Dairy-free Watermelon Ice Cream Cake

Watermelons are nowhere to be found in New Zealand at this time of the year - October. I am blessed to be born in February so that I can have watermelon birthday cakes, but Beth, unfortunately, does not. I wanted to make her a raw vegan birthday cake so I thought hard and came up with this ice cream cake that looks like a watermelon. 

I originally made it from coconut cream and cashew nuts, however, I wasn't a fan of the flavour the cashew gave. I've since altered the recipe and it tastes amazing! The original recipe was adapted from the lovely Buffy from Be Good Organics. 

As this was Beth's main birthday cake (the other was was this Three Layered Chocolate Cake), I made it as healthy and full of real ingredients as possible. The base is made from preservative-free 100% coconut cream. It's sweetened with coconut nectar, flavoured with vanilla pods and lime and coloured by beetroot and spirulina! 

The pink and white centre of the cake is vanilla coconut ice cream and the green outer layer is zesty lime coconut ice cream. 

With thanks to the Guar Gum, which is a plant-based gluten-free flour, this ice cream cake has the same texture as dairy or store bought coconut cream ice creams. It helps prevent ice crystals and also helps bind the fat molecules with the water to give a smooth creamy ice cream as a result. 

Alright just two more photos of the cake in action at Beth's "Fruity First" party. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as she did!

Dairy-free Watermelon Ice Cream Cake

*Please use organic ingredients where you can!


4x 400ml tins 100% fresh coconut cream (preservative free!)
5 vanilla beans, scraped
8 tablespoons or more coconut nectar
3/4 teaspoon guar gum
1/4-1/2 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed (4 limes)
1/2 tablespoon lime zest
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1 beetroot, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon or more spirulina
You will need three freezer proof dishes or containers, lots baking paper and a cake tin with a removable bottom. 


Step 1: Make the ice cream

To make the ice cream, blend the coconut cream, coconut nectar and guar gum in an Optimum blender or high speed blender. Pour roughly 1/4 of the ice cream mixture into a small shallow dish lined with baking paper. Then with the remaining ice cream mixture, pour into a larger shallow dish lined with baking paper. Put both dishes into the freezer and freeze overnight. 


Step 2: Flavouring the lime ice cream

The next day take out the smaller dish - this will be the lime ice cream. Cut the frozen ice cream into small cubes while in the dish and leave on the bench to thaw out a little before blending. While it thaws, prepare the lime juice and lime zest.

Once the cubes have softened, put them into your blender with the lime juice, lime zest and spirulina (you can use more spirulina to give a deeper colour). Blend on speed 6 in your Optimum or a low-medium speed. Do not over blend, the purpose of blending at a low speed is to create air bubbles and gently mix in the lime flavouring. Taste the ice cream - if it's not sweet enough add more coconut nectar or if it needs more lime, add more lime. 

Once blended, pour the ice cream back into the same dish lined with new baking paper and put it back into the freezer for two hours or more. 


Step 3: Flavouring the vanilla ice cream

Following on from step 2, take out the other larger dish - this will be the vanilla ice cream. Cut the frozen ice cream into small cubes. While the ice cream thaws out a little, prepare the pink food colouring.

To make the colouring peel and cut up a beetroot and place it into a small pan. Add about 3/4 cup of water and boil until there is only 2 tablespoons of water left in the pan. This will be the pink food colouring. 

While you are making the pink food colouring, blend the ice cream and the scraped vanilla pods in your blender. As above, do not blend on a high speed. Again, pour out about 1/4 of the ice cream mixture into another small dish or container lined with baking paper. Put it in the freezer. This will be the white layer of your watermelon ice cream cake. 

To make the inner pink layer of the ice cream cake, put the 2 tablespoons of the pink food colouring into the blender with the ice cream mixture, and pulse, and blend on slow until the colour is mixed in. If you want your ice cream to be a deeper pink, repeat the step above with the same pieces of beetroot to make more food colouring. And again, taste the ice cream. Is it sweet enough for your liking? You can add more coconut nectar to the mixture if you would like it to be sweeter. 

Pour the pink ice cream back into the same dish lined with new baking paper. Here you need to add 1/4 cup of cacao nibs and lightly stir them in. Put it back into the freezer for two hours or more. 


Step 4: Moulding the ice cream cake

Take out the three dishes of ice cream from freezer. They should all be slightly soft before moulding. This step needs to be done fairly quickly as the ice cream needs to be soft enough to mould, but too soft and it will be too hard to mould. 

Before moulding, line the bottom of the cake pan with baking paper. The easiest way to do it is to trace around the bottom of the cake pan and cut out the circle. 

Step 1: create the green rind layer by moulding the lime ice cream right around the edge of the pan (not the bottom). Make sure it is even! *see photos above
Step 2: add the white rind layer as above. Be careful not to mix the two layers together. 
Step 3: add the pink watermelon center. Again, be careful not to mix the layers together. Sprinkle with some cacao nibs and put the cake into the freezer overnight. 


To serve, remove the sides of the cake pan and eat immediately. 


*Makes approx. 2000ml of ice cream