Recipe: Watermelon Sherbet Cake

Watermelon Days

Recently, we celebrated my mother’s 80th birthday in the place it all started, Cincinnati.

As we toured our hometown on Madeira, affectionately referred to as Mayberry, I recalled summer bike rides during middle school from my house to the center of town. The goal was to meet up at Friendly’s for ice cream.

One summer, they had this delicious concoction of watermelon ice cream formed to look like a big slice, complete with chocolate chip seeds. Fast forward too many years to mention, and you will come upon my love to create gelato and ice cream.

Perhaps my passion to create this came from those summer memories. With the abundance of Florida watermelons available, I decided to recreate the delicious watermelon slice with home made sherbets. Perfect for that Father’s Day celebration. Enjoy the long summer days!



  • 1 cups diced seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips



  1. Combine the watermelon, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir to coat evenly.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Blend the mixture in a blender until smooth; return to the bowl.
  4. Pour the cold water into a saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water; let stand 1 minutes.
  5. Place the saucepan over low heat; cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir the gelatin mixture into the blended watermelon mixture.
  7. Add the heavy cream; beat with an electric hand mixer at medium speed until the mixture is fluffy.
  8. Transfer the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until it reaches “soft-serve” consistency.
  9. Add the chocolate chips at the very end, and spin until incorporated.
  10. Transfer ice cream to a one- or two-quart lidded plastic container; cover surface with plastic wrap and seal.
  11. For best results, ice cream should ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  12. *For brighter red, reduce the amount of sugar and watermelon slightly, and add strained raspberry jelly.


To Create the “Slice”

  1. Line a 10-inch pie pan with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Have on hand, pineapple or coconut sorbet or sherbet (any flavor which is pale or close to white), and lime sorbet or sherbet. (The above recipe is easily adaptable.)
  3. Pour the sherbet into the center of the pan, leaving a small space around the perimeter of the pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula.
  4. Pour the white sherbet in the space left around the perimeter of the pan to form the outer layer, and then the bright green for the rind of the watermelon pie.
  5. Freeze for 2 hours and slice to serve.