Every now and then, I get a surge of inspiration to do something really creative. I think I filled my quota for at least a month with the latest project!
One of Maddie’s day care teachers had a birthday this week, and I volunteered to bring a treat for the celebration. Instead of buying a sugary cake or a boring fruit salad, I decided to combine the best of the two, and make something that both the teachers and the little kiddos would love: a fruit cake.
What? A fruit cake? Yuck! No, not one of those old-fashioned, nobody-really-likes-them fruit cakes.
This was a fresh, delicious, colorful, healthy, fun, real-fruit cake, and everyone loved it!
I really wish I had thought of this for Maddie’s first birthday party. If you’d prefer not to give your little one refined sugar at such a young age, or if you don’t eat dairy, soy, gluten, wheat, etc., this is a great alternative. Maddie watched me make the three-tier watermelon cake from her Learning Tower, and munched on the fruit the entire time.
These are the ingredients I used:
These are the tools I used:
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters
- Wooden kabob skewers
- Sharp knives
- A pretty serving platter with a slightly raised rim to trap the fruit juice
To start, I used a chef’s knife to cut off each end of the watermelon so I could stand it up while removing the rest of the peel. Make sure to trim off all the white rind, so you’re left with just the pink fruit. To make the three tiers, I sliced the whole watermelon into three equal pieces. I left one tier as is for the bottom layer. I cut the other two tiers down to the right sizes using a boning knife. It was difficult to get them into nice, circular shapes while free-handing, so I used bowls on top of the tiers to trace my shape.
I wanted to cut the bottom and middle tiers into pieces, so the watermelon would be easy to grab and eat. To do this, I first sliced each tier in half horizontally, and then into eight wedges like a pie. To hold them in place on the serving tray, I inserted four long skewers from the top tier down to the bottom. This anchored the cake.
I know it sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. I wish I took more pictures, but I didn’t want to touch the phone and fruit at the same time. Plus, I was really in the zone. If you look at the final pictures below, you can kind of see how the bottom and middle tiers are sliced.
Once the tiers were in place, it was just a matter of having fun with decorating. I cut up the pineapple, and used the cookie cutter to make hearts. I attached all the pieces of pineapple, kiwi, and berries to the watermelon with toothpicks.
I made the cake the night before and wrapped it with plastic wrap. It kept well in the fridge.
So, here it is, in all its glory. The teachers loved it. The kiddos loved it. And I felt great knowing they were eating a healthy treat. I was also told that one of Maddie’s classmates, who refuses to eat fruit at home, ate two slices of pineapple, and two slices of kiwi. I think that goes to show that if you make food fun, visually appealing, and special, children will be much more adventurous and open minded to trying new things. It also helps when they see their friends eating it.
The sky is the limit with this cake. There are so many ways to decorate it, and you can use any type of fruit that you enjoy or that is in season. This would also be super fun to do with the kiddos. They’d love it!
I hope you try it and enjoy it! Let me know how it goes if you do.