OK, so you may not associate watermelon with winter. In fact, it may be the summeriest of all the fruits in your mind. But, winter is so cold, dreary and dark – we need something to brighten it up! I’m a huge fan of vibrant colors, and not a big fan of winter so I frequently need something to add a little pep to my step during the cold months. I dyed my hair this winter with teal, blue, and purple to bring a little levity to these darker days but desserts *always* cheer me up. Since watermelon instantly makes me think of summer I decided to make a watermelon desserts inspired by one of my favorite childhood treats. Take a look!
When I was a kid my favorite restaurant was Friendly’s, mostly because of the special clown sundaes with Reese’s peanut butter cup ears. 🙂 One of the rare treats we used to bring home was the Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll which is a watermelon and lemon sherbet ice cream roll with chocolate chip seeds. It’s actually one of my fondest memories of my childhood… can you tell I’m a foodie? Some people might immediately think “watermelon and chocolate? No way!” but this is possibly the best combination of flavors ever. Somehow the flavors just meld seamlessly into each other to create a refreshingly sweet treat.
See that big ol’ honkin’ chocolate chip in there? That one escaped the food processor but didn’t escape my stomach. 😉 The cupcake itself is lightly flavored with watermelon and studded with pulsed chocolate chip seeds. The frosting is a whipped lemon buttercream in two different greens swirled together to give that authentic watermelon look.
In order to get the chocolate chip seeds evenly dispersed you’re going to need either a slightly thicker cake batter or you can pulse up your chocolate chips a little bit smaller like I did and use an fluffier/lighter cupcake batter. I didn’t want the texture of chocolate chips in my cupcake, I just wanted a hint of the flavor, but either way would be delicious! I used milk chocolate chips for a little bit of extra sweetness but dark would be fine as well.
Leaf green food coloring worked perfectly for the frosting – just split your frosting batch in half once it’s whipped and add a dab of leaf green to one and 2-3 drops of leaf green to the other. To get the watermelon rind look I took a butter knife and “painted” stripes on the inside of the piping bag with the darker green then filled it with the light green. Using a round frosting tip I piped even circles onto the cupcakes and wow did they come out pretty! Roll the frosting in a little bit of red sparkly sugar and you’ve got yourself a fancy summer treat mid winter!
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3-4 drops of watermelon flavoring/extract
- 3 drops red food coloring
- 1-2 drops pink food coloring
- 4 one ounce squares of good quality chocolate pulsed in food processor or 4 ounces chocolate chips
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (approx. 1 full lemon)
- 1-4 drops leaf green food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with 24 liners.
- Mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder together and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar together, then add egg whites and sour cream until incorporated.
- Add half of your dry ingredients and half of your milk, mix on low until no dry ingredients are showing. Add the remainder of your milk and dry ingredients and mix on low until you have a smooth batter.
- Add your extract and food coloring and mix on low until desired shade of pinkish red is achieved. Lightly mix in your chocolate chips and fill cupcake liners a little more than 1/2 way full.
- Bake 16-18 minutes or until center lightly springs back when touched.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting.
- Whip your butter by itself until light and fluffy.
- Add all of your powdered sugar and mix on low until 60-70% of the powdered sugar is blended in.
- Add whipping cream and lemon juice and mix on low to start. Slowly increase speed to medium high and let your frosting whip for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add 1 drop leaf green food coloring to the mixer.
- Reserve half of the light green frosting in another container. Add 2-3 more drops of leaf green to the remaining half until you have a darker green color.
- "Paint" stripes on the inside of your pastry bag using the back of a spoon or a butter knife. Add the light green frosting to the back and using an open tip, pipe dollops of frosting onto each cupcake.
- Rim with red or green decorative sugar for extra effect. Enjoy!