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Local Flavor: Dunmore baker’s Summer Surprise Cake features wonderful watermelon as star of dessert – Lifestyles


At JoAnn Brown’s house, never judge a cake by its icing.


The Dunmore resident surprised guests during a get-together for her son Jacob’s 21st birthday when she cut into the cake only to reveal it was made out of watermelon.


“The kids, they’re always working out, watching what they eat, and he said he didn’t want a cake,” Brown said of her children, who include Marlana, 23, and Zachary, 26. “(Jacob) said, ‘Mom, try to make something with watermelon.’ That really got the ball rolling and my mind going.”


In response, Brown created Joann’s Summer Surprise Cake. The dessert consists of a watermelon shaped into the likeness of a round, double-layer cake and covered in a homemade frosting mixture similar to a creamy fruit dip. Brown said her cousin makes a fabulous fruit dip, so she tried to re-create it for the frosting but made it a bit thicker. In the end, the cake was a success.


“Everyone really enjoyed it, and it went quick,” Brown’s sister, Marie Gabello, said, adding that guests of all ages enjoyed the cake. “She did a great job with it.”


The most difficult part of the cake, Brown said, is shaping the watermelon. She advised bakers to use an electric knife and just keep shaping until it’s cylindrical. Any extra pieces can be used to serve with leftover frosting.


As for the frosting, bakers can use whatever they would like to create the creamy confection, but Brown explained it must be a thick consistency to stay on the watermelon. Another tip: Watermelon should be room temperature before frosting.


“Otherwise, it starts to sweat,” she said, laughing. “You want to keep the watermelon as dry as possible.”


Local Flavor tastes lots of unique cakes, but this is by far the most different and refreshing. Summer Surprise Cake has all the sweetness of full-blown dessert without the guilt. The cool, creamy frosting pairs delectably with the juicy, sweet…

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