Kawaii Watermelon Cake
500g (3 cups) all purpose flour
400g (1 1/3 cups) caster sugar
2.5 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2.5 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp bicarb soda
3/4 tsp salt
250ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
400ml (1 1/3 cups) buttermilk
2.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp red liquid food dye
1 tbsp pink liquid food dye
1 cup mini choc chips
50g black fondant
20g dark pink fondant
10g pink fondant
20g white fondant
2 batches American buttercream frosting
2 tsp raspberry flavouring
10 drops red food gel
5 drops green food gel + 5 additional drops green food gel
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140C (280F) or 160C (320F) for a conventional oven. Spray three 7” cake tins with oil spray and line the bottom with baking paper. Set aside
Add 2 tbsp of the flour into the bowl with the choc chips and mix to coat. Set aside.
Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix on low speed using a hand mixer to help everything combine.
Next, add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla and red food dye to the dry ingredients and continue mixing on low speed until everything is well combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds on low speed.
Add the chocolate chips and fold in using a spatula.
Fill three 7” cake tins with batter. I find using an ice cream scoop to help me do this makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly so that everything bakes at the same time.
Bake for 50-60 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If the pick comes out with wet batter, bake for a further 10 min at a time until fully baked. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature inside the cake tins and then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate. So, I bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
To make the eyes, rolled out the black fondant and use a 2cm round cookie cutter to cut out two circles. Then cut out four circles of rolled out white fondant. Two 1cm ones and two smaller than that. I used the end of piping tips to do that.
To cut out the cheeks, roll out the pink fondant and cut out two 2cm fondant discs.
To make the fondant mouth, cut out one 3cm white fondant disc and one 3cm red fondant piece. Use a smaller circle cuter to cut out the bottom of the red disc and stick it to the bottom of the large white fondant disc. Use a knife to cut the white fondant in half.
To make the seeds, roll out tiny little balls of black fondant. Then roll out on end to make it slightly longer and pointy. Then flatten with your finger.
Set all the fondant pieces aside to dry.
Add the raspberry flavouring to the frosting. Mix until well combined.
Split the remining frosting into three bowls. Add red food gel to one, green food gel to another and leave the other plain. Add all three frostings to 3 separate piping bags.
Trim the top of each cooled cake to level it off. I find using a serrated knife or cake leveller is the best way to do it.
To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of green frosting onto an 8” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the centre of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
Add a ring of green frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Pipe a ring of white frosting on the inside of that. Alternate between the two green frostings until you fill the cake layer. Place the next layer of cake on top. Repeat with the remaining layer.
Add more frosting around the top and sides of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
Pipe two rings of green frosting around the bottom of the cake. Then one ring of white frosting. Pipe the rest of the cake with red frosting.
Use the cake scraper to smoothen out the sides and top. Clean the scraper with a paper towel each time you go around the cake to keep the lines of different coloured frosting nice and clean.
Stick the eyes, mouth and cheeks onto the frosted cake. Then finish by adding the black seeds.