Any Sydneysider’s eyes will light up at the mention of watermelon cake. Black Star Pastry, which now has several cafes around Sydney, makes a watermelon cake that is truly heavenly.

So, when I came across Watermelon Cake in Nana Ling’s recipe book, I was instantly excited. And then confused. Very confused.

Watermelon Cake (sans watermelon)

This didn’t quite sound like the style of watermelon cake that I’m used to. There’s no watermelon in the cake, for starters, only sultanas.

With no visuals in the recipe to guide me it was all a bit mysterious until I reached the end of the recipe’s instructions. Ah, yes, a cake that looks – not tastes – like a watermelon!

It’s a fun recipe to make and perfect for a kids party or summer-themed event. A tip before starting: you need a small, deep round cake tin. The smallest I had was an 8-inch tin which worked okay, but a smaller tin would have made the baking stage, and perhaps the result, even better.

Nana Ling’s Watermelon Cake recipe

Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.

watermelon cake

Watermelon Cake

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  • 115 grams butter
  • 115 grams sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 170 grams SR flour
  • 2 tablespoons sultanas
  • few drops red food colouring


  • Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added.
  • Add milk slowly and then add flour and mix to combine.
  • Set aside 1/3 of the mixture.
  • Add sultanas and red food colouring to the remaining mixture.
  • Grease a small, deep, round cake tin (6 or 7 inch preferably) and spread plain mixture around the sides.
  • Pour coloured mixture into the centre of the cake tin.
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
  • When cool, ice with green-coloured icing.
passionfruit sponge cake

Cook like a NANA


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