’t usually do step-by-step photos for recipes, i thought it might be helpful on this one. excuse the iPhone pictures, but that’s all i had on hand for process photos!

watermelon ice cream cake

serves 6-8, adapted from raising memories and makes + takes


1 quart green ice cream/sorbet – i used lime sherbet
1-2 cups of white ice cream/sorbet – i used vanilla frozen yogurt
1 quart pink ice cream/sorbet – i used raspberry sherbet (watermelon-flavored would be ideal!)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips + 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips


line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper or wax paper – for easy removal of the cake when it’s done.

for the green/rind layer: allow the green ice cream/sorbet to soften slightly. take small scoops of the ice cream + arrange  in a ring around the outside of the pan. take a spatula + smooth ice cream to form it into a ‘rind,’ about 1″ wide by 2″ tall. if the ice cream gets too melty, pop the pan in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to allow it to firm up, then continue reshaping. when you have your perfect rind, put back in the freezer + allow to harden completely.

for the white layer: allow the white ice cream/sorbet to soften slightly. repeat the process that you did with the green layer, except make it thinner, about 1/2″ wide. again, if it gets too melty, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes, then continue shaping it once it’s hardened back up. once it’s to your liking, put in freezer until hardened completely.

for the pink watermelon middle: allow the pink ice cream/sorbet to soften. transfer it to a medium bowl + mix in the chocolate chips. when evenly mixed, spoon the mixture evenly into the middle of the already-prepared “watermelon rind.” top decoratively with the remaining 1 tbsp chocolate chips, + return to the freezer until fully re-frozen.

when ready to serve, release the springform pan, cut into watermelon ‘wedges’ + enjoy!

print this recipe print this recipe

check out the rest of the Fabulous Foodie Fake-Out recipes!
Stephanie, our host, made Ice Cream Scoop Cookies
Ashton made Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes
Lisa made her Sand Dessert
Joan made Frozen Hot Chocolate
Mandy made Strawberry Pizza
Yvonne made Puff Pastry Sticky Buns

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathryn August 3, 2012 at 7:38 am

woah, amy! this is fantastic!

2 alexandra @ sweet betweens [blog] August 3, 2012 at 7:57 am

love the watermelon cake! and *swoon* love those hot dog sugar cookies! adorable.

3 Yvonne @ StoneGable August 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

What a very impressive fake out dessert! I would definitely make this… it is so worth the effort! Your photography is great… as is your whole tutorial! So very glad I found you through the FABULOUS FOODIE FAKE OUT!
Please join my weekly recipe/menu linky party ON THE MENU MONDAY with this great sweet treat! Link goes live Sunday evenings! Hope to see you and your recipe there!

4 Leah | So, How's It Taste? August 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

Love this idea! So cute for summer.

5 ea-The Spicy RD August 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

So fun! I just bought a big watermelon and am planning on making a watermelon frosty that has chia seeds in it to look like the watermelon seeds. Your “cake” looks delicious! I also just pinned your chicken recipe-love the combination of sweet, savory, and spicy. Yum!

6 amy August 3, 2012 at 8:56 am

ooh, your frosty sounds wonderful, EA! I can’t wait to see it on your blog. =)

7 Lisa August 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

Wow Amy, this is too cute! I can’t wait to make it for the kids! I love how it looks so realistic :) I’m so happy that you and I participated in the party together. I look forward to following your blog!

8 Joan@Chocolate and More August 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

Love this! Other than the time to create, this is a simple and festive treat! My daughter is looking over my shoulder saying, we have to make that! So I guess next time I’m at the store I’ll be picking up some sherbet! Pinned!

9 danielle August 3, 2012 at 9:22 am

almost too pretty to eat!

10 Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray August 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

Wow!! Kudos to you for having the patience and dedication to put this together. I can imagine how finicky it must have been keeping the ice creams from bleeding into each other…oof! A gorgeous (and yummy) result. :)

11 Megan {Country Cleaver} August 3, 2012 at 9:25 am

Yup – way too precious for words. I love it!! And those hot dog sugar cookies? Slayed!

12 Jen @JuanitasCocina August 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

Oh my gosh…how much do I love this!!! I think I may like this better than REAL watermelon. 😉

13 sally @ sallys baking addiction August 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

This is adorable Amy! And so easy… almost TOO easy! I’ve never seen watermelon sorbet, but I hope I can find it. It sounds like it’d be incredible! Such a fun summer dessert.

14 amy August 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

hey sally! if you can’t find watermelon sorbet, they do make watermelon extract/flavoring that you can buy online. i think next time i’ll make this, i’ll add a few drops of that to the watermelon ‘middle.’ =)

15 Back For Seconds August 3, 2012 at 9:51 am

Amy, I love it!! You did such a fabulous job, it looks perfect! Too bad you can’t send me a slice 😉 Thank you so much for joining in the Foodie Fake Out!

16 amy August 3, 2012 at 10:10 am

and thank you for organizing it, stephanie – it was a blast to participate!

17 Cassie August 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

Gah! This is extremely adorable!!

18 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl August 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

Seriously, how cute is this!?! Truth be told, I’ll eat ANY kind of ice cream/sorbet treat, but one that is as precious as this couldn’t be passed up. Totally perfect for summer–love it!!

19 Mandy@Mandy's Recipe Box August 3, 2012 at 11:16 am

Fun!! And it is so pretty!

20 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious August 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Is this not the cutest?! And how summery! Okay I need to leave work now so I can make this ASAP.

21 Erin @ Texanerin Baking August 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

YEAH! 😀 Love it. My entire family got this at Friendly’s. I haven’t been there for about 15 years (this is kind of depressing), but I’m confident that your version is even more amazing!

22 natalie@thesweetslife August 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I was so excited to see this yesterday when you posted the pic on Facebook. It looks fabulous!!

23 Emily Rehse August 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I have been thinking about this since I saw the instagram! It looks so amazing!!

24 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel August 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Just like my favorite summer ice cream from Friendly’s!!! :) I get so excited when I finally see it in the stores after the long cold winter. I adore the mini chocolate chips you added!

25 Lesley Eats August 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I love this so much! And it’s National Watermelon Day!

26 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel August 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm

This is SO adorable, Amy! I love the idea and it looks so frosty + refreshing on a hot day. Brilliant, m’dear!

27 Jess August 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Believe it or not, I have never had a watermelon ice cream cake before! But it sounds yummy! And sorbet is sounding super delicious right now!

28 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction August 3, 2012 at 3:42 pm

How cute is this?! Love it!

29 kristen @ notsodomesticated August 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm

This might be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen you post!! Talk about adorable! What an awesome idea!

30 Choc Chip Uru August 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm

That is only the coolest idea ever 😀
Falling in love with watermelons all over again!

Choc Chip Uru

31 claire @ the realistic nutritionist August 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Girl, you are amazing!!!!! I LOVE THIS!

32 Julie @ Table for Two August 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm

this is AMAZING!! it’s so cute and makes watermelon even MORE appealing and appetizing to eat when it’s in sorbet form! haha, this is adorable!

33 Lannae August 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm

OMG! I can’t take it, this is the cutest ice cream !

34 Amanda August 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm

What a beautiful cake, and so easy too!

35 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet August 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Absolutely brilliant! Looove it!

36 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef August 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

how fun! great job :)

37 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) August 5, 2012 at 7:54 am

Oh man Amy…that is such an awesome looking cake!! I know you know that you did a great job but serious it looks so cool.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

38 Steph@TheChickpeaChickadee August 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm

So creative! Looks wonderful and refreshing. Your pictures are great.

39 katie August 6, 2012 at 6:30 am

This is so dang cool and perfect for summer! Thanks for the great tutorial on how to make my own!

40 Ali | Gimme Some Oven August 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

WAY too cute!!! I love it!

41 Jackie @ Domestic Fits August 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

This is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. I kind of want to throw a Watermelon Party just to make it.

42 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts August 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

This is just too cute!! I love it! I am sure it tastes awesome too :)

43 OliePants August 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm

My word that’s adorable!!! You honestly make it seem easy but getting the layers right seems hard! Beautiful!!

44 baker street August 7, 2012 at 4:50 am

brilliant. just brilliant! A simple idea and you executed it so so well!

45 Anna @ hiddenponies August 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

This is beyond adorable – how could this not totally impress guests?? Well worth the effort, I’d say, amazing job!

46 Meghan August 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm

First thing I thought of when I saw this was Friendly’s! It looks awesome!!

47 Blond Duck August 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I’m so glad you did the step-by-step photos…I would have never guessed they looked like that!

48 Megan's Cookin' August 7, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I love this! I made some watermelon sugar cookies last year that would be so fun to serve with this ice cream cake. Too cute!

49 Amy (Savory Moments) August 10, 2012 at 6:04 am

This is absolutely adorable! I love it! Perfect for a summer get to together.

50 Rachel @ Bakerita August 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm

So cute!! Love it. Perfect for a summer BBQ :)

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