Fresh Watermelon Cake

Yields 12 servings

Prep: 30 minutes, total time about 45 minutes

7- 10 pound whole seedless watermelon

2 1/2 cups/580g heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup/50g sugar

Seeds from one vanilla bean

Mint sprigs for garnish (optional) 

  1. Using a large sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off of the watermelon flat and save the ends for later use. Turn the watermelon upright and carve away the rind in downward strips until all of the green and white pith is removed and you're left with a red, ripe center. Carve away small pieces from the sides and top until the center is roughly cake-shaped.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream on high speed with an electric hand mixer until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, and then the vanilla bean seeds. Beat until the mixture is thick and spreadable, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the watermelon to a cake stand or serving plate and pat the outside with paper towels to remove excess water. Spread the whipping cream over the entire surface of the watermelon. Use a melon baller to cut round pieces of melon from the two reserved ends. Place them on the top center of the cake and garnish with mint sprigs, if using.
  4. Store the cake in the refrigerator.